South Stars United and Boscobel are one win away from a spot in the final of the SDC/Wray and Nephew National Community T20 Cricket Competition after both emerged as the most prolific winners in the quarterfinal round at Chedwin Park on the weekend.
In what turned out to be an easy victory on Saturday, Boscobel out of St. Mary easily got by Racecourse of Clarendon by 41 runs to emerge as top contenders for the National title.
It was Racecourse who called right at the toss and captain Krishmar Santoki did not hesitate to have a bowl on a wicket that proved difficult to score on early. National senior representative Alwyn Williams didn’t take long to show his intentions as he took 9 runs from the opening over bowled by Santoki. The Racecourse captain however didn’t have to wait long for success as he struck with the first ball of his second over to have Boscobel 15 runs for 1 wicket as Maurice Harrow went for 1 run.
The reliable Tyrone Daley strode confidently to the crease and he and Williams managed to add another 25 runs for the second wicket as Daley’s stay at the crease lasted only 19 balls. In that time he managed to score 4 boundaries before departing for 19 runs, bowled by Albert Gopie with the score at 40 runs for 2 wickets.
That brought captain Orlando Lyons to the crease and the right-hander like Williams found boundaries hard to come by. In-fact between over 7 and 12 only one boundary was scored before the introduction of off-spinner Jermaine Thomas. The pair took 12 runs from the 12th over as they looked to improve the scoring. Racecourse fought back as Santokie removed Williams for 40 runs to leave Boscobel 87 runs for 3 wickets after 13 overs.
Four overs later Lyons was removed for 33 before Kevin Daley added some quick runs towards the end making 38 runs from 25 balls including 1 four and 3 sixes.
The Racecourse team was seemingly proud of their work with the ball in limiting Boscobel to 146 runs for 7 wickets as Santokie ended with 2 wickets for 22 runs for his side while Sherwayne Dixon had 2 wickets for 25 runs.
The Racecourse pursuit of 147 runs never got going as Wayne Davis ended up flat on his back in the middle of the pitch after Albert Gopie turned down a quick single in the second over. It got progressively worse as Brian Buchanan, Demar Duncan and Deondre Richards all went without scoring with Gopie hitting three boundaries before he too departed to leave Racecourse reeling at 21 runs for 5 wickets.
Unable to move freely between the wickets the no longer nimble Franklin Waugh was run out for 4 runs with his team on the brink of a heavy defeat at 36 runs for 6 wickets. That soon became 50 runs for 7 wickets when Santokie was trapped leg before wicket for 15 runs.
Racecourse however found themselves back in the game through some lusty hitting from Jermaine Thomas. The towering figure of Thomas struck 3 fours and as many sixes dispatching the ball to all parts of the chedwin Park facility. But right when Racecourse got back into the game Thomas ran himself out on a free-hit departing for 35 runs from 15 balls. The innings didn’t last long after as Racecourse were bowled out for 105 runs.
Off-spinner Gihon Murdock was the chief destroyer with 3 wickets for 10 runs for Boscobel who based on the margin of victory are through to the semifinal.
In the second game on Saturday which was reduced to 19 overs per side due to a late start, Comfort out of Manchester provided some late drama as they defeated Days Mountain of St Mary by 7 runs.
Asked to bat, Comfort got to 11 runs before they lost the wicket of opener Lorenzo Mcdonald for 5 runs after his innings was prolonged following a not out decision by the umpires after he was caught low-down on the second attempt at gully.
The other opener Matthew Morgan was also dismissed early going for 3 runs with the score on 37 runs. By then left-hander Damian Bryce was looking dangerous as he hit 6 fours on his way to 39 runs from 30 balls. But some cleaver bowling from Dwayne Hamilton had Bryce playing down the wrong line to a slower delivery, and by the time the umpire raised the finger, Bryce was half-way to the pavilion with his bat tucked underneath his arm.
Captain Brad Barnes looked out of sorts early in his innings but after a few close calls; including a run out opportunity, the former national youth captain found some groove, but only for two boundaries. He saw his team cross the 100 runs mark but did not stick around much longer as he fell for 33 runs. Some well-targeted bowling from the Days Mountain team limited scoring opportunities for Comfort whose innings came to an end at 122 runs for 8 wickets.
