By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Royal Knights began defense of their BVI Cricket Association Ralph T. O’Neal Trophy by using a Man of the Match Keon DeJesus century and a three wickets haul to subdue Cavaliers for a 21-run victory in Sunday’s T20 league opener in Greenland.
With Cavaliers bowler Ronniel Jeffrey taking out two Royal Knights batsmen for five and seven runs as they slumped to 3-38, DeJesus came in and stabilized the innings with a timely stroke filled 113. He had a 66 partnership with Captain Anthony Slowley for the fifth wicket and 46 with Vivian Fredericks for the sixth, in helping his team to 229.
Cavaliers bowler Avishkar Sewkarran bagged 3-29; Jeffrey, 2-29 and Captain Vishal Bharat, 2-37.
Cavaliers got off to a strong start before a middle order collapse where they lost three wickets for 23 runs, before Royston Duggin came in with rapid fire 56, that brought them back in the match. However, Bharat went for four on a DeJesus catch and Gopaul Boodram was run out for a duck and Cavaliers were left 21 runs adrift at 208. Teddy Nankisore and Melaram Nangal contributed 34 respectively, before being removed by Xavier John, who bagged 2-56.
DeJesus snatched 3-35.
“We’re missing one of our main batsmen, Lefleur (Jomel) so I knew I had to step up and give the team a big total,” DeJesus said. “That was so we could put pressure on the Cavaliers and it feels good, because Cavaliers is like the top team in the group and we wanted to come and get the victory.”
In his first time as Captain, Slowley said they have played Cavaliers over the years and knew their batsmen likes to ‘pitch up balls.’
“I told my batsmen to bowl back of a length and that’s what we did,” Slowley said. “We brought on the pressure and I think it paid off.”
Cavaliers Captain Bharat said they played badly.
“I thought 229 was gettable,” he said. “We had a good start but they bowled well in the middle, pegged us back and wickets kept tumbling. We thought we would have chased it down but it wasn’t to be today. I think they caught better, they fielded better and bowled better than us today. But we’ll come back strongly. Knowing Cavaliers, we never give up.”
In the opener, Under The Tree chased down Police for a six wickets victory, after making 210 with one ball to spare in reply to Police’s 209. Rohan Blake had a well played 68 (7-4s and 5-6s) and Sessie Ellis, 44 to highlight their batting.
Police opener Selwyn Rock stroked nine fours for his 51 before he was bowled by Otis James. James then bowled and caught Basdeo Thomas for a duck. Kevin Joseph sprayed the field for a balanced attack with six fours and six sixes, before he caught by Vas Frett for 62, after Kellon Landon was caught by Ellis for 34 off James, who finished with 3-30. Rudolph Davis plucked 3-37.
Police’s lower order could only muster 26 runs among the four batsmen, contributing to their demise.