Disciplined under-17s seal last-gasp victory
An unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 56 between San'j Dill and Christion Gibbons led Bermuda Under-17 to an thrilling victory with one ball remaining in the lone First Division match yesterday.
The pair came together in the rain-reduced match at 62 for six with Somerset Bridge seemingly heading for a comfortable victory. However some disciplined batting from Dill and Gibbons set about rebuilding the under-17s' innings after they faced the challenge of scoring 55 off the last eight overs. Gibbons, coming in at number eight, finished with 32 not out with two sixes and two fours while Dill supported with 21 not out.
The contest was reduced to 24 overs a side after heavy rain stopped the match inside the first hour with Bridge 31 for two after 7.3 overs.
The match did not restart until 4pm with Bridge posting another 86 runs as Derek Hill, who scored 28, and Janhoi Bean added 61 for the third wicket before the pair departed in successive overs as the spin pair of Cameron Jeffers and Nzari Paynter made the breakthrough and then prevented a late innings scoring surge.
Paynter finished with impressive figures of four for 13 from three overs while Jeffers took one for 18 off five overs.
The under-17 side lost two early wickets in their run chase as Paynter and Shakeal Outerbridge departed with just nine runs on the board. Captain Alex Dore, who scored 28, and opener Jade Morrissey, who added 16, set about repairing the damage with a stand of 38 for the third wicket. Morrissey's dismissal signalled a collapse as three wickets went down for five runs, including Dore and Isiah Richardson in successive overs as Bridge fought back.
Victory for the under-17s hinged on another useful stand and Dill and Gibbons provided it after Alje Richardson was run out going for a second run off a misfield in the covers by Noel Woods, the Bridge captain. Gibbons brought up the 100 with a four over deep midwicket off Sean Riley to bring the target down to 17 from the last 12 balls.
Twelve runs came off the penultimate over as Gibbons hit a six over midwicket off 13-year-old spinner Simeon Burrows who conceded just three runs in his previous over. With five needed off the final over by Riley, Gibbons scored two off the first ball with a pull to long on and then two singles and a no-ball made certain of victory with one ball remaining. Ryan Shepherd claimed two for 35 off five overs while Donnie Charles and Derek Hill gave up 14 and 15 runs from their five over spells in taking a wicket apiece.
“I'm very pleased, but it's all about the development in looking to the tournament in August and the World Cup qualifiers next year,” said Clevie Wade, the coach of the under-17s, who are not receiving points for their participation in the First Division (mostly on Saturdays) as their players are also playing with their clubs.
“They did well as a team today, they fielded well, bowled well and batted well. The overs got reduced due to the weather and it was a good challenge for them to play in that situation. They stuck to the plan and executed it well, I'm pleased with them.
“The partnership was vital, we had only one other useful partnership and I told them if we got two good partnerships we should be okay. They [Dill and Gibbons] executed the plan which was to bat through. They showed a lot of character.”