The battle for the places in the Super Six round intensified last weekend gone, as the midpoint of the preliminary round of the 2017 National Lotteries Authority Neil Williams National 20/20 competition approaches.

Group B is now wide open, as the 2016 Sunday League champions, Smashers, turned ranking upside down, with an upset win over one of the group’s seeded teams, Police 2 on Sunday at Buccament Bay Playing Field.

Police 2 were restricted to 133 for 8 in their 20 overs with Salvan Browne hitting 64. Kirton Lavia 3 for 29 and Javid Harry 2 for 24 were Smashers best bowlers. Smashers, in reply, took 19 overs and lost 6 wickets to get to 138, with Kurtbert Springer 29 and Raymano Rouse 21, being their principal scorers. Smashers were also gifted 38 extras. Kenneth Dembar took 2 for 16 bowling for police 2.

Also in Group B on Sunday, Radcliffe 2 had an exciting 1-run win over Victors 2. Radcliffe 2 were dismissed for 120 in 15 overs. Calvert King top scored with 36. Leon Quashie and Shamick Roberts took 2 for 13 and 2 for 24 respectively bowling for Victors 2.

Victors 2, in reply, ended on 119 for 8 when their overs ran out. Adinol Richards 29, Gerald Gould 24 and Marcus McCoy 21 all got amongst the runs for Victors 2. Mickron McDowell was the chief destroyer, bagging 5 for 15 for Radcliffe 2, including a hat trick in the final over.

Still in Group B on Sunday, The RW Sporting World SVG Community College had a scolding from Team Rivals when they lost by 126 runs. Team rivals totalled 189 for 2 in 20 overs behind 49 not out from Roniel Jeffery, 43 from Hyron Shallow, 36 from Casmond Walters and 32 from Harley Skeritt. The RW Sporting World managed 63 for 9 in reply, when the overs ended. Winsbert Springer 2 for 1, Rasheed Fredericks 2 for 12 and Rayshorn Durrant 2 for 13 bowled well for Team Rivals.

Smashers had sent warning signals earlier on Saturday, when they defeated Radcliffe 2 in a 9-over encounter. Radcliffe 2 struggled to 42 for 5 in their 9 overs. Kuthbert Springer had taken 2 for 13 bowling for Smashers, who rushed home to 43 for 1 in just 3 overs with Rawdon Bentick hitting 23 for 11 balls.

Group B matches for the weekend were completed with a 74-run victory by Police 2 over Victors 2 on Saturday. Salvan Browne smashed a 52 ball 92 to carry the lawmen to 181 for 7 in 20 overs. Adinol Richards was Victors 2’s best bowler, taking 2 for 35. Victors 2 replied with 107 for 7 when their allotment ended. Gerald Gould led the batting with 36. Romario Bibby, Darius Martin, Kenroy Martin and Kenneth Dember all took 2 wickets apiece.

The status quo is still undisturbed in Group C. The top seeded team in the group, Guardian General Saints, maintained their lead as they earned 4 points on the weekend. Guardian General Saints had the better of French Verandah SVG Community College on Sunday by 7 wickets. French Verandah SVGCC scored 121 for 5 at their turn at the crease, with Jeremy Layne 35, Rayon Williams 33 and Kody Horne 28 not out. Ray Charles took 2 for 19. Guardian General Saints took all of 16.3 overs and lost 3 wickets on their way to 122. Vincent Cupid 39, Rickford Walker 38 and Romel Currency 32, saw their team to victory. Guardian General Saints also earned 1 point on Saturday, after their encounter with Providence Electronic Solutions North Leeward had no result due to a wet pitch.

Still in Group C on Saturday, Belfongo held off the French Verandah SVG Community College by 9 runs, in an exciting 10-overs affair. Belfongo belted their way to 99 for 6. Stein Joseph led the batting with 23. Ronaldo Franklyn grabbed 3 for 19 for the French Verandah sponsored college unit, who, in reply, made a good effort to get their target, but ended on 90 for 5 when the overs ran out. Tilron Harry was left not out on 32. Rajiv Robert was Belfongo’s best bowler, taking 2 for 17.

The Group C matchups for the past weekend were completed by a 6-wicket win for Providence Electronic Solutions North Leeward over Bequia Cricket Association. The Grenadine lads scored 132 for 6 in their 20 overs. Olanzo Bellingy 54 and Cheslon Stowe 33 were Bequia Cricket Association’s principal scorers. Winston Samuel took 2 for 15 bowling for Providence Electronic Solutions North Leeward, who replied with133 for 2 from 16.5 overs. Colon Mckie 45, Shamon Hooper 44 and Micheal Joseph 24 propelled North Leeward to Victory.

Group A sees Flow Radcliffe and Victors 1 still in the top two positions going into the fourth weekend of the preliminary round. Flow Radcliffe hammered Stike Eagles by 153 runs on Sunday. Flow Radcliffe amassed 189 for 8 in 20 overs, led by Romano Pierre 66 and Andy Harper 39. Darren John bagged 4 for 39 bowling for Strike Eagles, who could only manage 36 all out in 8.3 overs in reply. Andy Harper completed a pleasing alround performance, taking 4 for 16 with the ball. Othneil Lewis also pick up 3 for 15 bowling for Flow Radcliffe.

Victors 1 became the first team to break the 190 score mark this season, when they reached 193 for 6, that propelled them to a 59-run win over Owia Stars. Victors 1’s 193 was hinged on a 36 ball 76 from Lauron Francois while Donwell Hector and Norlan Williams added 30 each. Dean Browne took 2 for 24 for Owia Stars, who reply with 134 all out in 17.4 overs. Shem Browne top scored with an even 50. Aston Bobb returned staggering figures of 4 for 4 from 4 over, including one maiden.

The weekend was completed with a 23-run win for Triumph United over Combined Youths in another Group A matchup. Triumph United worked their way to 148 for 9 in 20 overs with Vangel Small hitting 33. Oneil Endeavour took 3 for 50 while Geron Wyllie and Darie Haywood picked up 2 for 12 respectively, bowling for Combined Youths. In reply, Combined Youths were dismissed for 125 in 18 overs. Nickie Antoine 42 and Frankie Farrell 31 were Combined Youths best batsmen. Vangel Small and Rommel Jack joined forced to destroy their opponent’s innings, taking 3 for 36 and 3 for 41 respectively.

The preliminary round will continue on Saturday and Sunday.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Victors Two will take on RW Sporting World SVG Community College at Sion Hill. Four other games will be contested on Saturday from 2 p.m. French Verandah SVG Community College will square off against Providence Electronic Solutions North Leeward at Sion Hill, Owia Stars meet Strike Eagles at Arnos Vale Two, Carl Carl Joseph Law Chambers ASCO play Belfongo at Buccament while Team Rivals match up against Radcliffe Two at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

On Sunday from 10 a.m., Team Rivals clash with Smashers at Sion Hill, Victors 1 and Combined Youths play each other at Arnos Vale 2 and Belfongo do battle against Bequia Cricket Association at Arnos Vale playing field.

The weekend would be completed with three games at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Triumph United and Strike Eagles go head to head at Arnos Vale Two, Radcliffe 2 meet Police 2 at the Arnos Vale playing field while Flow Radcliffe and Owia Stars square off at Sion Hill.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association Inc. also advises that registration for the 2017 National Lotteries 50 overs Sunday League is now open and will close on Feb. 10. Any team that registers on or before Feb. 6 will be awarded 3 bonus points for their early registration.

(By Roxell John, PRO, SVG Cricket Association)