Liberty Sports Club (LSC) turned in a dominating performance on Eastern American Cricket Association (EACA) Finals day to capture their maiden Twenty/20 (T20) championship. Early in the day #TheBlueNation knocked over the undefeated Galaxy Cricket Club (GCC) by 10 wickets in the semi-final at Baisley Pond Park. Having secured a spot in the afternoon final LSC trounced Everest/ACS by nine wickets to close out a perfect Finals day showing.
Semi-Final vs Galaxy CC
Liberty Sports Club won the toss and elected to field first. Terrence Madramootoo knocked over Naresh Persaud in the third over of the match before a double change in the bowling attack proved catastrophic for GCC. Hemendra Ramdihal and Jamiel Jackman took over with GCC making steady progress at 38 for one after 4 overs. Ramdihal struck first to dismiss the aggressive Troy Mars.
A brilliant piece of work by Francis Mendonca to stump Tamesh Balwant off pacer Jamiel Jackman accounted for the third wicket. Jackman struck again in his following over getting rid of skipper Yudesh Bissnauth. Ramdihal removed Rafeek Nazeer to leave GCC at 62 for 5 in the 10th over. Telston Johnson and Shiv Ragubar added 24 for the sixth wicket before Andre Kirton accounted for both of them. Ramdihal returned to pick up the final wicket and to wrap up GCC’s innings at 119 in 19.4 overs.
Needing to score at a run a ball to secure the win the chase turned into the Hemendra Ramdihal “Show” with his side kick Clain Williams. After watchfully negotiating the opening overs Ramdihal got into his regular free flowing batting stride. One maximum and eight boundaries off Ramdihal’s blade entertained the small crowd who showed up to witness the match-up. His ninth boundary brought up his maiden LSC half-century.
The experienced Williams, recognized his partner’s dominance, expertly rotated the strike and picked off the bad balls. He finished unbeaten on 28 which included two maximums. Ramdihal hit two more boundaries and a maximum to finish off the commanding chase in the 14th over unbeaten on 75.
Seven GCC bowlers toiled unsuccessfully as Liberty SC moved on to the final against the winner of the Everest/ASC versus Atlantis CC-NY semi-final at the Baisley Cage, Everest/ACS.
Final verses Everest/ACS
A re-match of the 2015 finals saw Liberty Sports Club pitted against the defending champions Everest/ACS. The story in 2015 was flipped for 2016. E/ACS were the underdogs a year ago while LSC marched undefeated to the finals. This time around it was E/ACS who put in a resounding performances in prelude to the final which included a comprehensive victory over LSC.
The toss fell once again in favor of LSC’s captain, Danesh Deonarain, who again asked his opposition to take first strike. Trinson Carmichael, with fire in his eyes, took the new ball from the Foch Boulevard end. The fire burned bright when he had Prashant Mahadeo caught by Danesh Deonarain off the first ball of the match. Eleven balls later, Carmichael’s opening partner, Terrence Madramootoo struck again to trap Amarnauth Persaud in front Leg Before.
Carmichael got rid of Karan Ganesh for nought while Madramootoo took care of Devishwari Prashad to reduce E/ACS to 14 for four in the fourth over. Opener Wasim Haslim found a partner in the veteran Zamin Amin. The pair added 40 for the fifth wicket before Leon Mohabir took out the aggressive Haslim. At 54 for 5 Mohabir turned in a superb piece of work running around from square leg to inflict a run out hitting the single stump target on offer to get rid of Shiv Seemangal.
Amin stuck around after the sixth wicket fell at 55. Looking to navigate his team to respectable total he only managed to get to 36 before being run out as the last wicket in the 19th over. Andre Kirton and Hemendra Ramdihal picked up a wicket each while Madramootoo returned to get one more wicket as LSC wrapped up the E/ACS innings for 87.
Confident off their unbeaten chase in the morning’s semi-final, Ramdihal and Williams took up the chase of 88 for victory. Ramdihal looked set to continue his assault on the day when he handsomely pulled for a boundary over midwicket. He was removed shortly after, to leave LSC at 8/1 in the third over.
Trevor Henry joined Williams in the middle and the experienced duo set about the chase. The two classy batsmen expertly consolidated and then took the attack to the E/ACS bowlers. Williams led the way with four boundaries and cleared the Cage twice to finish unbeaten on 41. Henry braced the fence thrice and cleared it twice for his 36. The duo stylishly wrapped up the chase in the 14th over as their teammates poured onto the field to celebrate their championship victory.
The championship win capped off an splendid couple of years for #TheBlueNation. In 2015 LSC topped the 40-overs league and went on the win the championship. They went on the compete in the T20 finals where they lost to E/ACS. In 2016 once again LSC topped the 40-overs league but were eliminated in the semi-final by eventual champions Atlantis CC-NY. The win on Sunday completed the club’s stronghold in the league over the two summers.