By Sean Devers in Trinidad
In association with Digicel
Not knowing if they would get the opportunity to even play at all in their semi-final clash when they arrived in rain at the Queens Park Oval yesterday, Guyana continued their dominance in 20/20 cricket against defending champions Trinidad & Tobago with a spine-tingling 4-run victory to book a place in today’s final.
It was like carnival in July at the Oval as T&T, qualifiers for both previous finals in regional 20/20 cricket, needed 14 from the final over to win and Skipper Daren Ganga hit the first ball from off-spinner Royston Crandon for four.
But Crandon, who finished with 4-37 dismissed Ganga (7), Denesh Ramdin (4) and Dave Mohamed (0) to silence the sell-out crowd as the host were bowled out for 171 with a ball to spare, chasing the 175-7 made by Guyana leaving the South Americans one victory away from going to South Africa for the champions trophy in September.
Had there been a wash out yesterday, T&T, who topped their zone, would have advanced to today’s final and on a ground still wet from the constant pounding of the recent rain the Trinis, who reached the finals of the last Champions Trophy in India last year, seemed reluctant to play.
That mind-set might have aided their eventual demise as Travis Dowlin, Guyana best 20/20 batsman fashioned his 2nd half-century of the competition with an attractive 39-ball 59 and added 51 with Sewnarine Chattergoon who lashed an explosive 24-ball 32 before he edged Lendl Simmons to the Keeper in the 7th over.
Esuan Crandon was sent out as pinch-hitter and although he swung and missed a few times and faced 10 dot balls in his 30-ball 30, he and Dowlin took the score to 127 before Dowlin fell to Bravo in the 15th over.
Chris Barnwell chipped in with 14 and 19-year-old Jonathon hit 2 sixes in 15 as Guyana maintained their hectic run rate on the slow outfield and low track.
Kieron Pollard removed Barnwell, Foo and the Crandon brothers to finish with 4-31 while Bravo had 2-33 for the host, who have never beaten Guyana in 20/20 matches and the five dropped catches did little to help the T&T cause.
Skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan, who led the side expertly came in at number eight and got going with a six before he was run out off the last ball of the innings but with the game limited to 19 over per side due to the late start, 176 was always going to be a tough task for the Trinis.
When William Perkins (10) fell to Esuan Crandon at 15-1 in the 2nd over, the vocal crowd, which produced a sea of red in the stands, knew their team was in trouble.
Adrian Barath batted wonderfully for his 2nd fifty of the tournament before Barnwell sent him packing for 54 and when Pollard (15) was magnificently caught by Foo at long-off trying to hit leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo for his 2nd six the score was 102-4 and T&T facing a tall order to fight themselves back into the game.
But after Royston Crandon removed the exciting Daren Bravo (9) and Barath fell at 105-5, Dwayne Bravo produced a masterful exhibition of clean hitting in an entertaining 55 in a losing effort and his 27 runs from the 17th bowled by Barnwell with the required run-rate at 18, had the crowd dancing in the stands.
The experienced Lennox Cush removed Bravo at 162-7 in the penultimate over before Royston Crandon finished off the job for Guyana in the next over as the pressure mounted.
It was a wonderful match which had all the makings of a final but in the end it was Guyana, who beat T&T in the inaugural Stanford 20/20 final in Antigua in 2006, who prevailed.
Floodlight Softball cricket competition continues despite inclement weather
Full Group Entertainment (FGE), the organizers of the Floodlight Cricket competition, is satisfied that the tournament is progressing as planned despite inclement weather conditions which has forced the postponement, or in some cases, the abortion of some of the matches.
The organizers are grateful to the executive of the telephone company Digicel, for the support rendered towards the running of the matches. A recent release from the FGE stated that the telephone company continues to support the tournament. The release also states that floodlight softball cricket has been creating a lot of interest in the Demerara area and the support has been phenomenal.
The tournament has succeeded in popularizing softball cricket and also promotes the female version of the sport. The tournament continues today, Saturday July 31, under a new tab, ‘the East Coast Emancipation 6 overs Floodlight tournament’ and will feature all the top teams around Demerara.
The first match in the male category bowls off at the Ogle Ground at around 14:00hrs and proceeds into the night. The entrance fee is $15,000 and a maximum of 16 teams will be accepted. The first prize is $150,000 and a trophy while the runners up will take home $50,000 and a trophy.
Meanwhile, matches in the female category commence Sunday August 1 next with 12 teams from Berbice, Essequibo, Linden and Demerara competing for the first prize. Reports out of Berbice state that they will be fielding a strong lineup and would be out to retain the title. This may be easier said than done as the standard of the other teams have risen considerably and those players also nurture high hopes of carting off the top prize.
The four top finishers will receive medals while the top two teams receive trophies. The entrance fee for this category is $2,000 per team and those teams already registered are Trophy Stall A&, Regal XI, Rangers Sports Club, Enmore XI, Memorex XI, Bravados, Uitvlugt CC, Parika/Hydronie SC, Ogle CC, Countryside XI, Hanzo XI, Royal Challengers XI and Savage XI. Other Teams wishing to participate are urged to do so at the earliest opportunity since spaces are limited. Registration concludes today at 13:00hrs.
Meanwhile, the three top teams from Berbice will be a part of the Female competition and include reigning countrywide champions # 68 All Stars, Heavenly Angels and Crabwood Creek. Essequibo will also field a formidable lineup, led by champions Kabakaburi Blazers and include Cotton Field Angels and Charity SC Females. Linden’s two top teams include reigning champions Coomaka Angels and runners up Ituni SC while Demerara will have Trophy Stall Angels, Kitty All Stars, Marshon SC Females, Street Warriors and Ogle Females. The female floodlight champions would be determined tomorrow.
Consequently, activities culminate with a mix music party and a domino competition that assures the winning team $50,000 plus trophies. Information pertaining to the cricket can be had from Leonard on Tel # 646-0568/Nadir Baksh – 691-9477 and for registration promoter Benson on telephone # 673-6778.
Team captains registering for the domino competition may contact R. David (670-1205). The competition is sponsored in part by Digicel, Giftland Office Max, Mohamed’s Enterprise, Builders Lumber Yard, BM Soat, Kids Closet, Carib Beer and Nalico/Nafico Insurance.
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