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St. Catherine are Kings of local cricket
By Alan Harris
BNB St. Catherine are the 2008 Barbados Cricket Association’s Caribbean Alliance Insurance Division 1 champions. The St. Philip based team took home $20 000 for their efforts.
Continuing the last day of the four day final against GCI Maple at Kensington yesterday, St. Catherine would have not expected that it would be their names engraved on the trophy, but as the saying goes, “cricket is a game of glorious uncertainty”.
Maple resumed yesterday’s play on 173-5 which in all certainty was a positive score, but failed to capitalise on their position and quickly crumbled to 190 all out. Maple lost their last four wickets for a meagre 17 runs in the first 12 overs of day. Captain Khalid Springer was the first to fall without adding to the Maple total or his overnight score of 48. Facing the off-spin bowling off St. Catherine captain Derick Bishop, Springer was caught at silly mid off trying to work the ball into the off side.
At this point an obvious Maple declaration should have followed, leaving both teams on five points but the Maple side gambled and they were made to pay. If Maple had declared when they were down six wickets, this would have prevented St. Catherine from amassing anymore bowling points and the title would have most likely been shared between the two teams in the result of an eventual draw.
Unfortunately for Maple they decided to bat it out and surely in retrospect all affiliated with CGI Maple team would have to come to the conclusion that they lost the match because they did not declare after Springer’s wicket fell.
As Maple continued on, their next target was surely the 200 runs mark. Barrington Yearwood came to the crease and tried to push on the Maple score with aggressive batting but to no avail, as he was trapped lbw by Bishop as he was trying to play across the line.
Experienced Curtis Small, who had a significant role in the partnership with captain Khalid Springer on Saturday, was the next wicket to fall. He was stumped by young fifteen-year-old wicketkeeper Mario Rampersaud as he advanced down the pitch to off spinner Bishop losing the line and length of the ball in the process. Small scored 20, just adding three runs to his overnight score.
The last Maple wicket to fall and with it all hope of Maple securing the title, was that of Kirk Broome who edged Bishop to slip and Maple were all out for 190.
At the end of the Maple first innings, St. Catherine were able to gain the two extra points from bowling Maple out. This meant that St. Catherine moved onto seven points in total while and Maple on the other hand after being in a comfortable position overnight, remained on five points, not having reached the all important mark of 200 runs to gain another crucial point.
After Maple were bowled out, it was clear to all that St. Catherine would go on to win the drawn match based on the points scheme in place. At the start of the St. Catherine second innings, it was evident that the Maple players could not believe the position with which they were faced. All St. Catherine had to do now was to bat out the remainder of the day and play for a draw, which they did.
Maple however, received an early wicket compliments of the indecision of the St. Catherine opening pair, as Renaldo Brathwaite was deemed to be short of his ground and run out for eight. This left the St. Catherine score on 13-1, but in the next over, young pace bowler Barrington Yearwood had another breakthrough for Maple. Joel Leacock was caught by wicketkeeper Grazette without troubling the Kensington scoreboard.
Maple seemed to be bouncing with new found vigour and when the St. Catherine score was on 24, young off spinner Shane Ramsay had Renaldo Kellman caught by Orman Kellman for 7.
It seemed as though Maple had their foot through the door once more, but St. Catherine captain Derick Bishop came to the crease and slammed the door shut. Bishop with his usual style and intelligence, guided the ball around the Oval all afternoon long, mush to the dismay of the Maple side. Bishop ended the day on 61 not out which included nine fours. He, along with opener Micah St. Hill whose wicket was still intact at the close of play on 27, guided St. Catherine home to victory with a partnership of 90.
At 4:40 p.m., the two captains decided to end the days play with St. Catherine on 114-3. The match ended in a draw, with the first days play was lost to rain, but St. Catherine are crowned the champions as they amassed seven points, three points for batting and four points for bowling. These seven points ensured victory as Maple only managed five points, with one point for batting and four points for bowling.
This result will be the second time in as many years that the Maple side have reached the finals of this competition and lost. Last year at the same venue they were defeated by Banks. On the other hand, this will be St. Catherine’s third Division 1 title and their first since 1997.