Sports — 10 August 2019 — by Peter Young
Cricket Corner – Bandits and BDF clash for the last time; Wicked 11 took the first meal out of Berlan’s mouth

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 8, 2019– Once again, my fellow cricket enthusiasts, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association (BNCA), the Sir Barry Bowen/ Harrison Parks Cricket Competition semifinals are heading to where only the best of the best will reach – the finals. For BDF and Bandits, this Saturday, August 10, if all goes as planned for playing cricket, one of these teams will have to say “bye-bye, folks.”

Last Saturday at Belmopan, the BDF team traveled there to try and tie the series with the Bandits, who had won the previous weekend. Even before the game started, I thought to myself that I’ve seen BDF play in the regular season up to the playoffs, and most of their wins are when they go to bat first. In the first game between their team vs Bandits, Bandits went in first and scored 334 runs. When BDF’s turn came, and they went to bat, they lost, scoring 208.

Last Saturday was different, as BDF won the toss and went to bat first, and started to show a good performance. If it was not for Orlando Banner, who took 4 stumps, things would have turned out worse. Wickets fell in this order:  1 for 42; 2 for 66; 3 for 117; 4 for 125; 5 for 131; 6 for 132; 7 for 154; 8 for 167; 9 for 186; 10 for 192. Not a very big score, but a fighting one. Travis Samuels scored 80; also, Bernan Stephenson did excellently by scoring 47 runs. Orlando Banner, as aforementioned, took 4 of BDF wickets.

It’s time now for the Bandits to show power and excellence. But, as hard as they fought, it was not to be a win, as wickets fell for runs in this order: 1 for 31; 2 for 36; 3 for 51; 4 for 54; 5 for 54; 6 for 105; 7 for 134; 8 for 147; 9 for 158; 10 for 165. Ordel Cassasola scored 37, followed by Jermaine Smith with 28. Jarvis Wade took 3 of the Bandits wickets.

The tie-breaker will be played at Landing this Saturday, August 10. Best of luck to both teams. One will definitely be saying, “Adios, amigos, till next year.” Whichever team loses, I take this opportunity to say to you, “You have done well. If it wasn’t so, you would not have reached this far.  In any game, there will always be a winner and a loser.  It will hurt, but only for a short while. Show the spirit of cricket to the winner. Take the loss on strong shoulders.”

Let me remind you folks, Bandits is first in Zone One; and BDF is third in Zone Two.  BDF earlier defeated second place Summer Fever of Zone One. Let’s see if Bandits can hold ground against BDF.

Let me take you now to Flowers Bank. For the fourth time this season, Wicked 11 and Berlan have met – three times in the regular season, and this one in the semifinals. On the first three occasions, Wicked 11 defeated Berlan physically, but lost one technically. The Wicked boys had won first in Zone Two, and were waiting patiently to meet whichever team came out of the playoffs to play against them. It so happens that Berlan was the successful team. Berlan is second in Zone Two, defeating third place finisher Excellence in Zone One.

I could hear voices saying, “Seems you haven’t gotten enough beating from us; you came back for more!” And as the game started and progressed, it very well seems so. Wicked 11 took to bat first, and at the fall of the last wicket, the score stood at 256, with Vince Robinson scoring 91, followed by Brandon Lewis with 40, with Marlon “Kamala” Nicholas taking 4 wickets. That’s a huge total for any team to beat, but it’s not over till it’s over. But, with the skillful bowling of Walter Flowers and Aaron Muslar, who took 3 wickets each, it was over quickly, with “Big Bad” Berlan scoring only 77 at the fall of the last wicket. Joni scored 17 of that.

The second match will be played at Landing on Sunday, August 11. Berlan needs this win very much, so as to force a third game.

Best of luck, teams! Show professionalism at all times. My name brand sayings: “Always respect yourselves; in turn, you will respect others.”

Have a fun filled cricket weekend!  Untill next week, bye-bye.

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