Beckles powers ISC to Gobin Persaud Memorial T20 title
A magnificent half-century from opener Vivian Beckles gave Independence Sports Club (ISC) the first hold of the Gobin Persaud Memorial T20 Cup when the curtains came down on the tournament last Sunday at the Canal Number Two Sports Club ground, West Bank Demerara.
Watched by a fair-sized crowd in a festive atmosphere, Beckles smashed five huge sixes and stroked two fours to lead ISC to a commanding 60-run win over Belle Vue Sports Club on a small ground with fast outfield.
His match-winning knock of 61 from 48 balls was responsible for ISC getting to 174-8 before limiting pre-tournament favourites, Belle Vue SC to just 114-9 from their 20 overs in cloudy conditions.
Beckles lost his opening partner, Javon Hector (11) inside the Powerplay at 22-1 in the fifth over, then got excellent support from Mahendra Dhanpaul who scored a quick-fire 24 off 16 (3x6s) as the pair put on 61 for the second wicket.
When Dhanpaul was dismissed in the 11th over, Beckles soon followed making way for some entertaining cameos to take the total out of the reach of the opposition. Safraz Esau stroked 32 off 20 (3x6s) and Ricky Sargeant thumped 29 off 12 (4x6s) that made the crowd erupt.
None of the Belle Vue bowlers were spared, with Lucian Sam with 3-21 from three overs being the most successful, while captain Randy Ramrup 2-36 (4) and Rondel Wills 2-45 (4) offered support.
In their turn at the crease, the losing finalist lost wickets at regular intervals before the game ended in fading light. Only number seven batter Alex Parag with an attacking 38 off 16 (2x4s, 4x6s) offered any resistance with the bat.
For the champions, Reaz Esau was the pick of the bowlers with 3-26, while Celvon Williams claimed 2-4 and captain Anand Bharat 2-15.
Player-of-the-Match Beckles, who scored 115 runs in the four matches he played, was also named Batsman-of-the-Tournament.
He collected a trophy and a bat for his efforts, while left-arm spinner Anand Persaud of Canal Number Two Sports Club collected a trophy and a pair of sneakers after he was named Bowler-of-the-Tournament for picking up nine wickets in three matches.
Belle Vue walked away with the runner-up trophy and G$50,000, while the champions went away smiling with the winning trophy and G$150,000. All players and match officials were given medals to mark the occasion, which is a special one for the Persaud family and the entire Canal Number Two.
Gobin Persaud, in whose memory the tournament was played, died on May 6, 2021 at the age of 85. He was one of the founder members of Cultural Cricket Club and later became captain and then president of the club.
Off the field, Persaud was a former Headmaster at Endeavour Primary School and Commons Primary School, former secretary of Vidya Daan Mandir and overall a very prominent member of Canal Number Two Polder.
The tournament was sponsored by Star Sports, ND&S Furniture Store, SP General Construction and Raja Custom Brokerage Service and Banks DIH Limited. (Report by John Ramsingh)