Matt Ball smashed 20 runs off the first five balls of the last over as The Associates stunned Renegades to reach the final of the Evening Cricket League’s Premier Division Knockout Cup at Shelly Bay.
Ball’s blitz ended Renegades’ hopes of reaching the final for the third season in a row after they appeared to hold the upper hand in Saturday’s first semi-final. The Associates will face Tuff Dogs, who defeated Fine Leg Byes by 14 runs in the other semi-final to remain on course to complete a hat-trick of league and cup doubles in this weekend’s final.
The Associates were left with a mountain to climb in their rain-hit reply and, well adrift at the halfway stage, needed 40 to win from the final three overs. This was whittled down to 18 off the 20th over.
Ball then hammered two sixes, two twos and a four to seal a five-wicket victory with a ball to spare. Ball, who finished 63 not out, struck five sixes and two fours in all.
“It was an incredible run chase,” Simon Jones, the winning captain, said.
Facing Renegades’ 143 for seven, built around a fine middle-order partnership between Suresh Kumar, who made 50, and Ryan Miller, who made 40, The Associates were eight for one when rain held up play for an hour. On the resumption, opener Will Tyrrell batted brilliantly to make 59 in tough conditions before Ball delivered the hammer blows.
Tuff Dogs got off to a slow start after winning the toss, but made 138 for seven, with opener Trevor Corday making 42, Dean Minors 26 and McLaren Lowe 22. Fernando Paul was the pick of the Fine Leg Byes attack with three for 38. In reply, Fine Leg Byes made 124 for five, Ricky Waldron leading the way with 40. Melvin Best made 23 and Gary Ray 22.
Terence Corday, the captain, claimed three for 32 while Monroe Darrell chipped in with two for 26. The First Division Knockout Cup final between St George’s and North Village on Saturday will begin at 10.30am, with the final between Tuff Dogs and The Associates final to follow at 2.30pm.