St George’s win title after nail-biting victory over Bailey’s Bay
Sea Breeze Oval (Bailey’s Bay won toss): St George’s beat Bailey’s Bay by one wicket.
It was a close-run thing but St George’s were confirmed champions of the Athene T20 Premier Division by beating nearest rivals Bailey’s Bay by one wicket in a low-scoring clash.
Bay’s possible title tilt went out with a whimper during yesterday’s double-header after they were thrashed by Southampton Rangers earlier in the day and they again looked likely to be completely overwhelmed for the second time in a matter of hours.
An extended Bay batting collapse that counted bedrock opener and captain Terryn Fray among the casualties, dismissed any lingering notion of a last-minute title challenge and they will have one eye over their shoulders next week with the runner-up spot still to be secured.
Sharye Tavares was Bay’s lone glimmer in a first innings filled with passive resistance and a total south of the hundred mark to add to the day’s meek offerings.
Almost St George’s entire bowling attack found opportunity to feast with Zeko Burgess, Onias Bascome and Allan Douglas and Nzari Paynter picking up two wickets each and Jonte Smith grabbing one as Bay were undressed.
But St George’s made hard work of chasing just 91 for victory by starting shakily, getting progressively worse and just managing to avoid defeat as wickets started to fall.
The quick wickets of prime scoreboard mover Allan Douglas cheaply for eight and basher Macai Simmons (3) for even less, granted Bay at least the chance to achieve a positive finish to a day of toil but Treadwell Gibbons and Jonte Smith went about repairing the early St George’s damage.
They put on a third-wicket partnership of 34 runs, the pair seeing off the remainder of the salvo brought by Kyle Hodsoll and Sharye Tavares, moving along gradually but with carefully identified moments of high aggression.
That was until Smith was bowled to the right-arm medium of Coolidge Durham for 23 after a 27-ball struggle, and he was swiftly followed by Gibbons for 16.
Matters became increasingly perilous for St George’s after Paynter inexplicably ran himself out in the 13th over.
Temiko Wilson hoped that frequent slugger Zeko Burgess (14) and later Sinclair Smith (two) might stay with him but they both fell relatively cheaply.
With the scores now level and with just one wicket in hand, St George’s required one run from nine balls, with tailend batsman Brandon Swainson facing Zakao Hart and nerves starting to show on both sides.
But Swainson held his nerve, handing the final rites to Bay’s championship ambitions after a tough day.
St George’s coach Clay Smith was emotional after the victory and paid tribute to his players.
“What can I say? The kid that scored the last run has been committed to us all year,” said Smith.
“He had a lot to play for, these guys are all very close and they want to win it for Sagi. It’s very emotional, but very rewarding at the same time, so I’m glad we were able to pull it through, because it’s been a long, hard season.
“The whole team has been committed and there have been a host of young players that led us to this victory.”
Captain Bascome, brother to the late Osagi, also paid tribute to the winning runscorer.
“Everyone has the same feeling I have, with regard to our team we’re one unit,” Bascome said.
“And with Brandon Swainson hitting the winning runs. He was my brother’s best friend, so it’s a moment of brilliance for everyone on the team.”
Always gracious no matter the outcome, Bay captain Terryn Fray could still be proud after a tough day on the coast.
Fray said: “We always know when we play St George’s that we’re in for a good game. We knew that if we got a few early wickets we’d be in the match. That creates pressure and no matter who you are when pressure gets put on, no matter what the sport, things can happen.”
*T Fray c Darrell b Bascome 2
S Tavares c Burgess b Douglas 35
C Durham c Bascome b Burgess
St Outerbridge c Gibbons b Bascome 6
+Sh Outerbridge c Douglas b Burgess 0
K Hodsoll c Smith b Douglas 0
M Steede not out 8
D Swan-DeSilva b Smith 2
K Trott c and b Paynter 5
Z Hart lbw b Paynter 1
D Thomas not out 8
Extras (nb 1, lb 2, w 13) 16
Total (9 wickets) 90
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-7, 3-14, 4-16, 5-54, 6-65, 7-71, 8-76, 9-78.
Z White did not bat
Bowling: Burgess 4-0-12-2; Bascome 4-0-22-2; Darrell 2-0-11-0; Douglas
4-0-12-1; Smith 4-0-12-1; Paynter 2-0-10-2.
A Douglas c and b Hodsoll 8
M Simmons b Hodsoll 3
J Smith b Durham 23
T Gibbons c Hodsoll b Durham 16
O Bascome b Fray 3
T Wilson not out 13
N Paynter run out 1
Z Burgess b Hodsoll 14
S Smith c Durham b Hodsoll 2
J Darrell c Steede b Hart 3
B Swainson not out 1
Total (9 wickets, 18.4 overs) 91
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-13, 3-47, 4-56, 6-59, 7-79, 8-81, 9-90.
Bowling: Hodsoll 4-0-17-4; Tavares 4-0-14-0; Thomas 2-0-21-0; Fray 4-0-
16-1; Durham 4-0-20-2; Hart .4-0-3-1.
Umpires: E Carrington, A Cumberbatch