Bridgetown, Barbados – Shane Shillingford is looking to continue from where he left off when he puts on the green Windward Islands jersey this weekend in the Final Four of the Regional Super 50 Tournament.
The tall off-spinner has been in amazing form with the ball this year. He bamboozled Zimbabwe’s batsmen with a record 19 wickets in two Test matches and was equally dominant against the regional batsmen with 46 wickets in five matches in the WICB Regional 4 Day tournament. His exploits in the RS50 have also been amazing with 13 scalps in four matches at an average 8.69 runs per wicket.
This weekend, Shillingford will be back in action when the Windwards face defending champions Jamaica in the second semi-final on Friday at Kensington Oval, where Trinidad & Tobago face Combined Campuses & Colleges on Thursday in the first semi-final. The Grand Final will be played on Sunday, April 21 at the same venue. All matches start at 2:30 pm (1:30 pm Jamaica Time) and will be broadcast live on ESPN.
“I have been good this year because I have worked really hard. I’m on top of my game. The hard work, the discipline and the commitment – all these are factors why I have been better this year,” said the 30-year-old. “The next step is to win something for the Windwards. We have been playing some good cricket over the last few seasons – in the Caribbean T20, the 50-overs and the four-day tournaments – but we haven’t been able to get any cups to show. We will really be coming all out to win the Super 50 this time around.”
Shillingford is one of the leading wicket-takers in modern-day West Indies cricket with 355 first-class wickets at 23.22 runs apiece. His brilliance against Zimbabwe in the recent Test Series saw him catapult up the ICC Test Match bowling rankings to No.23 – making him the second highest West Indian behind Kemar Roach at No.13.
“The team spirit is very high…the spirit is always high in our team. We are gelling really well as one-unit and I think we have a really awesome chance of winning the Super 50 tournament. We are really looking forward to getting over to Barbados and getting on the Kensington Oval. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but we feeling ready and inspired,” Shillingford told WICB Media.
“We need to continue to play well. The killer instinct is what we need coming into the semi-finals. This is not to place additional pressure on ourselves, but we have to find a way of finishing off teams when we have them down. That will be key this weekend. No one will hand it to us. We have to go out, play hard and take it.”
MATCH SCHEDULE AND MATCH OFFICIALS
T&T v CCC – Thursday, April 18
Umpires: Nigel Duguid, Patrick Gustard
Third official: Joel Wilson
Television umpire: Gregory Brathwaite
Match Referee: Mervin Jones
Jamaica vs Windwards – Friday April 19
Umpires: Joel Wilson, Gregory Brathwaite
Third official: Patrick Gustard
TV umpire: Nigel Duguid
Match Referee: Mervin Jones