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Record-breaker Blakeney crushes Flatts

Bailey’s Bay, 448 for six declared, beat Flatts Victoria, 153 all out, by 295 runs

Marmalised, hammered, crushed, destroyed and utterly anihilated, none of these adjectives can adequately do justice to the beating that Bailey’s Bay gave Flatts Victoria in the Eastern County Cup on Saturday.

Records tumbled highest team total, highest indvidual score, highest second wicket partnership as Bay retained the Cup and only a brutally historic innings from Glenn Blakeney saved the game from being a largely pointless occasion.

The absence of St David’s has reduced the Eastern Counties Cup to a shadow of its former self, and the fact that Bay have taken the trophy by beating two First Division sides takes some of the shine of a competition that is supposed to be one of Bermuda’s premier sporting events.

Bay were so completely dominant on Saturday that they could have quite easily declared at lunch, when they were 252 for one, and still won comfortably. Glenn Blakeney had already passed Noel Gibbons’ long-standing record of 183 for the highest individual score in the competition by that time, and when he was eventually out for 218, having put on 232 with Tre Manders and with Bay 299 for two, the game as a contest was long since over.

Never is a dropped catch likely to prove more costly.

Blakeney didn’t have a run on the board when he was put down at point by Vernon Eve at the start of the Bay innings, and while opening partner Terryn Fray (10) scratched around at the other end, Blakeney destroyed a mediocre Flatts bowling attack.

The disparity in the two openers’ approach was largely due to the tight line that Flatts bowled to the right-handed Fray. On a pitch that was holding the ball up, Fray never had any room to create shots, the same couldn’t be said for Blakeney. Flatts completely failed to figure out how to bowl to the left-hander and missing Kevin Hurdle meant they were left relying on the likes of David Bedard and Ryan Belboda to provide the initial threat.

Hurdle was deemed ineligible by the Eastern Counties Cricket Association, whose decision to follow their own consitution on that point, when they have reportedly ignored it on others, made the game a far poorer spectacle than it might otherwise have been.

None of which should take away from Blakeney’s breathtaking innings, which included some clever improvisation as well as a lot of clean hitting.

The Cleveland man was at the crease for two hours and 47 minutes, and in that time he faced 120 balls, hammering Flatts for 16 sixes, and 19 fours. He was eventually out when he missed a flighted ball from Dwayne Leverock and was well stumped by Kijuan Franks.

Flatts didn’t just bowl badly, they fielded badly, and Manders benefited more than most, being dropped four times in his innings of 106. The suggestion that Manders has arrived is somewhat premature, but his third consecutive hundred against an average First Division team shows he is more than ready to move beyond that level.

Stephen Outerbridge came in and scored a cameo 80, and Bay eventually passed the previous high total of 405, which Bay scored against Flatts in 1983, when Rodney Trott (21) hammered the ball away for four through mid-wicket.

A flurry of wickets fell at the end as the holders played some reckless shots knowing they had nothing to lose, and when Eve caught Kyle Hodsoll to give Leverock his second wicket, Bay declared on 448 from just 59.4 overs.

Flatts were never going to reach that total and their only faint hope in salvaging something from the day lay in batting out 60 overs to secure a draw.

Bay didn’t have everything their own way on Saturday, Reggie Baker’s obdurate 55 at least gave the challengers’ total an air of respectability and helped to keep the Bay supporters waiting for nearly 40 overs

That though was the only highlight of an innings where Hodsoll accounted for the majority of the Flatts batsmen, taking five wickets for 28 runs.

Blakeney rounded out his impressive day with two of his own, and when Leverock was the last man out Flatts had slipped to a thumping 295 run defeat.

Glenn Blakeney celebrates his ton

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Published August 15, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 15, 2011 at 10:23 am)

Record-breaker Blakeney crushes Flatts

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