GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – Leeward Islands held their nerve in a tense finish to beat Combined Campuses and Colleges and gather their first win of the Caribbean Twenty20 here Wednesday.
Defending 127, the Leewards held the CCC to 123 for eight off their 20 overs, after the students needed eight off the last over.
Veteran Floyd Reifer and Sunil Ambris both got 25 while Jason Holder got a quick-fire 20 at the end that kept CCC in the contest at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium.
However, Holder perished off the final delivery of the penultimate over and medium pacer Kelbert Walters then sent down an outstanding last over, to dash CCC’s hopes of remaining alive in the tournament.
With the result, CCC were eliminated from playoff contention and lie bottom of the standings on four points along with Leewards who entered the fixture already eliminated. Both have a game each remaining.
Sent in, the Leewards needed late order cameos from Justin Athanaze and Gavin Tonge in order to reach 126 all out off 19.4 overs.
Athanaze slammed 31 from 17 balls with two fours and two sixes while Tonge stroked 25 from 16 balls with three fours and one six.
The pair added 33 from 20 balls for the ninth wicket to rescue their side from a position of 81 for eight in the 15th over.
Leg-spinner Akeem Dewar (3-15) and off-spinner Ryan Austin (3-17) was responsible for the damage, finishing with three wickets apiece.
The rout started when Lyndel Richardson was run out off the third ball of the innings without a run on the board and captain Sylvester Joseph’s dismal form continued when he was taken at slip by captain Kyle Corbin off left-arm spinner Derone Davis.
Test opener Kieran Powell (18) and Derbyshire professional Chesney Hughes put on 31 from 28 balls for the third wicket, that held up CCC’s advance.
Powell counted two fours in a run-a-ball knock while Hughes blasted two fours and a six off 20 balls.
When they fell in successive overs, it triggered a slide that saw six wickets fall for 32 runs.
In reply, CCC made a slow start to their innings with Chadwick Walton (17) and Raymon Reifer (17) posting 21 from 28 balls for the opening stand.
When Walton and Corbin (1) fell in quick succession to leave CCC on 33 for two in the eighth over, Raymond and Floyd Reifer added a further 23 to steady the innings.
Floyd Reifer, in particular, looked in good touch and counted four fours in his 25 ball knock while Raymon struck a single boundary in facing 28 balls.
Both were part of a slide that saw three wickets fall for 16 runs but two partnerships then took CCC to the brink of victory.
Ambris and Dewar (13) combined in a 26-run sixth wicket stand off 16 balls before Dewar and Holder added another 23 for the seventh wicket, but their efforts proved in vain.