Forrester pilots Esperanza into semis in T&T


… credits Lynch for progress to date

GUYANESE Winston Forrester last Saturday powered his adopted club in Trinidad and Tobago, Esperanza Cricket Club into the semifinals of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board North/Central Championship Division Two tournament, following a nine-wicket win over Valiants Cricket Club.

The 21-year-old Forrester, who is currently enjoying his third season in the Twin Island Republic and second with Esperanza this year, ensured his adopted club reached the final four in partnership with Carl Wright, with their convincing win over Valiants.
Having restricted their opponents to 136 all out, Esperanza responded with 140 for 1 from 25.4 overs, with Wright, who played for both Jamaica and the United States of America, hitting the winning boundary in his unbeaten 67 while Forrester chipped in with his unbeaten 38, as they added 95 for the second wicket.
In the preliminary round matches, Esperanza played and defeated Felicity Sports, Harvard and Aronco Couva Sports in that order, bowling out Felicity and Harvard for 78 and 116 respectively, with Forrester contributing 12 and 35 in those victories.
Against Couva, Esperanza on the back of Forrester’s 165 and 104 from Shazan Babwah, compiled a mammoth 441 batting first, the highest team total at the venue, before their bowlers routed the opposition for 164.
In the knockout round (round of 12) they played Diamond Sports Club and bowled them out for 61, with Babwah taking 5 for 13 and former Barbados and West Indies player Ryan Hurley 4 for 17, before Forrester topscored with 23 as Esperanza won by eight wickets.
Arguably, Esperanza, who won the first division tournament last year when Forrester guided them with the Most Runs and Wickets, are the strongest team in the North/Central Championships, having players with the calibre of Forrester, Babwah, Hurley, Wright, Andre Browne and Sanjiv Gooljar in their lineup.
Following the completion of the 50 overs championships, they will be competing in the League phase of the competition which bowls off next Saturday, while the T20 aspect of things gets cracking on March 26, with a win in the League category earning them a spot in next year’s Premiership.
Meanwhile, Forrester credited his development in the game, to date, to the hardworking Monty Lynch, the former Territorial Development Officer within the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and head coach of his home club, the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC).
He was named Best Batsman after accumulating a total of 410 runs from nine matches at the 24th Annual Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament four years ago in Barbados, scoring two half-centuries and had an excellent strike rate of 139.9 after acquiring his runs from 293 balls..
“On a personal note, I am happy to be back here with this club for the second year and I’m extremely overwhelmed to be part of such a prestigious squad that they have put together this year. Last year I was voted the Most Outstanding Batsman and bowler in “Central Division 1 League” which we won to earn promotion to championship this year,” said Forrester.
He told Chronicle Sport that a presentation ceremony would be held sometime soon, where players who performed exceedingly well in last year’s tournament would be rewarded. even as he continues to strive on the preset form he has displayed to date – one that has earned him a club leading 273 runs an average of 68.25.
“After the season concludes here in Trinidad, I will be heading to Canada for the first time, providing that I get through with my visa, to play for Overseas Cricket Club starting at the end of May for the entire cricket season.
“I am certainly looking forward to continue my good form while developing my cricket in Canada and when I return to Guyana, I am looking forward to continue where I left off; having scored 126 runs in the last game I played for GCC in a Georgetown Cricket Association second division fixture, prior to my departure for Trinidad and Tobago.”
He added, “My aim is to continue the intense training and proper coaching from the club which is carried out by Monty Lynch who is majorly instrumental with my success over the past two years, while my major goal is to represent the West Indies in the future.
“For now, I am focused on working hard to make the Guyana team and I am very confident that with the current support of the players at GCC and Mr Lynch, coupled with my cricket’s development continuing in the right manner with discipline as the watchword, I’m on the right track towards achieving success.”

(By Calvin Roberts)