Destructive Narine leads Wellman Masters to softball title
Back-to-back half-centuries from Ramesh Narine spurred Mike’s Wellman to the Masters’ Over-40 title, while Grill Masters beat Regal All-Stars to take the Open title in the annual Republic Cup last Sunday at the Everest Cricket Club ground, Camp Road.
Narine, the veteran left-hander, had an almost flawless day in the sun with commanding knocks and purposeful bowling that firstly knocked out Regal Masters in the semi-finals before turning back a spirited Fed-Up Masters in the final.
In the championship match, Narine stroked 52 (3x6s; 5x4s) to set up Wellman Masters’ five-wicket victory with three balls to spare in fading light. Set 164 to win from their 20 overs, the eventual champions got useful knocks from skipper Wayne Jones and opener Ian Ramdeen, who both weighed in with 28 apiece, but it was Greg De Franca and Nandram Samlall that got them over the rope.
Left-arm slow bowler, Laurie Singh gave Fed-Up Masters an excellent start with the ball when he sent back openers Ramdeen and Eon Lovell (01) very early. However, Narine and Jones consolidated and almost to put the run chase to bed before disaster struck.
With fewer than 45 runs still required for a remarkable victory, the pair of left-handers was dismissed and was quickly followed by Lloyd Ruplall (05) to bring the opposition right back into the game before the pendulum swung again.
With 24 needed from 12 balls and five wickets in hand, Nandram and De Franca swung for the fences and cashed in on the small outfield. De Franca finished with 12 (2x4s) from four balls and Samlall 21 (3x4s) when they brought home the memorable victory.
Bowling for Fed-Up Masters, Singh finished with 3-36, while fellow left-arm bowler Dharam Persaud was wicketless, but his four overs only cost 16 runs and included a maiden.
Earlier, after being sent in; Fed-Up Master’s total of 163-7 was built around 57 from captain Mohamed Rafeek and 47 from Troy Lewis, while Man-of-the-Match, Narine claimed 1-32 (4), Latchman Kallicharran 2-19 (4) and Imtiaz Mohamed 2-36 (4).
On their way to the final, Fed-Up Masters (158-6) beat Fishermen Masters (104) by 54 runs, while Mike’s Wellman (179-3) beat Regal Masters (139-9) by 40 runs. Narine blasted an unbeaten 83 from 37 balls (10x6s; 2x4s) and picked up 4-26 with the ball to crown a good day at the office.
In the All-Star final, Richard Latif stole the show to hand Grill Masters an easy 17-run victory over the star-studded Regal All Stars.
Grill Masters were off to a disastrous start when Balram Samaroo was given out caught behind off Suraj Boodhoo without scoring at 8-1 in the second over. This paved the way for Latif to join opener Chien Gittens and the pair took the score to 124-2 in the 15th over when Gittens lost his leg stump to a fired-up Shilendra Ramnauth for 48 (6x4s; 1×6).
Latif, who lived a charmed life, rode his luck and with new batsman David Lucknauth added 65 runs for the third wicket from the remaining 33 balls. Lucknauth finished on 20 from 10 balls (1×4; 2x6s), while Latif, who brought up his 100 in the 19th over, was dismissed off the final ball of the innings for 103.
In all, he faced 63 balls and hit seven fours and five sixes as the Grill Masters finished on a commanding 189-3 from their 20 overs. Boodhoo (1-17), Sachin Singh (1-20) and Ramnauth (1-22) finished with one wicket each.
In reply, Regal All-Stars were off to a positive start with Sachin Singh (23) and Patrick Rooplall (11) putting on 29 for the first wicket from 3.1 overs. However, after they were dismissed within the space of three overs the rest of the batting did not look threatening, except for Sewchand Budhu, who made 22.
The wickets were shared among the Grill Masters’ bowlers with Chandrashekal Arjune claiming 3-33, Gittins 2-16 and Latif 2-25.
The annual tournament was organised by the Georgetown Softball Cricket League Inc (GSCL) and was sponsored by Regal Stationery and Computer Centre and Regal Sport of Seaforth Street, Campbellville. This year’s tournament was used as valuable practice ahead of the Florida Cup, which is scheduled for April 12-14 in Fort Lauderdale, USA.