Auguste Stars In National Trials

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

by Terry Finisterre

Five half-centuries were produced over the weekend at the Mindoo Phillip Park, as the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association held its Senior Men’s Trials on Saturday and Sunday.

Ackeem Auguste got past 50 twice, whilst Noelle Leo, Kimani Melius, and Jard Goodman also attained that landmark. 

In the first 45-over game, SLNCA Team B Won By nine wickets. Team B, led by Melius, won the toss and decided to field. Team A, with Auguste as captain, got to 252 for 9. 

Jard Goodman was out for a first-ball duck, but Sabinus Emmanuel and Vernilius Gabriel staged a nice recovery, Emmanuel stroking a quickfire 30 from 29 balls before he was out with the score on 35. Gabriel was joined by Jamaal James and the pair added a further 33, before James was dismissed.

Auguste’s arrival at the crease proved the turning point for the innings. He struck a brisk 56 and Gabriel added 23 as the score was taken from 3-68 to 4-148 in the 29th over. Auguste took just 45 balls to get to his total, with three fours and four sixes.

Batting down the order, Kensley Paul made 39 off 39. Bolton Sayers and Jeandell Cyril took two wickets apiece. Jayden Elibox, Sky Lafeuille, and Dane Edward took one apiece. Elibox, Cyril, Shawnil Edward, and Dane Edward also produced economy rates under 5.

The response from Team B got off to a perfect start. Leo made 47 and Khan Elcock 23 in an aggressive opening stand that yielded 76 runs in fewer than 10 overs. Leo added a further 22 before departing with the total on 103. His 69 runs included seven fours and five sixes.

Melius carried on in partnership with Cody Lesmond, moving on to 179. Melius’ 63 was inclusive of three fours and six sixes. Team B eventually got to 254 for 7 with two and a half overs remaining.

Team B won the toss again on Sunday, this time opting to bat. Leo was out for six, but Elcock had another useful score, getting to 36. Melius (32) and Bolton Sayers (36) also had starts, but failed to press on. Elibox added 39 down the order to help his side stagger past 200, 206 all out.

Royce Paul, Simeon Gerson, and Cody Fontenelle shared six wickets. Murgaran Shoulette, Keon Gaston, and Zayee Antoine had one apiece. Paul, Gerson, Antoine, and Shoulette had the most economical spells.

Again, Team A found itself in early trouble, this time Sabinus Emmanuel going for one. But Jard Goodman more than made up for his Saturday performance, hitting 64 from 65 balls, featuring six fours and four sixes. Much of his damage came despite the fact that James and Gabriel did little to trouble the scorers.

Goodman found himself overshadowed by Auguste, who blasted an unbeaten 86 from just 53 balls. Fresh off a tour of Ireland with the West Indies Rising Stars, the 20-year-old lefthander scored off 35 of the 53 balls he faced, dispatching 12 of them for boundaries, and putting three past the ropes.

A cameo of 21 by Royce Paul helped see Team A past the post, 207 for 5 in just 27.5 overs. 

Qwaine Henry took 2-18 from four overs, Sky Lafeuille 115 from three, and Jayden Elibox 1-40 from seven.

Photo Credit: James Chance / Getty Images