On a cool and windy evening at the Bartica Community Centre Ground on Saturday; home team Bartica ‘A’ cantered to the top prize of $400,000 when the dust was settled in the inaugural Carib Beer / D&C Promotions Twenty20 knock-out cricket tournament.
Set 137 to win by South Essequibo which had won the toss and elected to take first strike, the fans did not cater for the hurricane innings of man-of-the-series Mahase Richards. They however welcomed the clinical destruction Richards caused with his 15-ball epic of 47* which guided Bartica ‘A’ – sponsored by Hopkinson Mining and New Modern Hotel to a comfortable 7-wicket triumph; 137-3 with 5-overs to spare.
Bartica ‘A’ were making heavy weather of the run chase to the disgust of the crowd but that mood changed as well as the mode of scoring with the arrival of Richards to the wicket following the demise of his Captain Robin Narine; the score was 62-3.
South Essequibo’s Norman Fredericks who had a fine all-round performance top scoring with 62 (3×6, 6×4) came back with the ball and had a tight leash on the scoring, bowling his four overs on the trot to end with figures of 4-0-16-2.
Richards’ presence at the wicket changed the course of the game however, his first three balls he dispatched for 6, 6, and 4. He got a reprieve when he was dropped on 38, but by then the writing was already on the wall for South Essequibo as they could not find a way to contain the rampaging Richards who nudged a single to midwicket to seal victory and send the huge crowd into wild celebrations.
Richards lashed four mighty sixes and five exquisite fours in his stay at the crease and was duly rewarded for his fine performance with the man-of-the-series award; a package of one trophy, cell phone compliments of Digicel, which includes one month free internet service; US$100 donated by Gold Target Export and Five Star Minerals; $15,000 from Hopkinson Mining and another $6,000 from Neville Benn for his two sixes that landed on the roof of the Community Centre. A trophy donated by Minister of Public Service Jennifer Westford was also presented to Richards.
Backing up Richards admirably was Shastri Mangal who was also unbeaten on 25; Kenzo Baksh made 27.
The platform for victory was set when South Essequibo batted and were restricted to 136-9 when the overs expired, thanks to a fine bowling display from spinner Sherwin Murray who grabbed 4-13 from his 4 overs. Rukesh Motilall backed up with 2-28 from his 4 with one wicket apiece for Garfield Morrison and Kevin Fredericks.
Apart from Norman Fredericks’ 62, the batsman to make a contribution of worth was Patrick Rooplall with 14, no other player was able to reach double figures; extras contributing a healthy 21.
It was always going to be a tough ask for South Essequibo to restrict the home team which has a lot of depth in their batting, tried they did, but it was the devastating innings of Richards that knocked the visitors over.
Bartica ‘A’ pocketed the winners’ prize of $400,000 sponsored by Carib Beer while South Essequibo took home $200,000 donated by Double Platinum Service Station and Spare Parts. Wakenaam/Leguan Combine won the Five Star Mineral & Gold Target Export sponsored 3rd place prize of $100,000.
Carib Beer Marketing Representative Nigel Worrell complimented the winning team for their performance and thanked all the other participating teams for giving of their best throughout the tournament.
Organisers, D&C Promotions (Deon Ferrier & Charles Jones) also thanked the teams, fans, umpires, Bartica Cricket Association and sponsors for their commitment and support that made their idea a reality and resounding success. They promised that the competition will be held on an annual basis. This was the first floodlight T20 cricket competition that was held in the Essequibo Region exclusively for teams in the jurisdiction.
The other teams were Bartica ‘B’, North Essequibo, Pomeroon, Central Essequibo and East Bank Essequibo.
The following sponsors were recognised; Ansa McAl Trading, Carib Beer, Digicel, Hopkinson Mining, New Modern Hotel, Honorable Minster of Public Service Jennifer Westford, Platinum Service Station, Five Star Minerals & Gold Target Export, Ryan & Reuben, MJ Supermarket, Dave Scott Service Station, Dino Investment, Williams & Sons, MZ Sheriff Boat Service, Thomas Mining, Kamal 2K Gift Shop, Beverage Depot, Shew & Sons, El Dorado Mining, Sheik Mining and El Dorado Trading.
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