Return to Article
BCA

Title: BCA Top 40: 1996 - Brisk BET baulked at “death” as enterprising Empire retain title

Author: Keith Holder

Date Submitted: 2020-06-27

Keywords: Floyd Reifer, Thelston Payne, Winston Reid, Terry Rollock

Elite Division - Bridgetown, Barbados, June 27 - (www.bcacricket.org) - This year, 2020, marks the 40th in which Keith Holder has been compiling statistics on the premier Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Championship.

Formerly known as the First division since 1892, it was rebranded as the Elite division in 2012 - three years after the promotion and demotion system was introduced.

To mark his four decades of keeping track on the performances of all the teams and players, Holder will ultimately feature a BCA Top 40 in batting, bowling and fielding (most runs, most wickets etc).

Over the next couple of months, he will be highlighting the leading performances in each season.

============================================

Payne, Matthews, Floyd Reifer stand out among batsmen; Reid, Rollock rule bowling

If ever one wanted a perfect example of the adage that the race is not for the swift but for those who endure to the end, then point to the 1996 Championship as Empire sensationally retained the Cup on the very last day by just two points over strong favourites for virtually the entire season, Barbados External Telecommunications (BET).

It was Empire’s fifth title in eight seasons - one of them shared with YMPC in 1991 - and the third time leg-spinning all-rounder Sherlon Greaves was the captain.

In their eighth season at the top level, BET, with several young, enterprising players, were the only team with a victory in the first series by way of eight wickets over neighbours Banks at The Brewery, thanks to a memorable, swashbuckling, unbeaten century from Floyd Reifer.

Five wonderful wins in the first six rounds - the winning streak broken only in Series 4 by rain, which washed out play on the second day in all matches (BET played against Schools South at Lodge ‘A’, Society) - told the story of BET’s dominance.

Then on 43 points - 14 more than second-placed St. Catherine - BET were the first to achieve so many points after the first six rounds since the Competition was increased by two to 14 teams from 1989 when they were promoted from the Intermediate division and the Combined Schools were split into North and South.

Apart from the win against Banks, BET’s other victories were all on home turf at Wildey: by eight wickets v Police (Round 2); by six wickets v Carlton (Round 3); by an innings and 91 runs v BCL (Round 5); and by four wickets v Pickwick (Round 6).

After missing the first match when belligerent batsman Brian Johnson was the captain, West Indies wicket-keeper/batsman Courtney Browne then led BET in the next six matches before his season ended because of international duties. Johnson then returned as the skipper for the rest of the season.

In fact, BET amazingly led the Points table alone from the end of Round 1 right down to the start of the final round, at times by comfortable margins.

By mid-season, they were on 44 points with Empire and St. Catherine in joint position on 32 and Spartan fourth on 25.

With three rounds remaining, BET were still well favoured to capture their second title (they shared it with Spartan in 1994), boasting of 49 points, followed by Empire and St. Catherine still hugging each other’s necks on 37, Spartan on 32 and Pickwick 31, as the only other teams with a mathematical chance of glory.

But in a sudden twist of fate, compounded by rain in their key 11th round match against St. Catherine which ended in a no result at Bayfield, and perhaps even more telling the absence of Reifer, who by then had piled up over 600 runs including three centuries, for their last three matches because of a tour to Sri Lanka with the West Indies ‘A’ team, BET were baulked at the “death” as Empire stepped up with wins in two of their last three matches.

That 11th series was crucial.

Blessed with sunny weather throughout in St. Michael, Empire crushed Carlton by an innings and five runs at Bank Hall (Scores: Carlton 128 all out and 68 all out. Empire 201-6 declared) and Spartan defeated Maple by six wickets, also in sunny conditions throughout the match at Trents, St. James on the west coast (Scores: Maple 132 all out and 77 all out. Spartan 160 all out and 50-4).

St. Catherine, set up by a century (140) from the ‘old man” Thelston Payne, scored 277 for seven declared (81.3 overs) after closing on 160 for four off 49.2 overs on a rain-hit first day and BET were under pressure on 44 for five by stumps on Day 2.

