Regal Legends continue winning run with another Independence Cup title
Defending champions, Regal Legends held their composure to stave off a spirited run chase from Toronto Blizzards to win the over-50 category of the New York Softball Cricket League’s international softball tournament last weekend.
The Guyanese outfit posted 217-6 from their quota of 20 overs but had to work hard in the exciting final to restrict the Blizzards to 208-4.
Vijay Seonarine, with an even 100 and Sunil Dhaniram 26, set up the chase nicely with an opening stand of 99 in 12 overs, but the supporting cast could not pull off the heist.
At the halfway stage of the chase, the Canadian side was 88 without loss, still requiring 130 runs. They were behind the required run rate, but with all wickets in hand, including two set batters, they were confident of an upset.
However, like true champions, Regal Legends defended the boundaries and made smart blowing changes to build scoreboard pressure on the Blizzards.
Left-arm spinner, Laurie Singh (1/29) got the breakthrough when he sent back Dhaniram in the 12th over. Desmond Chumley didn’t last long after also holding out at long on for a 5-ball duck off Player of the Match Ramesh Narine Deonarine (2/34) who also sent back Brijmohan Harihar for 1.
Throy Kippins then snapped up the threatening Seonarine leaving Ramo Malone and Jaimini Singh to get 41 in two overs.
Kippins (1/45) then conceded 10 runs in the 19th over leaving Khamraj Sumair (0/53) to defend 31 against Malone 36 not out (17b; 3x4s; 3x6s) and Jaimini Singh 17 not out (9b; 4x4s; 1×6).
The 9-run victory was set by the powerful Regal Legends batting line up led by Ramesh Narine 36-ball knock of 82 (5x4s;7x6s) 36b.
Deonarine and opener Mohendra Arjune (17) consolidated to put on 79 runs for the 2nd wicket after inform opener Unis Yusuf was sent back for a golden duck. After Arjune was dismissed in the 9th over, Ramesh and another inform batter, Rudolph Baker went to the mid-innings break with the score on 86 for 2.
After the break, Dhaniram scattered the stumps of Baker for 8 which ignited the fireworks on the hot day at Baisley Park in Queens, New York.
Sumair joined Deonarine in the middle and smoked the ball to all parts of the ground much to the enjoyment of the crowd of mainly Regal supporters. The pair put on 68 from 29 balls for the fourth wicket before Fazil Rasool (2/45) bowled the left handed Deonarine for the innings top score. Then entered Eric ‘Mr. T’ Thomas.
Sumair continued his pugnacious innings to put on 44 runs from 20 balls with Thomas before he was bowled by Malone (2/29) for 58 (30b; 2x4s; 7x6s) while Thomas, after a slow start ended unbeaten on 29 (3x6s; 1 x4) when the innings ended.
Sumair’s savage knock helped Regal Legends to score 131 in the last 10 overs to take the Mahendra Hardyal led side to their third Independence Cup title in a row and their overall title count in major tournaments to 16.
Hardyal who is also the team owner was elated with the overall team effort and said after playing unbeaten in the tournament that winning is a habit of the Regal Legends.
In the other categories of the 3-day tournament, which began on Friday, New York Softball Cricket League All-Stars won the Open title while their Masters side took the over-40s trophy.
Regal Masters ended as runner-up after failing to defend 143 against the NYSCL Masters in the low scoring but exciting final.