After seven years of continuous efforts Antigua Combined Schools are finally kings of the Sir Garfield Sobers Under-19 Cricket Competition thanks mainly to an excellent 113 from opener and Player of the Match Tyrone Williams.
Antigua played eight games unbeaten to reach today’s final at Kensington Oval where they defeated Oakville Academy by 37 runs to lift the coveted trophy, witnessed by Sir Garfield, Sir Everton Weekes and Charlie Griffith, among many other cricketing personalities.
Oakville won the toss and elected to field, a decision that pleased the victorious Antigua side coached by former West Indies wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs as they posted 224 for five off their allotted 40 overs. In response Oakville out of Canada fell short when they could only mustered 187 for seven from their 40 overs.
Williams opened the batting with Kofie James who faced the first delivery on a Kensington pitch that was favourable for batsmen. James unfortunately did not capitalize on the conditions and went caught by Mikayle Riley off the bowling of Uzair Malik for just four with the score on 24 in the fifth over.
Karima Gore came in at three to join Williams but did not stick around too long before being caught and bowled by William Thomas for a duck. Things were looking quite good for Oakville at this stage.
Melvin Charles came in at number four and he and Williams put on a wonderful third-wicket stand of 149 with Williams bringing up a splendid century that included 12 fours and two sixes off just 87 balls. Charles followed with a good knock of 50 as they took the Antiguan team to 187.
Charles eventually went caught Denniel Griffith bowled Mathew Nandu for 60. Tariq Benjamin added two runs before having his stumps uprooted by Griffith. Williams was also bowled by Thomas who was the pick of Oakville’s bowling attack with two wickets for 37 runs off his eight overs. Hughan Tonge and Tassilo Allen ended on 15 and six respectively.
Oakville give it their best shot but came up short despite a great batting effort from Gauranshu Sharma and Sanjey Stanley with 53 and 42 respectively while Mikayle Riley scored 22. Jedidiah Martin took two wickets for 29 runs from eight overs for Antigua.
Later during the closing ceremony Sir Garfield made a special award of a plaque to Presentation College out of Trinidad and Tobago which has been part of the tournament since its inception 30 years ago. Long-standing coach of the team Lalman Kowlessar received the award.
Several outstanding West Indies cricketers have come through the Sir Garfield Sobers Under-19 Cricket Competition including former Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies captain and batting great Brian Lara.