PM Softball: Regal Legends, Ariel Speedboat and Fisherman Masters reign supreme
Regal Legends won their second consecutive Over-50 title at the Prime Minister’s Softball T20 Cup, Ariel Speedboat won their third All-Stars title out of four tournaments, and Fishermen Masters got their first at the Everest Cricket Ground on Sunday.
Chasing 127 for victory, Regal Legends strolled to victory in 16.5 overs, compliments of a solid 51 from Mahesh Chunilall, who struck three maximums and four fours.
He was backed up by an unbeaten 27 (1×4;3x6s) from Randolph Baker; other contributions came from Eoin Abel (16), Eric Thomas (13) and Mahendra Hardyal (11).
Seemangal Yadram was the pick of the bowlers for Savage Legends, whose 126-5 was built on Nadir Khan’s 31 which included two sixes and two fours, while brothers Seemangal and Latchman Yadram both made 24.
Thomas retuned with the ball and took 2-11, and had good support from Panshan Persaud (2-14) and Hardyal (2-28).
Thomas won a 55’’ 4K Smart Television for his Man-of-the-Series exploits; he took five wickets and made 255 runs, inclusive of two centuries.
Hardyal, who is also the captain, told News Room Sport after the game, he was pleased with his side’s continued success since the Over-50 category was introduced.
He said it was a team effort, which is the secret behind their success, and feels they will grow stronger next year, when some of the Over-45 players age into the category.
Regal won $200,000, while Savage took home $50,000. Both of the other two finals were awarded on the same prize structure.
The Over-45 final between Fisherman Master and Wellman Masters proved to be one of the most thrilling for the day, as over 470 runs were scored in the match.
Brutal hitting from Keith Fraser, who made 178*, powered Fisherman Masters to an imposing 240-4.
The left-hander smashed 15 massive sixes, some reaching as far as Carifesta Avenue, and the same number of fours. The magnitude of Fraser’s innings was highlighted through the next best score of 10 from Ramo Malone.
While fans of Fisherman Masters at the half-way stage felt they already had both hands on the title, they might have felt they were losing grip of their first major title success with some power-hitting of their own from Wellman.
Greg De Franca pulled out all of his wristy shots in blazing to 108 (4x4s; 13x6s) and shared a solid third-wicket stand with Troy Lewis, who made 87, after Azeemul Haniff went without scoring.
Their initial power-hitting brought the equation down to just 11 from six balls and with momentum on their side, they seemed favourites.
However, Stanely Mohair, who dropped De Franca in the match, allowed just seven to come off his over. He ended with 2-47, while Pooran Singh took 2-59, which restricted Wellman to 237-4.
The All-Stars final between defending champions Regal and former champions Speedboat was expected to be a belter given the quality and experience of both side, but ended up to be a bit one-sided.
Regal, initially kept their arch-rivals in check, with 109-5 at the end of the 15th over, until Ameer Yusuf produced a swashbuckling performance which got them 68 off the last four overs, and to the eventual total of 201-6.
Yusuf made an unbeaten 51 (1×4; 7x6s) from just 13 balls in his 79-run partnership with Safraz Karim, who battled the early accuracy of Regal to come out unbeaten on 71 (1×4; 5x6s).
In the chase, Regal were on par with 28-0 in 2.1 overs until rain forced a break in place. That break proved to be the charm for Speedboat who came rocking back with quick wickets and tight bowling.
Richard ‘Mr. Cricket’ Latif struck one six in his nine, while fellow opener Fazal Rafik made 25 (1×4;3x6s).
Delroy Pereira top-scored with a 34-ball 47 (3x4s; 4x6s) and got support from Avinash Mohabir (22*) and Ricky Sargeant (21), but their runs much too slow given the required rate.
Ian Ivan (2-29) and Kishore Smith (2-30) limited Regal to 170-6.