Hall stars as St David’s slip to shock defeat
A day after winning back the Eastern Counties Cup, St David's were involved in another nail-biter, this time losing their unbeaten record in the league as Western Stars virtually assured their Premier Division survival.
Rudell Pitcher, the hero the day before, was involved in the thick of the action again, but this time for the wrong reasons as he conceded the winning runs.
With Stars needing four from the final ball, he bowled a short delivery to last man Swayne Campbell and conceded four byes after Ajuan Lamb, the wicketkeeper, tried to stop the ball with his foot as it bounced past him and rolled to the boundary.
Stars were involved in a similarly close match the previous weekend when, chasing 230 to win against Southampton Rangers, they fell 16 runs short. Brian Hall kept them in this match with his 71 from 85 balls, which helped Stars move on from 77 for three in the nineteenth over to 160 in the 36th, when the 83-run partnership with Justin Robinson came to an end.
Hall, whose mother is from St David's, carried on after his captain's dismissal for 37 and defied St David's for another ten overs, before he was finally out in the 46th over just after the 200 came up.
That left Stars needing 36 from the final four overs but St David's kept on the pressure, taking wickets in the 47th and 49th overs as Stars brought the target down to 24 runs off the final 12 balls.
Rohan Davis, whose brisk 37 took them to the brink of victory, took 12 runs off the penultimate over from George O'Brien. However, when he was run out by a direct hit from Rudell Pitcher off his own bowling on the fourth ball of the final over, the match took another interesting turn.
Pitcher conceded a single to Jaiden Manders on the first ball of that last over, before Davis hit him for a six over mid-wicket the next ball. The third ball produced a single to Davis, before Davis was then run out trying to steal a single. Pitcher's throw to the batsman's end hit the stumps.
Ironically it was Wendell Smith, the Stars coach, who raised his arm after he, Leroy Wilson and George Cannonier, the St David's coach, were forced to act as umpires when the officials failed to show up. Smith and Cannonier stood as square leg umpires.
With two balls remaining and the last pair in, St David's looked to have survived their biggest scare so far in the league as Pitcher bowled a dot ball to Campbell on the fifth ball, before conceding the boundary on the final ball.
Hall, who hit five fours and four sixes in 99 minutes, was the Stars hero with his knock, after earlier taking four wickets for 48 runs off ten overs.
“To be honest I had confidence in the rest of the batsmen coming in, but once we got down to the last two overs and needed 24 runs I got a little worried,” Hall said. “But we pulled it through.
“The wicketkeeper made a few errors which helped us. We are surely happy about this, this is our biggest win since I've been playing for Stars, about ten years. I also got four wickets so I'll take that as well.”
Hall departed when he drove off the back foot and gave an easy catch to George O'Brien at short extra cover off the bowling of Rudell Pitcher, who had him dropped by Cejay Outerbridge on the cover boundary two overs earlier when the score was 186 for five.
“I got caught in two minds, trying to hit it on the ground,” Hall said.
O'Brien led the St David's bowling with three for 50 from nine overs, while Cejay Outerbridge followed up his five wickets on Saturday with two for 46.
The visitors had been on a high since the victory over Cleveland the day before, and it looked liked continuing when, after being sent in to bat, they enjoyed an opening stand of 151 in 29 overs between Delyone Borden and Shannon Rayner. And even though they only finished with 235 in 47 overs, there wasn't any real cause for panic considering the quality of their bowling.
Borden scored 73 with eight fours and a six, while Rayner justified his promotion up the order, with 77 off nine fours and three sixes. Hall, the sixth bowler used, finally got the breakthrough when Raynor was caught on the boundary by Wayne Campbell.
Dion Stovell scored 30 in the middle order, but the other top bats all failed to reach double figures as Makai Young claimed two for 25 and Treadwell Gibbons two for 20.
• Southampton Rangers were comfortable winners over Cleveland yesterday, scoring 285 for nine and then dismissing Cleveland for 160. Alex Dore scored 50 while Kwame Tucker contributed 45, Kevin Tucker 37, Janeiro Tucker 35 and Curtis Jackson 33.
Willow Cuts did not show up at Sea Breeze Oval for their match with Bailey's Bay.