Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
May Pen Earthquakes and Spanish Town Titans took the final two semi-final spots in the Jamaica Premier League Twenty20 in contrasting style at Chedwin Park yesterday.
May Pen, led by a quick-fire 43 from Ordane Hutchinson and three for 14 from Damion Gray, defeated pre-season favourites Mandeville Thunder by four runs in Zone A in a game that was reduced to 10 overs due to a waterlogged outfield.
Spanish Town booked their ticket after their Zone B fixture against Kingston Hurricanes earlier in the day ended in a no-result, also due to the waterlogged outfield, which was caused by overnight rain.
In the feature, May Pen batted first and posted a competitive 105 for five.
Pacer Nieve McNally took one for 19 for Thunder while there was a wicket each for Jerome Taylor, Jamie Merchant and Howard Powell.
Mandeville, in their response, kept abreast with the run rate of over 10 runs per over, thanks to middle-order batsman, Jamie Merchant, who made 43, and opener Damion Ebanks, who chipped in with 12.
They kept losing wickets, however, and in the end failed in their attempt after needing eight runs off the last over and four off the final ball bowled by left-arm spinner, Damion Gray.
Left-arm pacer Krishmar Santokie took two for 18 for May Pen.
"Credit to Mandeville as it was a good total and in the end they made a match of it," said May Pen captain, Gray. "In the end, however, I thought the experience of most of the players on the team and overall teamwork pulled it off."
Mandeville captain, Gary Graham, said May Pen simply played the better cricket on the day.
"It's a tough match to lose, but May Pen played the best cricket on the day. To get 105 runs off 10 overs was always a difficult task, but we were in it until the final ball, and for that effort I am proud of my team," Graham said.
The semi-finals will be played on Saturday at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium with May Pen playing Half-Way Tree Sparks in one semi-final, and Spanish Town opposing University Dynamites in the other.
The final will be played a day later at the same venue.