By Neto Baptiste
President of the Liberta Sports Club and coach of the PIC Liberta Blackhawks Kenneth Benjamin said that after putting 233 on the board in the final of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Super 40 competition, he was confident they had the bowling to defend the challenging total.
“We felt that 180 on that pitch was a winning total. When we looked at the game on Saturday and when we looked at the pitch [on Sunday] and compared the two teams, we felt that we could have defended 180. I must say that people came out and cheered for their teams and you would have expected that in a final and it was a good finish to a good competition,” he said.
Blackhawks beat Pigotts Crushers by 83 runs after bowling them out for 150 with 2.2 overs to spare at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG).
However, The Liberta team were somewhat of a dark horse in the competition after getting off to a slow start by losing three of their preliminary matches.
Benjamin said he was not surprised the young team was able to go all the way.
“When we started we were going to take the games one at a time and I believe we lost a couple of games that we didn’t really play well. I think [Empire] played pretty well [in the game we lost in Liberta]. The Bethesda game, I was disappointed with the performance, and also the New Winthorpes game, but after that, I thought we sort of found our bearing,” he said.
“We felt that the pitches weren’t particularly great pitches for batting on and we felt that once we would have gotten to our par score, which would be around 220, then we would have been okay. But we just didn’t do well with the bat early in the season,” the former West Indies fast bowler said.
Meanwhile, the coach of the Crushers outfit, Ajarnie Frederick, said that although there was disappointment in the camp, his young squad will grow from the experience.
“It’s progress because we came sixth last year and it’s a young First Class team of five years. We’ve been to a couple finals and there are teams out there still trying to keep their [head] above water. So, it’s how you build and think mentally about yourself and the team and what kind of plans we have for the team going forward, because I am already thinking about next year,” he said.
Blackhawks were led by Amahl Nathaniel who made 51. He slammed four fours and two sixes on his way to the half century. There were also contributions from Kadeem Phillip who made 43 and Avier Christian with 42. Phillip cracked two fours and four sixes, while Christian picked up six fours. There was a knock of 35 from Uri Smith at the top of the order for Blackhawks.