It was a sweet Sunday morning lime at Kensington Oval yesterday but the bowling left a bitter taste in the mouths of the CGI Maple batsmen.
Antiguan leg-spinner Hayden Walsh had the golden arm with four wickets for 48 as unfancied LIME squeezed the jittery CGI Maple batsmen en route to winning the Sagicor General Super Cup knockout cricket title by 14 runs.
He was ably supported by the miserly off-spinning trio Michael Agard Jr (10-0-21-2), Ashley Nurse (9-1-27-2) and Daley Hurley (10-2-21-0) as Maple faltered from 108 for two to 175 all out in 49.1 overs, replying to LIME’s competitive but hardly imposing total of 189.
LIME’s captain Randy Thomas, who was deservedly named Man Of The Match for his responsible, unbeaten 72 on Saturday, hailed his players for rising to the occasion.
“This is a magnificent victory. It is a great feeling to see the guys go all the way and defy all the odds.
“I must say a lot of teams may not have fancied us to actually get to the final in this competition but the guys put in a really big effort. I think it is the biggest effort that I’ve actually seen since I was at the LIME Club,” Thomas said.
He added that it was an all-round effort that allowed them to lift their third Cup after back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000.
Continuing from six for the loss of Jamaican John Campbell in two overs on the reserve day instead of playing a new match after rain ended play prematurely on Saturday, Maple’s overnight pair of Pedro Agard and Shane Parris crawled to 50 in 17 overs.
There was some respite for Maple as off-spinner Amory Holder conceded 11 runs in his solitary over. However, Parris, who was dropped on 11 when Hurley missed a return catch, was soon stumped by Cyprian Payne off Walsh for 22, having counted 40 dot balls among the 55 he faced.
Agard and his captain Renaldo Parris added 44 runs in 12.5 overs for the third wicket. During this stand, Maple reached 87 for two at the half-way point, requiring 103 more off 25 overs.
But Agard, who hit the top score of 48 off 101 balls with five fours, had three close shaves in the space of three overs.
It was no surprise when a tiring Agard, who had 72 dot balls in his knock, gifted his hand in Walsh’s first over after the leg-spinner was switched to the Malcolm Marshall End at the south.
With Walsh’s second ball, Agard top-edged a sweep and Courtney Browne ran back from first slip to take the catch behind the wicketkeeper.
Three balls later, Walsh deceived a strokeless Renaldo Parris, who made 23, with a googly for a LBW verdict and struck again in his next over, when wicketkeeper Collis Worrell was trapped in front for a “duck” with a sharp leg-cutter.
Jamar Griffith hit one four over extra cover off Walsh but then played across an off break from Agard Jr and spooned a catch to Aubrey Towler.
Fellow all-rounder Khalid Springer only made four off 15 balls before miscuing a heave at Agard Jr and giving Ryan Nurse a “dolly” at extra cover.
Maple’s woes continued when Jed Yearwood, who scored 18 off 42 balls, edged Ashley Nurse to Browne at slip.
With 33 runs required off the last four overs as the asking rate mounted from 3.5 to eight an over, Shane Ramsay hoisted Nurse for a six between mid-wicket and long-on but was caught at long-on off the next ball.
Last-wicket pair Don Oneal and Corey Collymore cheekily took the score from 164-9 to within 15 runs for victory from the last over by Ryan Nurse.
But off the first ball, Oneal tried to scamper a bye to gain the strike and was run out by a direct throw from Payne.