West Bay holds nerve to upset UCCI

Two pulsating matches in the Clico 20/20 Division Two semi-finals ended in nerve-jarring last over finales.

Willis

Willis skippered West Bay to victory. Photos: Ron Shillingford

Twenty-twenty has a long and entertaining future judging by the drama in the two games on Saturday.

In the first match at the Smith Road Oval Cayman Brac faced the revilatised BrightStaff Greenies Too who batted first in a game reduced to 15 overs because of rain. BrightStaff Greenies Too made an impeccable start with Matt ‘Tex’ Walker and Steve Smith opening with a 50 partnership. Walker hit 21 and Smith 25 and skipper Richard Thomas 13 as Greenies reached 120. A good score under the circumstances and Cayman Brac made a gallant attempt with Sahadeo Sohan batting through the innings to make 32 not out and James Reid top scoring with 34. Brac needed 25 off the last two overs and came close but in the end could only manage 112-4.

Reid said: ‘I’m upset because we should have won this game. We started off very badly and could have won the game easily. I was pleased with my overall performance because I batted well and took three wickets, but I’m disappointed with the result.

‘We’ve got the limited 40 overs matches coming up in the next month or so and we’re looking forward to that.’

BrightStaff Greenies Too have always been more as a social club than a serious cricketing one judging by their level of liquid refreshment. But they’ve added a competitive edge to their game this season and it’s paying off. Thomas said: ‘It was a great win. We put a little pressure on ourselves because they’re a good team and we knew we had to put runs on the board. We got off to a flier and that carried us through.

‘We kind of lulled a bit after about 10 overs or so. We left the door open but we bowled very well at the death and Faisal Ahmed had a fantastic last effort to pin them down. With three overs to go I thought we pretty much had it in the bag. A ten run victory under this circumstance is relatively comfortable so we’re happy.’

In the other semi West Bay managed only 94 in their 20 overs. It didn’t look sufficient considering UCCI boast a strong batting line up. Top scorers for West Bay were Darren Cato, 15 and captain Omar Willis, 13. UCCI’s wicket takers were distributed between Kervin Ebanks, 2-16 (4 overs), Rojet Gayle, 2-11 (4 overs) and Hein Pieterse, 2-10 (2 overs).

Up marched teenage prodigy Ramon Sealy alongside Ricardo Roach to knock off the runs for UCCI. Just as they were settling down for big scores, disaster struck and Sealy was bowled by Corey Cato for 3. West Bay were jubilant. The celebrations looked premature as Zachary McLaughlin and Roach set about reaching the mark but West Bay’s tight fielding restricted them to running singles. Boundaries were at a premium. Curiously, McLaughlin failed to run hard when he could have which turned out to be a significant factor in UCCI’s overall score. When he went for 29 UCCI still seemed on course for victory. When Roach was dropped on an easy catch it looked like West Bay were out of it, but credit to them, they continued to bowl tight and field well.

UCCI needed 13 from the last two overs and struggling to get them needed three from the last ball. New batsman Perry George faced the final ball. He swung, missed, they ran one so UCCI lost by two runs. Ironically, Roach was the game’s top scorer with 36 not out.

West Bay face BrightStaff Greenies Too in the Division Two final of the Clico 202/20 at the Smith Road Oval on Sunday. It should be a fascinating encounter.

Willis said: ‘We had a team talk before UCCI batted and agreed that we had to keep our composure, especially towards the end. We needed our bowling in the first couple of overs to be very tight and we did that. The bowlers did well. Nobody fell under the pressure. We had one or two bad patches but we kept it together.

‘Against Greenies Too I wouldn’t call us underdogs after this game. We were underdogs today and won. Greenies were watching and they’ll know that we do have the potential. We have nothing to lose.’

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