Three peat winners of the Leeward Islands Masters’ Cricket tournament, Nevis, was beaten in the finals of 2016 edition of the tournament, by host team St.Croix.
The finals was played on Sunday 29th May, in front of a huge partisan crowd, which consisted of a fair number of Nevisians, who now reside in the US and British Virgin Islands.
The day started in controversial fashion, with the organizers bent on having two semi final matches, one of which was Nevis versus the St.Thomas team which had lost both of its preliminary matches. The Nevis team was in the process of protesting that decision, when the God of the universe allowed some sharp showers which forced the organizers to abandon the thought and allow the two top teams from the preliminary rounds, to face off against each other in the grand finals.
Thus it was that host St.Croix, faced off against the three- peat champs, Nevis.
Carl Tuckett won the toss and elected to send the opposition in. The only century maker of the tournament, Clifford Walwyn, did not get off to the rapid start that his team was anticipating, due to a clinical opening spell of bowling by Wendell MICEY Wallace and Elroy JIMBO David.
He however teamed up with Huggins in a steady partnership that threatened momentarily to take the game away from the Nevis, until Frank Monzac left both of them down the track, to be smartly stumped by wicket keeper, Eustace Johnson.
Thereafter, the innings faltered with Curtis Morton picking up three cheap wickets and the home team’s innings folded at 110 for 8 from their allotted 20 overs.
The majority of spectators anticipated that it would be the proverbial ‘walk in the park’ for the powerful Nevis line up and that thought process would have been pretty much confirmed when some 16 runs came from the first over (mostly wides).
However, when Curtis Morton holed out on the long on boundary, the run rate slowed up considerably and despite some brave hitting by Carl Tuckett, the game was virtually lost when he was comprehensively bowled.
Derrick Parry and Patrick Newton tried desperately to complete the nigh improbable task at the end, but smart bowling at the death, secured for St. Croix their first ever victory for the tournament.
Small wonder, the team, to a man, delivered their version of the ‘champion’ dance.
Match summary: St. Croix 110 for 8 in 20 overs: Clifford Walwyn 36;Sherville Huggins 26
Curtis Morton 3 for 18; Frank Monzac 2 for 11; Wendell Wallace 1 for 16
Nevis 104 for 6 in 20 overs: Carl Tuckett 30; Curtis Morton 26
- Liburd 3 for 12; Hugh Nicholas 2 for 29; Sherville Huggins 1 for 29
St.Croix winning by 6 runs
In other matches played:
Nevis 168 for 6: Ardie Liburd 43; Carl Tuckett 42; Curtis Morton 30; Junior Mills 20
Dane Weston 2 for 38; J. Anthony 1 for 9;
- Hodge 1 for 19;Terrence Webbe 1 for 32; R. Brazier 1 for 28
St.Thomas 156 all out: Terrence Webbe 50; Colin Joseph 29; Hamish Anthony 26; B. Stuart 23
Curtis Morton 4 for 26; Patrick Newton 3 for 33; Frank Monzac 2 for 21; Derrick Parry 1 for 29
Nevis winning by 12 runs.
Nevis 156 for 3 in 16 overs: Junior Mills 77*; Ardie Liburd 38
- Chumney 2 for 32
St.Kitts 103 for 4 in 16 overs: T. Venner 28; Gary Rogers 26; A. Hendricks 25
Franklyn Daniel 2 for 20; Patrick Newton 1 for 24; A. Browne 1 for 13
Nevis winning by 53 runs
St. Thomas 79 all out in 12 overs: Hamish Anthony 43
Hugh Nicholas 3 for 18; Sherville Huggins 3 for 19
St.Croix 80 in 11 overs: Keith Elliot 24; Chris Bhola 15*
Hamish Anthony 2 for 24
St.Kitts 145: Tony Grant 38; Charles Morton 37
St.Maarten: 146: Dango 70*
St. croix defeated St.thomas in a close game with Clifford BOMBO Walters getting 106*
St.Kitts lost two matches and St.Thomas lost two matches.
Antigua and Anguilla were a no show.
During the official closing ceremony, the following presentations were made:
Batsman of the tournament and tournament MVP-Clifford BOMBO Walwyn
Bowler of the tournament-Curtis Morton with his 7 wickets for 44 runs in two matches
Fielder of the tournament-Sherville Huggins
Best wicketkeeper-Eustace Johnson
Man of the finals-Dave Liburd with his 3 wickets
The St.Croix Veterans’ Cub was a terrific host for the tournament, led by President Dean Baptiste and his team.
The tournament was played between Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th May.
There was an impressive cocktail on the Thursday night during which team reps had their usual ‘say’ and an opening ceremony on Friday with six terms USVI Senator, Positive—who is originally of Saddler’s village in St.Kitts, giving the feature address.
The Nevis team, despite the loss on Sunday, was hosted at the home of Alex Elizee and Latoya Elizee who is the daughter of the well known business man, “MONKEY” of Cotton Ground.
There was much food, drink and music provided by the gracious hosts, as they treated the appreciative Nevis team members like royalties.