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BARBADOS - Under-19 cricket 2006
by EZRA STUART
THERE ARE NEW KINGS of schools cricket in Barbados as The Lodge School took the fight to seven-time champions Combermere who just could not get up and on and surrendered their title.
Guided by an unbeaten half-century from inspirational captain Shamarh Brooks, The Lodge School dethroned Combermere in the Barbados Cricket Association's (BCA) Under-19 Schools final with a convincing seven-wicket victory at the Police Sports Complex, Weymouth, Roebuck Street, St Michael, yesterday.
Brooks, who needed a runner late in his innings after suffering from muscle spasms, batted diligently for 54 not out to lead Lodge to 163 for three in 37.1 overs, after Combermere were dismissed for an inadequate 162 off their 40 overs on a placid pitch.
The 18-year-old Brooks stroked three fours in a 76-ball innings and he featured in an unbroken match-winning fourth-wicket partnership of 73 runs with Kyle Hope, who made a polished undefeated 41 off 48 balls with two boundaries.
The pair linked up after Lodge had cleverly paced their victory chase, with openers Kyle Corbin (27) and Renaldo Arthur (16) setting up the platform by putting on 41 runs off the new-ball pair of Kevin McClean and Carlos Brathwaite.
Combermere turned to spinners Andre Marshall and Gary Belle and both picked up a wicket, with the former luring Arthur out of his crease for captain Jabbar Niles to complete an easy stumping and the latter having Corbin caught at long-on.
The diminutive Micah St Hill took more than 20 balls to get off the mark while seeing off the threatening left-arm spin of Marshall.
He pushed the score to 90 with Brooks, who had a close shave on seven when he lobbed a ball off Marshall's bowling but Andre Ferdinand failed to scoop up the catch as he dived to his right at slip.
Barbados Under-15 left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican also missed a stinging return catch offered by Brooks when he was 27, but afterwards, it was smooth-sailing for Lodge, with Brooks and Hope steering the St John school to their third Under-19 title.
Both players, who have been selected to the Arawak Cement Cup Tournament, caressed the ball through the off-side with consumate ease and also clipped the ball off their legs wide of long-on for a couple of boundaries, much to the delight of the large group of supporting Lodge School students.
Earlier, Combermere were off to a flying start, with Ferdinand and Steve Blackett, who favoured the hook shot, racing to 40 within the first five overs before fast bowler Dawayne Sealy struck in consecutive overs, removing both batsmen.
Blackett snicked an attempted hook shot for wicket-keeper Renaldo Holder to take a leg-side catch, while Ferdinand gave Arthur, who had an excellent day in the field, the first of his three catches, plus a run out.
Brathwaite and Reydon Toppin, who topscored for Combermere with a solid 43 off 74 balls without hitting a boundary, then featured in a third-wicket stand of 55 runs.
The pair rode their luck with some injudicious running between the wickets before both predictably perished by the run-out route.
Brathwaite was spectacularly run out by a direct hit of the non-striker's stumps by Brooks from short mid-off in the first over of a new spell from pacer Diego Stuart, who bowled tightly in the middle overs.
Lodge spinners Stefan Gooding, Brooks and Steve Pinder each conceded exactly 26 runs in their eight overs to keep the Combermere run-rate down to four runs-an-over, while Arthur supported well with brilliant catches to remove Niles and Marshall.
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