A day of tremendous momentum swings ended with Leeward Islands holding on with one wicket remaining to win the West Indies Rising Stars Under-19 championship in a roller coaster three-day final against Barbados at Arnos Vale in St. Vincent on Saturday.

Nathan Edwards, the left-handed allrounder ended unbeaten on 11, which came off 55 balls in over 90 minutes at the crease, played a defensive masterclass for to help Leewards hold on in their second innings on 51-9 (28 overs) to avoid being bowled out, to deny Barbados the title in dramatic fashion.

The day’s play began with Leeward Islands batting in their first innings on 172-4, 107 runs behind Barbados's first innings total of 279-8 declared.

 Overnight batsman Carl Bowen-Tuckett showed his experience during a crucial composed knock of 68 off 200 balls with two boundaries to anchor the Leewards before he was dismissed in the 98th over, ahead of the team tactical declaration on exactly 250-8 (110 overs), to receive key batting points for scoring 250 and facing that number of overs.

Although Barbados held a 29-run lead, Leewards had closed the points gap due to the fast bowling and batting points accumulated. So, when Edwards, bowling his left-arm medium, trapped Barbados opener Achilles Browne without scoring with the second delivery, that lead quickly became insignificant. Right-hand medium pacer Chamiqueko Landerfort took 4-16 as Barbados collapsed to 76-9.

The final equation to win the final meant Leewards either could chase down the 106 to win or just bat out the final session. While Barbados had to get all 10 wickets. When pacer Johan Layne struck in the first over of Leewards run chase, they started to wobble. Left-arm spinner Nathan Sealy with an inspired spell (14-8-10-6) was seemingly bowling Barbados to victory, but one final twist would occur.

Sealy unfortunately dropped Edwards at first slip with off fellow left-arm spinner Devon Stevenson which would have won Barbados the title. In the end Edwards and last man Onaje Armoy survived the final stages to win the championship for the Leeward Islands.

 

Jamaica’s Under-23 Sunshine Girls secured a 64-34 victory over Barbados to move to 4-0 at the Caribbean Games at the Laura Flessel Complex in Guadeloupe on Saturday.

Jamaica, who scored a massive 65-18 win over St. Vincent & the Grenadines on Friday, will play Trinidad & Tobago in their final game on Sunday.

T&T hammered Guadeloupe 112-5 on Friday before losing a nail-biter 38-37 against St. Lucia on Saturday.

St. Lucia, after suffering a 44-36 defeat at the hands of Barbados on Friday, were dominant on Saturday with a 20-0 win over Guadeloupe.

 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors secured a 2-0 win over St. Vincent & the Grenadines as Group C action continued in the Concacaf Nations League B at the Arnos Vale Stadium on Friday.

Defender Neveal Hackshaw, who represents USL Championship club Indy Eleven, opened the scoring in the 17th minute before AEK Athens winger Levi Garcia got the second and final goal for T&T.

Trinidad and Tobago are now second in Group C with six points after three games, one behind Nicaragua who moved to seven points after securing a 2-0 win over the Bahamas at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau.

The West Indies Rising Stars U19s will continue their preparation for the upcoming U19 World Cup with a Youth One-Day International Series against South Africa U19s in St. Vincent & the Grenadines starting later this month. Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced on Monday that the teams will play four 50-over matches from December 26 to January 3 at Arnos Vale Stadium and Cumberland playing field.

The teams arrived in St. Vincent late on Monday for the series that will be used by both teams as preparation for the Men’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup to be hosted in the Caribbean from January 14-February 5.

West Indies Head Coach Floyd Reifer views these matches as an important way to initially see how players react to different scenarios in a competitive setting.

“It’s great for us to have these matches as part of the build-up to the World Cup. We are really looking forward to this series against South Africa, as we are at the stage where it is important for the squad to play together, to see players in various roles, see how they respond to situations and how well they execute the plans we put in place,” Reifer said.

He also stressed the importance of the matches in facilitating good team chemistry and culture ahead of the World Cup.

“It is for us to also make sure we get the team going well together and have synergy, so the players fully understand each other. This is very crucial for us as we look to build the team energy and the team culture. I can’t stress enough how vital these matches are, and we will be taking them very seriously,” Reifer said.

