St David’s retain Eastern Counties title
St David's 283-8
Flatts 92 all out
Jubilant St David's players took the traditional victory plunge into the ocean after the Islanders thrashed Flatts by 191 runs at Lords to retain their Eastern Counties crown.
Led by Fiqre Crockwell's polished half century, the Islanders exploited some loose bowling and poor fielding to pile up 283 for eight in their allotted overs which were reduced from 70 to 66 following a delayed start due to a damp pitch.
Sammy Robinson then produced a brilliant display of off break bowling that went a long way towards Flatts being bundled out for 92 in 31.4 overs.
Robinson also featured in a century partnership with Crockwell that swung the match firmly in St David's' favour after they had slipped to 30 for three as Flatts made early inroads with the new ball.
The pair added 139 runs for the fourth wicket, Flatts paying a heavy price for putting down a chance off the edge of Robinson's bat in the slips early in the batsmen's innings.
St David's coach Wendell Smith later described the marathon partnership that ultimately broke the challengers' back as pivotal to his team's well deserved victory.
“The key part for us was Sammy and Fiqre,” he said. “When we were 30 for three I was a bit concerned because it was a wet wicket and we played a couple of shots we shouldn't have. But finally we had a good batting display that I have been waiting all year.
“We paced the batting nicely and at the end the guys came in and did the big hitting. We wanted 270 and got 280.”
Smith never doubted his bowlers' ability to defend their total on the spacious Lords pitch.
“I never worry about our bowling and fielding because we train and three quarters of our sessions are bowling and fielding,” he said. “We play to our strength and our bowling is our strength.”
Flatts had the champions on the back foot after sending them into bat with early order batsmen Delyone Borden (9), Maclaren Lowe (13) and skipper OJ Pitcher (4) all falling cheaply.
But Crockwell and Robinson halted the slide and virtually batted Flatts out of the match with some fluent stroke play on both sides of the wicket and excellent running between the stumps.
Crockwell dominated the century stand, thumping 99 from 145 deliveries in 162 minutes in a top knock that contained 16 boundaries.
The partnership was abruptly broken up when Robinson was caught off the bowling of Kevin Hurdle for a patient 39 from 91 deliveries. Robinson struck three fours and a six during his 127 minute stay at the crease.
Crockwell fell four runs later just one run shy of a maiden Eastern Counties ton after offering catch off Hurdle.
At 173 for five, it seemed as though Flatts had clawed their way back into the match.
But St David's received solid contributions lower down the order from Loren Marshall (36), Justin Pitcher (20 not out) and Kameron Fox (22) to keep the runs flowing before the innings ended.
Nelson Bascome (3-52) was Flatts' most economical bowler while Hurdle (3-70) also claimed three scalps.
Tasked with scoring just over six runs per over in 45 overs in reply, Flatts openers Vernon Eve and James Celestine carried the score along to 15 before the latter batsman was deceived by a slower George O'Brien Jr yorker that crashed into the stumps.
Once O'Brien had made the breakthrough with the new ball, third change bowler Robinson sliced through Flatts' middle order with consummate ease to keep the pressure on the challengers.
Robinson made life extremely difficult for the batsmen bowling a steady line and length and got the ball to turn sharply off the deck.
Off spinner Delyone Borden (2-6) and medium pacer Rudell Pitcher (2-17) picked up two wickets each to hold their end of the bargain before Flatts folded for the second lowest total of the 2013 Eastern Counties series.
Opener Eve led the Flatts' resistance with 23 from 70 balls in 85 minutes while tail-ender Chris Daley struck a brisk 16 from 20 deliveries before he was last man out, caught in the covers by Justin Pitcher off the first delivery of Borden's second spell.
D Borden c K Franks b N Bascome 9
M Lowe b Franks 13
F Crockwell c R Smith b K Hurdle 99
OJ Pitcher (capt) c R Baker b Bascome 4
S Robinson c Bascome b Hurdle 39
L Marshall b Bascome 36
R Pitcher c D Carey b V Eve 14
J Pitcher not out 20
K Fox c Carey b Hurdle 22
G O'Brien Jr not out 11
Extras: 9-b, 1-lb, 3w, 3-nb) 16
Total (for eight wickets, 66 overs) 283
Fall of wickets: 1-10, 2-24, 3-30, 4-169, 5-173, 6-209, 7-239, 8-267
Bowling: K Hurdle 21-1-70-3; K Franks 8-1-38-1; N Bascome 14-1-52-3; P Carr 3-0-17-0; V Eve 11-2-47-1; D Carey 6-0-34-0; C Daley 3-0-15-0
V Eve b R Pitcher 23
J Celestine b G O'Brien 10
K Franks (capt) b D Borden 6
R Smith b Robinson 1
D Carey (colt) b R Pitcher 3
K Hurdle c J Pitcher b Robinson 5
N Bascome c J Pitcher b Robinson 10
R Edness b Robinson 2
C Daley c R Pitcher b Borden 16
P Carr run out (Crockwell) 4
R Baker not out 4
Extras: (8-b) 8
Total (all out, 31.1 overs) 92
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-27, 3-35, 4-51, 5-56, 6-58, 7-61, 8-74, 9-79, 10-92
Bowling: G O'Brien 6-2-8-1; D Hollis 6-2-14-0; D Borden 2.1-0-6-2; J Pitcher 3-2-1-0; S Robinson 7-0-23-4; R Pitcher 4-0-17-2; K Fox 2-1-1-0; F Crockwell 2-0-14-0