Guyanese teams Regal All Stars and Floodlights were crowned champions of the Orlando Softball Cricket League Open and Masters’ categories respectively when the curtains came down on the tournament on Sunday last at Hogshead Park in Florida.
Safraz Esau struck a robust 53 off 23 balls to guide Regal All Stars to a seven-wicket win over Assassins in the Open final in front of a large crowd.
Assassins posted 131-9 after they were asked to bat in brilliant sunshine. They were largely indebted to some lower order resistance after the top order struggled against some steady bowling. Roger Parsram made 29, while Prem Singh got 18 not out and Pooran Beria 17.
Rohit Dutchin claimed 2-20, while Fazal Rafiek had 2-36. Regal All Stars lost Richard Latif, the tournament’s most valuable player, early in the chase, but Esau steadied the chase nicely, hitting seven fours and three sixes before he was dismissed. Navin Singh ensured his Regal All Stars lifted the trophy with an unbeaten 45 which included two fours and three sixes, while Rafiek made 16 as Regal All Stars finished on 132-3 in 14.2 overs. Prem Singh had 2-41.
Regal took the winning Orlando Cup and US$4,000, while Esau was named Man-of -the -Match in the final. Regal bowler, Delroy Perreira was adjudged the tournament’s best bowler and Latif the best batsman.
In the Masters Over-45 year old final, Ramesh Narine guided Floodlights Masters to a 12-run victory over nemesis Regal Masters.
Narine slammed three fours and nine sixes in an even century which came off 56 balls, while Ravi Lutchman made 31 as Floodlights posted 192-9, batting first. David Harper picked up 2 for 28 and Troy Kipins 2-46.
In reply, the Regal Masters needed to score at just under 10 runs per over but eventually ended on 181 for 8. Eric Thomas struck 56 off 26 balls, while Rudolph Baker made 38 from 21 balls (3×6; 3×4) before he was run out and Mohendra Arjune 15.When Thomas became another run out victim in the 19th over at 169 for 6, there were still 23 runs to get from almost two overs but Floodlights prevailed. Akash Lutchman (2/18) and Ramesh Narine (2/20) were the pick of the bowlers.
At the Presentation ceremony, Narine was named Man-of-the-Match, while Bhim George was the MVP and Masters Over-45 tournament’s best batsman. Mahendra Hardyal won the best bowler prize and collected the purple cap and shirt and a trophy.
In the Master’s Over 50-years old category, Orlando Masters were adjudged champions after a high scoring final with New York Maters Premier.
In all, the three-day tournament attracted 25 teams in the three categories and was held at two venues.
The next stop on the international softball calendar is New York for the Independence Cup in July.
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