Thursday, February 29, 2024

Shield on the line


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Two-time champions Nicholls Baking Combermere will be going after their third title when they meet first-timers Earthworks Melrose in the final of the Barbados Cricket Association’s Sagicor General Shield Competition today at 11 a.m. at Kensington Oval.
Combermere first won the 40-over tournament in 2005, with a 66-run victory against Alexandra. and also triumphed over Ince Transport MTW by 85 runs in 2007.
Melrose and Combermere have been unbeaten up to this stage and it should be an interesting contest as they seek to become the best team in junior local limited-overs cricket.
Combermere won Zone F with 20 points and Melrose topped Zone E also with 20.
In the quarter-finals, Combermere defeated C.O.W. Equipment Malvern by 66 runs, while Melrose beat Mount Gay North Stars by six wickets.
However, in the rain-ruined semi-finals which ended in no-decisions despite play, the finalists advanced by virtue of having superior net run rates to Foundation and Old Brigand Dover, respectively.
Ironically, both Combermere and Melrose had qualified to meet in the 2006 final. That final wasn’t played after losing semi-finalist St John Cultural protested the inclusion of several players in the Combermere team.
Melrose will have to battle against a heavy diet of spin including left-arm trio Chad Williams, Matthew Jones and Jedson Yarde, along with off-spinner Chaim Holder.
Pace will come in the form of Shayne Moseley, Demar Thorne and Brandon King.
Williams and Holder are in the Barbados Under-19 squad for the regional tournament which starts here next weekend. Yarde, who is a staff member, is a former Barbados Under-19 player.
Combermere’s batting revolves around two Under-19 selectees in captain Moseley and Jonathan Drakes. There is also the inform Shane Proverbs, Davon Goodman and Jamar Brathwaite.
Combermere will be without all-rounder Justin Greaves and coach Roddy Estwick, who are in Australia for the ICC Under-19 World Cup.
?Melrose cannot be underestimated as they have an excellent blend of youth and experience.
Openers Denis Small and Kelvin Greene have given the innings some flying starts throughout the tournament. They have been supported by the attacking Sherwin Straker, Owen Gibson and former West Indies Under-19 fast-bowling all-rounder Barry Lowe.
The bowling is in the capable hands of veteran seamer Victor Patrick, Lowe, Andrew Foster and the youthful pair of Rene Mayers and Omari Taitt.
Combermere (from): Shayne Moseley (captain), Nathan Mayers, Shane Proverbs, Brandon King, Jonathan Drakes, Devon Goodman, Jedson Yarde, Matthew Jones, Keon Wiltshire, Chaim Holder, Chad Wiliams, Jamar Brathwaite, Daniel Jordan, Antoine Boyce, Demar Thorne, Ade Bynoe.
Melrose (from): Victor Patrick (captain), Jamal Applewhite, Kelvin Greene, Denis Small, Sherwin Straker, Andrew Foster, Barry Lowe, Rene Mayers, Owen Gibson, Michael Lowe, Omari Taitt, Eustace Morris, Deverson Carter, Kerry Skeete, Dwight Waithe, Shaquille Prophet.
Umpires: Japhath Kirton, Paul Sivers. Reserve: Denise Greaves.

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