Rain again impacted on the last day, allowing only 30 overs as BET reached 102 for nine off 49 overs all told when play was abandoned.

So it meant that the table showed: BET 50, Empire 45, Spartan 40 and St. Catherine 38.

Empire then took first innings over BET in a rain-affected match at Wildey, as Spartan spanked beleaguered BCL by ten wickets after forcing them to follow-on at Queen’s Park, while St. Catherine could only manage first innings points against Schools North at the Coleridge & Parry ground, Ashton Hall, in St. Peter.

Hence going into the final series, there were only three title contenders - BET 51, Empire 48 and Spartan 48.

BET were opposing Spartan, boosted by the vastly experienced pair of batsman Alvin Greenidge, 40, and 41-year-old leg-spinner George Linton in what was their only First division match of the season, at Queen’s Park, and Empire had a home appointment with fifth-placed Pickwick, who were on 37 points.

The presence of Greenidge and Linton, both of whom were playing in the Intermediate division, had nothing to do with the fact that the Masters Tournament was due to start early in the New Year.

Co-incidentally they replaced a father and son batting pair of then 48-year-old Nolan Clarke, who was a former Barbados and later Netherlands player, and Anthony Stuart, a real look-a-like of his stylish Dad.

But unlike two seasons earlier when they also drafted in an old man, 47-year-old all-rounder Arlington Hunte, for his only Division 1 match that season, in the final round as well - against Banks - after he was enjoying a fine time in the Intermediate division - Hunte made a telling showing with both bat and ball in a winning cause to help Spartan share the title with BET - Greenidge and Linton were unable to perform magic.

Led by an unbeaten 73 from an obdurate Rommel Brathwaite, who batted the entire first day, BET closed on 197 for five off 75 overs after winning the toss.

Early on Day 2 - the very next day - Brathwaite was run out without adding before BET were bowled out for 277 in 93 overs. At stumps, Spartan were 205 for nine.

Spartan then declared at their overweek score and BET, wary of the rapid progress Empire were making, declared their second innings on 152 for six, setting Spartan 225 to win.

In the first innings, Ronnie Griffith and Kerry Lucas were the Spartan openers with Greenidge batting as low as No. 9, but with a chase on, Greenidge was joined by skipper Livingstone Puckerin at the top. They started enterprisingly and added 65 before Greenidge fell for 29.

Puckerin went on to score 81 as Spartan slipped from 114 for two to 152 for six with the match ending in a draw.

Pickwick, led by a wonderful century from the in-form Michael Matthews as he passed 700 runs for the season, had given BET some hope of holding Empire to a draw, based on an encouraging rain-hit first day.

Sent in, Pickwick reached 215 for five off 56.1 overs with Matthews unbeaten on 102 and fellow all-rounder George Harris supporting with 56 not out - the pair having added 98.

But with Matthews falling for 106 and left-hander Harris 65 - their stand was worth 113 - Pickwick were bowled out for 237.

Empire, batting without an injured Jimmy Small, responded with 222 in 45.4 overs at the end of play on Day 2.

Pickwick then flattered to deceive as they tumbled to 82 all out in just 26.1 overs on a well-grassed pitch - commonly referred to in those days as “The Lawn”. Matthews again topscored, with 35.

The unlikely bowling hero was Jeremy Alleyne, the tall medium-pacer, who snatched a career-best seven for 30 off 12 overs for a match haul of 11 for 70 off 25.3 overs.

Set 98 to win in 27 overs, Empire triumphed by nine wickets with seven overs to spare, at 4.35 p.m.

After St. Clair Harris was run out for nought, Ricky Hoyte (34 not out) and Greaves (54 not out) put on 96. Not a maiden over was sent down as Pickwick used five bowlers.

The bottom line was that BET managed only 10 points in the last six rounds, while Empire, playing like true champions, earned 24 and celebrated - again - with 56 points.

