Smashing Shai helps Pickwick oust UWI
A SPARKLING?unbeaten 92 by Shai Hope helped ESAF Pickwick oust champions Sagicor UWI from the Sagicor Twenty20 cricket competition following a comprehensive nine-wicket win in the third quarter-final played at Kensington Oval, Sunday night.
Zahir Motara led an effective bowling assault to set up the win but it took a fascinating display of stroke play from Hope to complete an emphatic win, achieved with one over to spare.
Set 152 to win after Pickwick’s slow over rate earned UWI an additional 18 runs, the younger of the two Hope brothers struck seven sixes and five fours, facing 54 deliveries in the process as he piloted Pickwick to 157 for one, fittingly ending the match with a six over long off.
The only casualty was Craig St. Hill (35 off 41 balls), who helped Hope add 80 for the first wicket in 11 overs.
Shai’s brother and Pickwick captain Kyle Hope supported admirably in a second-wicket partnership of 77 in just eight overs. The Pickwick captain’s undefeated 20 came off 22 deliveries.
Pickwick’s opening pair put UWI bowlers under pressure from the start, comfortably scoring 44 off the six power-play overs. The fifth over was especially productive as they took 18 from the bowling of off-spinner Steven Jacobs.
When Dewar was introduced in the seventh over, Shai greeted him with an authoritative six over long off. Few strokes could match a six off seamer Marques Clarke that glided over the extra cover boundary with little apparent effort from the batsman.
The younger Hope also pulled off-spinner Ryan Austin over the midwicket boundary alongside the main scoreboard. He did have a slice of luck when he was dropped at forward square off the delivery that took him to his half-century from 33 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Earlier, right-arm seamer Zahir Motara justified his captain’s decision to bowl first by making three crucial strikes that helped reduce the defending champions to 25 for five after six overs. He plucked out the off stump of Shacaya Thomas with the final delivery of the second over but it was the double strike in the sixth over of the innings that proved most crippling. The lively Motara trapped Hodge lbw and then induced captain Floyd Reifer to edge a beautiful delivery that left him, low to slip where Kyle Hope swooped low to snare the catch.
Left-hander Anthony Alleyne (50 off 51 balls) carefully rebuilt the innings in a 39-run sixth-wicket stand of 39 with Steven Jacobs (11) and towards the end Dewar hit a breezy unbeaten 44 off 22 balls, an innings that included three sixes and three fours.