Experience and current form are likely to be key factors in the quarter-finals of the BCA Elite/Division 1 Twenty20 Cup Championship tomorrow.
BWU Gladiola will oppose Spartan at Rices, record five-time champions Sagicor Life UWI ‘A’ play Wildey at 3Ws Oval, Wanderers clash with Empire at Dayrells Road and defending champions Carlton meet Bayview Hospital YMPC at Kensington Oval.
Following some anxious moments in the ninth and final preliminary round last Saturday, Empire and Spartan gained the remaining qualifying places.
In Zone ‘A’, Empire beat ESA Field Pickwick by 41 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method as only 14 overs were possible at Bank Hall due to rain, while Spartan defeated newcomers IDL Walkers Sand Quarry Isolation Cavaliers by five runs with one ball remaining at KMV Oval in what was a virtual knockout in Zone ‘B’.
Empire were among three teams – the others were Barbados Youth ‘A’ and Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP) – all on 18 points battling for the decisive Zone ‘A’ place.
Barbados Youth ‘A’ lost by six wickets to Gladiola at Kensington Oval with two balls to spare, while there was a no result without a ball bowled between IGS Insurance Brokers Yorkshire and BDFSP because of wet conditions at Friendship.
The Final Points and Net Run Rates were:
Zone ‘A’ – Gladiola 30 (1.951), Carlton 28 (1.636), Wildey 28 (1.559), Empire 22 (0.429), BDFSP 20 (-0.334), Barbados Youth ‘A’ 18 (0.272), Yorkshire 16 (-0.615), Pickwick 8 (-1.666), Foundation 6 (-2.347), Barbados Youth ‘B’ 4 (-1.601).
Zone ‘B’ – Wanderers 30 (1.721), UWI ‘A 26 (3.434), YMPC 26 (2.307), Spartan 24 (0.096), Isolation Cavaliers 18 (-0.382), St. Catherine 14 (-0.088), UWI ‘B’ 12 (0.154), Police 12 (-0.509), Lords 12 (-2.615), Maple 6 (-3.056).
There is a reserve day for the quarter-finals and semi-finals but in the event of a match ending in a no result, the higher placed team in the preliminaries will advance.
Both Gladiola and Spartan boast of strong spin bowling attacks, as evidenced by their statistics in this year’s Competition.
In the Gladiola team are off-spinner Ashley Nurse and leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr. who have both played for West Indies in T20 Internationals. Both also represented Barbados Tridents in the recent Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in Trinidad.
Additionally, left-arm spinner Damario Goodman has 11 wickets at an average of 7.54 with an economy rate of 3.95, while off-spinner Jamar Trotman has ten (ave: 12.70; ER: 4.53).
Pacer Teriq Worrell has also impressed with 12 wickets (ave: 10.91; ER: 6.34).
For Gladiola, opener Kadeem Alleyne has the most runs (187) at an average of 26.71. They will also rely on the likes of veteran Martin Nurse, all-rounder Renaldo Brathwaite, captain Javon Searles and Ashley Nurse – all of whom can be dangerous hitters.
On show for Spartan will be a trio of spinners – left-armers Andre Marshall and skipper Chad Williams and off-spinner Chaim Holder.
Marshall has 12 wickets (ave: 9.16; ER: 4.58), Holder 11 (ave: 14.72; ER: 5.78) and Williams 10 (ave: 12.30; ER: 4.95).
With four of their matches ending in no results due to rain – the highest number by any team – batting opportunities have been limited. Only opener Rashidi Boucher (129; ave: 25.80) has more than 100 runs.
Talking about batting, three centuries have been scored for the season and the players with that honour will feature at 3Ws Oval.
Kyle Corbin, the UWI ‘A’ opener, hit back-to-back hundreds off Lords (112) at 3Ws Oval (Series 5) and Crane Resort St. Catherine (100 not out) at Bayfield (Series 7)– there was a washout against Police at Weymouth in Round 6. He has the highest overall aggregate of 276 (ave: 46.00).
And Zachary McCaskie of Wildey slammed 106 against school side Foundation at SJPI in Round 4. His aggregate is 186 (ave: 26.57).
Off-spinner Romario Greaves is the leading wicket-taker for UWI ‘A’ (12; ave: 12.16; ER: 5.16), while left-arm spinner Pius Emilien stands out for Wildey with 10 scalps (ave: 9.60; ER: 4.80).
