Dakio Worrell’s knock of 69 and Romaine Mayers’ four wickets ensured that ten-time champions Wesley Hall Juniors advanced into the semifinal round of the Guardian Group-sponsored National Sports Council’s Herman Griffith Primary Schools Cricket Competition yesterday.
In today’s quarterfinal played at Dover, Christ Church Wesley Hall won by 102 runs against last year’s kings West Terrace Primary. The defending champions won the toss and elected to bowl and were given a mammoth task of chasing down 162 for victory in 25 overs. In response they failed to reach three figures and were bowled out for 60 in 18.2 overs.
That ended their quest of repeating as champions after winning the coveted for the first time last year against Charles F. Broome Primary.
Wesley Hall now have a chance to capture their 11th overall title in the competition. Their most recent successes were in 2012 and 2013 when they won under the captaincy of talented batsman Rivaldo Clarke.
Openers Worrell and Edwin Barnett got off to an impressive start and brought up Wesley Hall’s 50 in the 12th over. The pair set an excellent foundation of 88 before West Terrace finally made a breakthrough in the 16th over and captured the wicket of dangerman Barnett bowled by Jonathan Harmon for 37.
Wesley Hall’s captain Joshua Morris came in at number three with nine overs left to spare in the innings. There were two right-handers at the crease at this stage and Morris fell victim lbw to West Terrace captain Micaiah Simmons in the 20th over as Wesley Hall progressed to 123 for two.
Kevion Newton came in to join Worrell but the following over he went run out by Jaiden Merritt for just one. Eventually Worrell brought up his half century but Wesley Hall lost wickets at the other end when number five batsman Dale Evans went trapped lbw by medium pacer Merritt for a duck.
All-rounder Romaine Mayers was the next lad in and with the score on 123 for five in the 22nd over they tried to up the tempo to take Wesley Hall past the 150 mark. They succeeded and got the Passage Road team to 160 thanks also to sloppy fielding at times by West Terrace who eventually got rid of Worrell stumped by wicketkeeper Micaiah Simmons who had taken himself out of the bowling attack. Mayers and Zachary Alexander who came in when Worrell got out ended on 17 and three respectively. A total of 23 extras were bowled inclusive of 13 byes, nine wides and one leg bye.
West Terrace’s batsmen really struggled and credit must be given to some excellent bowling from Wesley Hall who kept things extremely tight and bowled good line and length which the batsmen frequently misjudged.
Zion Brathwaite batting at number six was the only one to reach double figures with 24 after fashioning a fourth wicket partnership of 30 with Merritt. Teams in this year’s competition have scarcely got past a hundred runs playing against Wesley Hall and today was no different.
At one point West Terrace looked as though they would not have reached 50 when Wesley Hall’s bowlers had them at 49 for nine in the 14th over. But a 11-run partnership between Christopher Narine batting at nine and last man Travon Wickham saw them to 60.
Mayers with his off-spin did most of the damage with four wickets for ten runs inclusive of a maiden while Morris with his well-flighted off-breaks created lots of trouble for the batsmen who just could not read him. He ended with two for 11 from five overs. Barnett took just one wicket but that was the significant wicket of West Terrace’s inspirational skipper Simmons at the top of the order. That major blow set back West Terrace from the start and they never recovered.
Both semi-final games are slated for next week Wednesday. At Friendship Wesley Hall will take on St Cyprian’s and St Stephen’s battle against Bayley’s Primary at Trents, St James.