Skeldon Community Centre (SCC) made full use of home advantage to turn back the challenge of Number 48 Challengers in the final of the inaugural Mohabir Baljeet Sukhpaul (Beto) Memorial 20/20 cricket competition which was played at the Skeldon Community Centre Ground on Sunday last.
The one day tournament, which involved four teams, was sponsored by the widow and two sons – Swarendra Sukhpaul (Suren) and Rajendra Sukhpaul of the late Mohabir Baljeet Sukhpaul of the Sukhpaul Business Enterprise with business throughout Berbice and was organized by the Upper Corentyne Cricket Association (UCCA). The teams involved were the four zone winners in the Upper Corentyne cricket competition.
In the final SCC whipped No 48 Challengers by 46 runs after earlier defeating No70 MYO by seven wickets in their semifinal clash, while No48 Challengers advanced to the final by eking out a one run victory in a cliff hanger over No 71 in front of a large and appreciative crowd. All the matches were played of 15 overs duration due to time constraints.
In the final, SCC took full advantage of the generosity of the of No 48 Challengers who asked them to take first strike and blasted 122 for 6 off their allotted 15 overs. Their charge was led by with Dharchan Charitar 49 (2×6); Chris Jaundoo made 21, while there were 10 each from Victor Pedro and Gajanand Nauth. Extras contributed 16.
Bowling for No48, James Watson and Jewan Baijnauth picked up two wickets each while there were one apiece for John Brijbalass and Benny Persaud.
Batting in twilight conditions on a pitch that started to keep low the Challengers never put up much challenge and were held to 76 for 7 off the allotted of overs, with Persaud 18 and Munesh Lalu 14(3×4) being their top scorers.
Bowling for Skeldon, Charitar, Wazir Hussain and G. Mangal picked up two wickets each, while there were one each for Pedro and Jameel Jackman. Charitar was later named man of the match and received
a trophy and $5,000.
Earlier, SCC earned their place in the final with an easy seven wicket win over Number 70 MYO in their semifinal match. Batting first Number 70 MYO made 69 for 8 off their 15 overs with Y. Khan making 14. Bowling for SCC Pedro, Y. Debideen and Nigel Trots snared two wickets each. In reply, SCC hurried to 72 for 3 in 13.2 overs as Nauth top scored with 21 not out, while Charitar put in another man of the match performance with an unbeaten 20, while Pedro contributing 13.
The second semifinal went all the way down to the wire with Number 48 Challengers holding their nerves to snatch a slim one run victory over the much Number 71in their encounter. The No48 Challengers took first strike and made 101 for 7 with Lalu 25and man of the match Satrohan Singh 24(2×6, 2×4) being their top scorers. Bowling for No71 Samuel Singh took three wickets ,while there were two apiece for Watson and Baijnauth.
Number 71 in reply kept within range of the score even as wickets tumbled at regular intervals. At the start of the final over, they required 12 runs. Two runs were then needed of the final delivery with nine wickets down as B. Persaud clean bowled K. Seeram to give No 48 Challengers victory.
At the end of the finals at a simple presentation ceremony, SCC were presented with the beautiful Mohabir Baljeet Sukhpaul Memorial trophy and $25,000, while $15,000 and a trophy went to the loosing finalist. The trophies and prizes were presented by the widow, sons and other family members of Sukhpaul.
Mohabir Baljeet Sukhpaul, who earned his reputation as a leading businessman, was a former Mayor for Corriverton and was also a competent wicketkeeper batsman. He was also a leading community activist.
The trophies and sponsorship cheque was previously handed over to the UCCA by the sponsors at a simple ceremony at the Sukhpaul’s Gas Station in Corriverton earlier in the year.
The Upper Corentyne area covers teams from Number45 to Crabwood Creek areas.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Linden Murray of the UCCA thanked the Sukhpaul family for their continued support in the form of sports, community and youth and educational activities, noting that the late businessman was an integral part of activities on the Upper Corentyne.
The Sukhpaul Family plans to make it an annual affair.
All proceeds from the activity including gates, drinks and food rights will go towards the development of cricket in the Upper Corentyne Area. (Samuel Whyte)
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