Oct 30, 2017 Sports
By Zaheer Mohamed
Regal Masters and Speedboat were crowned champions of the Masters and Open categories respectively when the inaugural Georgetown Softball Cricket League Inc (GSCL Inc) Prime Minister’s T20 Cup concluded yesterday at Everest Cricket Club.
Watched by a large and colourful crowd which included Hon. Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and his wife Seeta and Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan, Regal Masters defeated New York Hustlers by 24 runs in the Masters final.
Led by a brisk 68 from opener Mahase Chunilall and a fluent half century from Eric Thomas, Regal Masters posted a challenging 199-4, batting first.
The in-form Chunilall and Mahendra Hardyal put Regal Masters on course with an opening stand of 96 before Hardyal who hit one four and a six was removed by E. Dodson for 28. Chunilall and Thomas continued to frustrate their overseas opponents as they took the score to 172 with level-headed batting. Chunilall struck one four and four maximums before he was caught off former Guyana U19 player Troy Gobin. But Thomas continued to attack and clobbered one four and six sixes in scoring 53, while Eon Abel chipped in with 13 in the latter stages of the innings. Dodson claimed 2-56.
In reply, D. Chumney and former Everest and Guyana first class player Shameer Sadloo added 32 for the opening strand before Chumney was taken of Parsram Persaud for 19. Sadloo and Gobin, two of NY Hustlers most dangerous batsmen, steadied the chase fairly before Sadloo was removed by Thomas for 36 (3×6). Gobin was then bowled by Laurie Singh for 23 (3×4,1×6) leaving the score at 88-3. Regal Masters then picked up a few quick wickets to restrict the scoring, but Chob Richmond and Roy Matura kept their team in the hunt with a seven-wicket stand of 49 before Matura was bowled by Hardyal for 24 after hitting three sixes. Richmond remained unbeaten on 44 with two fours and three sixes as NY Hustlers finished on 175-8. Thomas was the pick of the bowlers with 3-23.
Speedboat registered a 55-run win over Regal All stars in the Open final which followed. Speedboat rattled up 182-9 after they were inserted. Anand Bharat and Lennox Marks put on 24 for the opening stand before Marks was bowled by Amir Nizamudin for 15; Fazal Rafiek uprooted the stumps of Vikash Dhaniram (09), while Nizamudin bowled Greg Singh (15) before Esau accounted for Bharat for 24 leaving the score at 98-4.
Speedboat then lost Wazir Hussain (02) who was bowled by Esau, but Ricky Sargeant and Shazim Hussain propped up the total before Hussain was run out for 27 (1×4,3×6). Sargeant made 21 as Esau claimed 3-38, Rafiek 2-40 and Nizamudin 2-42.
Regal All stars were off to a terrible start- the in-form Sachin Singh (01) was bowled by Greg Singh, Richard Latif (04) was removed by Kishore Smith, Rafiek (04) had his stumps disturbed by Singh, Esau (06) was bowled by Mark Harold, while Patrick Rooplall was dismissed without scoring leaving the score on 39-5. However, Navin Singh and Sewchand Budhu attempted to keep their team in the hunt with a stand of 33, but the run out of Singh for 15 and the dismissal of Budhu for 25 cemented Speedboat’s hold on the game; no other batsman managed double figures as Regal All stars were bowled 127 in 17.4 overs. Smith had 3-20 and Singh 2-26.
Individuals awards were given to Azaad Azeez, Ralph Layne, Shawn Lall and Sewchand Budhu for taking five wicket hauls, Vijay Surujpaul, Brain Mangar, Safraz Esau, Sachin Singh and Safraz Karim for scoring centuries; Kishore Smith was named man-of-the-match in the final, while Esau (162 runs and 12 wkts) received one Hero motorcycle for being voted MVP in the All stars category. Brian Mangar (201) highest individual score, Esau highest wicket taker, Kawson Joseph best wicket-keeper and Delroy Perreira best fielder also received awards.
Regal All stars received the Prime Minister’s trophy and $100,000, while Speedboat pocketed a trophy and $600,000.
Mohamed Rafeek (highest individual score), Laurie Singh (highest wicket taker), Chunilall (MVP), R. Neil (best wicket-keeper), Troy Gobin (best fielder) were outstanding in the Masters division. Additionally, Chunilall, V. Baljit, Mohamed Rafeek (centuries scored), Thomas was named man-of-the-match and MVP Chunilall MVP received prizes. NY Hustlers took a trophy and $100,000, while Regal Masters grabbed the Prime Minister’s trophy and $500,000. Zaheer Mohamed of Kaieteur News received the reporter of the tournament prize.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Prime Minister Nagamootoo congratulated the teams on their achievements and lauded the GSCL Inc on a well organized tournament. He added that this is a wonderful day for softball cricket and the beginning of greater things to come whereas they will work together with all stakeholders of softball cricket to promote the sport.
President of GSCL Inc Ian Johan thanked the sponsors and congratulated the winners.
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