Stars seize on Warwick’s slump to snatch First Division title advantage
Western Stars moved into pole position as the Twenty20 First Division title and promotion race took a dramatic turn at the weekend.
Stars beat PHC to capitalise on previous leaders Warwick’s back-to-back defeats against Cleveland and Flatts.
Stars now hold a ten-point advantage at the top of the pecking order and can clinch promotion to the top tier with victory over Warwick when the two sides lock horns at a venue yet to be confirmed on Sunday.
Cleveland thrust themselves in the promotion race after seeing off Warwick and then Devonshire a day later.
Cleveland have a bye this weekend and will face Eastern Counties rivals Flatts in their season finale on September 19 also at a venue to be determined.
The second and final promotion spot could potentially be decided on the final day of the season should Stars prevail against Warwick in their next outing.
Meanwhile, Warwick suffered their first setback after Cleveland handed them a seven-wicket defeat at Southampton Oval in a make-up game on Saturday which was reduced to 15 overs due to rain.
Cleveland restricted their hosts to 148 for nine after sending them to bat and then scored 115 for three in reply to their revised target of 112.
Q’Shai Darrell led the visitors charge with the bat and ball, claiming three for 21 before smashing an unbeaten 50 from 42 balls with four fours and two sixes, including the game winner off the last ball of the match.
Darrell and deputising captain Courtney Trott, who struck 32 from 29 balls with two fours and as many sixes, produced a match-winning stand of 77.
Kyle Swan led the Warwick batting with 37, while Jodi Maroni produced the best bowling figures with three for 23.
Stars regained control of the title and promotion race with a four wicket win over PHC at Sea Breeze Oval on Sunday.
Dante Wellman claimed two for 28 and Jaiden Manders two for 21 as Stars restricted PHC to 132 for six after they elected to bat.
Jaiden Manders also shone with the bat as he stroked 66 from 55 balls with three sixes and six fours.
Tre Manders added 43 from 24 with four fours and as many sixes as Stars replied with 134 for six.
Dionte Dowling was PHC’s top scorer with an unbeaten 35 while Charles Symonds led their efforts with the ball, with three for 23.
Warwick suffered a second straight setback after losing by 23 runs against Flatts at Somerset Cricket Club.
Dajon Carey, the captain, struck 68 while Coefield Robinson added 39 and Regino Smith 33 as Flatts scored 174 for four after being sent in.
Paul Carr Harvey was the pick of the Flatts bowling with two for 21 as Warwick replied with 151 for five.
Jamar Stovell led the Warwick batting with 55 from 27 balls with four fours and as many sixes and their bowling with two for 22 respectively.
Cleveland moved level on points with Warwick after beating Devonshire by 14 runs at Wellington Oval.
Bryce Daniels stroked 54 and Freeman Lema 27 as the home side scored 175 for eight after electing to bat.
Second change Makai Young then claimed two for 23 as Devonshire replied with 161 for eight.
Dion Ball Jr, the captain, led the Devonshire batting with 79 from 35 balls with seven fours and as many sixes.
He also produced his team’s best bowling figures of two for 21.
Somerset Bridge had a bye at the weekend.