On Tuesday, an unbeaten half-century from Narad Kissoondath, and four wickets from national pacer Uthman Muhammad, helped Powergen Penal book its place in the semifinals against Queen’s Park II. Forty-eight hours later, it was the batting pair of right-hand opener Ewart Nicholson and all-rounder Jason Mohammed who guided them to the final of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) T20 Festival to be played at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Balmain, Couva on Friday, against defending champion Queen’s Park Crick Club (QPCC) I from 3 pm.
Chasing 158 for victory in the first of two semifinals at the NCC in Balmain, Couva, yesterday, Powergen Penal got off to a shaky start when it lost two wickets for 42 runs with the openers Narad Kissoondath (12 off 17) and Videsh Sookha (10 off 8) back in the dressing room.
The pair of Nicholson and Mohammed, a West Indies player, then repaired the innings with a 59-run partnership in six overs before Nicholson lost his wicket when he was bowled by Jahron Alfred for 54 runs after he faced 32 balls. He took 31 balls to score his fifty and finished with five fours and three sixes. Mohammed then carved out a second partnership with pacer Uthman Muhammed for 37 runs before Muhammad was lbw to medium-pacer Marlon Richards for 14.
Mohammed then stayed until the end for 47 runs off 34 balls and he sent six balls to the boundary as Powergen Penal close out the victory on 161 for 6 off 18.3 overs and was named Player of the Match for his batting effort.
Alfred finished with two for 28 from three overs and Richards also took two for 25 of 3.3 overs.
Earlier, Central Sports could not have asked for a better start from their openers Kjorn Ottley, who scored an unbeaten century (101) against Alescon Comets on May 9, and wicketkeeper/batsman Daniel Williams, who put on 90 runs for the first wicket that of Williams, who scored his first half-century (56) of the tournament off 31 balls with three fours and five sixes. Ottley, the team captain, was the second wicket to fall for 42 off 35 balls after affecting two four and two sixes.
Former West Indies player Lendl Simmons, who was seeking to discover the form he displayed in the first match of the preliminary round with an unbeaten 60 against Victoria, a week ago, scored 15 off 19 balls without a boundary.
Then in the 17th over Muhammad found bowling very difficult when he delivered a 13-ball over (wd, wd, wd, wd, wd, 1, w, 1, w, 1, wd, wd, 1).
Central failed to take advantage of the situation as the team’s next seven wickets fell for 29 runs as they limped to 157/9 in their 20 Overs.
For Powergen Penal, medium-pacer Jarlarnie Seales, 24, took three overs for 23 runs off his allotted four overs and Muhammad played a vital role with three wickets for 35 runs from his four overs.
Cariah, Hosein bowl QPCC I into final
Right-arm leg spinner Yannic Cariah and left-arm orthodox spinner Akeal Hosein shared seven wickets between them as Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) I team restricted Clarke Road United to 86 for 9 in 20 overs and then coasted to the victory target of 87 for one wicket in 6.2 overs in the second semifinal on Thursday to secure their place in today’s final.
QPCC captain Khary Pierre won the toss and decided to field, a decision that appeared to be in the favour of the opposition who reached 39 runs before losing its first wicket that of opener Dejourn Charles for eight.
Then 14 runs later Tariq Mohammed departed for five. However, after that QPCC I bowlers took full control of the match as Clarke Road’s batsmen were heading to and from the pavilion in very quick succession.
In the 14th over Cariah worked his spin-web and took a hat-trick of wickets—Kerwyn Sirju (5), Joshua James (0) and Justin Gangoo (0). The first two balls of his over went for two singles and the final ball was a duck ball.
Captain Nicholas Sookdeosingh, who recorded unbeaten scores of 84 against Central Sports and 87 against Victoria together with his 40 against Alescon Comets in the preliminaries, scored 41 more runs off 43 balls with six fours.
Cariah finished with four wickets for 16 runs from his allotted four overs was named Player Of The Match, and Hosein took three for seven also from four overs.
In response, QPCC I openers Tion Webster and Isaiah Rajah put on 52 for the first wicket before Rajah was bowled by Joshua James for 28 off 15 balls with five fours. West Indies top-order batsman Darren Bravo, who had two previous half-centuries of 55 and 52, joined Webster and they closed out the run chase with 28 runs each taking their team over the line with the score on 87 for 1 in 6.2 overs.
CENTRAL SPORTS 157/9 (20 Overs) (D. Williams 56, K. Ottley 42, L. Simmons 15, J. Alfred 10; J. Seales 3/23, U. Mohammad 3/35) vs POWERGEN PENAL 161/6 (18.3 Overs) (E. Nicholson 54, J. Mohammed 47, U. Muhammad 14, V. Sookha 10; M. Richards 2/25, J. Alfred 2/28). Powergen Penal won by 4 wickets.
CLARKE ROAD UNITED 86/9 (20 Overs) (N. Sookdeosingh 41; Y. Cariah 4/16, A. Hosein 3/7) vs QPCC I 87/1 (6.2 Overs) (T. Webster 28, D. Bravo 28, I. Rajah 24). QPCC I won by 9 wickets.