Merry Boys closed in on the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) Premier Division crown yesterday after dominating the first day of their penultimate round title-deciding match against Queen’s Park Cricket Club at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain yesterday.
Although the current league leaders Merry Boys struggled with the bat, as they were dismissed for 183, they made up for it with the ball and had the Parkites struggling on 58 for seven at stumps.
Merry Boys found the going tough early on as pacer Shannon Gabriel continued his good form with the new ball, striking in the fourth over of the day to bowl Mario Belcon for six.
He followed up with the wicket of Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 batsman Amir Jangoo (17) as the League leaders slipped to 35 for two before a 46-run stand between Aaron Alfred (21) and Jeetendra Sookdeo (43) revived the innings.
Gabriel also accounted for Sookdeo, while Alfred fell to Amit Jaggernauth (two for 29) before Fidel Edwards (four for 50) wrapped up the tail.
Rayad Emrit contributed 21 to the total while number nine batsman Marlon Richards hit 30 to add some respectability to the Merry Boys innings.
Merry Boys then landed some early blows in the final session yesterday to give themselves a good chance of clinching first innings points which should put them on course to win their first League crown since 2008.
The Parkites suffered early setbacks, losing their top three—Justin Guillen, Jeremy Solozano and Darren Bravo—within the first four overs, all for “duck” and all to Barbadian Javon Searles (four for 16).
Solozano and Bravo fell in the second over of the innings and the hosts were nine for three after just four overs and never recovered.
Emrit (two for four) ensured Merry Boys were firmly in control at stumps, grabbing two wickets late in the final session as the Parkites closed with seven wickets down and still trailing by 125 runs.
There was also some drama in South Trinidad after the Jenexcon Tableland and First Citizens Clarke Road match at Sancho St Julien Sporting Complex in Tableland was abandoned after the field was invaded.
According to Tableland manager Anthony Boody, there was an invasion by an unauthorised group of people who were accompanied by Police at around 4 p.m. when Tableland were just starting their second innings.
He said the group drove their vehicles onto the field while the match was in progress and the match referee decided to call off play.
Before that, left-arm spinner Derone Davis grabbed eight for 41 to dismiss Tableland for 109 before Clarke Road made 113 to take a narrow four-run first innings lead. Tableland were eight for one when the game came to a premature end.
All other matches continue today from 9:30 a.m.
At Queen’s Park Oval
Merry Boys 183 (58 overs) (Jeetendra Sookdeo 43, Marlon Richards 30; Fidel Edwards 4/50, Shannon Gabriel 3/41, Amit Jaggernauth 2/29) vs QPCC 58-7 (Javon Searles 4/16, Rayad Emrit 2/4)
At Gilbert Park
Caldrac Club 350-7 dec (76.5 overs) (Franklyn Rouse 116 n.o., Mark Deyal 100, Omesh Ramoutar 43; Nishal Guyadeen 4/101) vs Munroe Road Cricket Club 81-1 (Michael Harry 46 n.o., Kieron Joseph 29 n.o.; Ancil Nedd 1/13)
Alescon Comets 392 (Andy Gobin 134, Steven Katwaroo 67, Richard Kelly 50; Anthony Simmons 4/63, Adrian Cooper 3/50, Isaiah Rajah 2/61) vs Moosai Sports 1-0
At Sancho St Julien Sporting Complex
Jenexcon Tableland 109 (Lincoln Roberts 38; Derone Davis 8/41) & 8-1 vs First Citizens Clarke Road 113 (Adrian Ali 30; Daniel St Clair 5/40, Amir Khan 4/14)—Match abandoned
At Bamboo Ground
Esmeralda Sports Club 298 (Keon Isaac 47, Anthony D’Andrade 47, Teshawn Castro 43, Kerwin Sirju 46, Bryan Boodram 38; Selvin Jacobs 3/92, Yannic Cariah 3/64) vs Seenath’s Auto Bamboo Sports 134-6 (Yannic Cariah 50 n.o., Ryan Ramasray 37; Rishi Jaipaul 2/14, Bryan Boodram 2/37)
At Syne Village
PowerGen 307-9 dec (Silus Cooper 59, Denesh Ramdin 63, Gregory Mahabir 69, Akiel Cooper 20; Uthman Mohammed 4/78, Narsingh Deonarine 3/42) vs CLICO Preysal 77-1 (Miguel Nedd 42)