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Tre Manders guides underdogs Pembroke to victory over Sandys

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Azende Furbert drives during his crucial 29 not out for Pembroke Panthers in a three-wicket win over Sandys Spartans in the Bermuda Smash Invitational Cricket (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

North Field, National Sports Centre (Sandys Spartans won toss): Pembroke Panthers (5pts) beat Sandys Spartans (0) by seven wickets

Pembroke Panthers kicked off their challenge for the inaugural Bermuda Smash Invitational title with a seven-wicket victory over Sandys Spartans.

Panthers laid waste to pre-tournament favourites Sandys in workmanlike fashion, silencing the West Enders’ powerful bats on a grassy wicket offering bounce and carry.

“First I want to thank all the sponsors and co-organisers for supporting this event,” said victorious captain Tre Manders, whose rapid half-century proved key in Panthers’ reply.

“From the start I’ve been looking forward to playing in this event and I’m just glad they put this all together.

“Second, it’s always good to get this first win at the Bermuda Smash. I told the guys that now we’ll go down as winning the first-ever match. Going in, there was talk about us being underdogs, but we like being the underdogs, because it’s motivation to perform better.”

Despite Spartans being stocked with the likes of leading local all-rounders Kamau Leverock and Bermuda captain Delray Rawlins along with Barbados and West Indies batter Shamarh Brooks, Spartans could muster only a sub-par 118 in their allotted 20 overs.

They lost two crucial wickets early, with Leverock departing for six, one ball after slicing medium-pacer Jermal Proctor to extra cover for a maximum, when lobbing a return catch to the same bowler. He was soon followed back to the pavilion by Brooks (11) bowled by the left-arm orthodox spin of Rishab Nahata.

Opener Q’Shai Darrell, who went on to notch the competition’s first half century, a battling 62, was left to witness a continued procession to and from the middle with Rawlins (11) Alje Richardson (12), Steven Bremar (nine) and Sharye Tavares (zero) all failing to produce the goods wih the bat.

“I think we were a bit slow getting started with the bat,” said Spartans coach Jeff Richardson of the early showing.

“It was the first game of the season for most of the players. It was very overcast early in the day, so it was always going to be difficult batting with the ball doing some things. It was a sub-par score and then we didn’t bowl as well a we should have.”

Kamau Leverock bowls for Sandys Spartans during the opening game (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Richardson now knows there can be no more poor performances if his team is to make it to the final on Sunday and his side will get an extra day to recover with the matches scheduled for Thursday postponed because of a poor weather forecast

“We’ve had some discussions and know that 130-140 would be a good score on this wicket,” he said. “The guys are now just getting somewhat acclimatised and got the nerves out of the way.

“We just need to get in the top three and be in for the weekend.”

Sandys Spartans celebrate a wicket (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Kwasi James emerged as Panthers’ top wicket-taker with two for 24, while Proctor, Zeko Burgess, Chandrapaul Hemraj and Nahata each claimed one scalp.

Pembroke’s run chase got off to a shaky start, as Hemraj (one) failed to get around against a Leverock thunderbolt, giving wicketkeeper Bremar a simple catch with a mere seven runs on the board and Kwasi James (11) perished, leaving the chasers at 19 for two.

Marcus Scotland (23) and Azende Furbert (29 not out) engaged in an unbroken third-wicket partnership worth 30 runs before the former top-edged seamer Seth Campbell to Steven Bremar behind the stumps, bringing captain Manders (51) to the wicket.

Bereft of form coming into the competition and despite being hit on the helmet by a rising Leverock thunderbolt, Manders effected a well-configured innings lasting 36 balls and including two fours and four sixes.

Manders’s ramped boundary that levelled the scores was, perhaps, among the strangest strokes in recent memory.

“I’ll just call that a ‘scooper’,” said Manders with a chuckle.

“I told Bongy [Leverock] after the over that was one of the fastest overs I’ve faced in a little while.

“But I knew after I had been hit in the helmet that I had to come back with something and luckily it came off.”

The match also provided a showcase for little-known Nahata, of Evening League side Team Deloitte, to show that high-class talent exists among the more recreational division.

“It was definitely good out there today,” said Nahata. “I loved playing among all the experienced players out there. It was great learning with them.”


North Field (Sandys Spartans won toss): Pembroke Panthers beat Sandys Spartans by seven wickets

Sandys Spartans

*K Leverock c & b Proctor 6

Q Darrell not out 62

S Brooks b Nahata 11

D Rawlins c Sabir b James 11

A Richardson c Furbert b Hemraj 12

†S Bremar lbw b James 9

S Tavares c Brangman b Burgess 0

I Richardson not out 2

Extras (lb 3, w 2) 5

Total (6 wkts; 20 overs) 118

K Hodsoll, S Darrell and M Young did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-25, 3-53, 4-89, 5-101, 6-102.

Bowling: Proctor 4-0-27-1; Hemraj 4-0-16-1; Burgess 4-0-11-1;.Nahata 3-0-25-1; Sabir 1-0-12-0; James 4-0-24-2

Pembroke Panthers

C Hemraj c Bremar b Leverock 1

K James c Tavares b Hodsoll 11

M Scotland c Bremar b Campbell 23

A Furbert not out 29

*T Manders not out 51

Extras (lb 1, nb 1, w 5) 7

Total (3 wkts; 19 overs) 122

Z Burgess, D Sabir, J Proctor, I O’Brien, R Nahata and †R Brangman did not bat

Fall of wickets: 1-7 2-19, 3-49.

Bowling: Leverock 4-0-32-1; Hodsoll 3-0-14-1; Rawlins 3-0-10-0; Tavares 4-0-23-0; Campbell 3-0-16-1; Richardson 1-0-16-0; Q Darrell 1-0-10-0.

Umpires: D Smith and M McCormack.

Third umpire: L Williams.

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Published May 16, 2024 at 8:04 am (Updated May 17, 2024 at 6:10 pm)

Tre Manders guides underdogs Pembroke to victory over Sandys

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