Inside the Elite Division
Date Published: 2019-09-17
Top three, bottom four still the same after Empire survive scare to beat BDFSP
Bridgetown, Barbados, September 17 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Heading into mid-season in the BCA Elite division three-day Championship this Saturday, the top three teams are still the same as well as the bottom four although there is an interchange between seventh and eighth.
Title-chasing Empire made heavy work of a light target before nervously nipping Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) by two wickets to take over the sole lead after the fourth series on Sunday.
Set 53 for victory on home turf at Bank Hall, Empire lost their first three wickets without a run scored, then slipped to 16 for five before successive partnerships of 12, 14 and 10 eased their nerves.
The win, which was achieved 45 minutes after tea, took Empire to 67 points - just two ahead of joint pre-series leaders Wildey with whom they clash in the next round at SJPI.
Wildey were among four winners in the series, crushing Barbados Youth by ten wickets - 26 minutes before tea at the Lester Vaughan ground, Cane Garden.
Wanderers also triumphed by ten wickets over Carlton in the post-tea session at Desmond Haynes Oval to remain third on 49 points.
Spartan made the most significant advance in the ten-team Championship after coming from behind to beat Gladiola by 81 runs inside two days at Rices to move from sixth to fourth place on 39 points.
It was the third defeat at home for Gladiola this season, leaving them seventh on 21 points and among three teams effectively - the others are BDFSP and Crane Resort St. Catherine since Barbados Youth are exempt from demotion - with concern over their ultimate fate.
Despite showing some improvement, St. Catherine remain rock-bottom on 15 points after picking up five points including their first batting points (three) for the season, in a draw against defending champions Sagicor Life UWI at 3Ws Oval.
Outstanding performances from left-arm spinner Ryshon Williams, with a 13-wicket match haul and batsman Jonathan Drakes, who became the first batsman to score centuries this season, spurred Wanderers to a ten-wicket win over Carlton.
After Williams snatched nine for 80 in a first innings total of 201 all out on the opening day, Drakes hit a commanding 134 on Day 2. He batted for 253 minutes, faced 184 balls and struck 11 fours and five sixes at No. 3 to help Wanderers to a 39-run lead before they declared when he was ninth out.
Starting the final day on 11 for two, Carlton lost nightwatchman Keon Harding off the day’s third ball from Williams without addition to the score.
They were given some hope of a fightback when Renaldo Ansley Holder and Sadrian Ward were together.
The pair added 49 in 14.1 overs for the fourth wicket - easily the best partnership of the innings - before fast bowler Jair McAllister prised out Holder for 13.
Wickets then fell steadily including Ward for the topscore of 36 in 78 minutes off 58 balls with four fours and two sixes before he was sixth out with the score 71, caught by wicket-keeper Sylvester Moore off Williams.
The only other stubborn resistance came in a ninth wicket stand of 26 in 16 overs between Rashad Armstrong, with an unbeaten 21 in 113 minutes off 87 balls and Dane Currency (10) before Carlton were dismissed for 119 off 53 overs.
Williams took four for 51 off 22 overs for match figures of 13 for 131 off 42.2 overs.
McAllister picked up three for 17 off ten overs - his best haul and the most overs he has sent down in seven innings this season.
Set 81 to win, Wanderers raced to victory in just 10.1 overs as Jason “Grassman” Greene slammed 60 not out off 35 balls in 52 minutes including four fours and three sixes in easily his best performance of the season after mustering 72 runs in his previous seven innings.
A draw would have given St. Catherine some measure of satisfaction based on the struggles they have experienced from the very start of the season with a few key players absent for various reasons.
After UWI amassed 351 for nine declared, which is the highest total by a team for the season with left-hander Nicholas Kirton scoring his second century at this level - 148 in 249 minutes off 212 balls including ten fours and one six at No. 5 - St. Catherine batted resolutely before they were bowled out for 266 in 61.1 overs.
It was the first time that St. Catherine had picked up batting points for the season.
Stand-in captain Dwayne Skeete, better known as an off-spinner, topscored with 60 in 167 minutes off 130 balls, hitting only two boundaries at No. 7.
Kirton also shone with the ball, taking five for 50 off 20.1 overs - his first ever ‘five-for’ in 33 top division matches.
UWI disappointingly opted for a draw by their dour batting in the second innings before declaring on 109 for six off 29 overs.
It left St. Catherine a victory target of 195 in 25 overs and they reached 35 for three off 11.3 overs when it was agreed to end the match, even though the last two wickets fell off successive balls from Shaquille Phillips.
Empire almost suffered what would have been one of the biggest embarrassments in local club cricket after they had dominated BDFSP for the first two days.
They did virtually everything right until they were set a meagre 53 to win with more than ample time.
Experienced all-rounder Kevin Stoute hit his 10th top division century (103 not out) and opener Kadeem Alleyne slammed 95, missing out on a second century for the season in a total of 276 for eight declared off 56 overs on the first day.
BDFSP were bowled out for 123 in 48.3 overs, having started the second day on 38 for five off 13 overs.
