Win is not enough for Cleveland
Cleveland were relegated from the One Premier Division despite a third straight victory yesterday.
Cleveland, needing a win and bonus points to close the 13-point gap on second-from-bottom Somerset, beat Western Stars by four wickets at St John’s Field yesterday, but failed by three bonus points to move off the bottom of the table.
The result left Somerset to battle with Flatts, of the First Division, in the play-off match on Sunday to decide which team will play in the top division next season. Somerset’s home match with Southampton Rangers was not played after both teams turned up short.
Cleveland lost out on possible batting bonus points after Stars won the toss and decided to bat. However, the home side were reeling at 29 for four by the tenth over after Damali Bell picked up the first three wickets in his second, third and fifth overs, bowling Dalin Richardson with only four runs on the board and then dismissing Swayne Campbell with a return catch.
Campbell was his third victim, with Stars on only 25, and when opener PJ Thomas fell four runs later to Steven Bremar after scoring 17, Stars were in deep trouble.
With batsman Tre Manders missing after just returning from international duty with the Bermuda High Performance team in Canada, it looked doubtful that Stars would post 100. In fact, 50 looked a big achievement after further wickets went down on 37, 40 and 40 to leave the home side in deep trouble at 40 for seven.
Stars still had some experience in their tail end, however, and Jekon Edness and Jacobi Robinson, batting at No 9 and 10 respectively, offered late resistance after Edness and Nyon Steede stopped the rot with an eighth-wicket stand of 26 to take the score to 66.
At Steede’s departure for 12, Robinson joined his former Somerset Cup Match team-mate in a stand of 57 in 38 minutes for the ninth wicket, which brought up the hundred. Robinson, ninth out on 123, finished top scorer with 31 before he was bowled by captain Dennis Musson after hitting three fours and two sixes. Edness, captain in the absence of Justin Robinson, scored 30 from three boundaries before he was last out.
Three Cleveland bowlers took three wickets, with Steven Bremar finishing with three for eight off 4.3 overs, while Bell had three for 20 from ten and Musson three for 38 from nine overs.
Cleveland relied on teenagers Q’Shai Darrell and Najiyah Raynor to start their run chase, the youngsters laying the foundation with an opening stand of 34 before Dalin Richardson came into the attack to remove the pair in his first and third overs. Raynor was first out for 15 while Darrell departed three runs later for 20.
Another youngster, Domain Rabain, departed on 46 for three and Stars missed the chance of a big scalp when wicketkeeper Wayne Campbell missed a stumping chance off Treadwell Gibbons first ball after he had just Temiko Wilson.
The former Stars pair eventually settled down, sharing in a fourth-wicket stand of 52. Gibbons was out for 31 when Edness held a well-struck drive at mid-off at the second attempt. But by the time Wilson was caught by Nyon Steede for 19, running away at cover point and holding a catch over his head, the match was all but over with Cleveland nine runs from victory.
Bremar scored 19 off two sixes before Bell hit the winning boundary off Rohan Davis to wrap up the victory. Richardson led the Stars bowlers with two for nine from six overs. Edness, more known for his wicketkeeping, bowled one over of spin and claimed the wicket of Bremar with his second ball when he trapped him leg before. He should have had a second wicket two balls later but he put down a well-hit drive from Bell.
• Willow Cuts showed up late at Wellington Oval for their match against St George’s on Saturday, after the Bermuda Cricket Board announced that matches would be starting an hour early in September. Yesterday they did not show up for their away match with Devonshire Rec.