UWI Blackbirds finally 'pick' in Walker Memorial one-day tournament
Barbados Cricket Association article.
Bridgetown, Barbados - The saying that cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties, lighting does not strike in the same place twice and miracles do come true, was proven on Saturday at Friendship, as nothing and no one could stop Sagicor UWI Blackbirds from capturing their first and only “prey” of the Iris Walker Memorial Women's 50-over competition.
Despite some ominous dark clouds dotting the sky, there was not much “friendship” going on at this ground as a purposeful Blackbirds team took flight, attacked and soundly crippled MPACT Pride to win by 15 runs.
With Angela Harris Tridents having easily won the tournament and therefore with nothing to lose, Blackbirds won the toss and elected to bat once more. They quickly lost the wickets of makeshift opener Jessica Holder-Vaughan for three with the score on seven in the second over, and captain Malissa Howard, who scored just one following closely behind with the score on 12 in the sixth over off a soft dismissal. She played at a wide delivery going down leg side and was caught by keeper Rashida Goring.
The other opener, the steadfast Reshelle Griffith stood her ground, soaking up some 56 balls, as she and Ashli Antoine took the score to 49 before she, too, was out to a soft dismissal, caught and bowled by Danielle Small for 23.
This brought the out-of-form Charlene Taitt to the crease, but she could only watch her partner Antoine become Small’s second victim, also out off yet another soft dismissal, caught and bowled after scoring 23 to make the score 58 for four in the 24th over.
Taitt realised that to make a game out of it and put some sort of respectable score on the board she had to carry the weight of the team on her shoulders. Her partners however, thought differently, as a flurry of wickets started to tumble from the nest, as Blackbirds were soon reeling on 63 for seven.
A little sunlight peeped through the overcast skies in that of Shelly-Ann Watson coming in to bat at No. 9, as she played a-run-a-ball innings scoring 19 off 19 balls including two fours before she was bowled comprehensively by Aaliyah A Alleyne, making it 92 for eight.
Taitt who was playing a docile innings, saw that she was quickly running out of partners and decided that it was time to up the ante, and, partnered by Sade Clarke took the score to 122 for nine
With the loss of Clarke’s wicket who was beautifully caught by Lopez at mid-off for four from 27 balls, Taitt, then partnered by Fagan, who is not really known for her batting ability, took the score to 136 in the 46th over as she played a cameo innings, and, in the process brought up her fifty off 81 balls.
Taitt then took to shielding Fagan, causing her own demise as she holed out attempting to go for another boundary and was caught by Nadia-Rose Hinds off Thompson, ending on 58 off 95 balls which included six fours.
Needing 145 to win at 2.9 runs per over, what seemed to everyone to be another sure victory for Pride soon became a horrible nightmare in broad daylight, despite Small’s confidence prior to the start of the innings.
With the constant changing of opening partners, Byron-Toney opened with Small and they quickly took the score to 20 in just four overs before Byron-Toney was caught by Shonna Evelyn for eight off Howard, despite earlier smashing her first scoring shot, a four back past this same bowler.
Small fell 2.2 balls later with the score on 27, brilliantly bowled by Howard for 12 which included one four. With Harewood and Alleyne partnering, they quickly took the score to 65 for three and Alleyne, who earlier was given a life by Antoine who in her attempt at taking a return catch damaged her finger, smashed a ball to mid-off and was brilliantly caught low by Griffith for a quick-fire 24 off 25 balls which included four boundaries off Antoine.
As the Blackbirds quietly pecked away at the Pride, Krystal Harewood who then came in to partner with Karla Cohen, with the score on 68 found herself in her partner’s face at the opposite end of the pitch and was sadly run out for 12 by captain Howard fielding at short midwicket. Wickets then began to fall quickly as Cohen began to run out of partners.
A little light began to peep through the leaves as Evelyn sent down some eight wides in her third over assisting the Pride’s cause as they reached 107 for seven, leaving a mere 39 runs for victory.
The biggest hurdle however, that faced Pride was that with just three wickets in hand it was going to be a bit of a task and would take some sensible batting. Nadia-Rose Hinds was the next out two runs later, followed quickly by Shalite Lopez with the score on 124 becoming the fifth victim of Antoine who ended with five for 24 off ten overs including one maiden despite having an injured finger.
Blackbirds, with the sweet taste of victory just one wicket away or on the opposite end 22 runs required by Pride, finally got the last laugh as they took the wicket of Cohen who played a stubborn knock of 24 off 34 balls. In going for a boundary, she was caught by a delighted Evelyn at mid-on to put the icing on the cake and start the exuberant celebrations for the Blackbirds’ team.