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Willow Cuts keep hopes alive

Captain's innings: Pitcher scored 100 not out

Willow Cuts will get one more chance to remain in the Logic Premier Division after victory over Flatts at Somerset Cricket Club moved them off the bottom of the table and sent their opponents back to the First Division.

Somerset could join them, depending on the Bermuda Cricket Board’s decision on their match with Cleveland last weekend which was not played because no umpires showed up.

Yesterday, Somerset were denied by the weather when a heavy downpour halted their match at Lord’s just an over into the reply to the 296 for seven posted by St David’s. The sun shone brightly in Somerset to allow Willow Cuts to complete a comfortable win over Flatts to climb two places in the table.

Flatts, winning the toss, scored just 109 in 34.5 overs after the match was reduced to 43 overs a side after a late start. Christof van Tonder, batting at No 3, was the top scorer for Flatts with 39 from three fours and two sixes. Van Tonder and opener Reggie Baker (15) added 44 for the second wicket after Paul Carr was dismissed in the second over.

At 76 for four, Flatts were in a good position as captain Kijuan Franks joined Cofield Robinson in a fifth-wicket stand of 26 which brought up the 100 and promised to lay the foundation for a challenging total.

However, when the pair departed in successive overs, the bottom fell out for Flatts as they quickly slumped from 105 for five to 109 all out.

Robinson played a rash stroke when he tried to swing Dean Stephens to mid-wicket and was bowled, before Franks mis-hit a rank short delivery from Sheroy Fubler the next over that should have bounced off the clubhouse. Instead he only managed to top edge to Dwight Basden at short-extra cover to depart for 14.

Stephens quickly ran through the tailend with his left-arm medium pace deliveries to finish with five for 33 from 8.5 overs while 15-year-old Shomar Gomes took two for 24.

The Flatts bowling, which dismissed Southampton Rangers for 101 in May before losing the match by five runs, hardly threatened the Cuts batting, even after Dexter Basden was caught on the long-on boundary by Logan Phillips with only 15 run on the board.

Ryan Shepherd, who opened with Basden, led the run chase with a well struck 50 before he retired hurt. After Gomes was bowled by Robinson with Cuts three short of victory, Ramar Simmons, who himself retired hurt, returned to wrap up the win with a straight six off Robinson on the second ball he faced.

Cuts will play Devonshire Recreation Club in the play-off match this weekend to determine the final team in next season’s top flight. At St David’s, the home team enjoyed a run fest against Somerset with captain OJ Pitcher scoring 100 not out at No 6, opener Shea Pitcher hitting 74 and Fiqre Crockwell stroking 46. The two Pitchers sharing in a fifth-wicket stand of 114 as the Somerset bowlers toiled in the heat.

Jordan DeSilva was the pick of the Somerset bowlers with three for 40.

Somerset were nine without loss after one over when the heavy train ended the match, leaving the West Enders with a no-result which enabled Willow Cuts to move ahead of them.

Yesterday’s other match between Cleveland and Bailey’s Bay at Wellington Oval was called off by the Bermuda Cricket Board.