ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The dominant PIC Insurance Liberta suffered a second straight defeat in the Cool & Smooth sponsored Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Twenty20 Cricket Tournament on Wednesday, going down by just two runs to the in-form Pigotts Crushers as they crashed out of the competition.
Playing in the second game of a double-header and one that would have put either team closer to playing in the grand finals set for Saturday, Crushers opted to bat first after winning the toss.
The men in orange reached 123 for six before their allotted 20 overs elapsed. Rolston “Tris” Phillip did the damage with the bat as he cracked three boundaries and two sixes to make 50 from 49 deliveries.
Daniel Thomas contributed with a knock of 37 from 23 deliveries which included two boundaries and two sixes. O’Neil Levy bagged two wickets for 35 runs off his four overs for Liberta.
A fiery spell of five wickets for 15 runs by former national and Leeward Islands player, Kerry Jeremy, helped to restrict Liberta to 121 for nine in their 20 overs. Kerry Mentore was the only batsman of note for Liberta with 37 runs.
Man of the Match Jeremy said he went into Wednesday’s match already psyched after hearing some opponents predicting his team’s defeat.
“My adrenalin was very high since the morning. I was listening to other programmes and I heard the captain of Liberta say they were coming out to crush us and that motivated me. I was on cloud nine. I was ready for them. I was boosted up and I told my team-mates that I was going to give it my all and that I was going to leave everything on the field for them last night,” Jeremy said.
“It’s the atmosphere of playing in the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds and the fans that are behind us; just like when we are playing for Leewards on the big stage when we used to play in the Red Stripe Bowl.”
Jeremy, despite his heroics, said the feat would not have been possible without the support of his team-mates and those fans that turned out to support the team.
“Well, I am inexperienced with playing Twenty20. I haven’t played much; so to perform like that (Wednesday) night, I just want to thank my team-mates, thank the clubs, thank the fans, because it wasn’t my performance alone, I thought it was a great team effort,” he said.
“When I got that first wicket (Kadeem Phillip), that excitement – you don’t have to worry about anything else again because by that time the rhythm and everything was flowing. So with first wicket, I realised that the ball – I am going to let it do anything I want it to do. I saw a panic in them. I saw a bit of mental weakness in them, so I told my guys, ‘let’s believe, we just need to believe.’”
Crushers were slated to take on Diamonds International Police last evening in a must-win fixture for both teams, while CUB Bethesda were to face Cecil Charles Mahico in the night-cap.
In Wednesday’s opening match, Cecil Charles Mahico moved onto seven points in Group A when they defeated New Winthorpes by 13 runs.
Batting first, Mahico posted a decent total of 175 for five with Greg Skepple smashing three boundaries and three sixes in a knock of 47 off 34 deliveries, while Daryl Greenaway picked up 30 runs from 25 deliveries.
Sylvester “Bouncing” Joseph and Stephan Matthew each had two wickets bowling for New Winthorpes. Joseph bagged two for 20 off four overs, while Matthew picked up two for 50 also from four overs.
In reply, New Winthropes could only reach 162 for nine in their allotted 20 overs. Chad Hampson topped all score with 52 off 32 deliveries including five boundaries and two sixes. Joseph chipped in with 34 off 19 deliveries with Matthew making 27 off 17 balls.
Veteran Vaughn “Hungry” Walsh grabbed two wickets for 19 runs bowling for Mahico.