Dwayne Hamilton who bowled a number slower balls in his spell as he ended with 3 for 20 while Renar Ross picked up 2 wickets for 14 runs and Romeo McDonald 2 wickets for 22 runs.
With 123 runs to get, those inside the Chedwin Park venue felt Days Mountain who packs a deep batting line-up would make easy work of the target. And it looked that way after the first 6 overs as the opening pair of Renar Ross and Anthony Walters posted 45 runs for the first wicket.
But one wicket quickly brought another as Walters 19 runs and Anthony Mclean 3 runs departed within 20 runs of each other, Bryce and Barnes accounting for both.
The hopes of the team though rested on Ross who in his own stylish way was batting beautifully stroking around the ball for quick singles with the occasional forceful shot for a boundary.
With too many players outside the circle Gordon bowled Ross for 48 runs which became 90 runs for 3 wickets. In the same over Jordan Allen drove one firmly back to Gordon who plucked it out the air.
From there it all fell apart for Days Mountain as Gordon who was named player of the round grabbed another two wickets to end with 4 wickets for 23 runs as the team from St Mary were bowled out for 115 runs.
The closeness of the game means both teams are still in with a shot to make the semifinal as they will now enter the quarterfinal play-off.
In the mean-time the drama from Saturday’s round of games spilt over into Sunday as Greater Portmore from St Catherine scored a 5 runs win over White Horses of St Thomas.
It was the team from St Thomas who batted first setting a total of 112 runs. White Horses were kept quiet in the opening 4 overs as they only managed to score 15 runs.
White Horses then suffered a mini collapse losing 4 wickets for 44 runs as Yahfi Gould with 14 runs and Jowayne Robinson with 15 runs fell in the 5 over period.
Chevon Simpson with 32 runs from 26 balls staged a fight back towards the end but his dismissal by Jamie Haye virtually signaled the end for White Horses as they could only manage 112 for 8 from their 20 overs.
Odane Vassell ended with remarkable figures of 3 for 15 while Fedrick Brown had 2 for 19 and Jamie Haye 2 for 29.
The team from St Catherine, Greater Portmore United in their reply through the opening pair of Ryan Francis and Nicholas Lewin got things off to a positive start. The two took 10 runs from the opening over and were 40 runs without loss after four over as they eyed the 118 required runs for victory.
They added another 32 runs before Lewin was dismissed for 22 runs with the score 72 runs for 1 wicket after 10 overs. It was at that point that White Horses put the brakes on the Greater Portmore batting conceding just 45 runs in the last 7 overs.
Francis followed shortly after Lewin for a top score of 47 runs which included 8 fours. From there Delbert Gayle 15 not out got to double figures as Greater Portmore, securing a 5 runs win in 17 overs.
Romain McCalla ended pick of the White Horses bowlers with 2 for 19.
In the other game played on Sunday, Last year’s semifinalist Links United were eliminated after going down by 8 wickets to South Star United.
Links united batting first were bowled out for 120 runs in 19.4 overs. Attacking left-hander Deethmar Anderson was the top scorer for Links with 27 runs. Venroy Laing was the next best with 15 runs while captain Othneil Pennant made 13 runs. Andrew Morgan claimed 3 for 21 while Jermain Morgan had 2 wickets for 20 runs and Jamie Merchant 2 wickets for 23 runs.
In their run chase, Sherdon Allen with 43 runs not out and Morgan 39 runs carried South Star to victory at 124 runs for 2 wickets in 14.5 overs in an innings consisting of 7 fours and 6 sixes. Ojay Shields and Laing both ended with a wicket each
With South Stars United and Boscobel Cricket Team advancing straight to the semi-finals rounds scheduled to take place on August 7 at the Ultimate Oval, Discovery Bay, St. Ann, their opponents will be confirmed after the Playoff matchup. The two lower-ranked winners, Greater Portmore United and Comfort C.C., from last weekend’s match will face off with the best loser Whitehorses and Day’s Mountain, respectively, on July 24, at the Ultimate Oval. The two winners emerging from the playoffs will advance to the national semi-finals.
The semi-finals for the Masters and the Female T/10 competition will take place at Chedwin Park, St. Catherine.