Bridgetown, Barbados –Combined Campuses & Colleges and Windward Islands will face-off in the one of the most evenly-matched limited-overs finals in the history of West Indies cricket.
There are no clear favourites as the two teams prepare for the Grand Final of the Regional Super50 Tournament on Sunday at Kensington Oval. First ball in the day/night contest is 2:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. Jamaica Time) and ball-by-ball action will be aired “live” on ESPN.
CCC qualified for their first RS50 final, when they played out of their skins to beat Trinidad & Tobago by 140 runs on Thursday night.
Windwards booked their ticket to the showpiece event with a brilliant run-chase which saw them get over defending champions Jamaica by five wickets on Friday night.
Both teams looked relaxed and focussed as they put in final preparations on Saturday morning.
Windwards had a two-hour session under the watchful eye of their coach Ian Allen at Kensington Oval, and CCC had a three-hour session at their home base at the Threes Ws Oval under the guidance of player/coach Floyd Reifer and bowling consultant Curtly Ambrose, the West Indies fast bowling legend.
Speaking ahead of the match, both captains expressed confidence that they would be the one to lift the coveted Clive Lloyd Trophy.
“In the last few years we would always reach the semi-finals of all three formats and then get eliminated,” said Windwards captain and allrounder Liam Sebastien.
“This time around, we have made it to the Grand Final and we don’t want to stop here. We want to go the distance and win the competition.”
He added: “The semi-final win brought a lot of smiles to everyone. We celebrated that and moved on to the next big thing – which is the big thing – the Final.
“We had a good training session and we will be up for it when we return to Kensington Oval, as we look to win for Windwards cricket.”
Windwards have been led by their most experienced players. They have the tournament’s two leading batsmen – Andre Fletcher has 307 runs from seven innings and Devon Smith has scored 281 runs at an average of 46.83.
They also have the leading bowler. Shane Shillingford has been almost unplayable with 14 wickets at 10.2 runs apiece and an economy rate of just 2.8 runs an over.
CCC’s main players have been their young brigade.
Anthony Alleyne, the 19-year-old left-handed opener, made a match-winning 99 against T&T on Thursday to top his team’s batting charts with 157 runs in two matches. He is followed by left-handed allrounder Raymon Reifer with 156 runs.
The livewire Reifer, aged 21, is also his team’s leading bowler with 11 wickets with his lively left-arm seam bowling. He is the third highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
“Once we stick to ‘our cricket’ and play the cricket we know we can we will be alright,” said Corbin, who is a graduate of the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre.
“We have what we call the ‘CCC brand of cricket’ and it has worked well for us. We play as a team and always look do what is required for the team.”
Corbin said: “We don’t have what people will call ‘stars’, but we are very focussed on fitness, preparation and readiness for every match and every situation we find ourselves in every match.
“To be in the Grand Final at the historic Kensington Oval is a ‘big thing’ for everyone in the team – the players, the support staff, as well as our fans. We will play it how we know and look to stick to our plans.”
A victory for the Windwards will give them their second RS50 title, following their inaugural 2000 win. It will be the first regional title of any shade for the CCC.
COMBINED CAMPUSES & COLLEGES
Kyle Corbin (Captain)
Chadwick Walton (Wicket-keeper)
Coach: Floyd Reifer
Liam Sebastien (Captain)
Johnson Charles (Wicket-keeper)
Andre Fletcher (Wicket-keeper)
Coach: Ian Allen
Umpires: Joel Wilson, Gregory Brathwaite
TV umpire: Nigel Duguid
Fourth official: Patrick Gustard
Match Referee: Mervyn Jones