A second-wicket stand of 94 between Chaz Searles who made 57 and Achilles Browne, 36, helped St Stephen’s Primary to reach the semi-final round of the Guardian Group-sponsored National Sports Council’s Herman Griffith Primary Schools Cricket Competition today.
Playing at Friendship, St Michael, St Stephen’s won the toss and posted 154 for nine from their allotted 25 overs in the first quarterfinal game of the competition. In response Milton Lynch Primary could only muster 93 for seven after batting out their required overs and lost the game by 61 runs.
Number 3 batsman Searles played some lovely shots around the ground after coming to the wicket to replace opener Kobe Williams who went for a duck bowled by medium pacer Jaran Franklyn. At that stage the score was 11 but Searles and Browne were patient and put St Stephen’s in a good position at 87 for one in the 12th over when the water break was called.
Milton Lynch’s bowlers struggled in the early stages and gave away a total of 35 extras. Their fielders also failed to take some vital catches. However the breakthrough came in the 15th over thanks to medium-pacer Stephen Burgess who bowled Searles. At that stage St Stephen’s had reached107. Searles hit seven boundaries during his innings.
The fall of that wicket brought Rashad Worrell to the crease but he only managed two runs before he was bowled by off-spinner Tekyle Callender-Alleyne who grabbed three wickets for 31 in his five overs.
From there onwards Milton Lynch kept things very tight thanks to Callender-Alleyne and medium pacer Gregory Angus who also grabbed three for 18 from four overs as St Stephen’s scoring rate slowed drastically even though Browne was still at the other end trying to press on. After Searles’ dismissal all the other batsmen that followed failed to reach double figures. At that point St Stephen’s were hoping Browne and his cousin Alexander Browne could pick up the scoring rate but unfortunately Alexander failed to make any significant contribution when he fell victim to Isaiah Folkes via the lbw route in the 18th over.
Despite the fall of wickets St Stephen’s still progressed to 150 thanks to number ten batsman Ramon Hoyte who hit a short single off the second last ball of the 25th over and that was followed by a boundary from all-rounder Kimani Blackman to end the innings on a high.
In the first over of Milton Lynch’s innings Blackman who claimed two for 15 from three overs struck when he bowled an inswinging yorker and shattered the stumps of opener Miguel Barker who failed to trouble the scorers.
Number 3 batsman Raphael Lovell joined opener Isaiah Folkes and the pair steadied things to reach 40 for one in the 12th over but at that stage St Stephen’s had been way ahead in scoring on 87 for one.
After the water break Lovell retired hurt on five and Kemal Callender came in to replace him but was soon run out for three by Achilles Browne who also bagged two wickets for 19 runs off five overs of medium pace.
Folkes and Callender tried their best to settle down but eventually after picking up a few singles Folkes went caught by Christopher Jackman at cover off Blackman for a top score of 30.
The score was 61 for two from 15 overs with Milton Lynch definitely needed a partnership. But Callender was run out for three by Browne and just when things could not possibly get any worse, Jeraint Franklyn was bowled by Browne.
Burgess was new at the wicket along with Lovell who came back from his injury and they needed to push on the scoring rate. But Browne broke that partnership when he had Burgess lbw for 11 as Milton Lynch reached 71 for four in the 18th over.
Callender-Alleyne came in and went for a duck when he was run out by Blackman. And off the penultimate ball with the game long out of Milton Lynch’s grasp, Angus was caught by wicketkeeper Searles bowled Jackman for one leaving Lovell on 11 not out.
The quarterfinals continue to tomorrow when Bayley’s Primary take on Eden Lodge at Passage Road and Gordon Greenidge play St Cyprian’s at the Desmond Haynes facility with both games starting at 10 a.m.