Let's hear it for YMPC!
by HAYDN GILL at Lucas Street
IT'S Caribbean Lumber YMPC's moment in time.
Never mind that the Banks Barbados Cricket Association Division 1 final ended in an anti-climax at the Windward Club ground yesterday no one can deny the Beckles Road boys their glory.
A fascinating, engrossing match which swung one way then the next several times over three-and-a-half days, was denied the possibility of a final piece of drama by afternoon rain that wiped out the post-tea session on the final day.
After a remarkable first period in which there was a dramatic YMPC collapse orchestrated by young leg-spinner Nikolai Charles and a defiant ninth-wicket partnership that brought the match back on even keel, Carlton were set 199 to score in the last session to pull off a come-from behind win.
The rain, heavy at times between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., ensured the run-chase didn't even get going and umpires called off the match at 4 p.m.
YMPC, by virtue of achieving a close-fought first innings advantage of 14 runs the previous day, were declared winners of the title, their third at the Division 1 level and their first since 1991 when they shared the cup with Empire.
Resuming their second innings on 107 for three and an overall lead of 121, YMPC suddenly found their backs to the wall, suffering a slump in which five wickets fell for 25 runs and leaving them precariously placed on 138 for eight.
Their position was due through a combination of the wily Charles, who finished with eight for 47, a tricky pitch on which the first two batsmen succumbed to balls where the bounce was non-existent, and some irresponsible strokes.
Lonsdale Blake, who kept YMPC's effort together with a responsible half-century on Saturday, added three to his overnight 61 before he was undone by a ball from Charles that kept low to bowl the top-scorer.
It was an almost identical dismissal for William Lashley and the drama of the session was intensified by a controversial diving catch by Dale Richards that accounted for Tennyson Roach in the face of debate over whether Richards had control of the ball when he made a quick release.
The collapse continued when YMPC captain Calvin Watson gifted his hand with a cross-batted stroke to a full-toss from Charles, but YMPC halted the slide with a ninth-wicket partnership between Wendell Coppin and Richmeal Jordan.
They put on 48 at a time when many felt that Carlton erred by opting to take the new ball at 150 for eight when Charles was in his element.
It was the second time in the match that Coppin thwarted Carlton at a critical stage. After his 30 in the first innings, the club president and player/coach held firm for close to two hours yesterday to make 37 before he was last out.
Coppin gave a catch to slip off Charles from a drive to the first ball after a brief stoppage for rain. Charles had also removed Jordan with his seventh ball of a new spell after the new ball failed to bring Carlton any rewards.
YMPC 1st Innings 239
CARLTON 1st Innings 225
YMPC 2nd Innings
J. Brathwaite c wk Morris b Wilkinson 14
A. Jones lbw b Agard 3
L. Blake b Charles 64
R. Wiggins lbw b Charles 20
*C. Watson b Charles 15
W. Lashley b Charles 0
T. Roach c Richards b Charles 7
W. Coppin c Richards b Charles 37
+M. King c Wilkinson b Charles 6
R. Jordan c Roberts b Charles 6
D. Jordan not out 0
Extras (b6, lb3, nb5) 14
TOTAL (all out 88.5 overs) 184
Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-28, 3-86, 4-113, 5-115, 6-125, 7-130, 8-138, 9-184, 10-184.
Bowling: Roberts 7-1-21-0, Agard 10-3-34-1, Wilkinson 10-4-17-1, Charles 34.5-13-47-8, Graham 22-7-45-0, Nurse 4-0-11-0.
Result: Match drawn YMPC winning title on account of first innings lead.
Umpires: Vincent Bullen, Anthony Farrell.