By Neto Baptiste
Propelled by a 143 from Tyrone Williams Jr and a six-for from veteran Justin Athanaze, Empire Nation kept their playoff hopes alive with a massive innings and 107 runs victory over Bolans Blasters in the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Two Day Competition over the weekend.
Asked to bat by their hosts, Empire Nation amassed 293 for eight declared with Williams Jr slamming 13 fours and two sixes in his 143 off 199 deliveries. There was a half century for Juari Edwards who made 76 from 104 balls which included nine fours and two sixes.
Martin Caesar Jr was the pick of the bowlers for Blasters, picking up four wickets for 38 runs in 14.3 overs.
Blasters, however, did not give their home fans much to celebrate when their turn at the crease arrived as they were bowled out for just 92 runs, 29 of which were extras. Athanaze, who claimed 11 wickets in the match, did the bulk of the damage, claiming six wickets for 29 runs in 13.5 overs. Micah McKenzie was also on target with the ball, claiming four wickets for 11 runs in eight overs.
Empire enforced the follow on, bowling out the home team for 94, just two runs more than their first innings total to seal the victory. Athanaze picked up a five-for, claiming five wickets for 21 runs in nine overs. McKenzie bagged three for 41 in 6.1 overs.
Meanwhile, there was a comfortable victory as well for New Winthorpes Lions who defeated Rising Sun Spartans by an innings and 114 runs.
Playing at Rising Sun, the home team was restricted to 120 all out in 31 overs after winning the toss and opting to bat. Shavon Moore who grabbed four wickets for 14 runs and Nino Henry who snatched four for 40, did the damage with the ball for the visitors.
Lions then amassed a huge 259 for eight declared with a top knock of 44 from Ian Eusebe. Bartlette Henry (43), Jermaine Otto (39), Henry (35), Hilroy Andrew Jr (28) and Keeshan Daawuud (24) all contributed to Lions’ healthy first innings tally.
Spartans were then bowled out for 125 to surrender the match to Lions. Asher Murray-Cornelius (3/10) and Orandel Boston (3/37), were the pick of the pick of the bowlers for the visitors.
In other matches played over the weekend Jennings Tigers and CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles played to a draw with Jennings taking first innings points while All Saints Spartans also claimed first innings points over PIC Liberta Blackhawks in another drawn contest.
Pigotts Crushers were outright winners over Combined Schools also over the weekend. Those scores were however, not readily available.