By Neto Baptiste
Leeward Islands and PIC Liberta Blackhawks all-rounder Kofi James is hoping for consistency following his outstanding performance with both bat and ball in the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Two Day Competition over the weekend.
The 24-year-old slammed 21 fours and two sixes on his way to 178 in the Blackhawks’ innings and 385 runs triumph over Bolans Blasters at Liberta. He also picked up six wickets for just 12 runs in 7.4 overs to help dismiss their opponents for just 39 runs in the second innings.
“It’s just consistency basically, because the skills are already there in terms of spinning and bouncing since I was young, but it’s just about being more consistent, hitting the right areas more often and getting the opportunity also to bowl more overs earlier,” he said.
Coach of the Blackhawks team and former West Indies fast bowler, Kenneth Benjamin, agrees that the player is growing into a more mature and complete player.
“I think that early up in his innings that he gave one or two little anxious moments, but I believe that once he gets in he works the ball into the gaps, he runs well and he can put away bad deliveries and I think that’s what you want from a class player. If you can work it around so you never seem bogged down because you are always getting the ones and twos, you’re a good runner between the wickets or too good of a runner — because he actually got run out — but that is what you actually want from someone like Kofi,” he said.
Meanwhile, former national wicketkeeper and batsman, Juari Edwards, who scored a crucial 144 from 135 deliveries in Empire Nation’s 10-wicket victory over Combined Schools, said he was able to pull his innings together after a shaky start.
“The pitch was a bit dicey, it was kind of soft from the rain that came on Thursday so the ball wasn’t really coming onto the bat and so I had to spend a little time to get in because I started very scratchy. My first, maybe, 16 runs were edges where balls were flying off the outside edge and going to gully, going over slip and I just told myself that I just need to give myself a bit more time and it worked out well in the end,” the veteran player said.
Former Leeward Islands and national player Justin Athanaze also scored a century for Empire, batting not out for 104 off 81 deliveries.