ST.JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC Off spinner Shane Shillingford destroyed the Leeward Islands batting on his way to a significant milestone and spurred Windward Islands to first innings advantage on the opening day of their regional four-day seventh round match at the Vivian Richards Cricket ground yesterday.
Windwards Islands, leading by 2 runs on first innings, are 131 for the loss of five wickets at stumps after bowling out the Leewards for 129.
Shillingford claimed an amazing seven wicket haul, including a hat trick that rocked the Leewards and threw their first innings into disarray while achieving 350 first class wickets.
Overall, the Dominican spinner has 352 first class wickets.
A half century from West Indies opener Kieran Powell and a fighting knock of 33 from captain Sylvester Joseph were the only resistance to Shillingford’s assault that averted an embarrassingly lower total.
Powell gave the Leewards a promising start hitting five fours and reaching 51 before he was trapped lbw to Garey Mathurin. The homeside was coasting along comfortably to 102 for three when Shillingford struck, taking three wickets in successive balls without a run added.
Shillingsford’s scalps included Joseph who hit two fours before he was caught by Devon Smith.
No other Leeward Islands batmen got into double figures except Akeem Saunders another victim of Shillingford who finished with seven wickets for 45 runs including five maidens.
Prolific opener Devon Smith was caught for 17 as the Windwards were setback by the fall of early wickets.
The visitors crawled from two wickets for nine runs to a shaky 49 for the four before a half century partnership between Liam Sebastien and Lindon James came to their rescue.
Sebastien, who has already struck eight fours, is unbeaten on 51 and James, who has a four and a six to his credit, is 20 not out in a crucial stand that has brought Windwards back into the game.