Inside the Elite Division
with Keith Holder
Date Published: 2013-06-07
Now Empire seek to beat St. Catherine after Chase's crafty, unbeaten century in Series 3 of BCA Elite
Bridgetown, Barbados, June 7 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Set up by a crafty, unbeaten century from all-rounder Roston Chase, early title chasers ICBL Empire will now turn to their bowlers over the last two days in an effort to beat Republic Bank St. Catherine for a second straight season in Series 3 of the BCA LIME Elite division championship.
Taking advantage of the luck of the toss on an easy-paced pitch at Bayfield last Saturday, Empire were the only team to grab the maximum four batting points as they closed on 303 for nine off 75 overs.
The 21-year-old Chase led the way with 127 not out - his fourth century at this level. With a fine array of strokes and using his feet skillfully against the spinners, six-footer Chase occupied the crease for 223 minutes, faced 173 balls and struck six fours and two sixes.
Chase's other centuries are 109 for Guardian General Barbados Youth v Police at Weymouth in 2008; 148, again for Barbados Youth v YMPC at Beckles Road in 2010 and 106 not out for Empire v Barbados Youth at Bank Hall last year.
Empire beat St. Catherine by six wickets in a low-scoring match at Bank Hall last year with Chase hitting an unbeaten 62 in the second innings as they chased 143.
The last time Empire defeated St. Catherine at Bayfield at this level was in 2007 in the play-offs by 40 runs.
Two years ago at the same venue, it rained cats and dogs and not a ball was bowled in that seventh round match.
In fact, there have been only six outright results between the teams in the last two decades with Empire winning five including only one at Bayfield.
Empire started the series in joint second position on 18 points with LIME - just one point behind ESA Field Pickwick - while St. Catherine are second last in the ten-team championship on four points.
Needing 200 for victory against LIME at Wildey in the second series, St. Catherine lost by 88 runs and would want to ensure that their batting shows a vast improvement on Saturday and Sunday.
It will also be a test for the Pickwick bowlers against BDFSP, one of four winning teams in Round 2, who resume on four without loss in response to a first innings total of 212 all out at Foursquare Oval.
Super Centre Spartan, whose woeful second innings batting led to defeat against long-time rivals Empire in the second series at Bank Hall, will be hoping to rebound against champions Sagicor Life UWI at Queen's Park.
The home side will resume on 40 without loss responding to a first innings total of 262 for nine declared.
At Trents, CGI Maple are in a good position to build a solid first innings total against LIME after reaching 237 for three of which Jed Yearwood made a career-best league score of 90.
And Barbados Youth will start on ten without loss in reply to rock-bottom Carlton's first innings 255 all out at the Harrison College 'A' ground, Crumpton Street.