A destructive spell from Isai Thorne propelled the Cricket West Indies Academy to an innings and 134 runs win against Emerging Ireland in their four-day, first-class match yesterday in Antigua.
The 19-year-old former West Indies Under-19 pacer from Guyana ended with a flattering four for eight from six overs, and the Irish were bowled out for a meagre 62 in their second innings before lunch on the penultimate day of the contest at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
Left-arm spinner Joshua Bishop grabbed two for five from 4.4 overs to make him a shoo-in for the Player-of-the-Match award, and Academy captain Nyeem Young finished with two for 15 from six overs – and none of the visitors’ batsmen reached 20.
Bishop formalised the result about 45 minutes before lunch when he got Matthew Foster caught at deep mid-wicket for four playing an ill-advised slog-sweep, and Emerging Ireland lost their last seven wickets for 29 in the span of 93 balls.
The result meant the CWI Academy took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series that ends with the second match starting this coming Saturday at the same venue. Thorne, who did not play in the preceding three One-day matches between the two sides, struck with the second ball of the day after Emerging Ireland started the day on 29 for three, and he bowled the Irish captain Stephen Doheny without addition to his overnight score of 17.
The Guyanese pacer followed up with two wickets in his next over when he squared up Scott Macbeth and got him caught for one at third slip, where Gavin Hoey was also caught for a third-ball duck sparring at a delivery outside the off-stump.
After going wicket-less in his third over, Thorne got Fionn Hand caught at backward point for eight off the leading edge essaying to flick at the final ball of his fourth over, and Emerging Ireland were down in the dumps on 45 for seven.
The visitors defied Thorne for another two overs and the rest of the CWI Academy attack, and managed to pass 50 before Bishop bowled Matthew Humphreys for seven, and pacer Johann Layne squared up Morgan Toppin and got him caught at second slip for the only other double figure score in the innings of 11.
The series is an opportunity for emerging talent in the West Indies pathway system to gain high-quality playing time, along with the experience of playing against counterparts from another destination on the cricket-playing world.
The CWI Academy squad comprises mainly of the players in the West Indies Academy programme with some first-class experience, and others that have graduated from the Under-19 level with some distinction. (CMC)