BET ended on 54 and Spartan and St. Catherine were joint third on 49 following a 17-run win by St. Catherine over Schools South at Bayfield.

It was another wonderful season for left-hander Floyd Reifer, the 23-year-old Barbados and West Indies ‘A’ team player. He amassed the third highest aggregate of 657 including the most centuries (three), at the outstanding average of 93.85 in eight matches.

Sporting a pronounced flat top hairstyle and still with a baby-face, Reifer’s 101 not out against Banks was breathtaking. Set 218 for victory in a minimum 37 overs, BET triumphed with 21 balls remaining, ending on 220 for two as Reifer reached his century off 73 balls.

Rommel Brathwaite helped in the cause with 65, the pair putting on 114 for the second wicket.

Reifer’s excellent season kept him in front in the hunt for the most runs for the decade as he moved to 3791 runs including six centuries in 80 matches, at an average of 39.90.

For the records, when Reifer missed the last three rounds, he was was joined on that tour of Sri Lanka with the West Indies ‘A’ team by two other Barbadians - opening batsman Philo Wallace and his Spartan club mate, fast bowling all-rounder Ottis Gibson - in the Roger Harper-led 15-man squad.

But neither Wallace nor Gibson played for Spartan in the Division 1 Competition in 1996.

Thelston Payne, the St. Catherine stalwart, then aged 39, amassed the most runs - 796 (ave: 53.06) for the second time during the decade (the other was in 1993) to prove that he was still a batting bully in the top domestic Championship. He then had 3655 runs (ave: 34.48) containing four hundreds in 88 matches since 1990.

Only three other batsmen scored over 500 runs for the season.

They were: Matthews (773; ave: 40.68), Carlton captain Wilbur Bruce (560; ave: 28.00) and the Banks all-rounder Barry Callender (520; ave: 32.50).

It was the fourth time, the tall, stylish Bruce had passed 500 runs in a season for the decade, but a hundred again eluded him as he lifted his aggregate to 3590 (ave: 26.99) including 22 half-centuries in 87 matches for the decade.

There were 15 centuries - the smallest number for a season since the turn of the 1990s.

In the bowling, Winston Reid was still doing how, what, where and when he liked.

For the third consecutive season and fourth all told for the decade (the other was in 1992), left-arm spinner Reid was the top wicket-taker (53) but in a share with his YMPC team-mate, all-rounder Terry Rollock, a leg-spinner.

Reid’s wickets were at 12.96 runs each, while Rollock’s average was 13.98 as the “country boy” from St. Lucy, completed a solid all-round season, having scored 467 runs (ave: 23.35) - the most runs as well for his team.

Only two other bowlers managed over 50 wickets - Sherlon Greaves with 52 (ave: 14.75) and a resurgent Pickwick swing bowler Wayne “Crampy” Yarde (51; ave: 13.21).

It was the fifth straight season that Greaves had hauled in over 50 wickets, pushing his tally for the decade to 348 in 91 matches, but still way behind the resilient Reid, who boasted of 457 in 85 matches.

Empire’s Jason King, with cricketing blood - the son of former Empire batting stalwart, Tony King, who also played at the first-class level for Barbados - was the top wicket-keeper with 36 victims (25 catches and 11 stumpings), while Greaves, an excellent fielder, snared the most catches (16) to make it a truly memorable season for the mighty Empire.

There were a few significant batting partnerships during the season.

In Series 10, Rommel Brathwaite (107 not out) and Reifer (109 before he was run out) added 206 for the second wicket in a BET total of 297 for two declared off 60.5 overs after Wanderers were bowled out for 139 off 61.4 overs in the first innings at Wildey. On a rain-affected last day, Wanderers crawled to 61 for three off 40 overs.

That partnership was, however, bettered in the penultimate round by the Wanderers skipper Michael Edwards (121) and Henderson Bryan (128), who added 256 for the eighth wicket against Police in a draw at Dayrells Road.

