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Coach Ian Allen uncomplimentary about Windsor Park pitch

Coach Ian Allen uncomplimentary about Windsor Park pitch

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Coach of the Windward Islands senior cricket team Ian Allen has described the pitch at Windsor Park in Dominica as “one of the worst” for a first class cricket match, after seeing his team crumble for 44 and 67 in the semi-finals of the 4-day regional competition against Barbados last Friday.{{more}}

The Barbadians needed just a day and 21 minutes of the second session to record an innings and 101 runs win over the Windwards and a place in the finals.

But for Allen, the match was decided before the toss was made.

An unapologetic Allen told SEARCHLIGHT last Saturday “Not blaming too much on the way the batsmen played, but I think a lot could be said about the preparation of the wicket itself … It was one of the worst wickets we have played and also for a wicket for the semi-finals”.

Allen called on the cricket authorities to look into these aspects of the regional game, especially when it comes to the semi-final stage.

Reports are that a match in the local Dominica competition was played at the venue on the weekend leading up to the semifinals, which could have hampered preparations.

In light of that, Allen advised: “Teams should have the best prepared wicket, so that you could get four days of cricket.

“.…I am of the opinion that had the wicket been prepared a bit better… it could have been a different result…I think it would have been a better result”, Allen iterated.

It was a match in which all 30 wickets which fell went to the spinners.

In the Windwards’ first innings of 44, off spinner Ashley Nurse grabbed 7 for 10 and left arm orthodox Sulieman Benn chipped in with 3 for 15.

Nurse went on to take 7 for 30 in the Windwards’ second innings and Benn, 3 for 35.

The match feat of 14 for 40 by Nurse rewrote the regional history books, while the Windwards’ 44 became the third lowest score in the history of the competition.

Off spinner Shane Shillingford snared 6 for 81, to carry his tally for the season to 52; left arm orthodox Garey Mathurin – 3 for 35 and right arm off break bowler Liam Sebastien – 2 for 47, accounted for the wickets in the Barbadians lone visit to the pitch.

Barbados had batted first and put together 212, with Jonathan Carter stoking 116, his maiden first class hundred.

However, Allen said he believes that had the Windwards batted first, the same assistance would have been available to his spinners after the first day.

He noted that when the team arrived on Monday, they were unable to hold a proper net session because of the state of the pitches in the practice nets.

The Windsor Park venue was the unanimous choice by the Windwards hierarchy, given the recent exploits of home boy Shane Shillingford for the West Indies, in which he had two ten wicket hauls versus Australia and Zimbabwe.

The choice was against the Windwards’ successes this year in St Vincent and the Grenadines, in which they scored wins against Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana and had one win in St Lucia versus the Combined Campuses and Colleges.

The Windwards lost their other home game against Jamaica in Grenada.

The Windwards have never won the regional 4-day competition.

Their best placing was runners-up spots, achieved in 1982 and 1983, the first two years after the separation from the Combined Islands in 1981. (RT)

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