Nevis Battle Antigua in NAGICO Finals

It was considered the worse performance in recent years by a St. Kitts cricket  team. On Friday, Nevis humiliated the sister island on home soil at the Warner Park cricket stadium, with a comprehensive 175 run win to book their spot in the

Nevis romped to a scintillating 272/6 in 50 overs having won the toss and choosing to bat. St. Kitts in reply, limped to 97 all out with Nevis’ Tonito Willet, the man of the match destroying St. Kitts’ top order batting line up with 6 wickets HAUL for 21 runs. The St. Kitts innings was a disaster, with wickets falling in the space of three minutes apart. The first to go was Shane Jeffers from the bowling of Nelson Bolan thanks to as catch from Willet with the score on 16; followed by Tashmail Mills four minutes later. Steve Liburd’s wicket was a mere three minutes later for two runs with the score just on 17 runs from Willet’s bowling.anguilla201

The nimble foot work and effective catching from Nevis’ wicket keeper J. Tyson was instrumental in the next few wickets as Codville Rogers was next on the hit list three minutes later for just a run. Tyson caught him at slips with Nelson Bolan’s bowling. Then if that was not enough with the score being on 25, St. Kitts Captain Jacques Taylor was taken out, followed a few minutes later by Leon Clarke with the score creeping to 56 runs for 6 wickets.

Elsroy Powell scored 25 runs and it seemed he would have kept hopes alive but wickets falling, his causality was just a two minutes later bowled LBW by Jason Campbell with the score still on 56. Twelve minutes Calvin Williams’ time to go courtesy of Javia Liburd’s bowling. Dylin Liddie was bowled LBW for 18 with the score on 80 just a mere six minutes later followed by Sheeno Berridge.

With Tonito Willet’s impressive haul, Trevier Smithen aided with 4 for 21, Nelson Bolan 2 for 24 and Jason Campbell 1 for 26. With the bat, Nevis was just as impressive. Poor fielding continued to plague St. Kitts in this tournament with drop catches, two of which were against Willet who eventually went on to score 53 runs.

Kejel Tyson scored 61 from 108 balls; Javia Liburd 59 and Dennyson Browne 23 runs. Willet’s father and manager of the Nevis team Elquemedo Willet was proud of his son’s effort. “He is just continuing what he started and the thing about it he started the season not in very good form,” Willet said. The first West Indies test cricketer from the Leeward Islands said he does not think the dropped catches against Willet affected St. Kitts chances but was very impressed with his team’s performance. “This is a real confidence booster after losing against Antigua…I am very happy,” Willet said.

On the other hand, St. Kitts’ team manager Leroy Percival apologized to the fans for the poor performance of the team and labelled it the worse since he has been manager of the team. “I really apologized that we performed so poorly. We have to go back to the drawing board and get those faulty things correct,” Percival said. He admitted that dropped caches continue to be a problem, noting that at least six catches were dropped. “This is the worst performance I have had as manager. It’s a pity. All I can say better luck next time,” Percival said.

Despite this poor performance, Mr. Percival believes at least three players from St. Kitts will make the Leeward Islands team for the West Indies 40 overs regional tournament in Guyana later this month.

Antigua booked their spot in the finals of the NAGICO Leeward Islands One Day Cricket Tournament with a comprehensive 132 run win against Anguilla on Saturday.

The match was the second semi-finals at the Warner Park in St. Kitts. Antigua and Barbuda will now face Nevis in the finals on Sunday at the same venue. Hayden Walsh Jr. was undoubtedly the most productive player on the pitch bowling three overs, all of which were maiden overs, taking two wickets without giving up any runs.

Losing the toss, Antigua and Barbuda was sent in to bat and scored 270 for 8 in 50 overs. In reply, Anguilla could only muster up 138 runs in 39.8 overs. Antigua’s Austin Richards scored 54 runs from 9 balls, Kerry Mentore 54 after spending 112 minutes in the crease facing 84 balls and Justin Athanaze 41 runs. Richards knocked four 4s and Mentore five 4s. Bowling for Anguilla Chesney Hughes took 3 wickets for 74 runs, Yannick Leonard 2 for 66 and Omari Banks 1 for 13. Shane Burton took a wicket for 27. Austin Richards and Kerry Mentore thrived in an impressive partnership that kept hopes alive for Antigua when they were looking vulnerable with the score at 166 for 5. Both improvised and delivered impressive shots that manipulated the gaps in the Anguilla’s fielding.

In Anguilla’s innings, Moncin Hodge hit a commendable 42 runs, Lyndell Richards 25, Jamar Hamilton 15 and Chaka Hodge 33. Apart from Walsh’ impressive bowling stats, other Antigua bowlers Rahkeem Cornwall took 3 wickets for 60 runs, Larry Joseph 1 for 24 and Justin Athanaze 1 for 22.

The Anguilla innings started a bit promising with Lyndell Richardson and the only centurion in the tournament so far, Moncin Hodge building what would have been a thriving partnership. Hodge picked up the run rate with two consecutive boundaries for 4 and kept the pressure on his opponents.

Lyndell Richardson then began his onslaught with 4 quick fours and a 6, exciting the spectators. But no sooner had he done this, the next play saw him racing trying to run a single with the ball not beyond the 30 meter circle. Hodge chose not to run, but Richardson was already in the middle of the pitch and began racing back to cover his crease to no avail. He was out for 25. Chesney Hughes, the next in line and a very experienced batsman was expected to settle in and aid Hodge in anchoring Anguilla’s inning, but he failed miserably scoring just six runs before caught at slips by Antigua and Barbuda’s wicket keeper Kerry Mentore from Rahkem Cornwall’s bowling.

If that was not enough Omari Banks then fell, after attempting a single that eventually cost him the wicket for just one run. Prior to his fall, Shane Burton was out for 1. At this moment, it was just over the 15th over and Anguilla was on 58 for 4; at this point in Antigua and Barbuda’s inning, they were 40 without loss.

As the inning wore on, Anguilla lost further momentum despite a valiant effort by Moncin Hodge, who in the dying moment of the game was bowled by the productive Hayden Walsh Jr. At that point it was no looking back for the defending champs who wrapped up the match comfortably in front a very small crowd at the Warner Park.

Antigua’s captain Austin Richards said his team is very confident now and they are enjoying themselves on the pitch. He said the team is united and they have a deep batting line up. “We don’t have a tail end batsman. All these guys have scored first class centuries back home….I have a lot of confidence in these guys,” Richards said.  He is looking forward to the finals against Nevis, especially seeing that the Nevis team manager Elquemedo Willet is seeking revenge of the loss earlier this week in Nevis.

The Finals start at 9:30am.

 

 


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