Runaway leaders Empire set for big clash with UWI in BCA Elite division championship

Barbados Cricket Association article.

Bridgetown, Barbados - As predicted after they squeezed LIME by seven wickets in two days to record their fourth win on the trot in rushing to 75 points, ICBL Empire have now opened a massive 31-point lead at the top of the 2014 BCA Elite division championship table.

And fittingly, Empire's opponents in the next series at the cosy Bank Hall ground as they remain on course for the title in their 100th anniversary year, and which has eluded them since 2004, are second-placed Sagicor Life UWI.

UWI are the most dominant team in recent years with four successive titles but their only victory this season was achieved on the third and final day of Series 5 on Sunday by ten wickets over ESA Field Pickwick at 3Ws Oval.

There were two other victories as well on Sunday.

Against the odds, defending champions CGI Maple, spurred by off-spinners Renaldo Parris and Ramon Greaves who shared nine wickets, came from behind to sensationally send Massy Stores Spartan tumbling to the season's lowest total of 62 all out en route to an eight-wicket triumph at Trents, while BDFSP beat beleaguered Guardian General Barbados Youth by five wickets at the Lester Vaughan ground, Cane Garden.

Brathwaite Construction/Republic Bank St. Catherine gained first innings lead over CounterPoint Wanderers at Dayrells Road.

Empire's win over LIME was at Bank Hall.

Following second-placed UWI on 44 points, the next four teams - Maple, St. Catherine, Spartan and BDFSP - are all bunched on 42 points.

UWI are the only other side boasting of such an impressive record as Empire so early in the season since bonus points for batting and bowling were introduced in 2007.

In 2012, en route to capturing their fourth title (they shared it with Spartan in 2010) after being admitted to the top league six years earlier, UWI ruthlessly won their first five matches and were champions by the end of the penultimate round with a 40-point advantage over second-placed Empire. 

After four rounds that season, UWI had a 25-point advantage over three other teams - Empire, Pickwick and the now demoted Carlton - as they counted 72 points.

Ultimately, they won seven of their nine matches to finish with 146 points - 47 more than runners-up Empire.

Following is a recap of play on the third and final day of Series 5 matches on Sunday:

At 3Ws Oval:

UWI were always on course for victory but were stretched by a determined Pickwick who again batted with one player short in spinner Che Layne, who sustained a fractured hand on the very first day while diving to stop a ball in the outfield.

Resuming on six for one after following-on with a deficit of 183, Pickwick reached 111 for five off 48 overs at tea with Rohan Ryan batting defiantly on 29.

Ryan and Clint St. Hill, helped by a couple missed chances, added 68 for the sixth wicket before St. Hill fell for 36.

They were eventually bowled out for 185 in 78.1 overs with Ryan hitting the topscore of 53 not out off 184 balls with one four and one six following his first innings 42.

Fast bowler Dawayne Sealy took four for 24 for a match haul of seven for 58, while left-arm spinner Kavem Hodge, who picked up three wickets of the first four wickets, finished with three for 31.

Needing three to win off six overs, Kyle Corbin, who hit his first-ever double-century (203) in the first innings total of 393 for five declared, smashed a six off left-arm pacer Adeko Collymore.

At Trents:

Off-spinners Renaldo Parris and Ramon Greaves gave Spartan a dose of the medicine the Queen's Park side would traditionally inflict on other teams.

Resuming on five without loss after an 11-run first innings lead, Spartan were dismissed for 62 in 31.3 overs.

Parris, brought on as the last of five bowlers, grabbed five for seven off six overs, while Greaves took four for 22 off 15.3 overs.

Requiring 74 for victory, Maple lost Jed Yearwood without a run scored for but reached the target in 17.2 overs.

Parris was again the topscorer with an unbeaten 36.

At Lester Vaughan, Cane Garden:

Barbados Youth did put up a fight but still suffered a five-wicket defeat - their third of the season.

From an overnight 61 for two after they were led on first innings by 117, Barbados Youth rallied to 137 for seven off 63 overs at tea with Andrew Clarke and Deswin Currency showing some guts.

Clarke soon fell for 35 but Currency continued the fight and topscored with 40 in a total of 177 all out in 86.3 overs.

Set 61 to win in 16 overs, BDFSP made 64 for five off 10.2 overs to register their first win of the season.

At Dayrells Road:

St. Catherine won the battle for first innings points in a match which was always destined for a draw following the first two days.

Resuming on 259 for six off 69 overs, Wanderers added only seven runs while losing one wicket in the first six overs which would determine whether they could force a maximum fourth batting point or risk losing wickets to give St. Catherine more bowling points.

In the end, the home side made 303 all out off 85.2 overs.

St. Catherine were bowled out for 149 off 37.4 overs in the second innings and that was that.

Opener Shane Proverbs topscored with 46 - easily his best knock in five innings this season, having failed to reach double-figures in the others.

Left-arm spinner Chad Clarke-Reifer took six for 30 off 13.4 overs and off-spinner Kemar Craigg, three for 44 off nine overs.

POINTS TABLE (After Series 5)

Tabulate under: M-matches, W-won, L-lost, T-tied, D-drawn, ND-no-decision, MPTS-match points minus batting and bowling, BATP-batting points, BOWP-bowling points, TP-total points.

TEAMS               M    W    L    T    D    ND    MPTS    BATP    BOWP   TP    

Empire               4    4     0    0    0     0       48         11       16       75

UWI                   4    1     0    0    3     0       19        10        15       44

Maple                 4    2     0    0    2     0       26        2         14        42

St. Catherine      4    1     1    0    2     0       18        14        10       42

Spartan              4    1     1    0    2     0       18         8        16        42

BDFSP                4    1     0    0    3     0       17       14        11        42

Wanderers          4    1     1    0    2     0       16         9        14        39

Pickwick             4    0     2    0    2     0         6         10       12       28

LIME                  4    0     2    0    2     0         5         7        14        26

Barbados Youth   4    0     3    0    1     0         1         0          4        5

NB: Barbados Youth are exempted from demotion.

Series 6 - August 23, 30 & 31

Empire v UWI at Bank Hall; LIME v Barbados Youth at Wildey; BDFSP v Maple at Paragon; Spartan v Wanderers at Queen's Park; Pickwick v St. Catherine at Foursquare Oval.

NB: Series 2, originally slated for June 21, 28 & 29 was rescheduled due to a late decision to play the third and final Test between West Indies and New Zealand at Kensington Oval. It is to be played on October 18, 25 & 26.

First Published On

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 03:33