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Windwards gain semi-final berth

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The Windwards will play the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) in one of two semi-finals of the West Indies Cricket Board four-day regional Cricket Tournament, starting this Friday, April 1, at the 3W’s Oval in Barbados.{{more}}

However, they will do so without West Indies captain Darren Sammy who is unavailable.

But making himself available is Devon Smith, who like Sammy returned to the Caribbean last week, following the West Indies’ exit from the World Cup.

Also in are Lindon Lawrence and Vincent Lewis, in place of Atticus Browne, Kenroy Peters and Mervyn Matthew. Peters and Matthew are injured, while Browne has been dropped.

The Windwards finished on 41 points at the end of the preliminary round, after completing an eight-wicket win over the Leewards last Monday at the Beausejour Stadium in St. Lucia.

The Windwards had dismissed the Leewards for 72 in their first innings.

Kenroy Peters was the pick of the Windwards bowling with 4 for 19, and Nelon Pascal collected 3 for 14.

Home boy Keddy Lesporis hit 86, the consistent Andre Fletcher made 70, and Liam Sebastian scored 38, as the Windwards reached 318 for 9 declared.

Bowling for the Leewards, Gavin Tonge took 3 for 72, Sherwin Peters, 2 for 37, and Lionel Baker grabbed 2 for 77.

In arrears of 246, the Leewards posted a respectable 344 in their second innings. Gavin Williams slammed 114, Gavin Tonge, 73, Jacques Taylor, 63, and Jahmar Hamilton, 45.

Gairy Mathurin snared 5 for 86, while Andre Fletcher took 2 for 32, and Nelon Pascal, 2 for 65.

The Windwards scored the 99 required for full points, with Johnson Charles hitting 52 not out and Keddy Lesporis 28 not out.

It was the Windwards second outright win for the season, having previously beaten Guyana and earned first innings honours in a drawn match against Barbados.

The Windwards, though, lost three matches outright. They were beaten by the England Lions, Trinidad and Tobago and the CCC.

Against the Trinidadians and the CCC, the Windwards had taken first innings, only to surrender the match.

The Windwards semi-finals opponents, the CCC, finished the preliminary round at the top of the heap with 57 points, ahead of the Trinidad and Tobago on 52. The England Lions and Jamaica, both recorded 51 points, but the Lions were not eligible for the semis, hence the Windwards having finished fifth, got the last semi-final spot.

The rest of the standings saw Barbados gaining 27 points, the Leewards, 19, and Guyana, 16.

The other semi finals also starts today, at the UWISPEC Ground in Trinidad and Tobago, between the host and Jamaica.

The winners of the semis advance to the finals, which will be hosted by the highest placed regional team competing in the final. (RT)

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