By Neto Baptiste
CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles emerged champions of the State Insurance Corporation-sponsored Super 40 Cricket Competition in Bethesda on Sunday, clinching a close contest against Anderson E Carty Empire Nation by six wickets to claim top honours in the grand finale hosted by Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA).
The margin of victory, however, does not tell the full story as Bethesda required seven runs off the final over to win the match after their original target of 207 for victory was revised to 147 off 25 overs after the match was delayed by rain for about 30 minutes just after the start of the home team’s innings.
Incidentally, it was two former West Indies and Leeward Islands players in Gavin Tonge and Anthony Martin at the crease during the nerve wracking final over and it was Tonge who slammed a boundary off the final ball from Lynton Africa to carry Bethesda over the line.
Tonge finished with 41 not out from 37 deliveries while Martin was on 17 not out from 14 balls. They had help early in the order from Kevin Pitman who made 41 from 59 deliveries and Essan Warner with 25. Mali Richards was the pick of the bowlers for Empire with two wickets for 18 runs in his five overs.
Earlier, after winning the toss and opting to bat, Empire Nation amassed 206 all out in their 40 overs. They were led by Tyrone Williams Jr who slammed 10 fours on his way to 63 in 80 deliveries. Shane Burton chipped in with 37 while Tariq Benjamin and Kenrick Scott got 27 and 23 runs, respectively.
Captain Deran Benta was exceptional with the ball for Bethesda, picking up five wickets for 51 runs in his eight overs. Benta picked up the crucial wickets of Scott, Burton and Justin Athanaze (6). Tonge, was Man of the Match for a second straight game, snatched three for 25 in his eight overs bowler for Bethesda.
Meanwhile on Saturday, New Winthorpes Lions claimed a third-place finish with a close victory over Jennings, winning by six wickets when they met in Jennings.
Put in to bat by the home team, New Winthorpes posted 211 for six in 30 overs after the game had been reduced due to a delay in the scheduled 9:30 am start. Jermaine Otto hit a run-a-ball 57 which included four fours and two sixes. There was a half century as well from Shavon Moore who made 55 from just 30 deliveries with seven fours and two sixes.
Omarie Joseph and Winston Nelson were the pick of the bowlers for Jennings, each claiming two wickets.
The home team, however, fell short in their chase, reaching 205 for nine in their allotment of 30 overs. Paul Miller has a fine knock of 74 off 80 deliveries to lead his team’s efforts. He slammed six fours and three sixes. His only help came from former national and Leeward Islands player, Orlando Peters who made 39.
Man of the match, Moore, however saw his team home with the ball, claiming three wickets for 30 runs in four overs. Ishmael Peters also claimed three wickets for the victors with 68 runs coming off his six overs.