Antigua cruise to 24-run win over USVI

Antigua and Barbuda cruised into the quarterfinals of the 2008 Stanford 20/20 tournament with an easy 24-run win over United States Virgin Islands on Saturday.

In the seventh Round of 16 Match, played at the Stanford Cricket Ground, USVI, replying to Antigua and Barbuda Pro Team's 153 for eight, were restricted to 131 for six.

Electing to take first strike, Sylvester Joseph and Austin Richards started things for Antigua and Barbuda Pro Team, but despite only losing Richards, the home team found the going tough for the first quarter.

New ball bowlers Dane Weston and Hamish Anthony were on target for most part, which kept Antigua and Barbuda's batsmen quiet; at last up to that stage.

And to add insult to injury, Joseph, who wasn't given any room to cut loose, scored seven runs off 13 deliveries before he went for a suicidal run. He was well short of his ground at 34-2.

Orlando Peters was joined by Winden Cornwall, but shortly after the former hit Weston for two fours, he was bowled by Calvin Lewis, who had replaced Anthony at the far end for 20.

Cornwall, who started out aggressively, but was pegged back by first and second change bowlers Lewis and captain Sherville Huggins respectively, added 29 for the fourth wicket with Gavin Williams.

However, when both fell at 82-5, it was downhill for Antigua, who slipped into further trouble when Carl Simon was stumped by the ever alert Alderman Lesmond at 88 for six.

Cornwall who made 30, which came off 18 deliveries, was the top-scorer for Antigua and Barbuda Pro Team. Juari Edwards, who hit the only six of Antigua's innings in the 18th over, and Justin Athanaze with 21 each also contributed to the total.

Lewis, who tormented the Antigua and Barbuda batting with 3-16, was duly voted Man-of-the-Match for which he walked away with US$25,000.

At their turn at bat, USVI lost openers Clifford Walwyn (2) and Gaulbert Eavns (1) who were sent back to the showers early by new ball bowlers Gavin Tonge (1-26) and Carl Simon (1-20) respectively at 12-2.

Huggins and Junie Anthony joined forces and they played some elegant strokes to take USVI out of the precarious position and back in contention with a 66-run third wicket stand.

Both matched each other stroke for stroke, but Huggins playing one big shot too many, top-edged playing across the line against Anthony Martin and was caught by wicketkeeper Edwards.

Hamish joined his older brother, Junie, but just as he got out last time against St. Kitts, he went for another expansive drive and was bowled by Martin to make it 79 for 4 in the 12th over.

At this stage the asking rate jumped to over 12, and with little to come, the target of 154 was always going to be too difficult for the tail, even though Junie Anthony was still standing.

Though Antigua and Barbuda Pro Team's captain Joseph said: "The most important thing is that we won the game" he believes they "... really did not apply the basics".

Losing captain Huggins blamed his bowlers for the defeat. "We had Antigua on the back foot at the 16th (over), but somehow our bowlers did not stick to the task and the batsmen got on top of us".

However, with that behind them, he is already marking plans for next season. "We will come back better and stronger with a much younger team," he said, while saying "I looking forward to next year's competition".

source -

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