Bremar blitz earns Bermuda the title
Steven Bremar produced one of the most explosive and vital innings of his career to steer Bermuda to a dramatic four-wicket triumph over Cayman Islands to win group B of the ICC World Twenty20 Sub Regional Qualifier in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Saturday.
The middle-order batsman thumped an unbeaten 26 from 14 balls and dominated an 18-run seventh-wicket stand with Charles Trott that carried Bermuda over the line with a ball to spare at the Belgrano Ground.
The match and the tournament title both hung in the balance with Bermuda requiring 18 runs for victory off the final over and Bremar, batting at No 6, was more than equal to the task as he delivered in the clutch.
The Cleveland County player scored a boundary off the second ball of the final over off seam bowler Conroy Wright and then scampered through for two runs off the next delivery to keep the strike.
With 11 runs now required for victory off the final three balls of the match, Bremar shifted into overdrive and dispatched Wright for back-to-back sixes to secure the victory in stunning fashion and spark Bermuda’s celebrations.
“Bremar’s innings was first class, he showed tremendous heart and guts,” Clay Smith, the Bermuda coach, said.
“The atmosphere at the start of the last over was Cayman have won it, but we got six off the first two balls and then when Bremar hit the first six it was like, ‘can we really steal this’?
“The last six came right out of the middle. Once he connected he immediately turned to celebrate because he knew it had gone.
“He didn’t even have to wait and see — it went miles.”
Bermuda slipped to 48 for three in the eighth over in their reply with captain Dion Stovell and vice-captain Terryn Fray both falling cheaply.
But a 50-run partnership between Kamau Leverock, Bermuda’s top scorer with 31 from 30, and Janeiro Tucker, who added 18 from 25, put the run chase back on track before Bremar finished things off in a hurry. Also making a significant contribution was wicketkeeper Okera Bascome, who scored 20 facing the new ball with Stovell. Earlier, Cejay Outerbridge took two for 19 and Tucker two for 20 to restrict Cayman to a target just within Bermuda’s reach.
Bermuda’s thrilling victory avenged their sole defeat against Cayman four days earlier and, more importantly, enabled them to finish top of the qualifying group having already secured their spot at next year’s regional finals.
“Today’s win was massive to say the least,” Smith added. “I’m so proud of the team, we never gave up.
“What jubilation for a group of players who deserved it for all the hard work they have put in over the last four to five months.
“I have to take my hat off to Cayman, though, as they pushed us and pushed us every step of the way. Today we had to show character and we did just that.
“We went on to achieve our main objective by winning the group.
“Now we have six weeks to prepare for Malaysia [the World Cricket League Division Four tournament], which will be even tougher.
“We have a lot of work to do in a short period of time. I want to thank my entire coaching staff as they are very important to the success of the team.
“I’m so proud of my players; it just goes to show that when you work hard and make the sacrifice anything is possible.”