Antigua reclaim NAGICO title from St. Kitts

PHILIPSBURG, St Maarten (CMC) – Antigua and Barbuda whipped champions St Kitts by seven wickets on Sunday to reclaim the NAGICO Leeward Islands Cricket Association (LICA) limited overs title.

After St Kitts posted a flimsy total of 123 all out in 43.2 overs, the Antiguans romped to victory at 127 for three off 28.1 overs, grabbing the EC$5,000.00 (US$1,898) first prize at the Carib Lumber Ball Park Ground.

Man of the match Gavin Williams and Devon Thomas posted an unbroken half-century fourth-wicket stand that guided the Antiguans to a lopsided win with more than 21 overs to spare.

After electing to bat, St Kitts struggled badly while dragging themselves to an inadequate total.

Elsroy Powell, batting at No.5, was their only significant scorer.

He compiled a defiant innings of 41 off 49 balls with five boundaries and Steve Liburd (18) was the next highest scorer for St Kitts.

The off-spinner Justin Athanaze caused most damage for the Antiguans, snaring three for 25 off 9.2 overs.

Athanaze’s spin partner Anthony Martin and pacer Chad Hampson recorded similar figures of two for 17, while Gavin Tonge (1-17) and Larry Joseph (1-27) supported with a wicket each.

When Antigua replied, their left-handed Austin Richards, who blazed three centuries in preliminary round group matches in St Kitts, fell cheaply.

Richards, named man of the series, fell for just eight runs but the other frontline batsmen took the responsibility and set up the easy win.

Orlando Peters belted a brisk 27 off 26 balls with two fours and two sixes.

Williams then stroked a run-a-ball 46 with six fours and one six and West Indies Under-19 batsman Thomas hit 31 not out off 39 balls with four boundaries.

The pair steered Antigua to victory with a 68-run unbroken stand that sunk St Kitts, who had snapped a five-year NAGICO winning streak for the Antiguans last year.