Led by Julian Sinclair's five-wicket bowling performance, which included a historic hat-trick, Cavaliers bowled with discipline to restrict Vikings Cricket Club to 123 all out and then cruised to victory with the bat to claim their fourth consecutive 20/20 domestic cricket title at the Virgin Gorda recreation grounds yesterday, July 15.
After a short delay due to overnight rains, the 2012 finals bowled off when Vikings skipper, Vladen Walker won the toss and elected to bat first.
Vikings, who beat Cavaliers in a tape ball finals earlier this year had more to prove in the club´s first ever finals appearance since the 20/20 tournament started in 2007.
Julian Sinclair (with ball) leads Cavaliers off the field following his five-wicket haul.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
Determined to take advantage of the fielding restrictions in the first six overs, Vikings promoted the aggressive Kevin Walker to open the batting, but that plan backfired in the very first over of the match as Kevin lobbed a ball back to Cavaliers opening bowler Vijay Jhappan who took the easy catch to remove the dangerous right hander for duck.
Vikings were 0 for1 after Kevin Walker´s demise and were in further trouble when the other opener, Ryan Mangal tried to accelerate the score, but sent a catch to Dorian Auguste at mid-off from a pitched up delivery from Jagnarine Persuad and left Vikings in trouble with the score on 2 wickets for 3 runs.
It took the experience pair of Richard Federicks and Govin Singh to repair the early damage and they pushed the score to 46 for 2 after 10 overs; however, they too found it difficult to score boundaries as the first six of the innings came off the bat of Singh in the 12th over.
Singh started to look for boundaries, but found the Cavaliers skipper, Teddy Nankisore who took a sharp diving catch to dismiss the in-form batsman with the score on 59 for 3.
Running out of overs and still searching for a mammoth score, Fedricks started to look for boundaries off the bowling of Sinclair, but he picked out Auguste on the boundary.
It was Sinclair´s first wicket of a historic fete as the very next two deliveries he bowled Vishal Munesar and then then trapped Steve Sinclair leg before wicket to secure the first hat-trick (three wickets in three balls) in domestic 20/20 cricket.
Sinclair could have had six wickets had he taken a lob catch, but the damage was already done as the Vikings crawled to 123 all out.
Federicks top scored for Vikings with 32 runs which included 5 fours.
Cavaliers had successfully chased 202 a week ago in the semi-finals to beat Virgin Gorda and as such a modest total of 123 was not going to be difficult to overcome for the defending champions.
Nonetheless, Vikings appeared enthusiastic about defending the paltry total and in the first over almost reaped success following a confident appeal against Cavaliers opener and former West Indies player, Keith Semple against the bowling of Steve Sinclair.
Semple survived as umpire Charlie Jackson turned down the appeal.
Nankisore who opened the batting with Semple dispatched Roy Bobb for consecutive sixes in the fourth over, but fell in the very next over when Vaden Walker knocked over his stumps.
Cavaliers were 51 for 1 at the midway point as Federicks and Vaden Walker bowled in tandem to slow the Cavaliers run chase. As soon as the pair came out of the attack, the runs flowed. Some 15 runs came off the next over.
Steve Sinclair dropped Auguste with the score of 79 in the 14th over, but he did not survive much longer as Mohandra Munnsar knocked over his stumps. Bharrat fell to Steve Sinclair with the score on 119, but the experience Semple punched a ball for four to seal victory for Cavaliers.
Semple made 60 not out off 56 balls with 8 fours.
Assessing The Finals
Julian Sinclair received the man of the match trophy for his bowling figures of 49 for 5 in four overs.
"I just wanted to bowl it back of a length and the Vikings players made some lose shots that gave me the wickets. We had a plan and we executed it," Sinclair told BVI Platinum News.
Semple who probably played his final match for Cavaliers said that the team always discussed that one of the top order batsmen would stay and see the run chase through to the end.
"It was just basically to get in. We always say who ever in the top three got in must stay in and get in. I told Teddy that the early wickets would bring then into the game and I knew that once I batted to the end we would have won the game. I want to say that practice is very key to any team doing well. If you don´t practice hard and train hard you will not do well. You can have the skill, but you need to practice...I am pleased to say that the guys this season have really taken on board most of the things I have said and they have showed that they have gotten better throughout the tournament," Semple stated.
Cavaliers' captain told BVI Platinum News that the despite Vikings sending in Kevin Walker to open the batting, the game plan did not change.
"It feels good to have won this fourth title three of which came under the captaincy of Daniel Singh. I had butterflies this morning at the start of the match, but we have good players around in the team and they keep the cool. Our plan was to bowl straight and back of a length and it worked. Vikings is a good team, but we were up for the challenge today. We were prepared and I want to thank Keith Semple, who coached us well," Nankisore.
Vikings Captain, Vaden Walker said that his team has young players and he is certain that Cavaliers are "on the out and Vikings is getting in".
"We have talented players, but we have to learn how to apply our self, especially after a batting such a poor batting performance. These are the things that we will work on for next season, but Cavaliers is beatable," Walker stated.
On hand for the trophy presentation were President of H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Dr. Karl Dawson and Small Business Manager at Scotiabank Andy Davis who represented the tournament sponsor.
Davis said that the bank intends to continue support for local cricket.