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Crockwell and O’Brien do the damage

Crockwell scored a half century for St David's

Fiqre Crockwell and Loren Marshall both scored half centuries while stand-in captain George O’Brien claimed a hat-trick to end the Willow Cuts innings as St David’s opened their season with victory in this Group A Twenty20 match.

St David’s posted an imposing 166 for six from their 20 overs after Dwight Basden, back at the helm as captain of Willow Cuts after the departure of Malachi Jones, invited the home team to bat first.

Opener Crockwell struck eight fours and a six in his top knock of 74, as he and Marshall, the No 4 batsman, added 113 for the third wicket after Cuts removed Richard Todd and McLaren Lowe for one run apiece with just 30 runs on the board by the fifth over.

Crockwell and Marshall came together to repair the innings, with Lowe smashing five sixes and a four in his knock of 53. Sergio Raynor broke the partnership when he bowled Crockwell in the sixteenth over before Kamal Bashir removed both O’Brien and Marshall in the space of 12 runs late in the innings.

Bashir, sharing the new ball with Dean Stephens, claimed three for 29 from his four overs to lead the Cuts bowling. Micah Wellman conceded just 16 runs in his four overs as he took the wicket of Lowe.

The target of 167 proved too much for Cuts in the end as their batting has been depleted by some departures in the off-season and the absence of two or three other players. Stephens, batting at No 4, led their scoring with 36 off four sixes while Tyshaun Brown, a transfer from Somerset Cricket Club, added 27 at No 7 and Bergon Spencer Jr 21 not out.

Dwight Basden scored 20 at the top of the order before they slumped from 63 for two to 73 for five.

O’Brien, standing in as captain for the absent OJ Pitcher, ended the match in spectacular fashion, taking three wickets in three balls against his former team. O’Brien finished with three for five from 1.3 overs while Delyone Borden claimed two for 26 in support.

Crockwell and captain O’Brien both carried on where they left off in the earlier match, as St David’s sealed a semi-final place in the T20 tournament yesterday.

Crockwell smashed 12 fours and a six in a knock of 80 as the home side posted 167 for four, one run more than they scored against Willow Cuts. Crockwell, again opening the innings, was dismissed on the second ball of the final over before George O’Brien closed out the innings with a couple of sixes in succession for his 26 not out.

Loren Marshall also got among the runs for St David’s, stroking three fours and two sixes in his innings of 40. St David’s lost opener McLaren Lowe with just 13 runs on the board before Crockwell and Marshall put on 96 for the second wicket to bring up the 100. No Flatts bowler took more than one wicket as Flatts had a tough first day on the field.

St David’s even had the luxury of “dropping” Richard Todd and Del Hollis from the earlier team which beat Willow Cuts. This time O’Brien took the new ball and made it four wickets in four deliveries on the day when he bowled opposite captain Cofield Robinson with the first ball of the Flatts innings.

Rudell Pitcher matched that with his own first ball when he bowled the other opener, Nelson Bascome, and then also claimed the wicket of Christorf van Tandori in the same over. At four for three, Flatts were already facing a heavy defeat and things got even worse when Darnielle Farrell and Ben Phipps departed soon after to leave the visitors reeling at 14 for five.

It was only because of some confident stroke play by left-hander Reggie Baker that ten-man Flatts were able to reach 50, the No 3 bat hit two big sixes and a four in his top knock of 27 before he was eighth out when the score was 50. They were dismissed for 61 in just 13.3 overs as St David’s completed their group A matches with two wins that will ensure them the top spot in group A. Willow Cuts and Flatts will play their final match in the group on May 23 against each other.

Flatts, just promoted to the top division, were without Kijuan Franks, last season’s First Division MVP, and looked like a team that will struggle to be competitive against the top sides this season.

O’Brien and Pitcher had identical figures of three for nine from three overs, while Cejay Outerbridge claimed one for seven from three overs and Zach morris one for ten from 1.3 overs.