Queen’s Park Cricket Club, boosted by the return of Sunil Narine to their line-up, will be going for their third straight Premier Division Twenty20 title today when they oppose PowerGen Penal in the final of the tournament at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre from 7 p.m.
PowerGen booked their place in the final following a five-wicket win over Merry Boys in their semi-final clash during the National League T20 Festival at Guaracara Park on Thursday night.
The Diego Martin based club, Merry Boys, won the toss and posted a competitive 143 for seven off their 20 overs, but that was not enough to trouble PowerGen, who raced to 144 for five off just 18.4 overs to set up a repeat of the 2011 final.
Narine’s inclusion in the Parkites’ team was confirmed by Queen’s Park coach David Furlonge yesterday.
The Queen’s Park coach also noted that West Indies pacer Fidel Edwards and Jamaican spinner Nikita Miller will also be part of their squad for the final.
Narine recently returned from the Indian Premier League where he represented Kolkata Knight Riders, taking 22 wickets as his team placed seventh in the nine-team tournament.
The off-spinner will be a big boost to the Parkites, especially in the absence of all-rounders Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Kevon Cooper, who are still in India playing for their respective franchises Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL playoffs.
In Thursday’s Premier Division semi-final, Merry Boys got off to a good start after with Marion Belcon and Shemroy Barrington sharing an aggressive 41-run opening stand to put PowerGen on the defensive.
Belcon was the aggressor of the two, facing 29 balls for a top-score of 44 which included five fours and a six.
The Merry Boys opener hit left-arm pacer Tevin Robertson for two fours in his first over, while Barrington cut the pacer for his lone boundary before he fell to Alex Antoine in the sixth.
Belcon continued to play shots, dispatching left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh over midwicket for six in the ninth over before he was stumped out by the quick hands of wicketkeeper Gibran Mohammed off the next delivery, which was wide of the stumps.
Wicketkeeper Aaron Alfred stepped up with two fours in a run-a-ball 27, while skipper Alcindo Holder added 20 off 13 balls with a four and a six to keep the momentum going, but Merry Boys failed to capitalise on the good start, scoring just 30 runs in the final five overs of their innings.
PowerGen’s reply was hampered by the early wicket of quarter-final centurion Evin Lewis, who was out in the second over for seven.
But Nicholas Sookdeosingh and Sherwin Ganga repaired the damage with a 74-run stand for the second wicket to put their team on top.
Both batsmen scored 44, with Sookdeosingh’s knock coming off 27 balls and Ganga’s off 29.
Sookdeosingh hit six fours and six, while Ganga smashed three fours and two sixes as the pair kept up a run rate of over eight to help the Penal team reach 82 off ten overs.
Even after both men departed, PowerGen were still in control of the chase, needing 21 off the last five overs to clinch the victory.
Some level-headed batting from Antoine and Akeil Cooper eventually brought home the win with the latter hitting pacer Atiba Allert for six to seal the result and condemn Merry Boys to a battle against Moosai Sports in the third place playoff today from 3 p.m. at the same venue.
The third place team will receive $50,000 while the fourth place team will get $30,000.
The Premier Division T20 winners will get $150,000 while the runners-up will pocket $80,000.
Today’s National League T20 Festival fixtures
Premier Division Third Place Playoff—Moosai Sports vs Merry Boys, 3 p.m.
Premier Division Final—QPCC vs PowerGen Penal, 7 p.m.
PowerGen vs Merry Boys
Merry Boys Inns
M Belcon stpd wkpr G Mohammed b Kantasingh 44
S Barrington c J Mohammed b Antoine 12
A Alfred lbw Antoine 27
A Holder lbw Kantasingh 20
A Alvarez b J Mohammed 3
T Cornelius b Samaroo 10
R Emrit c J Mohammed b Samaroo 2
M Richards not out 15
A Allert not out 5
Extras (LB 3, W 2) 5
TOTAL (for 7 wkts; 20 overs) 143
Did not bat: Ramdhanie, Singh
Wickets at: 41 (Barrington), 72 (Belcon), 102 (Holder), 109 (Alvarez), 113 (Alfred), 122 (Cornelius), 133 (Emrit)
BOWLING: Samaroo 4-0-24-2 (1w); Robertson 2-0-21-0; Ganga 4-0-23-0; Antoine 3-0-19-2; Kantasingh 3-0-34-2 (1w); J Mohammed 4-0-19-0
PowerGen Inns (Target: 144)
E Lewis c wkpr Alfred b Singh 7
N Sookdeosingh c Allert b Holder 44
S Ganga c Barrington b Richards 44
J Mohammed c Cornelius b Emrit 17
G Mahabir s Barrington b Richards 4
A Antoine not out 14
A Cooper not out 9
EXTRAS (LB 2, W 3) 5
TOTAL (for five wkts; 18.4 overs) 144
Did not bat: Samaroo, G Mohammed, Kantasingh, Robertson
Wickets at: 8 (Lewis), 82 (Sookdeosingh), 109 (Ganga), 118 (J Mohammed), 126 (Mahabir)
BOWLING: Emrit 4-0-24-1 (1w); Singh 2-0-24-1; Allert 1.4-0-20-0; Ramdhanie 3-0-34-0; Holder 4-0-22-1 (2w); Richards 4-0-18-2
Toss: Won by Merry Boys who elected to bat first
Result: PowerGen won by 5 wkts
Man of the Match: Sherwin Ganga (PowerGen)
Umpires: K Kowlessar & P Nero
TV Umpire: L Rajkumar