Metropolitan Cricket League
By Dervon Wallace
After seeing their 29 game unbeaten run went in flames last weekend, Champion Villagers Pacesetters returned to winning ways with a convincing 44 runs victory over New Hope Cricket Club in the ninth round of the Metropolitan Cricket League Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier League after bad light stopped play on a demonic pitch at Chamounix Park in the City of Brotherly Love on July 20, 2014.

Steve Massiah rescued Villagers with 67 from 57 balls. Photo by Shem Rodney

In a game reduced to 35 overs, New Hope captain Durrel Forrest won the toss and asked Villagers to take first use of a later discovered unprepared pitch which base on the laws of cricket was dangerous and unreasonable for play to take place, the nature of the pitch was evident from ball one that took off and sailed over the wicket keeper head.

Opener Marvin Simpson in his comeback game after missing the last four games because of personal reasons did not fare well, after being given a life off the first legal ball of the game he was struck plumb in front by a Forrest delivery that did not get above ankle height for a duck.  It was soon twenty-eight for 2 when former Jamaica opening batsman Delroy Morgan 11 (12 balls 1×4) was caught behind off the bowling of Quasen  Alfred.

Led by Steve Massiah, Villagers recovered and posted 208 for 9 from allotted 35 overs, Massiah making a top score of 67 from 55 balls laden with three sixes and six fours, three of which were consecutive boundaries off Forrest.

He shared in a 97 runs from 72 balls third wicket partnership with young Sashane Anderson who made 48 (56 balls 3×4 2×6). Rashard Marshall 17 (26 balls 2×4) and Ewart Gayle 12 (14 balls) were the other batsmen to get into double figures with extras accounting for 42. Off-spinner Chirayu Pandya and left-arm orthodox Marcello Brooks ended with 3 for 36 and 2 for 31 respectively. There was a wicket apiece for Alfred, Forrest and Malcom.

In replay New Hope was never in the hunt as the Villagers bowlers led by George Adams had them under wraps as only opener Khadeem Haughton with 62 (59 balls 4×4 3×6) showed any resistance. Adams who seemed up for the challenge was bowling at real pace and even veteran wicket Keeper Charles Walker was having a tarried time behind the stump as some kept low and others took off.

With a lot of time lost because of balls that kept being lost in the nearby bushes it was no surprise when at 8:25 pm with New Hope 129 for 8 from 29 overs with the light deteriorating the umpires decided that enough was enough.  With league rule stating that in such event the team with the better run rate is the winner, Villagers scored at 5.94 runs an over, at this junction New Hope needed to be 173. Adams was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 19 from 7 overs, Talisman Gordon 2 for 20 from 7 overs, Marshall 2 for 25 from 7overs and Morgan 1 for 2.

Final scores: Villagers 208 for 9 from 35 overs and New Hope 129 for 8 from 29 overs, giving Villagers victory by 44 on faster run rate ruling.