CUL DE SAC- Anguilla, CMC-Anguilla dethroned defending champions Antigua and Barbuda with a stunning two wicket victory to win the NAGICO Leeward Islands one-day tournament for the first time on Sunday.
A collective effort by the Anguillans saw them maintaining composure to reach 275 for the loss of eight wickets in reply to 273 for nine posted by the pre tournament favourites.
The homeboys shocked the Antiguans with a rip roaring opening stand of 96 as Montcin Hodge and Shane Burton tore the bowling apart on the chase.
After five overs, Hodge and Burton had piled up 62 runs with a series of boundaries as opening bowlers struggled to quell the assault.
The Antiguan breakthrough came four runs shy of a century partnership when Burton missed a delivery as he danced down the wicket.
Burton scored 40 off 30 balls including five fours and three sixes while Hodge was dismissed seven balls later for 55 off 62 balls hitting seven fours.
Man of the match, Chesney Hughes hit four fours and three sixes and played freely for his 54 off 47 balls.
Hughes’ departure was part of an Anguillan batting collapse in which four wickets fell for just nine runs sparking a premature Antigua celebration on the stroke of the second water-break.
However, seventeen year old Ashan Hodge batted responsibly along with the experienced Kelbert Walters to add a 63 run partnership that saw Anguilla home after they were dangerously poised at 212 for eight.
Walters was 36 not out while Hodge was unbeaten on 30.
Anthony Martin three for 25, and Hayden Walsh jr. 2 for 50 were Antigua’s main wicket takers.
Earlier, Antigua, the eight time champions, seem on course for a total capable of defending after captain Sylvester Joseph carried the innings with a top score of 82.
Joseph, who put on 83 runs for the third wicket with Austin Richard, defied the Anguillan bowling hitting three sixes and five fours and faced 110 deliveries before he was caught.
Richards jr scored 52 and Devon Thomas, who had a 74 run fourth wicket partnership with Joseph, scored 49.
Chesney Hughes and Yannick Leonard were Anguilla’s leading wicket takers with 3 for 51 and 3 for 49 respectively while Shane Burton picked up 2 for 62.