McCatty, Morris lead Jamaica to U19 win

CricketFilePhotoHGEORGETOWN, Guyana – Purposeful half-centuries from opener Odaine McCatty and wicketkeeper/batsman Romaine Morris propelled double-crown defending champions Jamaica to a comfortable six-wicket victory over Barbados in the Regional Under-19 Tournament on Thursday here.

McCatty was undefeated on 81 and Morris made 70, as Jamaica successfully chased 202 to clinch victory about 15 minutes after the tea break on the final day of their first round match at Everest.

McCatty smoked eight fours and two sixes from 195 balls in 277 minutes of resolute batting and Morris struck half-dozen boundaries and one six from 110 balls in 140 minutes of enterprising batting to pave the way for the Jamaican victory.

The pair added 120 for the fourth wicket before left-hander Morris was dismissed in the final half-hour before tea, when he was bowled by a delivery that kept low from part-time medium-fast bowler Jafari Toppin.

But McCatty, playing in the tournament for a third year, kept going and returned after the break to swing off-spinner Neil Persaud over mid-wicket for the last of his boundaries to formalise the victory.

The result earned Jamaica 16.5 points (12 for a win, three bowling points, one batting point and 0.5 from wickets taken by pacers) and Barbados collected just 4.2 (one batting point, three bowling points and 0.2 from pacers’ wickets).

The Jamaicans face Leeward Islands at the Demerara Cricket Club about a mile from this venue in the heart of the Guyana capital and the Barbadians meet long-standing sporting rivals Trinidad & Tobago at the Guyana National Stadium on the outskirts of the city.

Jamaica, starting the day on 10 for one, were set back when Ramone Francis was lbw for 11 playing back and across to Persaud inside the first hour and they were 64 for three when Barbados captain and left-arm spinner Chad Williams had Mark Parchment caught behind for 13.

Morris came to crease and batted freely, taking some of the pressure off McCatty, as they took advantage of the easy nature of the pitch. They carried Jamaica to 87 for three at lunch and continued merrily after the interval to reach their 50s.

When Morris departed about 10 minutes before tea, the Jamaicans were firmly on course for victory, needing just 18, and Abijai Mansingh joined McCatty to see them to the finish line without further incident.

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