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Bad light, Spartan deny Empire


PHILIP HACKETT

Bad light, Spartan deny Empire

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Arch-rivals ICBL Empire and Massy Stores Spartan played to a thrilling draw as bad light forced a premature end to a pulsating contest on the final day of the penultimate round of matches in the Barbados Cricket Association’s Elite Division yesterday.

Set 198 for victory off a minimum 56 overs, Spartan reached 194 for seven before umpires Sylvan Leacock and Dave Thompson decided the light was unfit for play with six of the mandatory overs still remaining.

Title-chasing Empire were desperate for victory, but the result left them two points behind front-runners Sagicor UWI ahead of the final round of matches.

Sulieman Benn was unbeaten on 22, having given the visiting fans some hope with a couple of impactful strokes in the closing stages. He swept off spinner Shane Jones to the backward square boundary for three (boundaries are threes and fours), sweetly drove off-spinner Nekoli Parris through extra-cover for another boundary and hoisted Tennyson Roach out of the ground over long off for four. He added 40 with Chaim Holder who made 19 off 55 balls.

The pair came together with Spartan 154 for six, still 48 adrift and with their two most significant contributors Rashidi Boucher (59) and Andre Gill (50) back in the pavilion. Gill joined his captain immediately after tea following the dismissal of Joshua Drakes in the final over before the break which was taken with Spartan 58 for four.

A four wicket burst by medium-pacer Tennyson Roach (4-36) just prior to the interval spoilt a promising start of 45 for the first wicket between Boucher and Akeem Springer (23).

Boucher and Gill added 70 for the fifth wicket. Boucher reached his 50 off 74 balls in two hours with seven threes and one four before driving Lamar Mascoll to Jamal Smith at short extra cover for 59.

Gill, who survived a chance at 41, struck a four and six threes. He faced 82 balls and batted 107 minutes.

Earlier Empire, resuming on 179 for four, folded for 253. Antonio Alleyne, who resumed on 67, made 72 while Shaquille Cumberbatch who started the day on 41 was dismissed for 47. Off-spinner Chaim Holder took five for 81. (PH)

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