Responding to a first innings total of 283 for nine declared off 65 overs, Wanderers were 110 for seven before Edwards, son of the Wanderers fast bowling stalwart, ex-Division 1 captain and former Barbados and West Indies player, Richard “Prof” Edwards, and Bryan put bat to ball before they were dismissed for 378 off 103.2 overs.

The pair had resumed the third and final today with the score 136 for seven off 52 overs with off-spinning all-rounder Edwards on 19 and fast bowling all-rounder Bryan on nine .

In Series 6, the BCL pair of all-rounders Dave Clarke (104 not out) and Winston Herbert (100) added 120 for the sixth wicket in a second innings total of 303 for seven after they were 83 for five against Banks at The Brewery. The match was drawn with Banks taking first innings lead by eight runs.

Scores: BCL 232 and 303-7. Banks 240 all out.

Empire team (with matches in brackets) - Sherlon Greaves (captain), Jason King, Robin Parris (13), Jeremy Alleyne (11), Carlisle Best, Samuel Skeete (10), Michael Inniss, Delroy Walrond (9), Alphonso Lashley, Lindon Yarde (8), Terry Pilgrim (7), Roland Holder, Andre Evelyn (6), Ricky Hoyte, Troy Bovell (4), Horace King, Marlon Blagrove (3), St. Clair Harris, Maurice Gaskin (2), Stephen Alleyne, Winston Dowrich, Jimmy Small (1).

====================================

FINAL POINTS

Empire                     56

BET                         54

Spartan                   49

St. Catherine           49

YMPC                      43

Pickwick                  40

Police                      38

Maple                      30

Schools North          28

Carlton                    28

Banks                      28

Wanderers               26

BCL                         15

Schools North            7

===================================

BATTING                                             MT     I     NO     R       HS      Ave    100   50

Thelston Payne (St. Catherine)              13    18     3    796     149    53.06     1     7

Michael Matthews (Pickwick)                 13    20     1    773     106    40.68     1     6

Floyd Reifer (BET)                                  8    13     6    657     142*  93.85     3     2

Wilbur Bruce (Carlton)                          12    20     0    560      79     28.00     0     6

Barry Callender (Banks)                        11    17     1    520      73*   32.50     0     5

Gavin Beresford (Wanderers)                 13    20     2    498      99    27.66     0      2

Mark Thomas (Carlton)                          13    20     2    495      84    27.50     0     4

Livingstone Puckerin (Spartan)               12    16     2    477      89    34.07     0     5

Terry Rollock (YMPC)                             13    21     1    467      94     23.35     0     3

Rommel Brathwaite (BET)                      13    18     4    459    107*   32.78     1     2

Trevor Haynes (Carlton)                        13     22     2    448    100    22.40     1      2

Christopher King (Carlton)                     13    21     1    445      94     22.25     0     2

Carlisle Best (Empire)                           10    11      3   442      96      55.25    0     4

Carl Chapman (BCL)                             13    21      1   427      60      21.35    0     3

Adrian Griffith (Pickwick)                         7    11     2    423     84*    47.00     0     2

Dereck Skeete (Maple)                          13    21     1    412     83      20.60     0     1

Jefferson Gibbons (Maple)                     13    21     0    407     83      19.38     0     1

Orion Bostic (YMPC)                              13    21     2    399     68      21.00     0     3

Ron Bates (BET)                                   13    20     1    398     87      20.94     0     3

Adrian Murphy (Police)                          13    20     0    391     65      19.55     0     2

Roland Holder (Empire)                          6      6      2   389    177*    97.25     1     3

Winston Herbert (BCL)                          13    18     0    387    124     21.50     2     0

Leslie Reifer (Police)                             10     13     1    375     83      31.25    0      2

Richard Carter (Banks)                         13     20     0    373     53      18.65     0     1

Sherwyn Codrington (BCL)                    13     22     2    371     94     18.55     0      2

Hendy Hinds (Pickwick)                         13     20     2    369     96     20.50     0     1

Anderson Payne (Maple)                        13     17     1    368     66*    23.00    0     3

Pedro Agard (Maple)                             13     21      2   357     91     18.78     0      1

