By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
First, the Virgin Gorda Spartans had several chances to slow defending BVI Cricket Association champions Cavaliers in their opener of the BVI Cricket Association’s Ralph T. O’Neal T20 league on Sunday in Greenland, in which the league namesake was honored before the game for his 1960-1978 presidency and contributions, the longest tenure in the association’s history, but the visitors dropped numerous catches after sending the Tortola squad—in their 52ndyear in the league—to bat.
Cavaliers then rode opener Avishkar Sewkarran’s 89 as the foundation for posting a challenging 212 for 8.
Then Virgin Gorda’s batsmen went to sleep with five combining for an anemic three runs and they were bowled out for a paltry 86 in 11.1 overs to lose by 126 runs, as Jagnarine “Sugar” Persaud ripped through the order taking 5-15. Samuel Jones temporarily resisted till he was bowled for 27.
“We haven’t had a good practice session as a team so a lot of fielding errors today, that set us back as well,” Derran Phillip noted. “We came back well in the middle overs with the spinners, but then we gave it away again. In our batting, nobody showed any purpose. No one said we really needed to bat our 20 overs, everybody just came out and played school boy cricket.”
Cavaliers’ Vishal Bharat said it’s always good to start off on a winning note.
“We were looking for 250, 260, but fell short a little bit and in the second half, we bowled very well to restrict them to under 100 and on a small ground like Greenland, it’s hard to restrict any team for under 100,” he noted. “That goes to show the strength in our bowling.”
In the opening game, Police’s middle order batsman Jamal Nickie had a stroke filled 73, but was unsupported as seven batsmen combined for a listless 15 runs including four ducks, and they were out for 130 in 10 overs. Vikings pacer Deko Khemraj dissected the order, taking 5-15.
Vikings’ Shakeem Charles lashed 60 not out and Khemraj had a contributing 42 not out, guiding them to 134-2, for the eight wickets victory.