By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The BVI Cricket Association Twenty 20 Tournament roared back to life following Hurricane Irma in 2017, with Grenada fending off Vincy Stars for a thrilling one wicket victory and Royal Knights downing Road Town Wholesale during Sunday’s league openers in Greenland.
Vincy used Elroy Brackin’s 48 before he was run out and a supporting 31 from McTair James, to post a formidable 176 target. Trent Belfon bagged 3 for 27 and Irvin Lewis, 2 for 34, as Grenada’s top bowlers.
In reply, Grenada’s top order seized control early before they began falling apart, as Vincy bowlers got timely wickets. However, Grenada’s tail end was able to hang on and carry them to 177 for the victory with a wicket to spare, despite Vincy’s bowlers plucking three wickets each, Travis Jack, 3-31. Ashley Pope, 3-29 and Phillip Baptiste, 3-40.
Terrance Nanton was Grenada’s leading batsmam, before he was caught by Wicket Keeper Cameron William, for a team high 38. Gary Prince who was caught by Ferris Pope, settled for a supporting 27. Irvin Lewis and Dave Johnson contributed 16 runs each.
“It was a very exciting game, close game as well and as the first game, it could have gone either way, but we had to dig deep to get the pressure off,” Grenada Captain Derrol Redhead said. “We dropped a few catches, had some misplays and once you drop catches, runs will score and that was one of our problems in the game today.”
Vicny Captain Wicket Keeper Cameron Williams, his team played well despite the loss.
“For our first game, we had a good game but let it get away in the end,” he noted. “We weren’t able to capitalize in some areas as it was our first game, but, we can definitely build on this.”
In the opening game, Royal Knights pulled out a three wickets victory over Road Town Wholesale, in the season opener for both clubs. Opener Wayne Phillip lashed 10 boundaries and six sixes, to get RTW going with the day’s best score of 88, before his stumps were broken by Suerish Hallim, who also got Kevin Thompson lbw for 36, as they laid the foundation for 200-7. Hallim grabbed 2-36 in the process. Sylvester Mitchell contributed a supporting 34 not out.
Royal Knights who has their eyes on the 2019 crown, saw Charlie Shepherd’s 44, leading five players with a least 22 runs, in their chase and reached 204-7, to get in the win column.
Richard Fredericks was run out for 41, while Vivian Fredericks had a supporting not out 33. Captain Joemal Lefleur was caught for 22 and Yedush Shivprasad, had 22 not out.
RTW’s Turby Xavier, 2-34 and Kenron Baptiste, 2-51, were the top bowlers.
An official opening ceremony will be held on Sunday, naming the league in honor of Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, the BVI Cricket Association’s longest serving president, 1960-1978. Activities are slated for 1:00 p.m., followed by defending champs Cavaliers and the Virgin Gorda Spartans. Police and Vikings will meet in the first game at 9:00 a.m.