Wayne Blackman (Maple)                      13     20     1    351    112    18.47     1      1

Duane Springer (Schools South)            13     23     0    350     96     15.21     0      1

Antonio Mayers (Schools North)             11     16     0    346     88     21.62     0      2

Derryck Battershield (Banks)                 13     20     2    338     54     18.77     0      1

Gary Pedro (Wanderers)                        12    16      1    336     59     22.40     0      1

Shawn Graham (Schools North)             11     17     4    324     65     24.92     0      1

Marlon Graham (Schools North)             11     16     2    313     78     22.35     0      1

Mark Lavine (Spartan)                            7      9      1    311    127    38.87     1      2

Pearson Best (St. Catherine)                 13    18      0    303     54     16.83     0      1

====================================

BOWLING                                       MT      O       M       R      W       BB       Ave    5W   10W

Winston Reid (YMPC)                       10    316.1   83    687     53     5-45    12.96    3      1

Terry Rollock (YMPC)                       13    270.4   60    741     53     6-30    13.98    5      0 

Sherlon Greaves (Empire)                13    254.2   38    767     52     6-28    14.75    4      1

Wayne Yarde (Pickwick)                   12     227     46    674     51     7-39    13.21    5      1

Ian Williams (Police)                        13    215      24    868    48      5-26    18.08    1      0

Julian Beckles (St. Catherine)           13    190.5   51    467    46      7-3      10.15    2      0

Adrian Brathwaite (BET)                   13   233.5    39   732     44     5-89    16.63     1      0

Emmerson Jordan (Maple)                13   201      33     689    42     7-36    16.40     2      1

Dave Marshall (Spartan)                   13   235.2    41    668    41     5-84    16.29     1      0

Hattian Graham (Spartan)                12    186.2   28    582    40     7-37    14.55     5      0

Henderson Broomes (Carlton)             8   163      19    610    39      7-62    15.64     3      1

Victor Greene (Wanderers)               11    166.1   27    542    37     8-26    14.64     1       1

Henry Austin (Banks)                       13    216.4   45    690    35     6-76    19.71     2       0

Jeremy Alleyne (Empire)                  11    133.3    31    372    33     7-30    11.27    1       1

Sylvester Louis (Police)                    11    151.3    30   378     32     5-34    11.81    2       0

Junior Parris (St. Catherine)             13    159       23   528     32     5-21    16.50    1       0

Henderson Springer (Spartan)          7     134.4    33    300     31    7-60     9.67      4       2

Samuel Skeete (Empire)                  10    148      21    502     31     6-44    16.19    1       0

Matthew Nicholls (Maple)                 12    154.4    30   465     29     6-31    16.03    1        0

Emmerson Sealy (Police)                   7    114       18    335    28     6-40    11.96    2        0

Pedro Agard (Maple)                         13    142.3   26   413     28    5-30     14.75    2       0

Marlon Graham (Schools North)        11    141.4    20   510     28    7-74     18.21    1       0

Shawn Burgess (Carlton)                 11     138      14    583    28    7-59     20.82     1       0

Wren Miller (Pickwick)                      12     182     26    597    28    3-25      21.32     0       0

Ron Cumberbatch (BCL)                   13    167.2   16    659    28     6-79     23.53     3       0

Anthony Odle (Pickwick)                   12    120.2   12    522    27     4-23     19.33     0       0

Robert Stuart (BET)                         13    160.2    30    528    27     5-6      19.55     1       0

Duane Springer (Schools South)       13    155       19    569    27     4-17    21.88     0       0

Duane Davis (Schools South)            9     88.5       8     351    26     5-12    13.50    3        0

Lonelle Hutson (BET)                      11     195.4    56    456    26     4-46     17.53    0       0

Scofield Hewitt (Pickwick)               11     153.3    13    572     26    5-61     22.00    1       0

Ryan Hurley (BET)                            8     122.3    25    386    25    5-32     15.44    2       0

Milton Small (St. Catherine)              7     108.3    19    323    24    5-24     13.45    1        0

