West Indies Under-19 Challenge August 19, 2007

Jamaica crush Guyana in U-19 final

Cricinfo staff

Jamaica beat the defending champions Guyana by eight wickets in the final of the West Indies Under-19 Challenge at Warner Park in St Kitts.

Jamaica were off to a good start, taking three early wickets to have Guyana struggling at 55 for 3, but Vishal Singh (79) and Steven Jacobs (43) came together to take the score to 119. However, Guyana crumbled once the pair departed.

Chasing 226, Jamaica's charge was led by opener Horace Miller who slammed an impressive 133 and added 188 with Christie Jones (62) for the first wicket. Jamaica raced to their target for the loss of just two wickets in 40.5 overs.

The two sides qualified for the final amid controversy. After the semi-finals were washed out by torrential rain and strong winds, there was confusion over which two teams would play for the title.

Guyana's team management contested that on the basis of the tournament's playing conditions, they had qualified for the final since they were the top-ranked team from the preceding three-day tournament. Barbados, meanwhile, assumed that they had missed out on a spot in the final.

Derek Nicholas, the West Indies board's operations officer, however revealed that Barbados and Jamaica would contest the final, based on standings after the three-round preliminary campaign in this tournament. Barbados finished on top of the standings with ten points while Jamaica and Leeward Islands were joint second on eight. Guyana were fourth with six points.

Later in the day, though, Nicholas said that after a careful study of the rules, the board had decided that Guyana and Jamaica would play the final. "It [rule-book] clearly says that if both semi-finals are abandoned, the higher ranked of the semi-final teams from the three-day competition would advance to the final," Nicholas told the Caribbean Media Corporation.

Guyana and Jamaica were first and second in the points table of the three-day tournament, while Barbados was placed fourth.