Bridgetown, Barbados –Fresh off his brilliant batting in the Regional Super 50 tournament, Windward Islands batsman Devon Smith is targeting the 800-run mark in the longer format of the game.
The experienced left-hander was the leading batsman in the one-day format with 348 runs at an impressive average of 58 runs per innings. His match-winning innings of 67 not out on Sunday night earned him the Man-of-the-Match Award as Windwards beat Combined Campuses and Colleges by nine wickets at Kensington Oval in the Grand Final.
Smith is now preparing for the semi-finals of the Regional 4-Day Tournament and his team is slated to play against Barbados from May 2-5.
He has also been the leading run-scorer in this tournament with 682 runs at an average of 85.25 runs per innings. He has made three centuries, including a top score of 150 not out against Barbados at Kensington Oval. Earlier this season he surpassed 9,000 runs in first-class cricket and has now scored 22 centuries.
“I’m trying to make up for last year when I got a hundred in the first match and didn’t score over 200 runs. That was disappointing. I set my goal – I put it at 800 runs in the four-day tournament and I’m looking for five centuries, so I would say I’m on my way there,” the 31-year-old told WICB Media.
“There is still a lot to be done. We want to win the four-day tournament (Regional 4 Day) to add to the one-day tournament (Regional Super 50). I am playing really well this year, and that’s mainly because I decided to buckle down and spend more time at the crease. The key is always to get yourself ‘in’ first and then let you natural game flow after that.”
Smith added: “I have been doing that all season and the scores have been coming so that is quite satisfying for me. I have been around at this level for a while now and I’m expected to be a team-leader and lead from the front. I try to bat as long as possible and let the others bat around me. When I look at my team-mates, they are the ones who encourage me and keep me going.
“It’s very important when you’re batting at the top of the order that you always look to give the team a solid base. You won’t get going every day, but when you get in you have to look to capitalise and I’m happy I have been able to do that this season in both the one-day matches and the four-day matches.”
Smith was a member of the team when the Windwards won the regional limited-overs tournament 13 years ago under the captaincy of allrounder Rawl Lewis. He said that win, as well as Sunday night’s triumph, was “wonderful” for Windward Islands cricket.
“Back then I was a junior member of the team and I remember how wonderful it was to win the Cup. This is also wonderful for us. As a youngster back then I really enjoyed it and I could see the youngsters coming in here really enjoyed it,” Smith said.
“We really deserve it. We have played some really good cricket throughout the season. We played our best game in the semi-finals when we beat Jamaica and that gave us the momentum for the final.”