Big wins for T&T, Guyana and Jamaica
Chris Gayle's second-innings century powered Jamaica to a comfortable 81-run win over Windward Islands in their opening game of the Regional Four-day competition at Sabina Park. Set a daunting 320-run target in a low-scoring game, Windward folded for 238 on the third day to give Jamaica their full complement of 12 points.
Earlier in the match, Jamaica, having been sent in to bat, struggled as they were bowled out for 180. Gayle, playing his first first-class match since 2010, was dismissed for 2, and left-arm spinner Garey Mathurin ran through the Jamaica lower and middle order to pick up 5 for 34. Only three Jamaica batsmen managed to go past 20 with Brendan Nash top-scoring with an unbeaten 49. However, the Windward batsmen failed to capitalise on the advantage given to them by their bowlers. Medium-pacer Andrew Richardson picked up five wickets as Windward stumbled from 31 for no loss to 112 for 9. Only a last-wicket stand of 47 helped carry them close to Jamaica's total before they were bowled out for 159.
Jamaica's second-innings centred around Gayle's commanding 165. None of the remaining batsmen managed to go past 30, as offspinner Shane Shillingford picked up six wickets, and Nelon Pascal chipping in with three. But Gayle held firm, his solo effort powering Jamaica to 298.
Windward never looked like they could reach the target as they lurched to 88 for 6. Opener Devon Smith, who top-scored with 103, and No. 8 Lindon James showed some resistance with an 85-run seventh-wicket stand, but they were ultimately bowled out for 238 to hand Jamaica an easy win. Gayle picked up two wickets, with Russell and Nikita Miller collecting three apiece.
An all-round performance from Guyana helped them post a resounding 234-run win over Leeward Islands at Windsor Park.
At 131 for 2, after having been sent in to bat, Guyana looked set for a big first-innings total. However medium-pacer Gavin Tonge, with five wickets, and Anthony Martin and Justin Athanaze with two wickets each, restricted Guyana to 208. In response, spinners Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul picked up seven wickets between them, as Leeward were skittled out for 98 in less than 40 overs. Only three batsmen managed to reach double figures with Kieran Powell top-scoring with 37.
Assad Fudadin (52) and Permaul (48) together with steady contributions from the middle- and lower-order helped carry Guyana to 226 in their second innings. Debutant Nelson Bolan picked up four wickets but the 128-run first-inning deficit meant Leeward were always on the backfoot. Faced with a huge target of 337, the Leeward batsmen didn't fare much better in the second innings. Once again Bishoo and Permaul ran through the Leeward line-up, picking up four wickets apiece as Leeward were bowled out for 102 to give Guyana an easy win.
Trinidad & Tobago joined Jamaica and Guyana at the top of the points table after comfortable win over Combined Campuses & Colleges in Bridgetown. T&T elected to bat, but their batsmen struggled against the offspin of Ryan Austin as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals with only Kieron Pollard showing some fight with a half-century. However Austin's seven-wicket haul was offset by the 53 extras - the second-highest score in T&T's innings - that CCC conceded, allowing T&T to reach 229.
Offspinner Sunil Narine, who was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders in the recently-held IPL auction, then struck to pick up five wickets to restrict CCC to 111. Only Yannick Ottley and Kyle Corbin managed to get past 20 as CCC conceded a 118-run lead.
That lead proved to be crucial as the T&T batsmen struggled to get going in their second innings. Narine made 34 and together with Denesh Ramdin (40), Jason Mohammed (31), helped take T&T to 168. Paceman Jason Holder was the most successful of the CCC bowlers with 5 for 48.
The 287-run target proved too much for CCC who limped to 114 before they were bowled out. Once again it was Narine, who ran through the batting line-up, this time picking up eight wickets, to end with match figures of 13 for 39.