By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In the most exciting match of the BVI Cricket Association’s Ralph O’Neal T20 League, Vikings pulled out a thrilling victory over Royal Knights, who needed 10 runs from five balls, but came up two runs short in their chase.
Focused on the Vikings’ 200 target in the last over, Royal Knights seemed poised to send their opponent to another defeat. Then they came up short as they couldn’t get a four or six.
“If you look at the entire game, it should not have come down to 10 runs off five balls,” Royal Knights manager Gordon French told Island Sun Sports. “But coming down to the end, we kind of threw it away. Hats off to Vikings. They stuck to their game plan and they fought back well and won the game, while our team imploded a little bit and lost the game. For us it’s a mental and a tactical adjustment as we go on in the tournament. It’s not the end of the road. We have a big game coming up against Cavaliers so we have to prepare for them.”
The Vikings had used a stroke filled 81 from Junnic Mingo with a supporting 35 from Bashir Hidar, as the platform for their 200, with Anthony Slowey 2-34 and Reno Mitteholzer 2-46, as their top bowlers.
“We didn’t start as we wanted to, we were something like 15-3, the middle and lower order came in and we had partnerships and everybody chipped in until we got 200 runs,” Vickings captain Vishal Munessar said. “We were aiming for 200 but fell short. We knew they’d come hard at us and we didn’t start as well with the ball either. We had a few bad balls bowled in the middle and in the end, but we came back strong, stuck to our plan, protect out boundaries, made our catches. We did everything within our power to win this game.”
Needing 10 runs for victory in the last over, Munessar said he knew the Royal Knights as they play and practice with them and knew their strengths and weaknesses.
“Pitching the ball outside the off stump is hard to hit for them, so I told my bowlers, especially Junic Mingo, keep it on the off side and it’s very hard to hit and he executed very well,” Munessar noted.
Wayne Richards led Royal Knights with 58 while Joemal Lafleur contributed 40 with a supporting 35 coming from Anthony Slowley.
After being invited to bat, defending champions Cavaliers used a balance attack with Gopaul Boodram’s 40 not out and Jagnarine “Sugar” Persaud leading six players in double digits with 36, as they racked up 207-8, then restricted Police to 193, for a 14-run victory in the morning match to stay unbeaten. Police’s Kellon Landon 2-23 and Ron Augustine, 2-50, were their top bowlers.
Police opener Collis Fraser had 84 not out, with fourth man Jamal Mickle contributing 64 not out, to their 193-2 off 20 overs.