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By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
Combermere High School from Barbados recovered from a shock first day loss by 2 wickets at the hands of Cricket Academy USA U-19 out of Atlanta to record back-to-back wins and become champions of the 2013 Florida Cricket Academy U-19 Invitational Tournament this past weekend in Miramar, Florida. Combermere all-rounder Justin Greaves, a former West Indies U-19 representative, was named Tournament MVP.
Combermere defeated FCA U-19 by 79 runs on the final day to equal FCA U-19 at 2-1 on the weekend but Combermere was declared the champion with a superior net run rate. Despite beating Combermere on the opening day, CAUSA U-19 finished in fourth place at 1-2 while Midwest Cricket Academy U-19 finished in third place at 1-2 after finishing with an 8-wicket win over CAUSA U-19 that propelled MCA U-19 ahead of them on net run rate.
FCA U-19 captain and USA representative Steven Taylor finished as the tournament’s leading scorer and was named Best Batsman after accumulating 270 runs. Taylor built his scores higher as the weekend progressed. He began with 69 against MCA U-19, then notched another half-century with 86 against CAUSA U-19.
Image (right) - Steven Taylor file photo. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
On Sunday against Combermere, Taylor registered the highest score of the tournament, 115. He eclipsed the previous high that was recorded in the same match when Greaves finished 105 not out for Combermere. The only other player to cross 50 on the weekend was Brandon King of Combermere who scored 71 in the loss to CAUSA U-19.
A string of impressive bowling performances came from the weekend with three bowlers claiming five-wicket hauls. CAUSA U-19 opening bowler Salman Safi was the first to take five and he wound up with one more against FCA U-19, 6 for 28 in a defeat as Shaquille Forbes took 5 for 15 in the same game for FCA U-19 to give his side a 108-run win. Monit Khandwala of MCA U-19 then outdid Safi by taking 6 for 17 on Sunday against CAUSA U-19. Safi though finished as the leading wicket-taker on the weekend with 10 scalps.
FCA President Wayne Ramnarine stated in a press release that plans are in place to invite Combermere High School again in 2014 as well as another high school from Trinidad & Tobago.