South Castries Lions (SCL) made light work of Vieux Fort North Raiders (VFNR) on Thursday as they prepare for the inaugural Saint Lucia National Cricket Association (SLNCA) Premier League T10 Cricket Championship now set for June 23rd.
South Castries Lions won the match by 63 runs in front of an appreciative crowd, adhering to physical distancing, at the Phillip Marcellin Grounds (Vieux Fort).
Superbly captained by former West Indies captain all-rounder Daren Sammy who won the toss and decided to bat first, the team posted 138 for 4 off their 10 overs. Collinus Callender led their batting with 45 not out, hitting four sixes and three fours; former West Indies opening batsman Johnson Charles made 41 off 22 balls with four sixes and three fours; Alex Antoine 28 off 18 balls with two sixes and two fours, while Darren Sammy 10 off three deliveries with one six and one four.
Bowling for VFNR, Al Prince, Atanus Alberson, Ricky Hippolyte, and Stanley Saltibus each took a wicket.
Vieux Fort North Raiders never recovered from a poor start as they lost five wickets inside the fifth over including a run out by Johnson Charles as they were restricted to 75 for 8 in their allotted 10 overs.
Captain Al Prince, who came in at No.3, top scored with 28 off 20 balls with two sixes and three fours and Avalinus Callender 14.
Bowling for South Castries Lions, Kester Charlemangne picked up 2 for 3; Tonius Simon bagged 2 for 19; Kemrol Charles, Alex Antoine and Daniel Jn Baptiste one wicket each.
The south Castries team: -Daren Sammy (captain); Johnson Charles (Marquee); Tonius Simon; Alex Antoine; Collinus Callender; Kester Charlemangne; Daniel Jn Baptiste; Kemrol Charles; Noelle Leo (Under 19) and Malcolm Monrose.
Vieux Fort North Raiders team: – Al Prince (captain); Jevin Isadore; Garvey Mitchel; David Naitrum; Stanislas Saltibus; Ricky Hippolyte; Athanaze Alberson; Chrislon Fannis; Ryan Charles and Kenaz Joseph.
The VOICE spoke to a member of the management team for South Castries Lions about their preparation for the SLNCA inaugural T10 Blast who noted, “From our team perspective, the players’ fitness still needs a bit of work, but we are satisfied with the level shown on the square considering that we have only had two training days.”
“We are hoping to play two matches this weekend at the Mindoo Phillip Park,” the management team representative added. “Today we will host either Central Castries or Babonneau; while on Sunday look to fancy our chances against Millet”.
Captain for the VFNR said, “It’s been two weeks now since we heard of the tournament. We received the green light from the CMO to start training under the various protocols. My players, they’re looking very fit including myself. We train from Monday to Sunday, and the outing has been good. The players have been coming with their hand sanitizer and masks to ensure they observe the protocols”.
According to Prince, “Vieux Fort North, we are ready for the tournament. We have always been the underdogs, but trust me, we will be on top at the end this time around”.
Meanwhile, there has been a change of date for the T10 Tournament. The Saint Lucia National Cricket Association (SLNCA) confirmed earlier this week, based on discussions with their sponsors and the state of readiness of the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground (DSCG), the tournament’s start date is now scheduled for Tuesday 23rd June 2020 and will run until July 8th with daily back to back matches at 12.30 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. respectively.
Several Saint Lucian domestic and professional players will represent a combined 10 teams.
According to SLNCA President Carol Henry, “We are in full planning and preparation mode and will be providing further updates, including updated fixtures (currently drafted for sponsors’ endorsement), protocols and awards for the tournament”.