He thanked the parties involved in making the series possible.

“We want to thank the Government and Cricket Association of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for working with our operations and medical teams over the past week to put things in place for us to get some much-needed playing time in the middle and preparations,” he said.

The ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup will feature 16 teams in 48 matches.

They are defending champions Bangladesh, England, Canada and the United Arab Emirates from Group A, with debutants Uganda placed in Group B alongside India, South Africa and Ireland. Group C comprises Pakistan, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea and Group D sees host West Indies, Australia, Sri Lanka and Scotland.

 

 

St Vincent and the Grenadines will play a second consecutive home match away from home, with its upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifier against Cuba booked for the Kirani James Athletics Stadium, in Grenada.

The match, which was originally scheduled for the Arnos Vale Stadium for June 8, however, existing protocols, including quarantine, means that it would not be possible for the country to host the event.  The match is set to kick off at 4 pm, the St Vincent and the Grenadines versus Cuba encounter will precede Grenada against Montserrat, which takes place at 7 pm.

Prior to this round, St Vincent and the Grenadines played a home ‘match’ against the British Virgin Islands at the Ergillo Hato Stadium in Willemstad, Curacao.  The Vincy Heat emerged 3-0 winners from the match.

The team is just one of several who will see their fixtures altered as countries around the region continue to battle the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Other teams expected to be playing their upcoming home matches away are Aruba, the British Virgin Islands, Barbados, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Montserrat, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Anguilla, and Puerto Rico.

With two matches played in the first round of the qualifiers, St Vincent and the Grenadine are currently third in Group C behind Curaçao and second place Guatemala.

 

Haiti will take on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Guatemala faces Guyana while Trinidad and Tobago will go up against Monserrat when Round One of the preliminaries of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on July 2 and 3 at Inter Miami CF Stadium in Florida.

Cuba will tackle French Guiana, Guadeloupe will battle The Bahamas and Bermuda go up against Barbados in what will be the first time ever that the competition will have preliminaries that will see three teams qualify for the 16-team Group Stage.

“We look forward with great anticipation to this summer’s Gold Cup, which will undoubtedly be enhanced by this new Preliminary Round,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani.

“The past year has been very challenging in our region and our thoughts are with all the communities that have suffered. We hope the opportunity to watch the best men’s national teams in Concacaf compete in our flagship tournament can provide fans with some hope and enjoyment

All 12 of the competing nations in the Prelims will get a full Gold Cup experience at the excellent Inter Miami facilities and we look forward to a great set of games.”

“We look forward to hosting the Gold Cup Prelims tournament in our stadium,” said Inter Miami CF Managing Owner Jorge Mas. “Our facilities in Fort Lauderdale were built with the intent of giving our fans opportunities to enjoy the world’s game knowing that our vibrant culture and sports-centric region would be attractive for global teams and competitions. This is just the beginning of the great things that lie ahead.”

Round Two will begin on July 6 when the winner of the Haiti/St Vincent clash will take on the winner of the Bermuda/Barbados matchup. The winner of the Guatemala/Guyana encounter will play the winner of the Guadeloupe/Bahamas match. And finally, the winner of the Cuba/French Guiana match will tackle the winner of the Trinidad and Tobago/Montserrat clash.

The winning nation in each of the three Round Two matchups will advance to the Group Stage of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, where they were drawn into Group A, B and C as follows:

Group A: Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao, and Winner Prelims 9

Group B: USA, Canada, Martinique, and Winner Prelims 7

Group C: Costa Rica, Jamaica, Suriname, and Winner Prelims 8

Group D: Honduras, Panama, Grenada, and Qatar.

The 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup group stage will kick off on July 10 and run through August 1, 2021, and will feature 16 national teams, of which Canada, Costa Rica, Curaçao, El Salvador, Grenada, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, eight-time and defending champion Mexico, Panama, Suriname, six-time champion the United States, are already qualified to the group stage of the tournament. Additionally, Qatar has been invited to the tournament as the current champion and representative of the Asian Football Confederation.

The remaining three countries will qualify through the Gold Cup Prelims, in which 12 Member Associations will compete for the final three spots, to be played July 2-6- at Inter Miami CF Stadium in South Florida.

 

 

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