St David’s retain Eastern Counties title
Macai Simmons and OJ Pitcher led a fightback with the bat to help St David’s retain their Eastern Counties title after the final round against Flatts Victoria ended in a draw at Lord’s on Saturday.
The pair came together at the crease with their team in a spot of bother at 78 for four and were equal to the task of repairing the early damage as they added 137 runs to steady the ship.
Simmons led the charge as he lashed 11 fours and four sixes in a knock of 89 from 74 balls, while Pitcher hit six fours in a more sedated and unbeaten innings of 68 from 106 balls.
St David’s went on to post 250 for seven in 62 overs after losing three of 65 overs teams are allocated in the first innings to rain.
Openers Shannon Rayner (24), Dean Simons (25), captain Justin Pitcher (14) and Chare Smith (10 not out) were the remaining St David’s batsman in double figures.
Simmons and Pitcher’s battling knocks and timely partnership overshadowed a superb bowling display by all-rounder Kamau Leverock who claimed four for 63 from 21 overs. Regino Smith was also rewarded for some tidy bowling as he took two for 62 from 18 overs.
Flatts also found themselves in early trouble in their reply at 87 for four with the explosive Leverock among those back in the pavilion after stroking 21 from 13 balls.
Opener Reggie Baker scored 59 from 94 balls and middle-order batsman Dajon Carey an unbeaten 57 from 75 balls.
However, it was not enough as wickets continued to fall at regular intervals.
Smith (25) and Coefield Robinson (20), the Flatts captain, and Nelson Bascome (11) all made starts but were unable to go on.
Flatts, whose innings was reduced from 51 to 47 overs, were 222 for nine at stumps, 28 runs shy of their target.
St David’s captain Pitcher led his team’s attack with figures of three for 52, while Brian Hall and colt Seth Campbell took two wickets each.
Reflecting on the match, St David’s coach George Cannonier said: “I thought Flatts put up a good fight.
“We made up our mind to bat if we won the toss and we did but lost early wickets.
“I was a little concerned at the time but the game change a lot thanks to Macai and OJ. That partnership really bailed us out.
“I didn’t expect us to make 250 and knew it would be a hard score for Flatts to pull down with the overs they had left.
“I’m happy that we did what we had to do to defend our title and with the way the guys have applied themselves over the whole three games.”
Clay Smith, the Flatts coach, said the century partnership between Simmons and Pitcher played a huge factor in his team coming up short of their objective.
“Both of them put their head down and batted extremely responsibly and that was the difference in the game,” Smith said.
“There was a period right after lunch where I thought for about an hour we were very flat and sort of lost our plot a little bit. When you’re playing against champions like this those little gaps can make the difference between winning and losing.
“Overall, I thought my boys gave a good account of themselves and hats off to St David’s for a good all-round performance.”
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