By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Royal Knights used three timely half century partnerships, Reno Mitteholzer bagged 4-27, and they whipped the RTW Vipers by 101 runs, to claim their first BVI Cricket Association Nagico T20 League title since 2014 on Sunday in Greenland. They also won the Ralph T. O’Neal Cup and the $2,500 prize.
Invited to bat by the RTW Vipers, Royal Knights openers Richard Fredericks and Ryan Mangal set the tone with 52 run partnership before Mangal was dismissed. Fredericks and Captain Jomel Lefleur, engaged in a 74 run second wicket stand, before Fredericks was caught by Vice Captain Sylvester Mitchell, for 43. Lefleur then teamed with Anthony Slowley for a 59 fourth wicket stand, before Lefleur was bowled by RTW Vipers Captain, Joel Williams, for 98. Lefleur’s contribution helped them to 280, the highest score on the season.
RTW Vipers began the mammoth task miserably, losing their first three wickets for 33. They went on to make 179, with Vice Captain Sylvester Mitchell, getting a respectable 76.
“It was a hard fought tournament, the guys stuck together and we came out on top today,” Royal Knights Captain Jomel Lefleur noted. “We got a good start and Slowley (Anthony) and myself gave us a good partnership, the bowlers did their job and we came out on top.”
Lefleur said he was surprised the RTW Vipers sent them to bat.
“It’s good to lose the toss sometime and it turned out good for us,” he said. “This title means a lot. There was a whole pressure on the team, through training, missing catches, but it’s all good we won today.”
Manager Gordon French who predicted they would ‘win it all’ before the season, sad they overcame injuries and adversity, but stuck together.
“It was a hard fought season and today, we were triumphant,” he noted. “We were very surprised to be sent to bat. Most teams would tend to bat first if they win the toss, but we made good use of it. We set a 230 total, that’s a fighting chance in a championship and we surpassed it. Credit to the guys, they stuck with it and we came out on top today.”
French said the victory means a lot after losing by seven runs to Cavaliers in their last final berth,
“We learned from it and we made no mistake this time around,” he said. “We ensured that we came out, we batted, we focused and played well through the entire game.”
RTW Vipers Captain Joel Williams said they decided to field first.
“But things didn’t go our way from the get go so we were always behind,” he noted. “It’s because of the conditions—breeze blowing strong across the field—and we thought we would have gotten some swing but got nothing from the wicket. We weren’t able to contain them because we had a lot of mishaps on the field—misfielded balls, dropped catches—at the end of the day, we weren’t bowling to our plan. Royal Knights played the better cricket and they deserve to win.”
Cavaliers finished third after beating Grenada by two wickets.
Cavaliers’ bowler and Man of the Match Avishkar Sewkarran, took 3-9 including a maiden over and caught middle order batsman Gary Prince for 67, as Prince led Grenada to 189-7.
In reply, Sewkarran led Cavaliers batsmen with 67, before he went lbw to Rodney Marryshow, who snatched 2-26, and Cavaliers completed their innings on 190-8. Irvin Lewis grabbed 2-22 and Rudolph Davis, 2-32.