Sharmarh Brooks played the innings of his life to guide Spartan to a five-wicket victory over LIME in the first quarterfinal of the Sagicor General Twenty20 competition at Kensington Oval last night.
Set a total of 130 for victory the Parkites were floundering at three wickets down for ten runs when Brooks came to the crease. He proceeded to play a gem of an innings which set his team on the path to victory.
Super Centre Spartan were rocked by an outstanding spell of medium-fast bowling from the LIME captain Ryan Nurse as they pursued the modest total compiled by the Wildey, St Michael-based team.
Their captain Akeem Springer was run out without a run on the scoreboard, Nurse then had Rashidi Boucher caught at short leg for a duck with the score on two in the second over of the innings with the total on ten.
Nurse dismissed Marrodon Bend without any addition to the total to leave Super Centre Spartan in dire straits at 10 for 4. Jabbar Niles joined Brooks and they added 41 for the fifth wicket until Niles was stumped by Courtney Browne for 12 with the score at 51 for 5.
At this stage Brooks was joined by Andre Gill and they launched a counter-attack on the LIME bowlers. Brooks began driving sweetly to both sides of the wicket while Gill was content to make the occasional big hit.
Brooks timing of the ball was sheer class, when the ball was pitched up he drove along the ground and on occasions he struck the bowlers over mid-off and longon for massive sixes.
Brooks a former captain of the West Indies youth team and the senior national side has often flattered to deceive but last night he looked the real deal. He struck Nurse into the lower deck of the Three Ws stand for a massive six.
He and Gill entertained the crowd with a stand of 82 in 7.1 overs which took Spartan from the brink of defeat to victory. Brooks made 81 not out from 51 balls with 6 fours and 4 sixes, Gill contributed 26 from 21 balls with two sixes. Spartan scored 133 in 18.4 overs. Nurse was the outstanding bowler for LIME with three wickets for 20 runs from three overs.
Earlier in the night Spartan captain Akeem Springer won the toss and elected to field on a pitch that had a bit of pace and bounce. Fast bowler Reco Webb took 4 wickets for 23 runs which had LIME reeling at 66 for 6 but they were saved by Browne who made a hard-hitting 46 not out from 44 balls and Nurse 18, which took them to 129 for 7.
Counterpoint Wanderers and Premix and Precast Yorkshire were engaged in the second quarterfinal tonight.