West Indies PCL First Round Round-up

windiesAs the Windies continue its struggles across all formats in Sri Lanka the first round of the First Class season offered some insight into the state of the regional game.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force had the largest margin of victory, by an innings over the Leewards Hurricanes. It was a total team effort by the Red Force with a number of batsmen scoring fifties as well as wickets shared among the bowlers. There was no one really knocking down that selectors doors as all the batsmen (Evin Lewis 66, Steven Katwaroo 71, Narsingh Deonarine 55 and Yanick Cariah 50) who were among the runs still need to prove that the really deserve a chance at the higher level albeit match one of the season. For the bowlers, spinners Kavesh Kantasingh and Imran Khan had six wicket each but are yards off in a crowded talent pool. In this fixture there was little for the fast bowlers to write home about, which is a telling sign. The Caribbean’s Fast bowling pool is a dwindling resource.

Barbados Pride were the second best winners on the weekend with a 10 wicket shootout of the Jamaican Scorpions. This fixture had one of the two centurions of the round and it came from incumbent West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite. Following a lean spell in Sri Lanka, K. Brathwaite will be keen to take advantage of the First Class season to continue to cement his spot in the senior team set up. Similarly fellow Windies opener Shai Hope was among the runs with 71, he like Kraigg will be look to put a horrid Sri Lankan experience behind him. For the Scorpions fellow Barbadian and West Indies international Kirk Edwards notch the only half century for his side, reminding us of his talent. But like those mentioned before Edwards will need to put in more work to alert the selectors of his credentials for a recall. For the bowlers there were no main standouts, Nikita Miller (4), Miguel Cummins (5), Kevin Stoute (5) were the best returns in the wicket column, significant but not compelling to aid the the current West Indian hemorrhage.

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Rajendra Chandrika had been selected to the Test team without a First Class hundred and on his return to First Class cricket following tours with the Test team his silenced critics with a commanding 146 which earned him the man of the match in the Guyana Jaguars’ victory over Windwards Volcanoes. Chandrika’s ton was the only fifty plus score for the Jaguars over two innings. Chandrika’s will do well to continue along the same vein to enhance his profile. The only other fifty plus score came from discarded Test opener Devon Smith, who is now into the twilight of his career. The spinners led the way with the wickets here with Shane Shillingford snatching 11 scalps along side Steve Jacobs who had eight. Medium Fast bowler Raymon Reifer had four wickets. Both spinners making early cases again in a crowded talent pool.

Team of the Week: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Rajendra Chandrika, Kirk Edwards, Shai Hope, Narsingh Deonarine, Steven Katwaroo (wk), Kevin Stoute, Steven Jacobs, Shane Shillingford, Kavesh Kantasingh, and Miguel Cummins,

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