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Cavaliers stay on course for clean sweep

Spring Garden Cavaliers remained on course to complete an unprecedented clean sweep of Commercial Cricket League trophies after Freston Hurdle’s last-over six earned them a two-wicket victory with a ball to spare over Caribbean rivals Jamaican Association in a pulsating finish to the Twenty20 League Cup final at Shelly Bay.

It was a reversal of fortunes from last season when the Jamaicans edged Cavaliers by four wickets with two balls to spare.

Aaron Adams (59 not out) and Michael Campbell (43) spearheaded Jamaican Association’s 122 for two a challenging total in difficult conditions after they were sent in and they looked favourites to claim the title again when Cavaliers began the final over with 10 runs required.

Fifty-three-year-old Campbell was entrusted with the ball and restricted Hurdle and Lloyd Morrison to a single apiece off the first two balls but number 10 Hurdle swung the match irrevocably Cavaliers’ way by hitting the third ball over long-on before two more singles were scrambled to seal victory.

Sunday’s win means Cavaliers now have three trophies in the bag ahead of the Knockout Cup which starts this coming weekend when they face BC Allrounders in a preliminary round game at Shelly Bay.

Cavaliers opened the season by beating Forties in the Memorial Cup, wrapped up the league title with a match to spare in July and have added the League Cup as well.

A delighted Dave Greenidge, skipper of Cavaliers, said: “It was a very good game all round.”

But Greenidge refused to be drawn on a clean sweep of titles.

“I made that mistake last season and we ended up with only the league title.

“We’re looking forward to playing the Knockout but no predictions.

“Twenty20 is not my game. The 40-over Knockout gives you chance to forge an innings.”

Greenidge said his team should be back to full strength for the Knockout with the return of Trevor Haynes and James Pace.

Glenmore Barrett, Jamaican Association’s team manager, said after Sunday’s narrow defeat: “We’re disappointed at losing. We should have made 30-40 more runs but got off to a slow start. Even so it was one of the best games of the season.”

Jamaican Association advanced to the final after BC Allrounders defaulted their semi-final earlier in the day after turning up with only a handful of players.

The semi-final and final were due to have been played at Devonshire Rec the previous Sunday as Shelly Bay was unavailable but the pitch was wet and unplayable after it was left uncovered following a county game the previous day.

The league postponed the games for a week but BC Allrounders wanted the Knockout to go ahead as scheduled and were apparently miffed the Twenty20 games were not rescheduled for early September.

Long grass at Shelly Bay on Sunday after the mower used to cut it apparently broke down last week made batting a challenge.

Opener Adams hit two fours and two sixes in his half century while Campbell struck three sixes as the pair added 87 for the second wicket after Presley Millwood fell for 10. Barry Richards (one for 10) and Rohan Henry (one for 13) were Cavaliers’ successful bowlers.

In reply, Cavaliers suffered an immediate blow when Ricky Hill was bowled for a duck by Bevin Carr (three for 18) while Neil Anglin (four for 17) and Ian Coke (one for 25) made further inroads as wickets continued to tumble, opener Jeff DeSilva going for 15 and Richards a duck.

Ricardo Waldron made 25 and Craig Smith 30 to revive the innings but both fell going for attacking shots. Anthony Brathwaite was well caught on the backward square leg boundary for nought by Campbell, Greenidge went for 13 and Donovan Livingston for five as the tension mounted.

But Cavaliers, who batted all the way down the order, found two heroes in Morrison (16 not out) and Hurdle (eight not out) who teamed up to snatch victory.

The Knockout Cup draw has thrown up the possibility of a repeat of last season’s controversial final between Cavaliers and Forties.

The winners of this Sunday’s preliminary round match will face North Village at Shelly Bay while Forties and Jamaican Association travel to Garrison Field for the other semi-final on August 28.

Last season’s final ended in chaos after a disputed last-over boundary catch sparked controversy on and off the pitch.

Forties, chasing the highest total ever to win a Knockout final, began the over with the result in the balance after Craig Smith and Jeff DeSilva had helped Cavaliers pile up a formidable 250 for three from their 40 overs with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 125.

With five wickets in hand, Forties’ batsmen were told 10 runs were required for victory, although Forties later said that should have been five runs. The Cavaliers scorebook indicated Forties needed seven runs to win.

Palithapushpara Kumara, closing in on a century, struck Rohan Henry’s second ball towards wide mid-wicket where Richard Foulds took the catch but in the process appeared to run outside the boundary marker, an orange cone.

Umpire Anthony Fubler initially signalled a six after square-leg umpire Wally Manders had indicated a maximum strike by the diminutive Sri Lankan, who had already smashed 10 sixes and three fours in his swashbuckling 60-ball 90.

But Cavaliers protested the call and after protracted discussion Fubler reversed his earlier decision and gave Kumara out, sparking outrage in the Forties camp.

Acting skipper Blake West stormed onto the pitch and pulled up both sets of stumps before umpires and players trooped off with four balls remaining.

League president Armell Thomas, who played for Cavaliers in the final, later awarded the game to Forties although the umpires announced Cavaliers as the winners.

Forties claimed the cup but the league executive committee never made an official ruling.

Now Cavaliers’ skipper Greenidge has put an end to the long-running saga by sportingly agreeing Forties were the winners.

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Published August 17, 2011 at 10:13 am (Updated August 17, 2011 at 10:12 am)

Cavaliers stay on course for clean sweep

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