Sai Wan to tackle Vagabonds in final

AFTER 10 years, history will repeat itself this Sunday at the Hong Kong Cricket Club when Little Sai Wan and Vagabonds meet in the Rothmans Cup final.

The two independent sides last met in the 1983-84 final, won by LSW. Their paths will cross once again by virtue of emphatic wins in yesterday's semi-finals.

Vagabonds defeated Optimists by six wickets at the Hong Kong Cricket Club while LSW swept to a 96-run victory over Police at Mission Road.

LSW were heavily favoured to defeat Police. But the same could not have been said of Vagabonds, who were heavily indebted to fine performances from Tim Edmonds and Jason Penrose for their victory, which eventually was a cakewalk.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Edmonds took four for 40 in his 10 overs to send Optimists tumbling to 188 all out on their home ground, a total which never looked sufficient to defend.

Put into bat, Optimists began confidently with Stewart Brew and Mark Winstanley putting on 47 runs in 14 overs. But Edmonds struck in his third over when he bowled Winstanley for 13, and then followed it up four balls later with the vital wicket of Brew,trapped leg before.

Edmonds grabbed the wickets of the next two batsmen to fall, Mark Watson and Seamus O'Brien, to send Optimists reeling to 83 for four in the 20th over.

John Dally, who top-scored with 77, and Grant Docherty restored some order when they put on 51 for the fifth wicket. But with the dismissal of Docherty, caught by Edmonds off John Garden, the slide began with six wickets falling for 54 runs.

The chase for victory was carefully orchestrated by Penrose who mixed aggression with caution in his chanceless knock of 85 (135 balls and 14 boundaries) before being bowled by Adrian Ashman with his side needing only six runs to win.

The bespectacled Penrose put on 48 for the first wicket with Burji Shroff, 68 for the second wicket with Garden, 37 for the third with Phil Glenwright and 30 for the fourth with Adam Williams.

The latter's highly entertaining knock of 31 not out was the final blow to the Optimists, who had a bad day out in the field too.

They spilled a number of chances and their bowling was poor. Even Brew had an off-day with the ball, sending down four wides and four no-balls to finish with one for 44 off 10 overs.

In the other semi-final at Mission Road, LSW, batting first, were dismissed for 263 in the 49th over with Riaz Farcy continuing his fine form with the bat to top-score with 53. Others in the runs were Rizwan Farouq (43), Nick Waters (47) and Monty Noble (40).

Police began well when Nick Varley hit opening bowler Eddie Tse's first over for 16 runs.

But the LSW bowlers quickly regained control to bowl them out for 167.

Tartars will meet Crusaders at KCC in one semi-final of the Dragonair Cup on Saturday, while the other semi will pit Witherers against Kai Tak at HKCC.

In the Plate competition, Sentinels take on St George's at Mission Road while Centaurs come up against Legal Eagles at So Kon Po.