‘Older, wiser’ U-19s revel in double cricket triumph
Jamaica’s Under-19 Cricket Manager Gibbs Williams says knowledge picked up from last season was behind the team’s long-awaited success in regional competition.
The talented Jamaican team, featuring the country’s top schoolboy players, claimed both the Cricket West Indies Rising Stars 50-over and three-day titles.
The Jamaicans had not won an Under-19 three-day title in a decade, while the wait for the double was even longer.
Williams indicated that past experiences had guided the management staff’s fine-tuning of preparations, and the quality within the squad did the rest.
“Last year we finished in fourth position and a number of these boys were here last year. We knew they would be one year older, one year wiser, and with the preparation and the programme that we planned this year we were very optimistic coming here. We felt comfortable that we’d have done better than we did last year,” he said during an interview on Tuesday moments after a 56-run victory over Barbados in the three-day final at Arnos Vale Stadium in St Vincent.
In the three-day championship match, Jordan Johnson struck 120 and fellow left-hander Brian Barnes supported with 61 to lift Jamaica to 269 and an eventual first-innings lead of 111 runs.
After being bundled out for only 87 in their second innings, the Jamaicans held their nerve to dismiss Barbados — who were chasing 199 for an improbable victory — for 142.
Jamaica spinner Tamarie Redwood snared seven wickets in the match, while pace bowler Deshawn James grabbed 5-21 in the first innings.
“We knew the competition would’ve been tough and we knew the games would’ve been challenging but we were up to the task and happy for the victory,” he noted.
The Jamaica manager said the 50-over triumph underlined the team’s class and provided a boost entering the subsequent Rising Stars three-day competition.
“When we were leaving to come to this tournament our real aim was to take home the three-day championship because we know the quality that we possess. We are also aware we have a quality one-day unit, so when we played the limited-overs version first and we won it gave us all the confidence we needed going into the three-day version,” Williams explained.
Jamaica Head Coach Terrence Corke said he was lost for words after clinching the double.
“It’s a feeling I can’t describe; I’m totally elated,” he said during the post-match interview on Tuesday.
“We have not won this [three-day competition] in 10 years, [and] it’s good to get the double. The last time we won the double was 2010 and now we’ve won it away from home — that’s a plus for us,” Corke added.
— Sanjay Myers