It was Nevis cricket at its best!
Nevis provided the first major upset of the Stanford 20/20 Tournament with a spectacular assault against hosts Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday night. The Nevisians, regarded as underdogs ahead of their quarter-final clash, ruthlessly manhandled the Leeward Islands champions with exhilarating, sustained hitting on the way to marching to the tournament’s highest score before another capacity crowd at the Stanford Cricket Ground.
By the time the scintillating onslaught was finished, Nevis had smashed 213 for three off their 20 overs in a match which coincidentally started at 20:20 hours (8:20 p.m.) because of evening rain.
Tonito Willett, the gifted but under-achieving 23-year-old son of Nevis’ first Test player, Elquemedo Willett, was the show-time star with a brilliant unbeaten 86 off 44 balls that included eight fours and five sixes. He won the US$25 000 Man-Of-The-Match award.
Antigua and Barbuda responded with 170 for nine to lose by 43 runs.
It was never a close contest from the time pacer John “The Dentist” Maynard claimed two wickets in the first over of the innings.
It was a highly enthralling evening in which there were 16 sixes and 38 fours and also included more entertainment in the form of acts from dancehall king Beenie Man and reigning Trinidad and Tobago road march queen Patrice Roberts.
The action came after the match seemed in doubt because of evening showers.
Antiguan fast bowler Curtis Roberts earned the US$10 000 Play-Of-The-Match for a towering six that cleared the Sticky Wicket Restaurant and landed somewhere near the V.C. Bird Airport.
Nevis’ prize is a semi-final date on August 11 against the winner of today’s quarter-final between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.