SUPER50: Emerging Players crush Hurricanes by 205 runs to win title

SUMMARY: West Indies Emerging Players 293-7 (Leonardo Julian 83, Dominic Drakes 38*, Roland Cato 31; Quinton Boatswain 2-59, Sheeno Berridge 2-60) beat Leeward Islands Hurricanes 80 (Amir Jangoo 20; Kevin Sinclair 4-20, Yannic Cariah 3-8, Ashmead Nedd 1-19) by 205

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(Report and Photography by Akeem Greene in Trinidad)

Bright grins, hugs and some tears of joy engulfed 14 young men and their management as West Indies Emerging Players did what seemed improbable and emerged as champions of the 2019 Colonial Medical Super50 Cup.

They crushed Leeward Islands Hurricanes by 205 runs in the final at Queen’s Park Oval Sunday evening.

At the start of the tournament it was just a group of players, who for the majority, were overlooked by the other franchises, but they ended a well-oiled unit, who, for most, executed the basics correctly.

After they posted a challenging 293, it would have taken another marvel in batting by Hurricanes to achieve such a target given the consistency of Emerging Players bowling and fielding.

Guyanese Kevin Sinclair (left) and Ashmead Nedd with the Super50 Cup. They are the first Guyanese cricketers to lift a regional 50-over title in 15 years

The came up short as their in-formed opener Kieran Powell did not get out of first gear, making just 13 after being shackled by the off-spin of Kevin Sinclair.

Essentially, in a big chase, partnerships are a necessity, but by the 20th over, Hurricanes slumped to 73-7.

To solidify how dominant the Emerging players were in the field, Ashmead Nedd produced a stupendous bit of fielding at third-man which resulted in a direct hit to send Akeem Saunders back to the pavilion.

When captain Jahmar Hamilton skied Yannic Cariah and was dismissed for six, both sides realised the inevitable result.

Sinclair ended with 4-20 from 5.5 overs, while Cariah took 3-8 and Nedd 1-19 to route Hurricanes in 26.5 overs.

Ashmead Nedd in his delivery stride

Emerging Players had another team performance, and this time it was their batting which came up good with a challenging total, led by opener Leonardo Julian, who should have been rewarded with a maiden century, but fell for sumptuous 83 (11x4s, 2x6s) from 85 balls.

The Trinidadian took a while to get into full stride and capitalised on some ill-directed bowling. He had no scoreboard pressure since partner Kimani Melius, was quick to pounce on anything fractionally full.

There was a chip by Melius for six over which landed just outside the players’ dug out, which had class written all over. A soft tap into midwicket was his downfall just when he was looking ominous on 28 (1×4; 2x6s).

After the 60-run stand was broken in the 12th over, Julian reached his half-century from 54 balls, and simply cut lose after. The left-hander played some whipping sweeps off the spinners and it brought out some cheers from the sprinkling of spectators.

Leonardo Julian played a classy innings of 83

He looked set for a triple figure score, but pushed Sheeno Berridge into the hands of Devon Thomas at cover.

The scoring rate was always healthy; at the halfway stage it was 128-1 and even when Julian departed at 167-4 in the 32nd, there was a sense the Emerging Players were hunting a big total.

Handy knocks from Roland Cato (31) and Sinclair (28) led the hot pursuit for runs. The main pinch-hitter was Dominic Drakes, who stood tall and had them clearing the ropes.

Drakes made an unbeaten 38 from 25 balls in which he struck three fours and two sixes as Emerging Players made 43 runs after the loss of the seventh wicket in the 47th over.

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