True Cup final
IT WAS a Sagicor General Super Cup final on September 4 to remember, especially for new champions, BNB St Catherine and their loyal supporters.
Denied the opportunity to play last year’s final against the Guardian General Barbados Youth because of an unresolved dispute over the ball they used in their emphatic six-wicket semi-final victory over Sagicor UWI, it seemed St Catherine were determined to prove they are the true kings of knock-out cricket in Barbados in the 50-over format.
The one-wicket triumph over a never-say-die TeleBarbados Carlton, boosted by the inclusion of Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies’ opening batsman Lendl Simmons, went down to the final over with several twists and turns.
Carlton recovered from the dire straits of 92 for six to reach a respectable 230, mainly through Simmons’ masterful 120, which earned him the Man-Of-The-Match award and his 123-run seventh-wicket stand with burly wicket-keeper/batsman Carlo Morris, who was strategically held back until No. 8.
St Catherine’s spin twins Derick Bishop and Kenroy Williams again showed they are among the best limited overs bowlers in the country, even if the national selectors continue to ignore them.
In the end, St Catherine were able
to achieve their victory, through some intelligent lower order batting after their innings was at the crossroads on 134 for five, requiring a further 97 runs in the last 16 overs.
No.7 batsman Joel Leacock made 34 off 51 balls; Bishop contributed a breezy 23 off 14 balls at No. 8, while Ulric Batson sparkled with 29 off 33 deliveries at No. 9, ensuring the required rate never climbed above six runs an over.
There was also a vital 18 not out by little known 20-year-old left-arm pacer Michael Holder, who had bowled impressively in a ten-over spell, taking the key wicket of Dale Richards.
An unfortunate incident came during the post-match awards ceremony when some spectators, who were believed to be supporters of the Carlton team, loudly booed recently appointed International umpire Gregory Brathwaite (standing at square leg) for turning down a run-out appeal against St Catherine’s last man Holder with four runs required for victory.
Was this a case of being sore losers? Carlton’s captain Khalid Springer, while admitting to be “really disappointed” the run-out decision did not go in his team’s favour, was gracious in defeat.
“It looked out but we don’t have the benefit of television replays and I know Gregory Brathwaite is one of the best umpires around here in Barbados, so I have to go with his decision and well done again to St Catherine,” Springer said.
His opposite number, Bishop hailed his players for an all-round team effort.
“I feel very good about the victory. The thing that made it sweeter is the fact that Carlton before this game, said they were mainly focusing on Kenroy and myself and I said anyone can shine on the day.
“We are not a two-man team and it was proven today (Sunday) with important contributions all around,” he said.
He was particularly pleased with the performance of Holder, one of the youngest players on the St Catherine’s team.
“I honestly believe that Michael is one for the future. He has a big heart and he always believes in himself. He is training very hard now and you can see it coming out in his cricket as a result of his fitness,” Bishop said.