ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Coach of the PIC Liberta cricket team and former West Indies pacer Kenneth “Flipper” Benjamin believes that his team’s loss to Diamond’s International Police in the Super Over of their Cool & Smooth ABCA Twenty20 match on Saturday could serve to improve the competitive nature of the lucrative tournament.
It was Liberta’s first loss in two years after both teams finished on 119 after facing their allotment of 20 overs in the competitive showdown.
Both teams have also made it into the Super Six stage of the inaugural tournament.
“In terms of going into the Super Sixes, there will be lots to play for. The three teams from our zone still can make it to the finals and I think only two teams from the other zone can make it because I think that New Winthorpes with only four points, they really have a challenge on their hands if they are going to upset and pass the teams up there with seven and eight points,” he said.
“So obviously this win sets the competition up nicely and some of the other teams can tell themselves if Police can beat one of the big teams then maybe we can do it too and lift their games and we’ll see better cricket going into the Super Sixes.”
Batting first, Police reached 119 for eight with a top-score of 28 coming from Austin RichardsJr and an additional 26 runs injected by Bertel Baltimore.
Tevin Osborne bagged three wickets for 20 runs off his four overs for Liberta, while Staney Simon, O’Neil Levy and Kadeem Phillip all had one wicket each.
In reply, Liberta were 119 for seven off their 20 overs. A top score of 30 came from Phillip with Wendell Bachelor and Kerry Mentore making 24 and 20, respectively.
Derrick Murrilon and Lynton Africa each had three wickets for Police. Murrilon picked up three for 11 and Africa snatched three 11. Anthony “I-Roots” Martin also got in on the action as he had one for 12 in just one over.
Liberta, in the Super Over, were restricted to just one run before Richards Jr slammed a first ball six off Rahkeem “Jimbo” Cornwall.
Benjamin credited both teams with playing good cricket.
“I am sure that Police would think everything went right. I thought that we executed well when we were fielding but the Police men came out and they were very good in the field and their bowling was spot on. Obviously, there are a few errors in terms of our part but I thought the two teams played well so I wouldn’t want to believe that something went wrong; it’s just that police were better in the last part of the game and they came out victorious,” he said.
“We were going well at one time but obviously one or two guys maybe didn’t execute the way they should. Police, they never gave up because the rate never got really high. It was always around eight or nine (runs per over) and it came down right to the wire.”
Liberta take on Caribbean Union Bank Bethesda in their first Super Six match on Tuesday while Police will play Medpath New Winthorpes also on Tuesday.
Also on Saturday, Cecil Charles Mahico defeated Bolans by three wickets as they finished in the number two position in Group A.