Barath in superb form in Barbados
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Two well-known names in regional cricket – Adrian Barath and Ashley Nurse – slammed unbeaten centuries in the decisive ninth and final round of the BCA Sagicor General Super Cup championship as gripping interest was sustained down to the last qualifying match.
Their wonderful display on a bright, sunny day not only led to big wins for their teams but also by sheer co-incidence, set up a clash in the quarter-finals next Sunday.
Barath, a diminutive 23-year-old Trinidad & Tobago opener who has already represented West Indies in 15 Tests, 14 One-Day and two Twenty20 Internatioanals, hit his first century in local domestic cricket for Barbados Defence Force Sports Programme (BDFSP), who recorded the only 300-run total of the 2013 tournament before "shooting down" beleaguered BRC BCL by 127 runs at Paragon in Zone 'B'.
A member of the Barbados-based Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre (HPC), Barath's 126 not out off 140 balls with five fours and one six in a total of 301 for five off 50 overs was also the highest score of the championship, which was severely affected by wet conditions in the first five rounds with a whopping 25 of 39 matches ending in no-decisions.
The 24-year-old Nurse, a current Barbados and West Indies 'A' team off-spinning all-rounder with a couple T20 Internationals to his name, also lashed his first hundred in the island's top limited overs competition as LIME crushed Ince Transport MTW by 108 runs in a rescheduled fifth round match at Wildey to finish second in Zone 'A' where the quarter-finalists had been known a week ago.
Tall and strong, Nurse made 100 not out off 106 deliveries including four fours and the same number of sixes in a total of 232 for seven off 50 overs.
In the quarter-finals, title holders Sagicor Life UWI will oppose record eight-time champions Super Centre Spartan at 3Ws Oval, LIME meet BDFSP at Wildey, YMPC clash with ICBL Empire at Beckles Road and Republic Bank St. Catherine entertain last year's losing finalists CGI Maple at Bayfield.
With three places up for grabs going into the final round of the very competitive Zone 'B' today, there was always the likelihood of some intrigue.
YMPC became the sixth team to book their position with a swift six-wicket win at Beckles Road over hapless Police, who suffered significantly by the early wet conditions.
It might be hard to believe but the first five matches for Police resulted in no-decisions and even more painfully, only three overs (against BDFSP at Weymouth in Series 5) were bowled. Guardian General Barbados Youth, who competed in Zone 'A', were the only other team with so many no-decisions.
Then following BDFSP's triumph, the interest for the last position turned to Bayfield where fortunes were fluctuating and tensions rose on and off the field between St. Catherine, who had already qualified going into the round, and Spartan.
Chasing 194 to win, Spartan lost by 20 runs, thus giving Banks Wildey an opportunity to claim the last place in their battle at the SJPP ground, Pine/Wildey, with CounterPoint Wanderers who were out of the race.
But Banks Wildey could not handle the assignment even though their chances had been helped by a slow over-rate for which Wanderers were penalised six overs (36 runs were added to their target) after bowling the home side out for 173.
Wanderers duly won by five wickets with 15 balls to spare and Spartan slipped in.