Matthew Moore (Maple)                   12     123.4   15     385    24    5-59     16.04    1       0

Mark Lavine (Spartan)                       7    118.1    26     411   23     5-74     17.86    1       0

Pedro Collins (Wanderers)                13    138.3    12    567     21    3-17     27.00    0       0

Ryan Hinds (Schools North)              8      89.5     13    274     20     4-84    13.70    0        0

Trevor Haynes (Carlton)                  13     109.2     4     484    20     5-51     19.36   1        0

===============================

FIELDING

Wicket-keeper: Jason King (Empire) 36 (25/11); Thelston Payne (St. Catherine) 32 (31/1); Mark Thomas (Carlton) 23 (22/1); Rondelle Yearwood (Pickwick) 22 (18/4); Livingstone Puckerin (Spartan) 21 (16/5); Junior Collymore (Banks) 21 (13/8); Courtney Browne (BET) 16 (13/3); Rommel Brathwaite (BET) 16 (13/3); William Callender (Police) 15 (14/1); Jefferson Gibbons (Maple) 15 (14/1); Edison Rock (Schools North) 14 (12/2); Corey Glasgow (Schools South) 13 (9/4); Derwin Thompson (Police) 12 (12/0); Mark Estwick (YMPC) 11 (8/3); Ricky Hoyte (Empire) 10 (7/3).

Other than wicket-keeper: Sherlon Greaves (Empire) 16; Robert Stuart (BET), Jason Jordan (St. Catherine), Ryan Arthur (Pickwick) 13; Floyd Reifer (BET), Ian Bradshaw (BET), Rowehan Walcott (Spartan), Wilbur Bruce (Carlton) 12; Robin Parris (Empire), Ronnie Griffith (Spartan) 11; Dave Marshall (Spartan), Richard Connelly (Spartan), Darwin Brathwaite (St. Catherine), Cedric Proverbs (St. Catherine), Junior Parris (St. Catherine), Terry Rollock (YMPC), Rudolph Clarke (Police), Don O’neal (Schools North), Jason Haynes (Schools South) 10; Carlisle Best (Empire), Ryan O’Neale (YMPC), Wren Miller (Pickwick), Anthony Odle (Pickwick), Adrian Murphy (Police), Pedro Agard (Maple), Wayne Blackman (Maple), Richard Barrow (Schools North), Sean Sargeant (Schools South) 9; Brian Johnson (BET), Ian Williams (Police), Trevor Haynes (Carlton), Michael Maynard (Banks), Winston Herbert (BCL) 8.

====================================

CENTURIES (15)

Roland Holder (Empire) 177 not out v Schools South at Foundation, Church Hill (Series 6).

Thelston Payne (St. Catherine) 149 v BET at Bayfield (Series 11).

Floyd Reifer (BET) 142 not out v Pickwick at Wildey (Series 6).

Henderson Bryan (Wanderers) 128 v Police at Dayrells Road (Series 12).

Mark Lavine (Spartan) 127 v Wanderers at Dayrells Road (Series 6).

Winston Herbert (BCL) 124 v Schools South at Harrison College ‘A’, Crumpton Street (Series 3).

Michael Edwards (Wanderers) 121 v Police at Dayrells Road (Series 12).

Wayne Blackman (Maple) 112 v BCL at Blenheim ‘A’ (Series 13).

Floyd Reifer (BET) 109 v Wanderers at Wildey (Series 10).

Rommel Brathwaite (BET) 107 not out v Wanderers at Wildey (Series 10).

Michael Matthews (Pickwick) 106 v Empire at Bank Hall (Series 13).

Dave Clarke (BCL) 104 not out v Banks at The Brewery (Series 6).

Floyd Reifer (BET) 101 not out v Banks at The Brewery (Series 1).

Trevor Haynes (Carlton) 100 v Pickwick at Kensington Oval (Series 2).

Winston Herbert (BCL) 100 v Banks at The Brewery (Series 6).

© ECD Solutions for www.bcacricket.org 2020