Competition favorites draw first blood

POSTED: 11/5/12 12:53 PM

GREAT BAY- Antigua and Barbuda sounded an early warning by opening their Nagico/LICA 50 over campaign on a winning note after defeating St Maarten by 201 runs in what can only be described as a one sided affair.
Originally, St Kitts was scheduled to face St Maarten, but after their late arrival, it was decided that Antigua & Barbuda will take their place in a game that was reduced to 45 overs and after winning the toss and electing to bat, they were 291 all out.
The opening pair, Mali Richards and Austin Richards were able to put on a 31 run partnership before M Richards was caught by Moreland Le Blanc off the bowling from Kenroy David on 15 in the progress of the 4th over.
But after that dismissal, A Richards together with R Cornwall was able to take the pressure off the middle order and it was not until the score was pushed to 179 that St Maarten got a well deserved breakthrough with the wicket of Cornwall, caught by Anil Persaud off the bowling from Daniel Doram on 91 which came from 53 balls.
With pressure mounting on St Maarten to stem the run flow, Antigua & Barbuda were eager to get a sizeable target and with A Richards still out in the middle, anything was possible. Doram was able to pick up his second wicket after S Joseph was brilliantly caught by Akeem Charles on 7 just inside the boundary at the pavilion end of the ground with the score on 195. And next to go was A Richards, stumped by Hingorani off the bowling from Hamer on 85.
The only batsmen to get into double figures after that dismissal was Larry Joseph who was caught behind by Mohit Hingorani off the bowling from Shaquille Martina on 35 and Orlando Peters was also bowled by Martina on 22.
Despite the fact that St Maarten allowed Antigua & Barbuda to get close to a triple century, they still managed to dismiss them in 39.5 overs which was a good effort. D Thomas was bowled by Doram on 9, Hayden Walsh was run out by Romain Doodnauth on 2, Gavin Tonge was run out by Lerry Baptiste on 8 and the not out batsman was Anthony Martin who was yet to score.
But things went horribly wrong for St Maarten chasing 292 to win and the quick dismissals of the two openers triggered an early collapse of the batting line up and after 22 overs, they were all out on 90 and that was the second time for the season that they had suffered from a humiliating defeat by Antigua & Barbuda, the first was in the LICA T-20 tournament.
In the very first over, Martina, looking for a quick run was run out by Devon Thomas for no score and in the second over. Le Blanc was caught by Thomas from the bowling of Tonge for no score and Sherwin Peters who was looking good prior to his dismissal was caught by Stephan Matthew on 7 after batting for 19 minutes.
Immediately , the pressure was on the middle and lower order to deliver and the batsmen needed to bat responsibly and occupy the wickets. Doodnauth, played a captain’s roll and was scoring quite freely until he offered a bat stroke and was caught by D Thomas off the bowling from Cornwall on 34 after batting for 61 minutes.
But the level of commitment and fitness was evident among the players from Antigua & Barbuda and from the way the game was going, St Maarten never stood a chance, they simply did not stick to the game plan and paid for their mistakes.
Persaud was caught by N Walsh, bowled Matthew on 11, Charles was caught by Larry Joseph, bowled Tonge 02, Hingorani was caught by Peters, bowled Cornwall 01, L Baptiste caught and bowled Martin 15, C Hamer caught Matthew, bowled Walsh 4, Doram, stumped Walsh for no score and the not outbatsmen was K David on 09.
Bowling for St Maarten, Doram has 3 for 35 from 9, Martina 3 for 41 from 5, David 1 for 26 and Hamer 1 for 63. For Antigua & Barbuda the wicket takers almost finished with matching figures. Tonge had 3 for 16 with 1 maiden from 5, Mathews 2 for 26 from 4, Cornwall 2 for 25 and I maiden from 4 and Walsh had the best figures with 2 for 3, with one maiden from 3 overs.

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