Jamaica edge Barbados to lift CWI Regional Women's T20 crown

Senior staff reporter

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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HOSTS Jamaica hoisted the Cricket West Indies Regional Women's Twenty20 crown after putting in a dogged team effort to defeat Barbados by four runs in yesterday's nail-biting fifth and final-round match at Sabina Park.

Jamaica's Natasha McLean top-scored with 42, while Captain Stafanie Taylor, nursing a shoulder injury sustained in the fourth-round loss to Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, added 38 as the home side posted 108-5 from its allotted 20 overs.

Barbados medium pacers Deandra Dottin and skipper Shakera Selman claimed 2-19 and 2-24, respectively.

In reply, opener Hayley Matthews struck 30 for Barbados, but her demise left her teammates with too much to do and they were bowled out for 104 by a bubbly Jamaica unit.

Jamaica medium pacer Roshana Outar took 3-16.

Scores: Jamaica 108-5 (20 overs); Barbados 104 (20 overs).

Both teams ended with four wins for 12 points each, but Jamaica earned the nod thanks to the tournament guideline which utilises head-to-head record as the first tie-breaker.

Jamaica Head Coach Cleon Smith was elated with the victory.

“It's a wonderful victory, words cannot explain because we wanted to win this championship. It was not easy because losing to Trinidad meant we had to do a lot of soul searching,” he told the Jamaica Observer during a post-game interview.

“I felt that we struggled to make 108, so if we bowled in the right areas and fielded strong then we could defend it,” Smith explained.

Jamaica skipper Taylor, who was unable to bowl due to the injury, praised the effort from the players against a Barbados side with a perfect win record heading into the encounter.

“We knew that Barbados would not just roll over and say 'take it' because they've been playing good cricket. We knew how important this game was...I think we did really well,” she said.

Earlier, Jamaica won the toss and opted to bat first for the first time in the tournament.

They lost opener Jodi-Ann Morgan (four) early, but Taylor and number three batter McLean lifted the hosts with a 68-run stand for the second wicket.

McLean was aggressive from the outset, trying to take the charge to the bowlers, but at times she was fortunate to see miscued lofted shots fall safely in the outfield.

Taylor played more along the carpet, manipulating the ball into gaps in field while also picking off the odd boundary.

Despite the partnership, the run-rate was kept in check by generally disciplined Barbados bowling and fielding, and both were dismissed trying to up the tempo as the overs remaining dwindled.

Taylor hit four fours from 42 deliveries before her leg stump was uprooted by a Selman delivery. McLean managed three boundaries from 42 deliveries before she too was bowled by the Barbados skipper.

Matthews dominated early in the Barbados run-chase, unleashing delicate dabs, punchy drives and a few dismissive slaps.

However, her dismissal at 48-2 proved pivotal as Jamaica seized control and were able to stymie the runs flow all the way to the end.

Jamaica pacer Karla Cohen (2-20) and off spinner Vanessa Watts (2-28) supported Outar.

In the first game of the triple-header at the venue, Guyana eased to an eight-wicket win over winless Leeward Islands.

Scores: Leeward Islands 50 (17.5 overs); Guyana 53-2 (10.1 overs).

In the day's final game, ousted champions Trinidad and Tobago and Windward Islands were locked in battle.

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