Off-spinner Jabari Hunte’s five for 28 and Tariq O’Neal’s unbeaten 39 propelled Counterpoint Wanderers Juniors to lifting the Barbados Cricket Supplies-sponsored Under-13 trophy by nine wickets during yesterday’s final against Franklyn Stephenson Academy (FSA) at Queen’s Park.
No doubt the finalists were evenly matched with FSA playing unbeaten up until yesterday’s game to top zone A and Wanderers also impressive to come out as leaders of zone B. The academy took first bite at the cherry when they won the toss and posted 139 all out from 33.3 and just one over short of their allotted 35. In response Wanderers made light work of the target, reaching 140 for one in 32.5 overs.
Cricket fans turned out in their numbers not only to participate in the bowl down against West Indies batsmen Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope, but also to see what the junior crop of Barbadian cricketers had to offer.
They certainly got to see in action Most Valuable Player and talented all-rounder Jacob Bethell who scored 587 runs, took 19 wickets and grabbed four catches in the competition.
Bethell opened the batting with Jaden Leacock and the pair put on FSA’s highest wicket partnership of 45 before Leacock departed for ten, stumped by wicketkeeper Micaiah Bartlet.
Malik Young joined Bethell at the crease but was unable to make a significant contribution to the score before being caught behind by Bartlett off Joshua Straughan for two.
The score was 61 for two when number four batsman Jayden Roberts joined Bethell who was at the other end batting patiently. At that point things were looking steady for FSA who needed just six runs to reach a hundred when Wanderers captured the vital wicket of Bethell who hit the ball into the safe hands of Jordan Knight off the bowling of off-spinner and Man of the Match Hunte who captured his five wickets from six overs and three balls. The left-hander walked back to the pavilion with a top score of 36 for FSA that came off 56 balls inclusive of four fours. He occupied the crease for 89 minutes.
It seems Wanderers just needed to get danger man Bethell out of the way and once they did the wickets of FSA’s middle order began to tumble starting with Roberts who made 13. Number five batsmen and captain Renacko Belgrave for 16 and Jordan Reifer, 14, were all sent packing by Hunte. The fielding was spot on and Wanderers captain Leonard O’Garro led by example when he sent in a direct hit to run out Malik Holder in at seven for ten runs.
FSA never recovered even though Wanderers helped their innings along with 36 extras that came from 30 wides, four leg byes and two no-balls. From there onwards all other batsmen who followed were unable to trouble the score. Tariq O’Neal also had a lovely spell of two wickets for 22 runs off six overs.
It was Wanderers’ turn to bat and they got off to a good start thanks to opening pair of Burrowes who faced the first ball and O’Neal. Wanderers were 76 when Burrowes went, caught by Roberts and bowled Nathan Belle for 20.
Skipper O’Garro joined O’Neal and the two clearly were on a mission to get their team home and that they did with O’Garro driving to the boundary for four to bring up the hundred for Wanderers in the 21st over. FSA did not help their cause by bowling 53 extras inclusive of 37 wides, eight no-balls, six byes and two leg byes.
Clearly Wanderers were ahead with plenty wickets in hand. At that stage FSA were 100 for three in 22.3 overs.
O’Neal, 39, and O’Garro, 28, ended not out and managed a 50-run partnership that came off 84 deliveries and three fours to see their team to victory.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY after the victory, coach of Wanderers Corey Edwards said since taking up the post last year he has seen positive results from his players. He also credited the coaching staff and parents for their instrumental support.
“The Franklyn Stephenson Academy won all of their games so we were very cognizant of that and we just wanted to keep down the extras because throughout the whole tournament we had a lot of extras so that was a major concern for us to … try to stifle their stroke play because they have some exciting players in their ranks like young Jacob Bethell and Jordan Reifer,” Edwards said of the finals.