The West Indies Cricket Board Regional 50-over tournament was plagued with some rainy conditions but the final game between Barbados and the Leewards was a low-scoring affair that ended in a tie.
The Leeward Islands batted first and scored 139 for 9 in 32.5 overs. Wilden Cornwall scored 43 and he topped in runs for the tournament totalling 188 from 5 innings.
Barbados bowling was on top as Leewards batsmen fell quickly to both pace and spin. Pacer Tino Best picked up 4 for 28 from 6.5 overs, Captain Ryan Hinds 3 for 30 from 10 overs and Kemar Roach 1 for 33 from 5 overs. Barbados started their innings and lost early wickets as well. Dale Richards went for 20 and Captain Hinds for 3 but Kirk Edwards 44 from 90 balls and Carlo Morris 36 from 35 balls boosted Barbados close to their total.
With Best and Roach at the wicket, Best went for a suicidal single at 139 for 9 with more than 11 overs to go and 1 run needed and he was run out bringing the game to a tie. Lionel Baker picked up 5 for 33 from 10 overs.
Devon Smith: Matches 4, Runs 141, Average 70.50
Darren Bravo: Matches 3, Runs 114, Average 57.00
Chris Gayle: Matches 4, Runs 153, Average 51.00
Krik Edwards: Matches 5, Runs 185, Average 46.25
Johnson Charles: Matches 4, Runs 152, Average 38.00
Wilden Cornwall: Matches 5, Runs 188, Average 37.60
NOTE: Darren Bravo was the only batsman to score a century in the tournament.
Ryan Hinds: Matches 5,Overs 45,Runs 133, Wickets 14, B/B 4/19
Davendra Bishop: Matches 3, Overs 27, Runs 113, Wickets 10, B/B 6/36
Darren Sammy: Matches 4, Overs 39, Runs 160, Wickets 10, B/B 4/47
Tino Best: Matches 5, Overs 21.5, Runs 101, Wickets 10, B/B 5/24
Lionel Baker: Matches 5, Overs 34, Runs 158, Wickets 9, B/B 5/33
Andre Russel: Matches 4, Overs 23, Runs 93, Wickets 8, B/B 6/45
NOTE: Andre Russel (Jamaica) and Davendra Bishoo (Guyana) are the only bowlers to pick up 6 wicket hauls in the competition.
Sulieman Benn Should Do Well In Sri Lanka
Barbados West Indies left arm spinner Sulieman Benn should do well on Sri Lanka wickets. Benn’s left arm bowling has developed well and he is now much more experienced with the knowledge of how to use the air and turn to his advantage fully.
He should be the bowler that the Sri Lankan batsmen need to pay close attention. The wickets in Sri Lanka are slow and the ball does not come on to the bat quickly, so it takes that extra skill and knowledge in bowlers to implement that strategy of where to place the ball.
West Indies Captain Darren Sammy should use his seamers to full advantage. The conditions should be ideal for Sammy if he does not pitch up his deliveries too much or bowls too short. The Sri Lankan batsmen are fully aware of their conditions and they would exploit any situation to take full advantage.
Kemar Roach Will Have To Cut His Pace
West Indies right arm pacer Kemar Roach will have to modify his bowling strategy and focus on proper line and avoid bowling too full. Roach will have to be part of the major wicket taking should the West Indies attempt to topple the opposition.
He cannot rely only on pace, he has to bowl with intelligence and understand the conditions that he is bowling under. Whenever Sri Lanka bats, the West Indies will have to pick up quick wickets because their front line batting is very challenging and their batsmen have a good appetite for big scores especially on home turf.
West Indies Batting
First, I must mention that the over looking of Ramneresh Sarwan would be costly to the team. He is the best spin player in the West Indies undoubtedly. Sarwan missing such an important tour to Sri Lanka certainly would be devastating to the whole team. Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo are in the squad but players such as Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Carlton Baugh (wicket keeper batsman) and Brendan Nash will have to perform well for the West Indies to be successful.