Despite an impressive performance of 65 runs by Montserrat captain Lionel Baker, Montserrat were nowhere in sight of victory against a formidable St. Kitts team.
Montserrat could only reply 187 for 9 in response to St. Kitts’ 285 for 5 at the Edgar Gilbert Sporting Complex in Molineux, St. Kitts yesterday in one of the opening games of the Nagico One Day Cricket Tournament. Like the Nevis match played in Cayon, rain shortened play but only by two overs, reducing the match to 48 overs. Within that period, St. Kitts’ Steve Liburd scored 59 runs, but it was the over 110 run partnership between Junie Mitchum and Esroy Powell that cemented St. Kitts’s stamp on the match. Powell was undoubtedly the man of the match after scoring a credible 68 runs not out. St. Kitts got off to a shaky start losing its first wicket at four runs. After Liburd and Shane Jeffers literally gave their wickets away to the bowling of Quinton Boatswain and B. Stephney respectively, Mitchum and Powell stood their grounds and entertained the home crowd with magnificent shot after shot. Powell’s intelligent stroke assured him a spot in future matches in this tournament, which continues today with St. Kitts facing USVI in Molineux. Mitchum on the other end was quite graceful with his strokes and intermittently delivered creative shots that kept the pace of the game before he was out for 56 from the bowling of Lionel Baker.
At the turn of the innings, it was time for the St. Kitts’ bowlers to shine and in the first few minutes they did. Kevin Hanley showed no mercy to the Montserrat batsmen, easily grabbing two wickets for just 19 runs off four overs. Calvin Williams too had two wickets for 41 runs off 10 overs and Powell, the man of the match also two wickets in eight overs off 39 runs. Montserrat’s top order batsmen failed miserably with Nester Piper bowled by Hanley for four, Damien White gone for four from Williams’ bowling, Dalston Tuitt gone for seven and Shernyl Burns caught at slips for 14 runs from Powell’s ecstatic bowling. Jason Peters who was a fantatic wicket keeper for Montserrat was not good at the bat, going out for four along with Omari Allen who also scored four runs. However, Lionel Baker, in the face of defeat stood tall with a knock of 65 runs despite the heavy offensive bowling attack orchestrated by St. Kitts. He was later joined by the exuberant 17-year-old cricket Tevin Osbourne who meant business the moment he stepped onto the pitch. In 15 minutes, he raced to 20 runs and remained not out on 23. McPherson Meade, the other stalwart on the Montserrat team made 35 runs earlier before being run out. The last ball of the day was met with a hard hitting six boundary shot by Quinton Boatswain who made 10 not out.
Baker’s long stance in the crease was not pleasing to the St. Kitts coach Percy Daniels, who was not completely satisfied with his team’s overall performance. He believed that after starting brilliantly taking the first five wickets in a short time span, the team did not maintain the pressure, which is key in one day cricket. He explained that the game plan against Baker was not implemented. "The general idea is to bowl him outside the off stump, but they were bowling him directly on the wicket," Daniels said. "If you are bowling him outside of areas he is not familiar with, chances are he will take risks and more risk puts us in a better position to dismiss the individual," added Daniels.