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By Neto Baptiste

CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles, Jennings, Anderson Carty Empire Nation and New Winthorpes Lions have all advanced to the semifinals of the State Insurance Corporation Super 40 Competition being hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA).

The top four were decided following Saturday’s final round of preliminary matches which saw Golden Eagles topping the standings with 30 points. They were following closely by Jennings on 26 points in the number two slot while Empire Nation and New Winthorpes Lions each had 24 points in third and fourth respectively.

There was bad luck however for All Saints Pythons who were edged into fourth spot only on net run rate with Lions clinching the spot by just a 0.46 difference.

Pythons were feeling confident after handing Eagles their first loss of the competition. A seven wicket defeat in a low scoring contest in which none of the teams registered 100 runs.

Eagles were bowled out for just 86 runs with K Josiah doing the damage for Pythons, claiming four wickets for 19 runs in eight overs. Pythons then reached 88 for three in 19.2 overs. Michael Haynes-Dover topped scored with 41.

Also on Saturday, Lions cemented their place in the semis with a three-wicket victory over Pigotts Crushers.

Playing in New Winthorpes, the visitors amassed 139 all out after they were asked to bat by the home team. M Walsh hit a top score of 45 while K Henry had 33. Ian Eusebe snatched four for 24 in seven overs.

Lions then reached their target at 143 for seven in 28.2 overs. J Fernandez topped scored with 29 and H Andrew scored 28.

Jennings completed their journey into the semis with a four-wicket win over neighbour and rivals Bolans Blasters while Empire defeated Rising Sun Spartans by 103 runs with Kenrick Scott (151) and Damian Lowenfield (114) both hitting centuries for the victors.

There was victory as well for PIC Liberta Blackhawks who defeated Massy United Insurance Combined Schools 119 runs. In the first semifinal clash slated for February 20, Bethesda will host New Winthorpes Lions while on February 21 Empire Nation travels to Jennings. Both matches will start at 11:00 am.