The 2011 LIME Under-15 cricket final is still baking and the stove could get hot, hot, hot on today’s last day.
But Easy Bake St Leonard’s Boys’ seem like the ones likely to eat the cake after setting Combermere a challenging target of 234 runs yesterday.
However, five-time champions Combermere could still leave a bitter taste in their opponents’ mouths as they ended the penultimate day on 29 for one, requiring a further 205 runs with nine wickets in hand.
Leniko Boucher was not out on 11, alongside the promoted Kevon Bartlett (16) after Combermere suffered an early setback when captain Shaquile Jones was run out for a “duck” by a direct throw from Deshawn Bobb at square leg.
St Leonard’s, smelling their first title at this level, kept the steam on the Combermerians, making steady progress in their second innings after resuming from 17 without loss overnight with a first innings cushion of 71 runs.
They reached 99 for two at lunch but declined in the pre-tea session to 152 for seven before they were eventually dismissed for 162 runs.
Openers Sadrian Ward and Tremaine Harris followed their first innings partnership of 73 with another solid stand of 76 to be joint top scorers for St Leonard’s with 39 runs.
Ward was the more attacking with four boundaries in his 95-minute innings off 91 balls, while Harris dropped anchor, picking up ones and twos in a patient 128-ball knock which spanned 147 minutes.
Combermere started the day with the all-spin attack of Ian Boyce and Sachin Clarke but there was no early breakthrough.
In the 16th over of the day, Ward pulled and on-drove Clarke for consecutive fours through wide long-on, and in the next over, he pulled leg-spinner Bartlett for another boundary and drove through the covers for a couple of twos.
It took the introduction of fast bowler Keon Harding to separate the openers.
In an inspired spell in which he concentrated on pitching the ball up, he bowled Ward with an inswinging yorker and trapped St Leonard’s captain Deswin Currency leg before wicket for a first-ball “duck”.
But new batsman Rakim Hinds joined Harris, who played the spin with soft hands and was very careful when pulling, and took the score to lunch.
On resumption, Harris, showing signs of tiredness, was trapped leg before wicket by Boyce, ending a stand of 39 with Hinds.
Combermere lost the services of Harding for the rest of the innings when he delivered his third head-high delivery. But Clarke replaced him and quickly removed Shakeel Turney for one as he edged to wicketkeeper Boucher.
Boyce also had Hinds caught behind by Boucher for 19 off 71 balls and then made a smart stop and fired in a return which resulted in the run-out of Renaldo Boyce. Kadeem Boyce and Bobb averted a total collapse, batting sensibly for 15 and 13 respectively.
Najee Holder was belatedly introduced into the attack with the score on 147 for six and struck with his second ball, bowling Boyce.