March 18, 2002

Leeward Isles, Guyana locked in a gripping battle

Staff Reporter

An unbeaten 176 from captain Stuart Williams and a 96 from Runako Morton has seen Leeward Isles make a strong reply to Guyana's first innings score of 491 at the end of day three of the four-day Busta Cup semi-final between the two sides at the Albion Sports Complex, Berbice, Guyana. The visitors were 329 for four with just a day's play remaining.

In the morning, the Leeward suffered a jolt very early in their reply; opener Fabian Alex Adams being dismissed for no score with his team's score on one. But Williams and Morton then forged a double-century partnership to put their team on course to claiming the vital first-innings lead.

Morton, unfortunately, was bowled by leg-spinner Mahendra Nagamatoo when he just four runs shy of a deserved hundred. Sylvester Joseph (25) and Tonito Willett (15) were the other two batsmen to be dismissed on the day.

Williams, who batted with admirable purpose and concentration all through the day, now carries his sides hopes on his shoulders. Keeping him company is Keithroy Tittle with six. With Ridley Jacobs also to follow, Leeward Isles are in with a fair chance of securing the first-innings lead and thereby a place in the final.

Williams, by top-scoring, was only following in his Guyanese counterpart Carl Hooper's footsteps. On Saturday, Hooper had made a brilliant double-hundred to guide his team to a massive 491 in their fist-innings. It was welcome news for the West Indies too as the 222 the elegant batsman made comes just weeks before India's tour of the West Indies. But sadly, the rest of his batsmen could not come up with anything substantial as Guyana threw away the opportunity to bat Leeward Isles out of the game.