Guyana Softball Cup 8: Ariel Speedboat too fast for SVC New York

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By Avenash Ramzan

In the end, you’d have to say they’re appropriately named.

Much like the outrageously fast water taxis traversing Guyana’s waterways, Ariel Speedboat outwitted SVC New York by being the supremely fitter and faster team at the DCC ground on Sunday evening.

That they comfortably defeated the North American side by four wickets with two and a half overs to spare was testimony to their great athleticism, remarkable consistency and tremendous confidence and self-belief.

For the third year in a row, Ariel Speedboat lifted the Open title of the Guyana Softball Cup, organised by the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association. The men in blue and yellow stand alone as the only team to win the title three times.

Add their successful defence of the Prime Minister’s Cup a week ago at Everest ground and the title of Guyana’s best softball team at the moment is a forgone conclusion.

After limiting SVC New York to 161 on a wicket that produced three 200+ totals earlier in the day, Ariel Speedboat cruised to the target, ending on 164-6 in 17.3 overs, their captain Wazir Hussain fittingly ending the match with a maximum to spark wild celebrations at the ‘Home of Legends’.

Man-of-the-Match in the Open final Greg Singh (left) receives his award from Ricky Deonarain of the Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association

The chase started shakily when opener Shazam Hussain fell for one in the third over, before Greg Singh and opener Anand Bharat consolidated the innings with a 43-run stand. However, Bharat fell for 23 and Lennox Marks was dismissed soon after for seven as SVC New York brought the match back in the balance.

Vickash Dhaniram then joined Singh and the pair proceeded to knock the ball around, converting ones into twos and consistently challenging the arm of the fielders.

Their proactive approach slowly turned the match in Ariel Speedboat’s favour, and SVC New York did little to help their cause when Vijay Surujpaul leaked 20 runs from his final over, including 10 wides.

Sensing a total shift in momentum, Singh launched an attack on last year’s final hero, Mark ‘Rambo’ Harold, slamming him for sixes off the first two balls of the next over, before he was bowled off the third for a Man-of-the-Match knock of 35 (4x6s), ending a partnership of 44.

Dhaniram fell soon after for 27 (3x4s, 1×6), but by then the equation was down to four off 16 balls, and Hussain decided it was useless to prolong the inevitable, sending the huge white ball sailing into the Queenstown night sky and over the ropes.

A whopping 55 extras, 32 of which were wides, spoke of the indiscipline of the SVC New York bowlers. Such shortcomings, especially in a final, could always prove detrimental.

SVC New York earlier got an opening stand of 62 from Richard Latiff and Navin Singh (10), but they failed to capitalize on the start. Latiff topscored with 42 (4x4s, 4x6s) and Safraz Esau made 39 (1×4, 3x6s), while Shazam Hussain picked up 3-47, Kishore Smith 2-15 and Ian Ivan 2-32.

Parika Defenders won the Over-50 category (Photo: Shatanand Anude)

Below are the results of the other games:

OVER-50: Parika Defenders defeated Floodlights Legends by 25 runs.

Parika Defenders 214-4 off 20 overs (Rasheed Mohamed 73, Sadeek Mohamed 53, Oswald Chandler 45, Ramesh Rambarose 20) v Floodlights Legends 189-6 off 20 overs (Sahadeo Budhoo 39, Hakim Majeed 29, Khemraj Baljit 21, Mohamed Saphie two wickets)

OVER-45: Regal Masters defeated Fishermen Masters by 60 runs.

Regal Masters 218-7 off 20 overs (Mohendra Arjune 72, Troy Kippins 47, Eon Abel 39, David Harper 18, L. Persaud 2-37, Pooran Singh 2-47) v Fishermen Masters 158-5 (Baldeo Persaud 70, Fazal 50, Hemraj Pillay 24, Fazleem Mohamed 2-32)

FEMALE EXHIBITION: Demerara defeated Berbice by 88 runs.

Demerara 203-4 off 15 overs (Latoya Smith 106, Cherryann Fraser 68, Tessa Parks two wickets) v Berbice 115 all out off 14.5 overs (Tessa Parks 45, Erva Giddings 41, A. Allen and Kaysia Shultz picked up two wickets each)

The tournament was sponsored by Stag Beer, Rubis Guyana, Trophy Stall, Survival, Steve’s Jewellery, Clear Waters, Busta, Rohan Auto Spares, A&R Jewanram Printery, Ramchand’s Auto Spares WJ Enterprise, Mike’s Pharmacy, Karibee Rice, Palm Court and Windies Bar.

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