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KPMG and West XI upset odds to book Evening League semi-final spots

Dynamic duo: Openers Alistair Lynch, left, and Dan Roy put on 120 for KPMG in their shock 45-run victory over The Associates

KPMG and West XI upset the odds against more fancied opponents as they secured berths in the semi-finals of the Evening Cricket League's season-ending knockout.

Openers Alistair Lynch and Dan Roy fashioned a century opening stand for KPGM – who had expected to be in the second-tier plate competition – as they thumped The Associates, winners in 2019 and 2020, by 45 runs.

In Sunday's first game, in-form Jim West, the captain, struck an unbeaten half-century and Dennis Cherry snapped up three wickets as West XI edged CV Chargers by six wickets with three balls to spare, setting up a semi-final clash at 1pm on Saturday with Renegades, the group one league winners.

KPMG cashed in on their elevation to the top-tier tournament after High Flyaz withdrew because of a lack of available players – and fancy their chances of going even further in the league's showpiece tournament.

It was the second first-round defeat this year for The Associates, the group one league runners-up, who also lost heavily to West XI in the delayed 2021 tournament won by Tuff Dogs.

Having been sent in, Roy and Lynch dominated KPMG's 16-over total of 156 for two with an opening stand of 120, and although James Troughton hit an unbeaten 49 from 35 balls at No 5 and Dave Horan chipped in with 20 in reply The Associates fell well short of their target, closing on 111 for five.

Roy, who was first to fall, smashed three sixes and six fours in his explosive 35-ball 62, while Lynch's unbeaten 56 from 47 balls contained two sixes and four fours.

Srijan Seghal was KPMG's destroyer-in-chief with the ball, finishing with three for 22 from his four overs.

The victory has set pulses racing in the KPMG camp and Michael Campbell, their captain, is confident of pulling off another upset and reaching the final – even though they face the holders and league champions Tuff Dogs in Saturday's first semi-final at 10am.

“We have lost both league games against Tuff Dogs this season, but hopefully third time's the charm and I'm backing us to go all the way,” he said.

“It was generally a good all-round performance [against The Associates] with some crucial catches and excellent fielding as well.

“Our opening bowling partnership once again came up with the goods and took three wickets in the first six overs as well as keeping them under a run a ball.”

Simon Jones, the losing captain, said: “Sunday’s defeat was a really disappointing end to what’s been a very good season for us.

“KPMG thoroughly deserved the win. They were the better team on the day and put us under pressure at the beginning of their innings with the bat and then again with the ball at the start of our innings. We just couldn’t seem to get any momentum.”

He added: “That’s two early knockout exits in the last two [tournaments], so we’ll be hoping to come back stronger next year.”

West's unbeaten 60 from 50 balls, including four sixes and three fours, coupled with Cherry's superb three for 18 in a four-over spell, engineered West XI's last-over win after group two league runners-up Chargers, who won the toss, struggled to 108 for six despite 43 from opener Piers Carr, their captain.

“It was an all-round good fielding performance,” Steve Jones, West XI spokesman, said.

“We held onto all our catches with Brandon [Ray] taking an outrageous backward-running catch against their captain [Carr] as he was on his way to making some runs.

“We thought chasing their 108 would be an easy target. We made hard work of it, but managed to get there in the final over.”

He added: “The team feel very positive going into the semi-finals.”

Meanwhile, Bailey's Bay earned a spot in the plate final by beating North Village by five wickets with a ball to spare in a 13-overs-a-side game, having dismissed Village for 89 in 11 overs.


First Round

Shelly Bay (CV Chargers won toss): CV Chargers 108-6 (16 overs; Dennis Cherry 3 for 18); West XI 112-4 (15.3 overs; Jim West 60 not out). West XI beat CV Chargers by six wickets.

Shelly Bay (The Associates won toss): KPMG 156-2 (16 overs; Dan Roy 62, Alistair Lynch 56 not out); The Associates 111-5 (16 overs; James Troughton 49 not out; Srijan Seghal 3 for 22). West XI beat The Associates by 45 runs.

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Published September 22, 2022 at 7:29 am (Updated September 22, 2022 at 7:28 am)

KPMG and West XI upset odds to book Evening League semi-final spots

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