Floodlights successfully defend Masters Crown
By Zaheer Mohamed
History was created Sunday night when the seventh edition of the Guyana Floodlight Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) Guyana Cup concluded at the Demerara Cricket Club – no team has ever successfully defended their title in an international tournament – Sunday night Ariel Speedboat and Floodlights achieved the feat in the Open and Masters categories respectively.
Mark Harold, with over a decade of experience in the sport, used it to good effect to hand Ariel Speedboat an exciting four-run win over Boots All stars.
Chasing 128, Boots All stars needed 13 from the last over; despite being aided by three wides they only managed eight as Harold picked up four wickets to finish with 4-20.
Speedboat decided to bat in front of a large crown which included opposition leader Dr. Bharat Jagdeo, and lost the dangerous Lennox Marks for five before skipper Anand Bharat went for nine; both falling to C. Ramdhani leaving the score at 40-2. Vikash Dhaniram struck two fours and two sixes in a top score of 27, but no other batsman managed double figures as Boots All stars picked up wickets at regular intervals with steady bowling and sharp fielding; Ariel Speedboat were bowled out in 17.1 overs.
Avinash Sookdeo claimed 3-31, Yoodhanlall Sooklall 2-7 and Roy Persaud 2-34.
Boots All stars reply got off to a bad start, losing Brian Mangar without scoring in the first over delivered by Wazir Hussain, however Keith Fraser (07) and skipper Ejaz Mohamed added 34 for the second wicket before Fraser was removed by Greg Singh. Mohamed and Christopher Seenarine put on 40 for the third-wicket to stabilise the chase with sensible batting. However, after Seenarine was removed by Singh for 22, Boots All stars suffered two crucial run outs, Jonathan Fernandes and Delroy Williams, both without scoring as Ariel Speedboat fought back with tidy bowling.
The game continued to swing in the balance; Boots All stars needed 23 from three and it wired down to the last over – with five wickets in hand many had written off Ariel Speedboat, however Harold who bowled Mohamed off the first ball in the over for 37 (1×4) and went on to pick up Sooklall (04), Avinash Sookdeo (00) and Andy Rooplall (00), turned out to be the hero as Boots All stars lost nine wickets in the chase. Singh had 2-13.
Floodlight defeated archrivals Regal Masters by nine wickets in the Masters final played earlier. Batting first, Regal Masters lost Mahendra Hardyal and David Harper both run out without scoring before Mahase Chunilall (00) was bowled by Clive Canterbury as they were reduced to 4-3.
Captain Mohendra Arjune and Eon Abel added 45 for the fourth-wicket before Abel was bowled by Ravi Lutchman for 18. Regal Masters suffered a further set back as Ramo Malone picked up the wickets of Arjune for a top score of 30 (3×4), Eric Thomas and Raymond Harper for 11 and 15 respectively; Regal Masters managed 101-9. Malone snared 3-20 and Canterbury 2-11. In reply, Floodlights lost Lutchman bowled by Laurie Singh (1-14) for five with the score on 26, but Unnis Yusuf and Ramesh Narine shared in an unbroken second wicket stand of 76 to see their team home. Yusuf clobbered six fours and two sixes in scoring 61, while Narine finished on 12; Floodlights finished on 102-1 in 11.3 overs.
Karibee Girls of Berbice defeated Trophy Stall Angels by 12 runs in the female final.
Karibee Girls batted first and scored 82-7 in 10 overs. Shemaine Campbell made 23, Shakiba Gajnabi 20 and Sherika Campbell 16; Alicia Allen took 2-11. Trophy Stall Angels responded with 70-7. Ruth George made 34; Nagma Boodhoo, Shemaine Campbell and Gajnabi claimed two wickets each.
Blairmont beat GCC by 88 runs in the Well Teen, Tropical Spring, Nauth Motor Spares and Trophy Stall U13 final. Blairmont took first strike and posted 150-5 in 25 overs. Zynal Ramsammy struck five fours and three sixes in a top score of 60, while Timani Caesar made an even half century with four fours and one six. The duo added 117 for the fourth wicket after Blairmont lost three wickets without a run on the board. Aryan Persaud claimed 4-22. GCC were bowled out for 62 in 14.2 overs in reply. Rivaldo Phillips scored 21 as Vickendra Singh captured 3-13 and Ramsammy 3-15. Ramsammy was named man-of-the-match.
In the Masters category, Malone was named MVP and Yusuf man-of-the-match in the final, while Ronald Khan of NYSCL and Basdeo Persaud of Fisherman were rewarded for scoring centuries in the preliminary round. Regal Masters received a trophy and $150,000 while Floodlight took home a trophy and $600,000.
In the Open division, Harold was named man-of-the-match in the final and MVP. Boots All stars took home a trophy and $200,000 and Speedboat a trophy and $800,000.
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