Sunday 17 March 2013 

Bears in Barbados - Keith Cook's Third Report

Bears in the field against the Falcons
The 3 W's Oval

The Bears took on Derbyshire yesterday in the first game of the Barbados t20 Cup & Plate at the superbly appointed 3 W’s Oval which is part of the University complex.

The facilities at the 3 W’s are excellent for, and the addition of a wonderful Caribbean Sea backdrop makes this a great place to watch cricket.

Before our arrival Yorkshire had comprehensively beaten Hampshire to become the first of the guaranteed semi finalists for Sunday’s grand finale event. Our game was the second of the day and Jim Troughton won the toss again before deciding to bowl first.

It only took two balls from Keith Barker in the opening over the match to see Wes Durston caught by Tim Ambrose without scoring. Chesney Hughes was then caught by Varun Chopra off the bowling of Chris Wright 19 balls later putting Derbyshire in the position of 22 for 2. 

A steady 33-run partnership between Godleman and Whitely moved the Derbyshire total on to 55 for 3 before a run out from Chris Wright in the 9th over had the East Midlands side under pressure from the very accomplished use of the spin bowling skills of Paul Best (4-0-27-1), Ateeq Javid (4-0-16-1), and Laurie Evans who finished his 3 overs with the figures of 3 for 24. 

At the end of their 20 overs Derbyshire reached 129 for 9.

The Bears began their reply in powerful fashion as Varun Chopra strokes 3 consecutive 4’s off former Warwickshire all rounder, Tim Groenewald before he became the first casualty with Godleman taking an outstanding diving catch in the deep off the bowling of Turner. 24 for 1 in the 4th over.

Darren Maddy was the next batsman out, smartly stumped by Poynton for 22, which included one 4 and two sixes.

Jim Troughton continued to build well on the promising start for the Bears, and his good form on tour, by picking up runs all around the field and building useful partnerships firstly with Maddy, Rikki Clarke (20), Tim Ambrose and Laurie Evans.

When Troughton fell lbw to Chesney Hughes for 42 the Bears were sitting at 102 with 28 needed to win with just under 6 overs to go.

Ateeq Javid (15*) and Paul Best (13*) keep the scoreboard ticking over as they move towards the target and finally to an encouraging win by 4 wickets with an over to spare.

The last minute withdrawal by the Barbados XI and the Combined Universities sides means that the format of the competition has been adjusted slightly to allow for the six English counties to take part in a meaningful competition.

The three winners will now be joined by the best placed loser to determine the semi finalists, whilst the other two sides will play in a straight “plate final” to give everyone the same number of games.

Back at the hotel word reaches us that Nottinghamshire have beaten Northants by a significant margin and the draw has resulted in the early semi final for us back at the Kensington Oval starting at 9am (Barbados Time).

Final day of the tour to come on Sunday as we will be flying back home to the UK on Monday afternoon so everything to play for today.

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