Smith, Permaul lead the way
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Windward Islands Volcanoes opener Devon Smith and Guyana Jaguars left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul dominate the aggregates, at the Christmas break in the inaugural WICB Professional Cricket League.
The left-handed Smith has already amassed 334 runs from three matches at an average of 55. He has struck one hundred, an attractive 145 against Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the third round, and has also counted two half-centuries.
Called up as a late replacement for the injured Chris Gayle on the Test tour of South Africa, the 33-year-old has carried on his good form there, pummelling 174 in the three-day tour match which ended in a draw yesterday.
Test discard Narsingh Deonarine lies second in the run-scoring charts with 309 runs at an average of 42, thanks to centuries against Leeward Islands in the opening round and Windward Islands in the second round.
However, the 31-year-old left-hander has struggled over the last two matches, with just 23 runs from three innings.
Windwards opener Johnson Charles is the only other batsman with more than 250 runs, having scored 262 runs at an average of 50.
This has been fuelled largely by a knock of 151 - his maiden first-class hundred - in the last round against Barbados at Arnos Vale.
Jamaica's Tamar Lambert (223), the Leewards' Austin Richards (213) and the Windwards' Andre Fletcher (203) are the only other batsmen to crest the 200-run mark.
Meanwhile, Permaul tops the bowling charts with a whopping 32 wickets at an incredible average of 10 runs apiece. He had back-to-back 10-wicket match hauls in the second and third rounds, including eight-wicket innings bowling performances on each occasion.
With spinners again dominating the competition, Permaul's teammate leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo has taken 21 wickets while Trinidad and Tobago Red Force's Imran Khan, also a leg-spinner, has taken 21 scalps.