Stars made to pay for sloppy day in field
St John's Field (Western Stars won toss): St David's beat Western Stars by six wickets
Western Stars were punished for dropping three catches as St David's continued their unbeaten start to the season with a six-wicket victory at St John's Field yesterday.
Chasing 174 for victory, St David's got home with 11.1 overs to spare, with middle-order batsmen Dion Stovell and Allan Douglas Jr both scoring unbeaten half-centuries.
The pair's fifth-wicket partnership of 72 runs should have been broken shortly after Douglas's arrival at the crease, with the Bermuda all-rounder being dropped at deep mid-on by Brian Hall.
The ball went straight through Hall's outstretched hands and carried over the boundary for six, rubbing salt into the wounds for Stars, who also dropped openers Pitcher and Fiqre Crockwell early on.
It was the normally reliable Hall who let Crockwell off the hook when he struck an uppish drive off the seam bowling of Seth Campbell.
An over later Makai Young spilt another chance when Pitcher mistimed a delivery from pace bowler Jason Lowe at the St John's Road End.
Wendell Smith, the Stars coach, was left bemoaning his side's poor fielding and said it had prevented them from putting St David's under any real pressure.
“You cannot give people like Allan Douglas and O.J. Pitcher second chances,” Smith said.
“Catching was the weakest part of our game and it's usually one of our strengths.
“We had an opportunity but we let it slip and they were really not difficult chances.”
Stars won the toss and elected to bat, with Treadwell Gibbons's impressive 71 not out off 129 balls providing the backbone of their innings.
Gibbons batted for 173 minutes but received very little support, with Hall — who scored 54 not out in a Bermuda trial match at Lord's the previous day — the only other batsman to reach double figures.
That they reached 173 seemed unlikely after a thrilling three-wicket maiden from Douglas to reduce Stars to 93 for six with his first over of off spin.
Smith believed his Stars' total was always going to be difficult to defend against a side with the batting riches of St David's.
“I thought we batted OK, almost batted out our overs, but we were looking for about 230.
“We lost a key wicket early, Makai Young, with a silly run out — there were never two runs — while Temiko Wilson looks good in training but it's time for him to come good.”
In reply, St David's lost the wickets of Delyone Borden and Crockwell relatively early, and were 92 for four when Ajuan Lambe was bowled by Young.
That brought Douglas to the crease and, along with the steady scoring Stovell, the pair set about chasing down their opponents' total to make it three wins from three in the league.
Pitcher, who pushed himself up the order to open, scoring 25, said his team's batting depth means they always feel confident of reaching any total.
“We got a fairly good start, we were about 20-odd without loss when Delyone Borden went,” said Pitcher, who revealed the St David's players went bowling together the previous evening to help build team spirit.
“We've got so much depth with guys like Dion, Allan, Fiqre and I never felt chasing down their total would be an issue.
“I still think they got more runs than we should have let them.
“They also dropped some important catches early in the game. Dropped catches can lose matches and that proved to be the case today.”