By Neto Baptiste
Jennings and Empire Nation are sitting atop the standings in the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association’s (ABCA) Two Day Competition, both with 22 points, following their second straight triumph in as many matches.
Playing in Bethesda, Jennings won the toss and opted to field, restricting the home team to 167 all out in 46.3 overs. Paul Miller did the damage with the ball for Jennings, registering a five-for, picking up five for 49 in 9.3 overs.
He was assisted by Glenton Williams who snagged three for 34 in 14 overs while Jedidiah Martin claimed two for 23 in seven overs.
Batting for the home team, Max Harsham hit a top score of 38 from 61 deliveries while Adrian Baron chipped in with 33 from 26 balls.
When their turn at the crease arrived, Jennings posted 199 all out in 42.5 overs to build a lead of 36 runs. Former national and Leeward Islands all-rounder, Orlando Peters, hit a top score of 59 from 65 balls. He slammed nine fours and one six in the process. Peters was assisted by Winston Nelson who hit 36 from 30 deliveries.
Bowling for Bethesda, Kelvin Pitman and Jawaki Joseph each bagged three wickets.
Bethesda, in their second innings, showed no improvement, falling for 82 all out. Martin proved the most destructive of the Jennings bowlers, claiming four for 21 in seven overs. Miller assisted with three for seven in 4.5 overs while Peters snatched two for 18 in eight overs.
Jennings then made light work of the chase, getting to 51 for two in just 12 overs to wrap up a comprehensive eight-wicket victory. Cameron Millers was not out on 17 while Paul Miller contributed with 16 runs.
Empire Nation also enjoyed a relatively comfortable victory over the weekend, beating the Bolans cricket team by nine wickets as they also move to 22 points.
Winning the toss and opting to bat, Bolans raised 121 all out in 40.1 overs in their first innings with T. Tonge scoring 37.
National fast bowler Justin Athanaze destroyed the field, bagging seven wickets for 34 runs in 14.1 overs.
Athanaze then returned with the bat to slam 10 fours and three maximums on his way to 79 from 60 deliveries as he help Empire to 249 all out and a first innings lead of 128. He was assisted by T. Benjamin who fell just six runs short of a half century at 44 while G. Dubery added 34 to the effort.
M. Caesar picked up four wickets for 32 runs in 10 overs for Bolans.
In their second innings, Bolans could only manage 132 all out, leaving Empire with just four runs for victory. Athanaze was, once again, instrumental with the ball, claiming four wickets for 17 runs in 13.5 overs.
Meanwhile, former champions Liberta Blackhawks got their first win in two matches, beating All Saints Pythons by 103 runs.
Batting first after winning the toss, Blackhawks posted 288 all out in their first innings with N. Nathaniel striking 86 from 80 deliveries. Kadeem Phillip and Kofi James also got in on the action with 60 and 54 runs respectively. R. Williams and D. Lucas were the pick of the bowlers for Pythons with three wickets each.
Pythons, in their first innings reply, could only reach 67 for nine with their best effort coming from E. Jackson with 23 not out. James picked up five wickets for 15 runs in 8.5 overs while Phillip bagged three for 19 in nine overs.
In their second opportunity at the crease, Blackhawks raised 103 for seven declared before bowling out Pythons for 221 for their comprehensive victory. Phillip led the charge with the ball, claiming five for 54 in 23.5 overs while A. Nathaniel snatched four for 28 in nine.
In the other match contest, Rising Sun Spartans defeated New Winthorpes Lions by three wickets.
Batting first, Lions made 161 all out with former West Indies player Sylvester Joseph making 68 not out. Deno Baker claimed seven wickets for 55 runs in 19.3 overs for the victors.
Spartans, in their first innings reply, were 208 all out with Shacoy Floyd hitting 64 and Xavier Marshall getting 40.
Talking to the crease for a second time, Lions made 180 all out with 58 from Jamaul Fernandez. Rising Suns then reached their total at 138 for seven. Blackhawks, Pigotts Crushers and Spartans are third, fourth and fifth with 19 points each while Pythons (10 points), Bethesda (eight points), Combined Schools (eight points) and Bolans (four points) rounds off the standings.