The evergreen John Eugene was at it again, in the latest round of the Masters Cricket Festival. Not usually a man of many words, after lashing 54 off 27 balls against Babonneau, he said to me: “When you get it good, you have to take it.”
John – who once captained the West Indies A team – got it really good against defending champions and league leaders Castries over the weekend. His team, New Park, came in at the bottom of the table, but having played just two matches.
Castries batted first, and kept the scoreboard ticking against a team that had only been able to field 10 men. Alvin Prospere made 73 from just 38 balls as Castries powered to 207/8 in 20 overs. Bryan Calixte took 3-19 bowling for New Park.
John Eugene was promoted to open the innings for New Park, opposite Tyrone ‘Ants’ Harris. Vernon Francois’ opening over went for less than a run a ball, but Prospere’s second over included two sixes, over long off, then over midwicket.
Whilst John was peppering the boundaries at one end, Ants got out at the other. But Hensley ‘Afwechie’ Paul turned out also to be in a non-nonsense mood, and he joined John in scoring quite quickly.
Even with the pair posting numbers rapidly, the original asking rate of 10 runs per over remained daunting. With 16 overs gone, New Park needed nearly 15 runs off every six balls. But it was a task that Afwechie and John would be equal to.
John ended up with 138 runs off just 67 balls, from which he struck 11 boundaries and an amazing 12 sixes. Afwechie was not too far off the pace, as he contributed 60 from just 48 balls as New Park won by nine wickets.
To add insult to injury, the Castries fielding was complicit in the loss, as John was dropped twice. As it stands, New Park, with two games in hand, have moved up to joint second in the table. Castries, with one game in hand, are top. Islanders, also with a game in hand, are joint second. And Babaonneau, who have just one win from their five matches to date, are at the bottom of the tree.