Guyana crowned first-class champions, Barbados finish second
Guyana 420 (Hetmyer 107, Jacobs 5-131) beat Jamaica 231 (Blackwood 62, Motie 4-55) and 134 (Permaul 5-36) by an innings and 55 runs
Guyana beat Jamaica by an innings and 55 runs in Providence to claim the WICB Regional 4-Day Tournament trophy for the second season in a row. Their title-defending victory was built around Under-19 World-Cup winning captain Shimron Hetmyer, and spinners Gudakesh Motie and Veerasammy Permaul.
They had begun the game seven points clear of second-placed Barbados, and given the latter's strong showing on day one of the round against Leeward Islands, Guyana could not afford to fall behind from the outset. They did not, courtesy a solid top-order showing from Hetmyer, Rajendra Chandrika and Leon Johnson. Opener Chandrika made 76, Hetmyer 107 from No. 3 and tournament top-scorer Johnson 93 from No. 4. That laid the platform for a big first-innings total, and so it was, with Guyana getting to 420, despite a five-for from legspinner Damion Jacobs.
Spin played a more incisive role thereon, though, with left-arm spinner Motie taking charge in Jamaica's first innings, claiming 4 for 55 to help enforce the follow-on. The supporting acts were Permaul and Devendra Bishoo, who took three wickets between them. Needing to make another 190 to force Guyana to bat again, Jamaica fell away even more rapidly to spin the second time round. This time it was Permaul in the lead role, taking 5 for 36 on his way to 40 in the competition - joint-fourth highest with Motie. Bishoo chipped in with three wickets as well, as Jamaica were routed for 134.
Barbados 436 (Dowrich 96, Cornwall 5-155) beat Leeward Islands 119 (Warrican 3-33) and 224 (O Peters 60, Warrican 6-102) by an innings and 93 runs
Barbados began the final round needing to win to have a chance of toppling Guyana at the top of the table, and they did everything they had to do. But Guyana did the same, and so Barbados finished second despite their commanding innings-and-93-run win against Leeward Islands in Basseterre.
Left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican was central to the victory, with a match haul of nine. He picked up three wickets in a team effort on day one to knock Leewards over for 119, an effort in which none of the hosts' batsmen could get to a half-century. Barbados got to 436 in reply, built around middle-order fifties from Shane Dowrich (96) and Roston Chase (62), followed by a rapid 53 from No. 9 Kemar Roach. Offspinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who had taken the new ball for Leewards, finished with five-for in a marathon 47.3 overs.
Captain Orlando Peters was the only half-centurion for Leewards in the second innings, hitting 60 before becoming one of Warrican's six victims. A massive victory was duly wrapped up by Barbados with a day and an innings to spare, but it would not have tasted as sweet given the news coming through from Providence.
Windward Islands 289 (D Smith 127, Imran 4-93) and 169 for 3 (Theophile 83*) beat Trinidad & Tobago 211 (Deonarine 91*, L Edwards 4-77) and 243 (Hope 57, Sebastien 5-63) by seven wickets
At the National Cricket Centre in Couva, Windward Islands picked up a seven-wicket win over Trinidad & Tobago. Despite collecting 17 points, however, Windwards finished just above laggards Leeward Islands, having won just two matches in the competition. Windwards finished with 58 points, and T&T, just above them with 74.
Windwards' bowlers hunted in a pack after T&T elected to bat. Larry Edwards, the left-arm spinner, led the way on first-class debut with figures of 4 for 77 as T&T were bundled out for 211. That T&T got to 211 was courtesy Narsingh Deonarine, who remained unbeaten on 91. Kyle Hope (28) got off to a start but couldn't make it count, while Imran Khan chipped in with a handy 39 down the order.
Imran, the legspinner, came good with the ball, too, taking 4 for 93, before adding another one to his tally in Windwards' second innings to finish the tournament with 44 wickets - third on the bowling charts. Imran's efforts couldn't prevent Windwards from taking a 78-run first-innings lead, however. Devon Smith, the tournament's second-highest scorer with 719 runs from eight games, struck his second century in as many games and put on 163 for the opening wicket with Tyrone Theophile (75). Imran, along with Jon-Russ Jaggesar and Rayad Emrit, the new-ball bowlers, who picked up three wickets each, fought back as Windwards were bowled out for 289.
Kyle Hope, the T&T opener, and captain Yannick Ottley struck half-centuries in their second innings, while Imran once again came good with the bat, scoring 46. But offspinner Liam Sebastien's 10th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket kept T&T to 243.
Set a target of 166, Windwards were reduced to 68 for 3 before Theophile and Sunil Ambris, the wicketkeeper-batsman, combined for an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 101 to see them through. Theophile was unbeaten on 83, while Ambris finished on 54 not out.