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Combermere into Shield final

Evans Hinkson at Pine Basin

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Nicholls?Baking?Combermere set up a showdown with Rocklyn Hardware Isolation Cavaliers in the final of the Sagicor Shield knockout cricket competition when they secured a comfortable victory by 48 runs over the Barbados Defence Force in the second semi-final, yesterday.
After being invited to bat, the Waterford schoolboys amassed 198 for nine off 38 overs with Ian Boyce, top scoring with an intelligent innings of 65. They then dismissed BDF for a modest 140 in 35.1 overs.
Combermere started disastrously losing Leniko Boucher via the run out route with the score on 11. But Alex Fergusson and Boyce repaired the damage with a partnership of 33 for the second wicket.
The schoolboys lost a pair of wickets on 43 before Boyce and Shamar Springer (26) added 72 for the fourth wicket to pull their side out of early trouble.
Boyce reached his 50 off 72 deliveries with a solitary boundary. Jedson Yarde, who made a quickfire 22, added some spark to the lower half of the innings as Combermere rallied to two short of the 200-run mark when time elapsed with two overs remaining.
In their response, the BDF openers of Zutomo Cozier and Shane Mayers gave them a solid start by posting 51 for the first wicket but thereafter the BDF batting lacked real purpose.
Veteran Stephen Howell, who top-scored with 45 off 47 balls, was the sole BDF player to carry the fight to the eventual winners.
After six overs, the BDF were 33 without loss but with the introduction of the spinners, the batting went into decline.
The Combermere spinners were so penetrative that not a single boundary was struck between the sixth and the 22nd over with Howell being the one to break the spell when he clobbered a six and a four in the 22nd over.
However neither he nor the remaining batsmen could sustain that momentum and eventually the soldiers surrendered without much of a fight once Howell was brilliant caught at square leg by Nagee Holder off pacer Springer.
The final is set for Kensington Oval on August 31.