The final over of Friday night’s PowerGen Secondary Schools Cricket League (SSCL) InterCol Twenty20 final brought with it jubilation, despair and even some controversy.
It was jubilation for El Dorado East Secondary who successfully defended their crown with a tense two-wicket win over Barrackpore West Secondary at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre.
But it could have easily been the other team celebrating with the coveted trophy.
Barrackpore took control of the game from the start when skipper Keron Kanhai won the toss and elected to bat first.
The south team rallied to 138 for eight off their 20 overs and seemed set to win their second SSCL InterCol crown in the final over of the match with El Dorado needing ten off the last six balls with six wickets down.
With El Do’s big guns back in the pavilion, Barrackpore had a good chance to topple the defending champions.
It was the Barrackpore skipper Kanhai who took up the responsibility of sending down the final over, and he was immediately rewarded with two wickets from the first two balls.
That sent the large gathering of Barrackpore supporters on the edge of the boundary into a frenzy.
Kanhai could have had another wicket in the over which would have sealed the victory for the south team, but it was not to be as El Do’s last recognised batsman, Kyle Lee was dropped on the wide long on boundary off the penultimate ball of the match.
The ball jumped out of the fielder’s hand and onto the boundary rope for four runs which gave El Do the chance they needed.
The umpire had originally signalled six but changed his decision, which fueled the tense situation as players from both teams got involved.
El Dorado now needed three off the final ball which was sent wide by Kanhai. The batsmen ran two and Barrackpore’s dream was over.
Lee finished on 21 not out off 14 balls with two fours. But it was the running between the wickets in the final three overs that really gave El Do a chance.
They needed 32 off the last 24 balls when Lee started working the ball around to pick up the doubles before Barrackpore’s fatal slip-up in the last over.
El Do skipper, Ewart Nicholson, who was named Man of the Match, also contributed with the bat, top-scoring with 29 off 21 balls with three fours to steady the middle order after the East Zone team had lost both openers with the score on 26.
Jamalee Johnson made a run-a-ball 21 with three fours, while Kyle Ramoutar also made 21 off 19 balls.
Earlier, when Barrackpore went to bat, they looked like they were heading towards a big total with a run-rate of over ten in the first three overs.
But Tevon Jadoo (two for 18) spun it El Dorado’s way in the fourth over of the innings, sending back Kanhai (nine) and Quane Ragoonanan (21) off consecutive balls, both sending catches to Shaquille McDavid at long on.
Two more quick wickets were bagged by Nicholson (two for 25), with the score on 111 in the 16th over, and El Do were back in the hunt.
Dillon Mohammed ended with the highest score on the night, 33, while Brandon Jaggernath chipped in with 26, and Jeron Maniram hit 20.
Kareem Hamilton was El Do’s best bowler with three for 16.
SSCL T20 SCOREBOARD