By: Curtis Morton
It came down to the last over with 13 runs required as St. Maarten faced off with Nevis in the final of the 2015 edition of the Leeward Islands Masters Tournament.
The match was played in front of a huge and vociferous crowd at the Carib Lumber Ball Park and both teams were fully supported.
Patrick Newton, who was voted best bowler of the tournament, was entrusted by Captain Carl Tuckett to bowl that final over.
He seemed cool, calm and composed as he bowled the first delivery. The first ball went past the outside edge. Second ball the batsman missed and was bowled. The third ball, he pulled the new batsman from his crease and the man adjudged wicketkeeper of the tournament, Oneil ‘Shakes’ Walters, broke the wicket in a flash.
The fourth ball, the new batsman seemed clueless and was beaten and bowled giving Newton a hatrick.
The fifth ball, the batsman mistimed a lusty swing but got a single in the process.
The final ball of the match saw the batsman advancing from his crease and swinging wildly but only to hold out to Carl Tuckett at midwicket.
Game; set; match! Nevis had won and Patrick Newton had picked up four wickets in the final over of an intriguing match.
Earlier, St.Maarten won the toss and elected to send Nevis in.
Merlin Liburd, the man of the match in the final and Curtis Morton raced to over 60 runs by over number five, with both men hitting the ball to all parts of the field.
When Morton departed, Junior Mills followed shortly after but Carl Tuckett joined Liburd in an enterprising partnership.
Liburd perished on 91 and Tuckett was not out at the end on 47. Nevis, a healthy 195 for 4.
The home team however, never intended to go down without a fight and fight they did.
Led by an exhilarating partnership between Dango Farrell and tournament MVP, Stephen Evans, the St.Maarten team looked set to take the trophy away from Nevis but then lost some crucial wickets.
The slow moving Dango Farrell turned for an ill advised second run and failed to beat an accurate throw from junior ‘Duncan’ Mills.
Evans was later beautifully stumped by Oneil Walters and after that, the home team’s innings took a spiral dive.
Summarized scores: Nevis 195 for 4 in 20 overs: Merlin Liburd 90; Carl Tuckett 47*; Curtis Morton 26
R. Singh 1 for 22; V. Singh 1 for 33
St.Maarten 183 for 8 in 20 overs: Stephen Evans 74; Dango Farrell 56
Patrick Newton 4 for 18
Nevis won by 12 runs
Here are the summarized scores for the other matches played by Nevis, leading up to the finals:
Nevis v St.Kitts
St.Kitts 88: Charles Morton 31
Frank Monzac 3 for 30; Charles Hendrickson 2 for 18
Nevis 89 for 3: Carl Tuckett 24*; Sterling Marshall 22*
Nevis won by 7 wickets
Nevis v St.Thomas:
Collins Joseph 54; Junie Anthony 30
Patrick Newton 3 for 23; Charles Hendrickson 1 for 15
Nevis 131 for no loss: Merlin Liburd 64; Junior Mills 47
Nevis won by 10 wickets-making the runs in 19.3 overs
Antigua v Nevis-semi final
Antigua 110: H. James 44; D. Evanson 22*; G. Skepple 15
Patrick Newton 2 for 8; Wendell Wallace 2 for 17; Charles Hendrickson 1 for 18
Nevis 111 for 5: Curtis Morton 44; Carl Tuckett 43*; Merlin Liburd 14
E. Francis 2 for 3; D. Smith 2 for 9
Nevis requiring three runs from the final ball won by 5 wickets.
Over in the Anguilla zone of the tournament:
Antigua v St. Croix
Antigua v Anguilla
Anguilla 169 for 3
Anguilla v St.Croix
Anguilla 188-in the final over
Keith Elliot of St. Croix scored the first century of the tournament and Stevens of Antigua and Keith Carty of Anguilla both scored half centuries
In the preliminary round in St.Maarten
St.Maarten beat St.Kitts in a high scoring match with Stephen Evans getting a hundred and Junie Mitchum got a half century.
St.Thomas beat St.Maarten
In the semi finals
Nevis beat Antigua and St.Maarten defeated Anguilla