The draw for Sunday's Calypso Monarch finals has been postponed to tomorrow.
The West Indies Under-19 cricket team arrived in Bangladesh on Monday to face the Bangladesh U-19s in a seven-match one-day international (ODI) series, and former West Indies U-19 manager Roland Sampath hopes the Windies batsmen can find a formula to deal with the home team’s spin bowling attack. Bangladesh defeated West Indies 4-3 in a seven-match ODI series played in Guyana in October. Both teams are using these series as preparation for the 2014 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in February, hosted by the United Arab Emirates. As a result, the windies management team rotated the squad constantly throughout the Guyana leg, in an effort to give everyone a chance to impress. Sampath, who was the team’s manager in Guyana, said “We wanted to see everybody, to give everyone an equal chance in a competitive environment.”
Opener Jeremy Solozano was the most consistent batsman in Guyana, averaging 36 in five innings, but the overall batting effort was below par. “When we were in Guyana we struggled against the Bangladesh spinners,” Sampath remarked. In the deciding match, after the windies fought back to level the series 3-3, the batting proved to be windies demise. Chasing 169 for victory, the home team fell for a paltry 101, handing the visitors the series victory. Solozano stood tall, top-scoring with an unbeaten 35, while captain Ramaal Lewis pitched in with 19.
Sampath believes, like the senior West Indies team, the U-19 batsmen need to apply themselves and spend more time at the wicket. The former manager said the team showed potential in other areas. “The fielding was good and the bowling was not bad at all. We had about six fast bowlers that look good for the future.” Sampath believes the away series, which bowls off on Saturday night Caribbean time, will be a challenge, but is valuable experience for the youngsters. “It will be tough for us, but it will be good preparation for the World Cup.”
Squad: Ramaal Lewis (Jamaica, captain), Jeremy Solozano (T&T, vice captain), Fabien Allen (Jamaica), Tagenarine Chanderpaul (Guyana), Bryan Charles (T&T), Tristan Coleman (Jamaica), Jonathan Drakes (Barbados), Shimron Hetmyer (Guyana), Jerome Jones (Barbados), Ray Jordan (Windwards), Brandon King (Jamaica), Preston McSween (Windwards), Marquino Mindley (Jamaica), Gudakesh Motie (Guyana), Nicholas Pooran (T&T)