Victors one Again!
September 28, 2007

Victors one Again!

Victors One are the local undisputed champion of National Lotteries Authority Neil Williams 20/20 cricket. The star studded unit put their second straight hold on the title when they defeated Police two last Saturday at the Stubbs Playing Field.{{more}}

It was Victors that humbled Police one last year in the final in the inaugural competition.

Victors, celebrating 34 years of existence as a cricket outfit, replying to Police’s 145 for 8, off their 20 overs, reached 149 for 3, with one over to spare.

Victors’ triumph came in the last ball of the 19th over, when Alston Bobb,hoisted medium fast bowler Mohammed Lavia over long on for six. The left handed Bobb had given the bowler the same treatment with the previous ball. Bobb ended 22 not out. But Victors’ reply was crafted by the experienced Bertram Stapleton. The former St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Windwards middle order batsman navigated the ship well and was 55 not out when victory was achieved.

Leading from in front, Stapleton struck 3 sixes and 3 fours. He, along with Lauron Francois, put things on even keel for the third wicket, after the loss of Donwell Hector and Denis Byam.

Francois, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Windwards Under-19 captain, hit a patient 51. In his innings, Francois caressed four balls to the boundary ropes before he was pouched by wicket keeper Salvan Browne, going for a big heave off Elmore Alexander.

Police, with much support from members of the local constabulary, earlier in the piece, set about what they thought was a good total. Othneil Baptiste, in his usual pugnacious style, blasted 51, dotted with 5 sixes. Oneil Thomas chipped in with 30, of which he scored 4 fours.

Bobb, 2 for 18, also Hank Hall, 2 for 18, and Norlan Williams, 2 for 34, toiled on the sun drenched South Windward sporting show piece.

A jubilant Stapleton at the end of the match told SEARCHLIGHT that he was “elated” at the outcome of the match.

“It was well planned and executed. Reaching this stage, we couldn’t afford to lose’, said a seemingly tired Stapleton.

He was high in praise of the members of the team.

“As you can see, we are a mixture of youth and experience”, he added.

Victors’ eleven which appeared on the field at last Saturday’s final featured players, all of whom have represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines or the Windward Islands at some level.

But losing captain Kenroy Martin sang a different tune. An obviously disappointed Martin said that his bowlers bowled too much down the leg side, and “we did not field well either”.

And the teams did not have to wait long for their cash awards. Victors stashed away $3000, making it the biggest pay day in the national cricket competition. Police’ loot was $2000, with Stapleton taking away $100 for the Man of the Match award.

The two losing semi finalists, ECGC Radcliffe and Spartans, both collected $750.

Manager of the National Lotteries Authority Mc Gregor Sealey, speaking at the closing ceremony, said he was pleased that he could report to his Board of Directors that $30 000 input by the NLA as sponsorship of the competition “was money well spent”.

Sealey assured the local cricket association representatives present that he would speak favourably to his board to have them sponsor the competition next year.

Also speaking at the ceremony was president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association Julian Jack, who expressed his delight at another successful staging of the competition. Jack said he would like to see an expansion of the competition to include more teams, especially those from the Grenadines.

Fourteen teams, including for the first time Bequia, participated in the 2007 edition.