KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, CMC – Guyana were crowned one-day champions of the Regional Under-19 Championship for the third straight year here yesterday, when they easily brushed aside Windward Islands by five wickets in the final at Arnos Vale Stadium.
Chasing 143 for victory, the Guyanese eased to victory with eight overs remaining, to build on recent successes in Jamaica last year and in Georgetown two years ago.
Middle order batsman Bhaskar Yadram top-scored with an unbeaten 41, Raymond Perez got 24 while Sherfane Rutherford chipped in with 21.
Jonathon Taylor (2-16) and left-arm spinner Alick Athanaze (2-27) finished with two wickets apiece.
Earlier, the Windwards were disappointingly bowled out for 142 off 42.2 overs, after they were undermined by West Indies Under-19 seamer Keemo Paul (3-16) and off-spinner Looknauth Chinkoo (3-32).
Johnel Eugene top-scored with 42 and opener Emmanuel Stewart chipped in with 22, but the Windwards’ much vaunted batting machine found itself limited.
Sent in, the Windwards started poorly, recovered slightly but were then undone by a middle order slump to lose their way.
Anil Matthew fell without scoring to the second ball he faced in the opening over with three runs on the board and his partner Johann
Jeremiah followed in the fifth over for eight to leave the score on 17 for two, with Paul claiming both scalps.
Stewart struck two fours in a 35-ball knock in adding 34 for the second wicket with Athanaze who made 18. But when both fell in the 15th over, a collapse ensued as four wickets tumbled for 36 runs to leave the side on 87 for six in the 28th over.
Eugene then came to his side’s rescue, striking two fours and a six in his 60-ball knock, while also adding 34 for the seventh wicket with Kassim Peltier (12).
In reply, Guyana got a decent start of 38 from Rutherford and Ronaldo Renee (7) before losing both in successive overs to stumble.
However, Perez and Paul (20) put on 35 for the third wicket to bolster the innings before Yadram took control of the innings to see Guyana home.
Yadram, a right-hander, faced 72 balls and counted five fours, and his 25-run fifth wicket stand with Joshua Persaud (13) and unbroken 26-run, sixth wicket partnership with Ronaldo Alimohamed (4 not out), calmed the nerves for Guyana.