By Robertson S. Henry
ARNOS VALE, St Vincent -- Batsmen struggled in seamer-friendly conditions at the Parkhill Playing Field, and the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, as matches in the 2014 Windward Islands Under-19 Cricket Tournament opened.
Over at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, the match started a day late due to the unavailability of flights for the Saint Lucians who arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines on Saturday.
Grenada took full advantage of a lapse in concentration by the Saint Lucian fielders to post 171 all out in their first inning in reply to the Saint Lucian first inning score of 127.
On Sunday morning, Saint Lucia won the toss and decided to take first knock on a strip, which looked to be playing its best on the first day. They were soon in trouble when Valange St Ange was trapped leg-before by Craig Philip for 1 – 2 for one.
Christian Charley and Tonious Simon mounted a recovery, during which they had to contend with unpredictable bounce. Balls would shoot along the ground, while others would rear up at the batsman’s throat or bounce waist high.
Simon was caught behind by Charles off Hippolyte for 14 – 34 for two, with Boyce and Charley taking the total to 61 before the Charles – Hippolyte combination accounted for another victim – Charley it was this time for 21.
At lunch, Saint Lucia was 66 for 3, and soon after the resumption it was 74 for 4 – Selwyn Boyce caught by McDonald off Philips for 28; then 76 for five when Dornan Edwards was bowled by Philips with a ground-eater without scoring.
Shadrack Descartes was stumped off Daryl Cyrus for 28 – 111 for six, Collinus Calender was caught behind off Cyrus for 10 – 123 for 7, Sherwin George was caught by Cato off Hippolyte for 12 – 123 for 8, Kester Charlemagne was caught off Cyrus without scoring – 123 for 9, and Daniel JnBaptiste was caught behind off Cyrus for 1, as Saint Lucia was all out for 127 in 62.1 overs, with Adeju Hobson remaining not out on 1.
There were 11 extras bowled, with Daryl Cyrus 4 for 28, Craig Philips taking three for 19, and Deron Hippolyte 3 for 37.
Only one ball was bowled when Grenada commenced their inning before the rains came, forcing the umpires to call off play for the day.
Resuming on Monday morning on one without loss, Grenada was held in check by good all round cricket by the Saint Lucians, as overcast conditions were taken full advantage of; first by the seamers, then the spinners.
However, following the lunch break, the Saint Lucians seemingly lost their energy in the field, and the Grenadians raced on to total 171 all out, with Elvin Gordon top scoring with 44, Daniel McDonald 29, and Ryan John 26.
Bowling for the Saint Lucians, Dornan Edwards finished with six for 45 off 17.1 overs, two of which were maidens. Kester Charlemagne took two for 19, and Valange St. Ange 1 for 12.
Batting a second time, Saint Lucia closed out the match – 104 for eight with Kester Charlemagne not out 2, and Adeju Hobson not out 00.
Tonious Simon top-scored with 44, Dornan Edwards scored 17, and Valange St. Ange 13.
There were 15 extras bowled – six byes, 6 leg-byes, 1 wide, and 2 no-balls. Bowling for the Grenadians, Daniel McDonald finished with two for 3, Daryl Cyrus two for 23, Ryan John one for 13, Shervon Lewis one for six, Craig Philips one for 6, and Deron Hippolyte one for 40.
Meanwhile over at Parkhill, controversy brought the game between hosts St Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica to a premature end, when the Dominicans refused to take the field in protest over a miscalculation by the officials.
When the umpires finally decided to start the game two hours after the scheduled 10:00 a.m. start due to heavy overnight rain, which left the outfield water logged, St Vincent and the Grenadines, having won the toss, invited Dominica to take first knock.
The Dominicans struggled throughout, totaling 117 in 47.4 overs. Brian Joseph top-scored with 32, Kyle Cabey and Josiah Hilton chipped in with 31 and 16 respectively.
Only one extra was delivered – a wide, as Gideon Pope five for 16, Romano Pierre three for 29, and Kinson Dalzell 2 for 10 bowled a disciplined line and length.
By the close of the first day Saturday St Vincent and the Grenadines were 88 for 4, with Terran Barrum (1), Gideon pope (23), Zannim DaSilva (5), and Romano Pierre (19) were all back in the dressing room.
They went on to score 156, a lead of 39 for the Dominicans to negotiate to fight for a draw, if not make the hosts bat a second time.
However, Dominica was dismissed for 126, setting St Vincent and the Grenadines a target of 87 for victory. Nevertheless, with the Vincentians poised at 56 for one, the rains came and when the umpires signaled for the resumption, the Dominicans refused to take the field, protesting that the officials miscalculated.
To date no word has been received from the organizers on that matter, with St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada will clash at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, with Dominica and Saint Lucia doing battle at Arnos Vale Two on July 1 and 2, 2014.
St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada are each on six points having won their first innings respectively, while Saint Lucia and Dominica are on two points apiece from the drawn games.