Barbados Nation article.
Bridgetown, Barbados - Out-of-favour Barbados opening batsman Rashidi Boucher stroked a brilliant, unbeaten half century to lead Belle Warriors to the capture of the 2014 West Indies Softball Cricket Festival.
They defeated highly-fancied West Coast Stars in the final by one wicket with a single delivery to spare on Monday evening at the Dash Valley Sports Complex.
Boucher’s masterful 59 not out contained one four and three sixes as he carried his bat to ensure that the Blenheim-based Warriors prevailed in a thrilling climax to the annual festival, which for the first time featured only men’s teams.
Warriors captain Anthony Stuart set the stage with a five-wicket haul as the previously unbeaten Stars posted a competitive 105 from 19.4 overs after winning the toss.
Major contributions came from Vonrick Nurse (22), former Barbados batsman Alcindo Holder (20), Alphonso Lashley (18) and captain Anthony Young (15), while Stuart was well supported by namesake Jameel (3 for 5).
With nine runs required from the last over, Boucher, who opened the batting, smacked a boundary off the first ball bowled by Young.
Three were needed with two balls left but a high full toss that resulted in three byes gave the youthful Warriors the victory.
Such was Boucher’s domination of the chase that no other batsman reached double figures.
Young, Orion Bostic and Derwin Thompson each grabbed two wickets.
Earlier, Boucher warmed up for the final with a knock of 36 in the first semi-final versus Queen’s Park Masters, which Warriors won by 14 runs.
West Coast Stars made light work of Orange Hill Cavaliers in the other semi-final, racing to 64 for two in 11.3 overs when replying to the St James team’s 62 all out. Ebullient opening bat Ron Bates cracked 39 in quick time.
Warriors were rewarded the first prize of $3 000 along with the Colin Arthur Challenge Shield that was delivered to the ground by limousine and presented by Barbados Tourism Authority manager for sport Gregory Armstrong, a former Barbados fast bowler.
Despite the absence of women’s participation in this year’s event, coordinator Rodney Simpson promised a bigger and better festival next year He said he looked forward to attracting a number of overseas teams and to the return of the female segment.