The way I see it, the much anticipated, big one day match, ended on an anticlimactic note.
I love a good, tight finish. I love a good fight—ten runs from the final over—those kinda matches.
You know what I am talking about?
Of course we know some folks cannot handle those kinda matches.
I am still convinced that the West Indies team, helped to put my friend Jeff, of late memory, to rest.
You see, Jeff had a heart condition and he was relaxing in bed one night, locked in by radio to a match between West Indies and another team. The West Indies had the game all wrapped up, for all intents and purposes, but as they are wont to do, they allowed the opposing team to not only get back into the game, but effectively lose it an exciting final over.
Poor Jeff’s heart, it is alleged, could not handle it and he cranked out.
Well I newa!
So, Monday 18th December, it reminded me of that old, popular calypso:
‘A lovely day for cricket
Blue skies and gentle breeze….’
Well the spectators streamed into the 34 stands around the Park. It is understood that some had arrived around midnight, the previous evening but yet, the general expected turn out, proved somewhat disappointing, based on the huge numbers who purchased tickets.
Well, the match got on the way. All attention focused on action from the St. George’s end. Debutant Eric Evelyn, came out to take strike from the tall lanky speedster, Cory Tyson.
He started a little nervously. After all, he was just stepping up from his exploits at the club level. He had successfully championed the cause of the Empire Cricket club for quite a number of years.
Tyson however, was little too short of a length and Evelyn after fending off a few from chest height, proceeded to cut and pull with some ferocity.
Maybe not in the same stylish fashion of his predecessor, Vance Amory, but effectively nonetheless.
He won that encounter with ease.
At the St. James’ end, the aggressive opener, Alexis Jeffers, powered his way to another impressive ton, despite the best efforts of debutant, left arm spinner, Virge Browne.
Browne on debut, was a tad too short and did not get the leg break to rip, as expected and Jeffers constantly forced him off the back foot, between cover and backward of point, to win that encounter quite easily as well.
Bowling from the pavilion end, medium pacer, Keith Scarborough, resumed his battle with the veteran all-rounder, Joseph Parry.
He bowled a lot better than he did in his previous spell but Parry was on top of his game and played some superb straight drives and a couple of elegant on drives, as Scarborough strayed on his pads. Scarborough was eventually taken out of the attack.
One of the more anticipated match ups, took place between Captain of CCM, Mark Brantley and vice skipper for NRP, Hensley Daniel.
Daniel put in place four slips, a silly mid-off and a silly mid-on, gully, short square leg and short midwicket.
Brantley however, played constantly in the V, with a fairly straight bat and managed to keep the ball on the ground, for the most part.
Daniel bowled several really good deliveries, which really tested Brantley but he countered them well, to eventually get the upper hand in the exchange.
The crowd pleaser for the day however, was the matchup between the powerful all-rounder Robelto Hector, as he bowled to Spencer Brand.
Brand reminds one of the Larry Gomes/Boycott mould and may not be the type to excite the crowd in a one day setting, but he certainly knows how to manipulate the field and pick up crucial singles.
Those singles would prove telling in the final analysis. Eleven runs made the world of difference between the two combatants.
Hector got one to nip back on Brand and appealed for LBW. The umpire said not out.
Hector immediately called for a review. The match was held up for over an hour, as the TV umpire carefully scrutinized the front foot for a possible no ball and then checked the trajectory of the delivery.
It was discovered that the delivery was pitching on middle stump and would have plucked it from the ground. However, snickometer determined that Brand had fortunately gotten an inside edge into his pads.
‘Not out’, was the ultimate ruling of the standing umpire. Brand had triumphed for the first time over Hector.
The CCM team had won in convincing fashion.
The winning team took a victory lap around the field and the celebratory parties commenced.
In the post-match interview, Jeffers indicated that he was a very good player of pace bowling but discovered during this particular encounter that he can also master spin bowling.
Captain Brantley on the other hand, as he was receiving the winner’s trophy from Man of the match adjudicator, her honour, Marjorie Morton, thanked his team and the fans for the victory and pledged to continue to represent the island team in a fair manner.
Now that the match is over, I am hoping that all of the animosity will cease, as we look towards a better and more prosperous Nevis, with players from both teams uniting to get our island to reach its true potential.
May we allow God to guide us in this regard.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?