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Stumpers, Pioneers get maiden wins on a soggy SPL T20 weekend

By Terry Finisterre, St. Lucia News Online freelance sports writer

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Man of the match, Shervin Charles of Mone Repos

Rain put paid to much of the intended Saint Lucia Premier League Twenty20 cricket action over the weekend, including the mouthwatering clash between Avatar City Blasters and Choiseul Craft Masters.

But there was action on Sunday night in Vieux Fort at the Philip Marcellin Grounds, with Mon Repos Pioneers and Soufriere Stumpers both getting their first wins in dramatic fashion.

A quickfire opening stand of 115 from Shervin Charles (60 off 32 balls, six fours, four sixes) and Sabinus Emmanuel (48 from 31, 6×4, 2×6) set up another huge score, as Mon Repos Pioneers rang up 224/6 in their 20 overs.

In reply, Vieux Fort North Raiders were held to 98/6. Julian Sylvester made 43 in 45 balls, but Mon Repos captain Mervin Wells gave up just 11 runs from his four overs, capturing two wickets. Jamal Lesmond was almost as miserly, conceding 12 runs and taking a wicket.

Mabouya Valley Renegades made 133/9 against Stumpers. Randal Rithal hit 33 off 21, but Sanjay Pamphile (3-19) and Canis Richardson (3-27) kept things tight. Stumpers got off to a flyer in response, but wickets were tumbling to keep the game in balance. Lennice Modeste took all four of his wickets within the first four overs, and the score was 39-4 at one point. But Ashley Hippolyte’s 42 off 25 balls (5×6) saw Soufriere home, scoring 136/7 in 14.4 overs. The result, though, was academic, as Stumpers stay bottom of the group.

Meanwhile, the SPL has announced that the Group B game between Mon Repos Pioneers and Gros Islet Knights, which got underway on Friday night before being interrupted by rain, will be replayed at Gros Islet playing Field from 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4. Gros Islet are on top of the group, a major turnaround from their 2018 fortunes.

Defending champions, South Castries Lions will play the Vieux Fort North Raiders, also on Tuesday, at PMG. A number of scenarios remain alive in Group B, depending on the final round of preliminary matches.

The much-anticipated Group A clash between Blasters and Craftmasters will be played on Monday, June 3 (today) from 7 p.m. at PMG in Vieux Fort. Choiseul have already qualified for the playoffs, but if they beat the Castries team, the boys from the west coast will top the group and eliminate Daren Sammy’s men from the competition.

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