Queen’s Park Cricket Club will be hunting their fourth consecutive Sunday League 50-over crown when they face familiar rivals PowerGen Penal in this year’s tournament final at Sir Frank Worrell Ground, UWI St Augustine from 2 p.m. today.
For PowerGen, today’s fixture will be a shot at redemption after their narrow 26-run loss to the same opponents in last year’s final.
Both teams will have close to full-strength squads for the final, which was shifted from tomorrow--the day before the Good Friday holiday--to today due to the high cost of renting the venue for the original date.
The Parkites will be boosted by the return of West Indies batsman Darren Bravo to their lineup and with Trinidad and Tobago batsman Justin Guillen along with Windies off-spinner Sunil Narine and hard-hitting all-rounder Kieron Pollard also on duty, they will be favorites to clinch the $110,000 first prize and complete a beaver-trick of wins.
Missing from their squad however are opening batsman Adrian Barath, fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth, who are all part of the T&T squad that leaves for Jamaica today for the sixth round of the Regional Four-Day and Regional Super50 tournaments.
PowerGen will also be missing some of their senior players.
Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, leg-spinner Samuel Badree, middle-order batsman Jason Mohammed and left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh will all miss today’s match with Ramdin, Mohammed and Kantasingh on national duty and Rampaul and Badree leaving to join their Indian Premier League franchises.
Badree was disqualified from taking part in the final and semi-final of the Sunday League because he did not play in the preliminary round.
Even without those players, PowerGen still have a strong team, with hard-hitting opening batsmen Evin Lewis and Nicholas Sookdeosingh both in good form.
Both men scored aggressive centuries on the weekend in the Premier Division two-day league competition and will hold the key to PowerGen getting their runs.
Although the competition is still unsponsored, all the teams that made it to the knockout round will be in the money.
The runners-up will get a hefty $70,000 while the two losing semi-finalists--Merry Boys and Seenath’s Auto Bamboo Sports--will receive $20,000 each. The four losing quarter-finalists got $6,000 each.
QPCC: Justin Guillen
(captain), Marlon Barclay, Darren Bravo, Akeal Hosein, Jonathan Augustus, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Ricardo Paty, Anthony Balgobin, Anthony Simmons, Khary Pierre, Petrock Nicholas, Daron Cruickshank, Uthman Muhammad, Savion Lara; David Furlong (coach), Jeffrey Guillen (manager)
PowerGen: Gregory Mahabir (captain), Jyd Goolie, Adrian Cooper, Darron Beekah, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Sookdeosingh, Sherwin Ganga, Akiel Cooper, Varoon Samaroo, Gibran Mohammed, Dave Mohammed, Tevin Robertson, Akash Ramjitsingh, Amit Chandree; Baldath Bodoe (coach), Chitram Ramjitsingh (manager)