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In their final round match, played at the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) ground, the St Lucians whipped St Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) by 46 runs in a low-scoring encounter.
Batting first, St Lucia, like they did against Trinidad and Tobago at the same venue, struggled throughout to reach 145 for eight in their allotted 50 overs. The total however proved too good for the Vincentians who were shot out for 99 in 41.4 overs.
The Vincentians were jolted by a fiery opening spell from Philippa Thomas who sent them reeling at 13 for four, rattling the stumps of openers Daphne Miller (0) and Juliana Nero (0) and number four batter Celena Fraser (0) while skipper Genille Greaves was trapped lbw also for nought.
The Vincentians later slipped to 54 for eight as Beverly Da Silva (six) was run-out by a fine throw from Eugena Gregg at midwicket. Gregg also took a marvellous return catch to get rid of Cordelia Williams (five) and was again in the action when she bowled Sheriann George for four.
Number nine batter, Clea George, was bowled by skipper Verena Felicien, with the Vincentians precariously placed on 54 for eight in the 27th over.
Mixing aggression with defence, Cordel Jack and Mychia George then shared a ninth-wicket partnership of 34 in 7.5 overs with Jack in particular playing several handsome strokes, including a powerful square drive for six off fast-medium bowler Gregg.
The partnership was broken when George was adjudged lbw to Felicien for 14.
Phennel Charles resisted for a while but lost her cool, playing a loose shot off off-spinner Elizabeth Williams and losing her middle-stump.
Jack, who also hit three fours, was left high and dry on 40 as the Vincentians failed to reach the magical hundred.
Thomas ended with four for 20 from nine overs, Felicien two for 20 from 10 and Gregg two for 29 from six.
Earlier, the champions had endured a similar start to their opponents, losing both openers with just two runs on the tins - Roselyn Emmanuel (0) being bowled by Hoyte in the first over and Nadine George caught by Phennel (0) Charles off Nero in the fourth.
Glenecia James and Gregg revived the innings with a second-wicket partnership of 48 before the former became the first of three victims for skipper Greaves, caught by Da Silva for 24. Her knock included two fours off 61balls in 72 minutes.
Gregg also shared an important 36-run fourth wicket stand with her captain Felicien who contributed 25 with three fours off 37 balls in 30 minutes before she was bowled by Greaves.
Greaves also sent back Pamela Alfred (four) in similar fashion as the Vincentians kept the St Lucians under tight reins.
Useful contributions of 11 each from vice-captain Julietta Herman and Thomas and the eventual top score of 43 from Gregg saw the St Lucians reach what was to become a winning total.
Gregg, who was caught off a no-ball when she was on eight and St Lucia 30 for two, struck two fours off 103 balls in 81 minutes.
Greaves took three for 22 from 10 overs and Hoyte two for 13 from 10.
The teams will now turn their attention to the knockout competition that starts tomorrow.
Defending champions St Lucia have however drawn a bye to the semifinals, set for Saturday, while St Vincent & the Grenadines take on Grenada at the Police Sports Club ground, Eve Leary tomorrow.
ST LUCIA innings
R. Emmanuel b Hoyte 0
N. George c P. Charles b Nero 0
G. James c Da Silva b Greaves 24
E Gregg c Greaves b Williams 43
V. Felicien b Greaves 25
P. Alfred b Greaves 4
J. Herman lbw Hoyte 11
P. Thomas run-out 11
C. Mann not out 4
H. Vitte not out 1
Extras: (b-1, lb-2, w-17, nb-2) 22
Total: (for eight wickets, 50 overs) 145
Fall of wickets: 0, 2, 50, 86, 100, 119, 137, 143, 145.
Bowling: Hoyte 10-3-13-2 (w-2), Nero 8-0-38-1 (w-4, nb-2), Jack 10-1-30-0, Greaves 10-1-22-3 (w-2), Williams 9-0-25-1 (w-2), P. Charles 3-0-14-0 (w-7)
ST VINCENT & the GRENADINES innings
D. Miller b Thomas 0
J. Nero b Thomas 0
G. Greaves lbw Thomas 0
B. DaSilva run out 6
C. Fraser b Thomas 6
C. Williams c & b Gregg 5
S. John b Gregg 4
C. Hoyte b Felicien 4
M. George lbw Felicien 14
P. Charles b Williams 0
Extras: (b-1, lb-1, w-22, nb-2) 26
Total: (all out, 41.4 overs) 99
Fall of wickets: 2, 4, 12, 13, 25, 36, 49, 54, 88, 99.
Bowling: Herman 10-3-16-0 (w-5, nb-1), Thomas 9-1-20-4 (w-11), Felicien 10-2-24-2 (w-1), Gregg 6-0-29-2 (w-5, nb-1), Williams 6.4-1-7-1.