On a day where the sun was out in all its glory and the sky as blue as the Caribbean Sea, Aurora Knight Riders surrendered to Rising Stars in the first semi final of the South Essequibo T/20 Cricket Competition played last Sunday at the picturesque Pomona Cricket Ground.
Watched by the largest crowd of recent times, the Knight Riders won the toss and opted to take first strike on a good batting track and a heavy outfield. However, that decision seemed to backfire when left handed opener Deoraj Dindyal was taken at extra cover off pacer Latchman Rohit for 2.
The score quickly became 18-2 when Ravi Beharry (6) was bowled by Rohit off the first ball of his second over. Rohit kept the pressure and was soon rewarded when he had Mohamed Gafoor LBW for 10. Norwayne Fredericks (10) and Garfield Phillips (21) then put together a fighting 25 runs 4th wicket partnership before Fredricks played down the wrong line and was adjudged LBW to Otis Roberts. Phillips having struck two well timed boundaries and a maximum soon had his stumps shattered by Jagdesh Dindyal with one that kept low. Anand Maniram (33), Gangabeharry Ramdanie (14) and Roddy Spencer (20) then combined to ensure the Knight Riders posted a challenging 138-6 off their allotted overs. Rohit claimed 3-21, Dindyal 2-24, while Roberts had 1-20.
Rising Stars began their chase in a no nonsense mood with openers Rohit and Dovindra Mohan quick to pounce on anything loose. However, the introduction of left arm spinner Phillips paid dividends as he had Mohan LBW for an aggressive 25 at 37-1. Kurty Jones soon followed, caught by Phillips on the long on boundary off spinner Norwayne Fredericks. Neil Bristol was then sent back by Fredericks without troubling the score. With wickets tumbling around him, skipper Rohit, who was given a ‘life’ by the keeper before he had open his account, dropped anchor and played with maturity. Kayman Lackhan, who was also put down by the keeper when on 8, joined his skipper and staged ‘operation rebuild’ with an eye catching 44 runs partnership.
Phillips, returning for his second spell and had Lackhan caught at long off for 32 which included one boundary and four sixes.
When Deoraj Dindyal had Rohit caught in the deep after being smashed for three consecutive maximums, the Stars needed 28 off five overs. Jagdesh Dindyal (20) then struck some lusty blows to take the Stars within sight of victory. However, Fredericks returned to send back Dindyal and Andy Ramnarine (00) in quick succession. Rohan Ramdass and Ravindra
Narine then ensured there were no further hiccups as the Stars ended on 140-7 in 19 overs. Bowling for the Knight Riders, Fredricks had 4-23, Phillips 2-37 while Dindyal claimed 1-39.
In the second semi-final, Jaguars got the better of United Warriors. Batting first, the Jaguars found themselves in early trouble when the dependable Norman Fredericks was sent packing by the lively Rameez Mohamed without scoring in the first over.
Feizal Mohamed (37) and the consistent Javid Azeez (29) then put together 43 runs for the second wicket with Mohamed the accumulator and Azeez the aggressor. Left arm seamer Brian Murray was brought into the attack and immediately reaped success when he had Azeez well taken at cover. Mohamed soon followed, caught at the wicket off the accurate Murray. From then on wickets kept falling at regular intervals as the Jaguars were all out for 119 in 19.4 overs. Murray was the pick of the bowlers with 2-23 while Sydney Richards took 2-19.
Chasing 120 in fading light for a spot in the final, the Warriors got an early set back when skipper Orlando Jailall was run out for 2. Reyad Mohamed (10) and his brother Rameez Mohamed (33) tried to repair the early damage, but Feizal Mohamed (2-9) and skipper Chandie Jairam (2-16) supported by two run outs ensured the Warriors were all out for 99 in 19.4 overs.
Rising Stars will now clash with Jaguars in the final, while Aurora Knight Riders and United Warriors will do battle for the third place. Both matches are slated for this Sunday at the Pomona Cricket Ground.
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