In the UWI ‘A’ side are four players who took part in the CPL – captain Nicholas Kirton, fellow batting all-rounder Jonathan Carter, opener Leniko Boucher and left-arm spinner Joshua Bishop.
Aggressive all-rounder Roshon Primus and captain Kraigg Brathwaite have been the outstanding batsmen for Wanderers.
Having played only three matches because of a foot injury, Primus has 166 runs (ave: 55.33), while Brathwaite has 158 (ave: 52.66).
All-rounder Raymon Reifer is another key player as he showed last Saturday with an unbeaten 56 off 27 balls including six sixes against Lords as Wanderers won by 81 runs at Lowlands.
Empire will be counting on skipper Justin Greaves and all-rounder Kevin Stoute to lead their batting.
The bowling is relatively strong, featuring three first-class players in Stoute and left-armers Jomel Warrican and Camarie Boyce. Stoute, with his medium-pace, has 11 wickets (ave: 6.90; ER: 5.84), Warrican 10 (ave: 10.90; ER: 5.27) and Boyce eight (ave: 15.75; ER: 5.47).
Carlton will parade four players who took part in the CPL this year – all-rounders Kyle Mayers, Nyeem Young and Dominic Drakes and fast bowler Keon Harding. Left-armer Drakes and Young also bowl fast and Mayers provides medium-pace.
Mayers grabbed five for 13 against Wildey in a 10-run win for Carlton at Desmond Haynes Oval last Saturday.
Captain Matthew Jones and fellow left-arm spinner Dane Currency underline the strength of the bowling. Jones has nine wickets (ave: 12.66; ER: 4.62) and Currency, eight (ave: 11.37; ER: 3.98).
Shamar Springer has been the leading run-getter for Carlton with 175 (ave: 29.16).
Dwayne Smith, the YMPC captain, has been the most outstanding all-rounder in the Tournament. He has 220 runs including three half-centuries (ave: 36.66), plus the most wickets all told (14), as well as the best average (5.21) and best economy rate (3.62) among bowlers with at least eight wickets.
Two other YMPC players also feature in the leading averages. Raymond Kellman has 258 runs (ave: 51.60) and left-arm spinner Nkosi Ross 11 wickets (ave: 10.45; ER: 5.30).
As far as the ninth round was concerned, there was plenty excitement at KMV Oval as fortunes fluctuated.
Requiring nine runs off the last over with two wickets in hand as they chased 106 for victory, Isolation Cavaliers were bowled out for 100 in 19.5 overs. Pacer Stefon King bowled Kevin Vaughan for 11 and Dwayne Alleyne off successive balls.
Vaughan and Wayne Lee (nine not out) had raised the hopes of the home team by putting on 24 in 4.5 overs for the ninth wicket.
There were two crucial setbacks for Isolation Cavaliers. Jahbari Doughlin was forced to retire hurt with a hamstring injury while completing a run when he was on 14 off 13 balls with the score 37 for one after 5.5 overs, and a run out of captain Jamaine Bullen for 27 off the same number of balls, which triggered a collapse as the score slipped from 71 for four in the 13th over to 76 for eight after 14.5 overs.
Chad Williams played a key role in the collapse with two wickets including Doughlin, who was eighth out, bowled immediately after resuming his innings.
Williams ended with three for eight off four overs, while King and pacer Renico Alleyne each took two for 21.
Spartan made 105 for nine after they were sent in.
Rashidi Boucher hit the topscore of 35 off 44 balls with three fours before becoming one of five victims for wicket-keeper Doughlin.
Medium-pacer Bullen took three for 28 and Khalil Herbert, two for 21 – both off four overs.
Empire scored 64 without loss off seven overs after winning the toss.
Justin Greaves was unbeaten on 37 off 20 balls and Kevin Stoute scored 23 not out off 23 deliveries.
Set a tough, revised target of 92, Pickwick were restricted to 50 for six.
Stoute took three for 13 and Warrican, two for 13.
So, it’s now on to the knockout punch. The semi-finals are scheduled for October 24 and the Final on November 14.
Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and International cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator. He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Division 1 (now Elite) Championship for over three-and-a-half decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website (www.bcacricket.org). Email: [email protected]