Nevis outclass St Kitts
A fiery spell of fast bowling from John Maynard set up Nevis for a comfortable seven-wicket victory and earned them bragging rights over federal compatriots St Kitts in the Stanford Twenty20 Cup on Friday night at the Stanford Cricket Ground.
In pursuit of 101 for victory from their 20 overs, Nevis hit the jackpot with nine overs to spare, when Winston Sutton formalised the result with a six over long-off off Junie Mitchum.
The 37-year-old Maynard, who collected the US$25,000 cheque for the Man-of-the-Match prize, had rolled back the years, when he snared four wickets for nine runs from four overs of incisive fast bowling to send St. Kitts crashing to 100 all out in 19.5 overs.
The Kittitians were indebted to Jacques Taylor, whose 41 from 43 balls contained four boundaries and beefed up their total, after they had subsided to 29 for seven in the eighth over.
Shervin Woodley then struck seven fours and two sixes in 56 from 36 balls to guide the Nevisians to victory.
He added 67 for the second wicket with Kieran Powell, who hit four fours and one six in 26 from 16 balls and carried away the Player-of-the-Match prize of US$10,000.
Nevis became the second side after Grenada to qualify for the quarter-finals, where they will face either hosts Antigua and Barbuda or St. Lucia.
Stuart Williams, Nevis' most acclaimed batsman, looked set to play a typically explosive innings, when he played one of his trademark cover drives off Elsroy Powell for four to get off the mark.
Powell, however, had the last laugh. After Shane Jeffers dropped him at cover, Williams was caught at mid-on in the second over skying a delivery off the leading edge.
Kieran Powell came to the wicket and announced himself with a six whipped high over mid-wicket to disturb the crowd on the grass embankment on the western side of the ground, and continued to bat with enterprise alongside Woodley.
Powell was eventually caught at long-off off Taylor in the ninth over, and Tonito Willett was run out in the next over for five before Sutton wrote the final chapter.
Earlier, Maynard bowled with pace and hostility to put the Kittitians on the backfoot early.
Willett made the breakthrough when he bowled Shane Jeffers for four in the second over, before Maynard struck twice in his third over.
He removed Greg Stanley caught at square leg for four and Junie Mitchum caught at mid wicket for the same score to leave St. Kitts 18 for three in the fifth over.
Willett added the wicket of Harwood Williams adjudged lbw for one in the sixth over, and Maynard struck two more blows in his final over when he bowled Elsroy Powell for seven and had Steve Liburd caught at slip for one fending off a short, rising ball. It left St. Kitts at 29 for six after seven overs.
Jason Williams was then run out for a duck without facing a ball in the next over, but Taylor and Colin Cannonier, who scored 16, put on 61 for the eighth wicket to take some of the egg from St. Kitts' face, but their effort was all in vain.
The competition continues on Tuesday when St. Vincent and the Grenadines tackle the United States Virgin Islands and Barbados meet Anguilla.
The Stanford Twenty20 Cup, the brainchild of Antigua-based American billionaire financier and developer Allen Stanford, features 19 Caribbean countries all vying for a top prize of US$1 million in a single elimination tournament.
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