Feb. 25, 2020, 9:29 p.m.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Long-standing pair Devon Smith of Windward Islands Volcanoes and Veerasammy Permaul of Guyana Jaguars head the batting and bowling aggregates respectively, at the halfway stage of the West Indies Championship.
Smith, 38, has scored 458 runs at an average of 57.25 from nine innings in five matches. His highest score is 147 not out in the fifth round of matches which ended this past Sunday. He is the only batsman with more than 400 runs.
The Grenadian left-handed opener is approaching another personal landmark. He now has 10,927 runs in 140 matches, making him the leading scorer in the Championship, and needs 73 more runs to become the first player to reach 11,000.
He will have a grand stage on which to reach the mark in the sixth round of matches, which begin on Thursday, February 27, when current leaders Barbados Pride hosts the Volcanoes, the only side that has beaten them this season, on home soil at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
Permaul, 30, has taken exactly 30 wickets at 13.36 apiece in five matches. His best bowling performance so far this season was 6-50 vs Jamaica Scorpions in the fourth round on home soil at the Guyana National Stadium.
Permaul too, stands on the brink of a personal landmark. If he plays return match between the Scorpions and the Jags in the sixth round at the Trelawny Multipurpose Complex in Jamaica, it will be his 100th match in the Championship.
Five other players have appeared in 100 matches in the Championship. They are:
- Devon Smith;
- Floyd Reifer, who made 128 appearances for Barbados and Combined Campuses & Colleges;
- Jamaican all-rounder Dave Bernard Jr played 113 matches;
- Long-serving Windward Islands off-spinner Shane Shillingford has 108 matches under his belt; and
- Rawl Lewis, the former Windward Islands captain and leg-spinner, took to the field 107 times.
Notably, Scorpions batsman Nkrumah Bonner has the highest batting average of exactly 79 for the season. He has gathered 316 runs from eight innings in four matches.
Of all the bowlers with 10 wickets or more, Permaul has been the most stingy with his average, but West Indies left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican has been the most economical, giving away runs at only 1.82 an over.
Sixteen different batsmen have struck hundreds for the season, but no one has more than one. The highest individual score for the season has been 189 not out from Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson against the Volcanoes in the fifth round at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada.
The bowling aggregates for the Championship so far this season feature six pacers in the top 10 at the halfway stage.
- Chemar Holder of Barbados Pride heads the list with 24 wickets
- Keon Harding has taken 23 wickets
- Nial Smith of Jaguars has grabbed 19 wickets
- Nicholson Gordon of Scorpions has bagged 17 wickets
- Preston McSween of Volcanoes and Sheno Berridge of Leeward Islands Hurricanes has 16 each.
Anthony Bramble of Jaguars has been the busiest wicketkeeper with 19 dismissals, comprising 16 catches and three stumpings. He is closely challenged by former West Indies Under-19 captain Emmanuel Stewart of Volcanoes and West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Shane Dowrich, each with 16.
Bryan Charles of Trinidad & Tobago Red Force has held 11 catches, the highest by a fielder other than a wicketkeeper.