Thursday, February 22, 2018

Merry Boys bag UWI T20 title


THRILL OF VICTORY: Merry Boys cricketers celebrate with the University of the West Indies (UWI) Twenty20 trophy after beating Munroe Road by five wickets in the tournament final, at Sir Frank Worrell ground, St Augustine, on Saturday night. —Photo: STEPHEN DOOBAY

Mark Fraser

Teenage batsman Amir Jangoo slammed 45 off 39 balls while former national youth team wicket-keeper Aaron Alfred hit 41 off 31 balls to lead Merry Boys to a convincing five-wicket win over Munroe Road in the University of the West Indies (UWI) National Twenty20 final, at Sir Frank Worrell Ground, St Augustine, on Saturday.

Merry Boys, who were runners-up in the inaugural tournament in 2012, won the toss and restricted Munroe Road to 134 for seven before getting to 135 for five with three overs to spare.

Jangoo, who hit four fours and a six, and Alfred, who helped himself to three sixes and two fours, were key to the victory.

They put on a 57-run partnership for the third wicket after the Diego Martin-based club lost both openers, Lendl Simmons and Mario Belcon inside the first five overs of the chase.

Alfred’s three sixes came off of spinner Marlon Bharath’s third over which cost 20 runs.

After that it was smooth sailing for Merry Boys, even after Alfred was sent back by Imran Khan in the 11th over with the score on 73.

Jangoo added a further 54 runs with Aneil Kanhai (28 off 19 balls), taking the score to 127 after spanking James Dodds for 17 runs in the 16th over with a six and two fours.

Mahendra Nagamootoo sent back both batsmen in the next over but by then it was already too late.

Munroe Road also had a poor start to their innings, losing both openers in the first two overs as pacers Rayad Emrit and Marlon Richards struck early in the innings.

The Central team regrouped with a 40-run stand between Kieron Joseph (14 off 28 balls) and Derwin Christian (42 off 41 balls), before Merry Boys got another breakthrough—Joseph was stumped by Alfred in the tenth over with just 45 runs on the board.

Christian slammed two sixes and four fours in his knock while Joel Graham smacked three sixes and one four in an unbeaten 28 off 15 balls to boost the score towards the end.

But it was still not enough.