Romano Pierre bowled off the final ball of the match
Sports
April 1, 2022
Big VPL four clash today

Today, Friday April 1, 2022, the top four teams in this year’s VPL Ten/10 cricket tournament will battle for places in Sunday’s grand final at the Arnos Vale Playing Field. In Qualifier One table toppers, La Soufriere Hikers will take on second place, Botanical Gardens Rangers, to be followed by Eliminator One in which third place, Salt Pond Breakers and fourth place, Dark View Explorers will clash.
 In Wednesday’s final round of preliminary matches, Fort Charlotte Strikers lost to Botanical Rangers. Having won the toss, Rangers captain, Kesrick Williams decided to bowl and from the first over Strikers found the going tough.

 It was a miserly first over bowled by Larry Edwards and at the end of the powerplay, Strikers were struggling at 22 for 2. Strikers lost wickets regularly after the powerplay, and after seven overs, were tottering at 45 for 5.

 Strikers’ innings ended on 77 for 6, with Joshua James top scoring with 30 not out from 15 deliveries; he hit 3 fours and 2 sixes, on a very sorry looking batting card for Strikers as no other batter reached double figures. Bowling for Rangers, Keron Cottoy took 1for 3, Andre Fletcher 1 for 6, Razine Browne 1for 7; Kimali Williams and Shahime Samuel also had a wicket apiece.

 Rangers took up the chase, needing to overhaul their target in 8.3 overs to guarantee a spot in the top two. With that in mind, Rangers opened the innings with Andre Fletcher and Keron Cottoy, but were kept quiet, the power-play ending with Rangers on 26 for 1.

Two big overs for Rangers brought them back into the reckoning. They took a total of 30 runs from the fifth and sixth overs, taking the total to 56 for 2 at the end of six overs.

 With 22 needed from 15 deliveries to guarantee their place in the top two, Wayne Harper ensured the qualification with 31 not out, Andre Fletcher scored 18, and Salvan Browne made 15 to help Rangers reach 78 for 3 in 8.2 overs.

 Ray Jordan took 1 for 6, Richie Richards 1 for 12, and Reynolly Hillocks 1 for 13, as Rangers won by seven wickets.  

 In the final preliminary match of the tournament, Dark View Explorers won the toss and skipper, Lindon James decided to bowl. The opening pair of Kaveem Hodge and Gidron Pope were in a no nonsense mood, and powered Strikers to 50 without loss at the end of the power-play.

 Sealron Williams broke the partnership, tempting Hodge into a slog and had him caught on the mid wicket boundary by Romano Pierre. Alick Athanaze bowled an economical over to help peg back the Hikers to 60 for 1 after 6 overs.

 Dillon Douglas and Gidron Pope continued the mayhem as they pushed Hikers to 100 for 2 after 8 overs. Hikers did not get the target many expected them to, as they lost six wickets in the final two overs for 17 runs; the final score 117 for 8 from their 10 overs.

 Gidron Pope top scored with 43, Dillon Douglas 31, and Kaveem Hodge 23. Bowling for Explorers, Darius Martin took 3 for 22, and Luke Wilson 2 for 20, with Sealron Williams and Alick Athanaze each taking a wicket.

Explorers took on the challenge and at the end of the powerplay were 42 without loss, smashing 31 from overs three overs, five to seven, and taking Explorers to 73 without loss.

 By now excitement among the sizeable crowd was peaking as both Pierre and Athanaze were striking the ball well. Nineteen came off the eighth over bowled by Dillon Douglas, and it came down to 26 needed from 12 deliveries.

 Romano Pierre slashed a wide delivery from Rayan Williams for four, and then Alick Athanaze hit a massive six off the final delivery of the penultimate needing 11 from the final six legal deliveries.

 Kemron Strough bowled the last over, bowling Pierre off the final ball of the match to give Hikers a 4-run victory. Romano Pierre top scored with 51, and Athanaze remained 44 not out, while Strough took the only wicket to fall for 6 runs.

 Meanwhile, Grenadines Divers finished on 4 points from 8 matches played, winning two and losing six, while Fort Charlotte Strikers had only one win finishing on 2 points from their eight matches played, with seven losses.

Thursday was a rest day in the tournament which bowled off on March 19 involving six teams.