Empire take semi by a run
Nikolai Charles held his nerve during a tense final over as ICBL Empire squeezed a one-run victory over YMPC under the Duckworth/Lewis system to reach the final of the Sagicor General T20 Cup.
Charles finished with two for 32 to follow up the good work of Man-of-the-Match Alcindo Holder who top scored with a forthright 44 that helped Empire reach a competitive 137 for four off 17.1 overs.
In reply, YMPC, set a revised target of 124 off 14 overs after rain intervened, finished on 122 for six.
They required 13 to win off the final over with six wickets standing but were restricted to 11 runs by Charles, who removed Nkosi Ross in the process.
The Duckworth/Lewis system came into play when rain chased the players from the field at 8:18 p.m. following a 7 p.m. start.
When play resumed at 10:05, YMPC set about the modified run chase at a brisk pace with opener Steve Blackett taking a couple of boundaries off the opening over bowled by Javon Searles.
Searles removed Matthew King for a duck in the same over, caught at the wicket by skipper Jamal Smith, but captain Shane Dowrich joined Blackett in a measured assault on Empire’s bowling.
Dowrich square drove Searles between backward point and cover for four, swung Andre Evelyn to fine leg for another boundary and steered the same bowler to the third man boundary for four.
Ryan Hinds bowled Blackett for 23, but Christopher Jordan (24 off 23 balls) helped his captain maintain the tempo in a third-wicket partnership of 48.
Charles removed Dowrich, caught low down in the covers by Roston Chase for 43 off 30 balls. Jomel Warrican bowled Jordan in the penultimate over, leaving Wiggins (24 not out, 14 balls) to shoulder most of the responsibility.
With three needed off the final delivery, Wiggins drove to cover and non-striker William Lashley was run out attempting a second run that would have tied the scores.
Earlier, Holder smashed two sixes and four fours to give the Empire innings much needed momentum. When consistent opener Kevin Stoute (31 off 30 balls) lifted a catch to Jordan at long off from the bowling of left arm spinner Chad Williams, Empire had lost three wickets for 14 runs.
Holder and Ryan Hinds then put on 78 for the fourth wicket. Hinds counted a six and three fours in his unbeaten 33 made off 21 balls.
The acceleration in scoring came at just the right time for Empire even if the rain denied them the opportunity for the final assault. (PH)