Leg-spinner Martin stars as Antiguans capture LICA 50-Over crown

Phillipsburg, St Maarten - Leg-spinner Anthony Martin bowled Antigua and Barbuda to the NAGICO-sponsored Leeward Islands 50-Over title on Sunday at the Carib Lumber Ballpark in St Maarten. Martin, who played for the West Indies A Team earlier this year, took 5-29 from 10 overs as the defending champions beat Anguilla by two runs in a close final. Antigua and Barbuda made 212 from 40.5 overs and restricted Anguilla to 210-9 off 43 overs in the rain-reduced match.

Anguilla’s skipper Omari Banks hit five towering sixes and three fours in the top score of 79 to complete a fine all-round performance after taking 3-19 with his off-spin. He got good support with the bat from the inform opener Montcin Hodge, who made 74 with five fours and a six in 74.

Anguilla appeared on course for victory, after Hodge posted 56 for the first wicket with Lyndel Richardson, who made 27. In the bottom half of the innings Banks smashed the ball over the top, but Martin claimed his wicket with the first ball of the last over. Martin bowled cleverly and had excellent support from captain Wilden Cornwall with 3-34 to tighten the champions’ grip on the match with steady bowling in the middle overs.

Earlier in the day, Antigua and Barbuda batted first and made 212 off 40.5 overs in a match reduced to 43 overs-a-side. Experienced allrounder Wilden Cornwall led the way for the Antiguans with 49, opener Kadeem Phillip score 32, and Rahkeem Cornwall made 24.