The finals of the Sandals Under -19 Cricket Cup, in collaboration with the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association (SLNCA), has been postponed a second time but will likely take place at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground next weekend (Sunday 18th July) following the West Indies versus Australia T20 International series.
Contesting the final are Central Castries and newcomers, the Saint Lucia Sports Academy (SLSA).
The postponement was due to the passage of Hurricane Elsa which left the playing surface at the Mindoo Phillip Park (MPP) unsuitable for play. Attempts by the organizers to have the game played at the Gros Islet playing field was to no avail as that venue suffered a similar fate due to heavy rains.
The last time the two teams played each other was at the MPP in a preliminary round match on Saturday 29th May 2021. The SLSA put on a brilliant bowling display when they uprooted Central Castries for 114 in 25.3 overs with Kevin Gassie picking up 3 for 25 and two wickets each to Keon Gaston and Tarrique Edward; it was Central Castries lowest score in the tournament batting first. In their run chase, needing 115 for victory, it was an uphill task for the SLSA as they lost wickets at crucial intervals and were eventually skittled out for 77 in 26.3 overs with Keegan Arnold taking 5 for 24 and two wickets each to Jaden Elibox and Thai Harris.
For the final, Central Castries, will depend heavily on the following batsmen who have played five matches: Keril Victor, 188 runs at an average of 47.00, highest score 116, (the only centurion to date in this year’s tournament), Ackeem Auguste 147 runs at an average of 73.50, highest score 96, Desney Gidharry, 129 runs, at an average of 32.25, highest score 46 and Ephron Charles, 102 runs at an average of 25.50, highest score 70.
After 5 matches Keegan Arnold is Central Castries leading bowler with 15 wickets for 87 runs at an average of 5.80, best figures 6 for 6, Thai Harris 11 wickets for 85 runs at an average of 5.00, best figures 5 for 27, Mc Kenny Clarke 9 wickets for 75 runs at an average of 8.83, best figures 4 for 21, and Jaayxan Justin 8 wickets for 70 runs at an average of 8.75, best figures 5 for 24.
For the Saint Lucia Sports Academy, Kevin Gassie, Jahil Evans, Noelle Leo and captain Tarrique Edward will lead their campaign. In the bowling department Kevin Gassie, Keon Gaston, Royce Paul and Tarrique Edward.
According to SLSA Team Manager, Dwight Thomas, the lead wicket takers will be going all out to repeat their bowling performance in the preliminary round against their opponents.
Central Castries: Ackeem Auguste (captain), Desney Gidharry, Keril Victor, Ephron Charles, Keegan Arnold, Mc Kenny Clarke, Jayden Elibox, Thai Harris, Jaayxan Justin, Marvelle Cyril, Jewell Simon, Shaquan Epiphane and Jared Emmanuel. Team Manager – Tyrone Harris, Head Coach – Keith Charlery.
Saint Lucia Sports Academy: Tarrique Edward (captain), Noel Leo, Kevin Gassie, Jahil Evans, Theo Edward, Kensly Paul, Keon Gaston, Royce Paul, Niesha Cherry, Daneo Carro, Ashton Alexander, Jeremiah Fedee and Stephon Dupres. Team Manager – Dwight Francis, Head Coach – Garey Mathurin, Assistant Coach – Brain Calixte.