Asked to follow-on, BDFSP started the final day on 132 for five off 38.4 overs - still 21 runs adrift of the deficit.
They rallied to 205 all out off 60.5 overs as experienced left-hander Antonio Greenidge topscored for the second time in his first match of the season (he made 43 and 40) after returning from a contract in England.
Elegant left-hander Jamar Ifill topscored with 41 on the second day before gifting his wicket to West Indies Test left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, who struggled for wickets in the match.
Javon Grosvenor contributed 34 not out.
In the Empire chase, fast bowler Rico Hurley removed Shian Brathwaite, Andre Roach and Stoute, all for “ducks” off the third, fourth and last balls of the very first over before a run had been scored as well.
Alleyne and skipper Kofie Hurdle took the score to 16 before Ifill accounted for Alleyne (five) and Shakkae Marshall (nought) off the second and fifth deliveries of the fourth over to leave the score 16 for five.
Hurdle and Warrican then put on 12 before Ifill removed Hurdle for 13, making it 28 for six.
Warrican and Tennyson Roach added 14 to ease Empire’s worries before Warrican was caught and bowled by spinner Deswin Currency for 12.
With one run needed for victory, Tennyson Roach was run out for six before Jarion Hoyte ended the match with a boundary in partnership with Shavon Brooks.
Experienced left-arm spinner Steve Pinder took a seven-wicket haul for the second time in his his career to undermine the Barbados Youth second innings batting before Wildey wrapped up a ten-wicket win.
Pinder, who started his top division debut way back in 2003 for Combined Schools (now called Barbados Youth) when he was a student at Foundation, snatched seven for 23 off off 13.4 overs as Barbados Youth, who were led on first innings by 59, fell for 95 in 48.4 overs after going into the final day on 67 for five in the second innings.
Off-spinner Romario Greaves picked up two for 24 to end with match figures of eight for 72.
Pinder’s other seven-wicket haul was also for Wildey - seven for 27 in the second innings against Maple at Trents in Series 1 of the 2015 season.
Wildey knocked off the 37 for victory in only 3.4 overs as Zachary McCaskie lashed 36 not out off 17 balls with three fours and three sixes.
It was the third consecutive defeat for Barbados Youth.
Like fellow St. Philip-based team St. Catherine, Gladiola must seek a few victories to avoid the likelihood of demotion.
After taking first innings points against Spartan on the opening day when both teams were bowled out for under 100 and their off-spinner Michel Agard Jr grabbed eight for 19 off 13.1 overs in a total of 67 off 31.1 overs, Gladiola lost by 81 runs with a day to spare.
Worst yet, it was Gladiola’s third defeat at home this season.
They will certainly be anxious to have back the vast experience of Ashley Nurse and Javon Searles after the current Caribbean Premier League ends in the second week of October, as well as West Indies Test pacer Miguel Cummins, who is playing a few matches for Middlesex in the English County Championship, which is heading to a climax.
Spartan’s win was helped significantly by opener Rashid Boucher and Chaim Holder, an off-spinner, who is developing into a reliable all-rounder.
Boucher and Holder featured in a crucial fourth wicket partnership of 118 in 32.5 overs after Spartan were 16 for three in the second innings, having been led on first innings by 18 runs.
Opener Boucher scored 78 in 149 minutes off 110 balls with 12 threes and one four and Holder made a career-best 77 not out in 203 minutes off 164 balls containing six threes before the last seven wickets fell for 52 runs.
It was Holder’s fourth half-century at this level and his second for the season.
Devon Phillips, in his first match of the season, took five for 55 off 16.4 overs.
Needing 169 to win, Gladiola managed two more runs than their first innings effort, tumbling for 87 in 19.2 overs.
Holder took three for 10 off three overs and left-arm Davien Branker, three for 34 off 11 overs - his best figures for the season.
Tabulate under: M-matches, W-won, L-lost, T-tied, D-drawn, NR-no result, MPTS-match points minus batting and bowling, BATP-batting points, BOWP-bowling points, TP-total points.
TEAMS M W L T D NR MPTS BATP BOWP TP
Empire 4 3 0 0 1 0 39 12 16 67
Wildey 4 3 0 0 1 0 47 6 12 65
Wanderers 4 2 0 0 2 0 28 5 16 49
Spartan 4 1 0 0 2 1 19 6 14 39
UWI 4 1 1 0 2 0 16 9 11 36
Carlton 4 1 1 0 0 2 16 2 13 31
Gladiola 4 0 3 0 0 1 4 2 15 21
BDFSP 4 0 1 0 1 2 3 4 12 19
BarYouth 4 0 3 0 1 0 1 0 16 17
St. Catherine 4 0 2 0 1 1 2 3 10 15
SERIES 5 - September 21, 28 & 29
Wanderers v Spartan at Dayrells Road; Barbados Youth v Gladiola at Lester Vaughan, Cane Garden; Wildey v Empire at SJPIT; BDFSP v UWI at Paragon; St. Catherine v Carlton at Bayfield.