S J Rapids win Southern Cricket League ‘Fiesta’
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.
Port of Spain, Trinidad - A scrambled single off the last ball of the final at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre, gave S J Rapids victory over All Apaches and the top prize of $15,000 in the General Earth Movers-sponsored Southern Sports T20 Cricket Fiesta.
Winning the toss in Saturday night’s finale, All Apaches got solid contributions from Azrudeen Mohammed 42, younger brother of national batsman Jason Mohammed who made 36 and Ihley Smith 25 to reach a challenging 163 for eight wickets.
But the Rapids clawed their way to the victory target, first needing 13 in the 19th over.
The pair of Ancil Baggan and Akeal Cooper eked out six runs, leaving another seven for victory. The last over bowled by Andre Brown saw no run scored off the first two balls. Cooper stroked the third ball for four, and the tension was high with another three runs needed, and the estimated crowd of approximately 2,000 were lifted off their seats.
The fourth ball was a dot ball still leaving three to win, but the scores were tied when Baggan got a two off the fifth ball, and like the fabled story by Paul Keens Douglas, Tanty in the Oval, it was tension all around, the batsmen, fielders and fans.
Last ball, one run to score, and Baggan dug out a yorker which sped towards Brown and the batsmen scampered down the pitch.
Brown picked up the ball and had a shy at the non-strikers stumps but missed and it was game over, Rapids reached 164 for four, winning by six wickets.
Silus Cooper scored 40 for S J Rapids, and was later named Man of the Match and received $500, Nicholas Sookdeosingh 39 and skipper Gregory Mahabir 33. To leave All Apaches getting the runner-up prize of $7,000.
The Fiesta continues with the finals of Division One and Division Two at the same venue on May 30, Indian Arrival Day from 1 pm, and next day the finals of the Under-21 League and Champions Division take place also from 1 pm. At the end of it all, league president Krishna Bedassie thanked all 16 participating teams in the eight-night Fiesta, and praised the high level of discipline displayed by the players.
He also thanked the sponsors and asked other businesses in the community to come on board to support cricket in the Southland.
Summarised scores: ALL APACHES 163/8 - Azrudeen Mohammed 42, Jason Mohammed 36, Ihley Smith 25, Ancil Baggan 3/39, David Sultan 2/30 vs S J RAPIDS 164/4 - Silus Cooper 40, Nicholas Sookdeosingh 39, Gregory Mahabir 33, Shon Gang.