Windwards oust champs
SCARBOROUGH – West Indies batsman Johnson Charles stroked a career-best hundred to help Windward Islands Volcanoes beat Barbados Pride by 55 runs and eliminate the defending champions from the NAGICO Super50 yesterday.
Playing at Shaw Park, the Windwards rattled up an imposing 374 for six off 50 overs, with the right-handed opener Charles blasting 177 off 124 deliveries – the highest ever score in the tournament’s history.
Sunil Ambris and Shane Shillingford both stroked 45 down the order, while opener Devon Smith chimed in with 37 and Keddy Lesporis, 31.
Seamer Javon Searles led for Barbados with three for 60 as the entire attack suffered at the hands of Charles’ onslaught.
In reply, captain Kevin Stoute hammered a cameo top score of 82 at the top of the order and though Shamarh Brooks (61) and Shai Hope (58) chipped in with half-centuries, the order was simply too tall for the Barbadians.
They finished on 319 all out off 49 overs as left-arm pacer Delorn Johnson with four for 63 and off-spinner Shane Shillingford, with two for 62, undermined the innings.
The defeat left Barbados without a win for the competition after their first match against Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners was rained out without a ball bowled, and they lost their second match to Guyana last Saturday.
Opting to bat first, Charles and Smith posted a hasty 98 off 67 balls for the first wicket to hand their side the early initiative.
Charles smashed 12 fours and 11 sixes as he pounded the Barbados attack, while Smith faced 29 balls and counted six fours and a six.
Charles raised his half-century off 37 balls with his third six – a hoist over long on off left-armer Ryan Hinds – as the Windwards headed towards the 100-run mark.
When Smith drove Searles to Hope at deep cover to fall in the 12th over, Charles continued his rampage in several other crucial partnerships.
He added 46 for the second wicket with Miles Bascombe (12), another 82 for the fourth wicket with Lesporis and 47 for the fifth wicket with Ambris.
Charles reached his hundred off 75 balls with a streaky single to third man, and needed only another 33 deliveries for his 150.
He eventually holed out to deep midwicket off Stoute’s medium pace in the 41st over, but Shillingford and Ambris combined in a 62-run sixth-wicket stand to inflict more misery on the Barbadians.
Shillingford, especially, was severe, lashing two fours and four sixes off 28 balls as the Volcanoes gathered 90 runs from the last ten overs.
Stoute and Kraigg Brathwaite, who made 38, then handed Barbados a great start to pave the way for a fascinating duel.
The right-handed Stoute slammed six fours and three sixes off 71 balls, while Brathwaite faced 39 balls and counted two fours and a six.
However, Pride suffered two setbacks in successive overs, when Brathwaite was lbw to Shillingford in the 14th over and Kirk Edwards was bowled by off-spinner Liam Sebastien in the following over for one. Stumbling at 99 for two, Barbados recovered through a 47-run stand between Stoute and Brooks, whose knock comprised 59 balls and four sixes. (CMC)