Jul 06, 2022 Sports
Kaieteur News- Regal Legends extracted sweet revenge on New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) Legends to successfully defend their Independence Cup on Sunday at Baisley Park, Queens, New York.
Set a target of 155 runs from 20 overs, the defending champions fell behind the required run rate and then lost wickets in a heap but still pulled off the heist with five wickets and three balls to spare thanks to composed batting from Mohendra Arjune and Ramesh Narine and cool temperament from Throy Kippins.
Arjune was promoted up the order alongside established opener Unis Yusuf and the pair put on 77 for the first wicket in 13 overs. Arjune set the tone early with some attractive shots on both sides of the wicket to see the 50 coming up in the 7th over. However, there was a quiet period of six overs on either side of the mid-innings break which allowed the hosts, NYSCL Legends to pull things back. During the period, Regal Legends only managed 22 runs with Yusuf sweeping and missing consistently. In all, the right-hander faced 38 balls of which 22 were dot balls before he was eventually dismissed for 30 (1x6s; 2x4s) in the 13th over.
At that point, NYSCL Legends were beginning to control the match having already picked up Arjune in the previous over for 41 (31 balls; 6x4s). Arjune, who faced only 10 dot balls, was desperately looking to regain the momentum but succumbed to the pressure and was caught behind off Jagdish Persaud.
With 72 runs still needed from 39 balls, the pressure was on Ramesh Narine and Wayne Jones but the experienced lefthanders quickly added 58 for the 3rd wicket to bring back the game in favour of the 2021 champions before disaster struck again.
With 14 runs needed for victory at the start of the 19th over, Jones (7) tried to clear long-off but found the waiting hands of Ronald Evelyn instead. Three balls later, Eric Thomas (1) top edged Nandalall Doodnauth for one followed by a contentious stumped out decision to remove Eion Abel (0) off the very next ball to send panic in the Regal camp. Doodnauth had delivered the perfect over, picking up three wickets for just four runs. It was any team’s game with 11 needed from the final over.
Chad Richmond, whose only previous over cost 13 runs, was entrusted with the responsibility of defending 12 runs while new batsman, Throy Kippins was on strike with Ramesh Narine at the other end on 41. A nervous looking Richmond bowled to Kippins and the batters ran 3 runs as the ball was played to backward point and not fielded cleanly which allowed two over throws and a change of strike. It was then eight needed from five balls when Richmond bowled a wide to Narine. Narine, who was later named Player of the Final, then took a double to make it five runs to win from four balls. The spectators then began chanting ‘Regal, Regal, Regal’ and eventually Richmond sent down another wide which also eluded the wicketkeeper while a bye was taken to bring the equation to three runs to win from four balls. Kippins then flicked for the winning runs to the fine leg boundary which sparked wild celebrations in the park with Regal Legends finishing on 156 for 5 to take their second consecutive Independence Cup.
Doodnauth was the pick of the bowlers with 2/26, while Bhagwandin (1/11) and Persaud (1/21) also getting among the wickets for the hosts who opted to bat upon winning the toss in sunny conditions.
The NYSCL got a promising start with Ravi Sahadeo (39) and Chaitram Bhagwandin (33) putting on 73 for the first wicket in 12 overs before they were both sent back by Kippins just seven runs apart. After their dismissal Jagdish Persaud with 39 and Robert Mohan 18 put on 71 runs for the third wicket before they were both dismissed in the final over which was bowled by Kippins. NYSCL finished with 154 for 4 as Kippins picked up 3 for 38 to finish the 8-team tournament with 10 wickets.
In the other categories, NYSCL Masters beat Hustlers to take the Masters Title, while Kingsmen defeated NYSCL All-Stars to take the Open title.
Ravi Sahadeo of NYSCL Legends was the batsman of the tournament while Richard Latif won the awards for the best batsman and highest individual score in the open category.
It was the 17th edition of the annual NYSCL Independence Cup which was played in good spirits and was well supported by sponsors and spectators, according to President of the league Eric Ferrier. The next tournament of this magnitude will be the Prime Ministers T20 Softball Cup hosted by Georgetown Softball Cricket League on November 11, 12 and 13 in Guyana.
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