New local batting sensation Tion Webster cracked an imperious century to give Queen’s Park a four-wicket victory over Merryboys and the 2017 T&TCB Sunday League crown.
Playing on a wonderful National Cricket Centre (NCC) strip, the batsmen on both sides enjoyed what was presented to them as a total of 689 runs were scored in the day/night encounter.
After Merryboys counted a mammoth 344 for four of their 50 overs, the fans from Patna in Diego Martin would have envisaged an easy victory.
However, they were up against the mighty Queen’s Park and Webster. The right-hander has taken the local cricket scene by storm this season and came into the finals after hitting 172 not out in the semi-finals against PowerGen. He attacked from ball one and when he left the arena for 144, his team was well on course for victory. He faced just 99 balls, hitting 18 fours and three sixes.
With skipper Justin Guillen out through injury, Webster had to shoulder the burden at the top of the order and this he did admirably well. He was assisted in the victory hunt by Red Force batsman Yannic Carriah who made an unbeaten 92. The left-hander faced 69 balls and struck eight fours and one six. Towards the end Terrence Hinds ensured the win with a hard hit 38 of 26 balls. There were two wickets apiece for Merryboys spinner Ricky Jaipaul and Ranga Latchana.
Earlier, Merryboys won the toss and decided to take first strike. The Diego Martin-based outfit slipped to 118 for four before Isaiah Rajah and Aaron Alfred got together. They batted beautifully, especially Rajah who plays for the T&T Red Force. The son of former national player Aneal Rajah, a left-hander smoked 141 of 111 balls with 12 fours and six sixes.
Wicketkeeper Alfred was no less destructive and hammered an even unbeaten 100 of 75 balls with 11 fours and three sixes.
The pair came together at 118 for four, and with their team in a spot of bother in the 26th over, but were not separated, closing the innings after four hours and three minutes, with a punishing 226-run partnership.
The most successful bowler for Queen’s Park was Terrance Hinds who snapped up two for 64 in his nine overs, while Javon Searles finished with one for 71 in his allotment of ten overs, of which three were maidens.
Webster grabbed the lion’s share of awards, after being adjudged the best fieldsman, and best batsman in addition to the “Man-of-the-Match” Trophy for his title-winning performance.
Coach of Queen’s Park, David Furlonge said he was pleased with the performance of his team and pointed out that it was the seventh time in eight years the Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain team had captured the 50-Overs crown.
He said the only blemish on their record was in 2014 when they were defeated by FCB Clarke Road United in the final.
Furlonge said that the team would not be celebrating just yet because the T&TCB League tournament, is its next goal since the team is nicely positioned at the top of the Premier I table with 28 points ahead of rival Merry Boys, with just two rounds of competition still to play.
He paid tribute to the ground staff of the NCC who he said prepared a perfect wicket for the final which afforded the run-feast and complimented Rajah and Alfred for their outstanding knocks.
However, he was ecstatic that Webster and Cariah were able to pace the innings and bring home victory in the day-night encounter and give the team their first piece of silverware for the 2017 season.
Queen’s Park were recently beaten finalists in the TTCB T20 Festival final which was staged at the newly opened Brian Lara Cricket Academy at Tarouba, a hiccup which he blamed on their inability to successfully come to terms with the unpredictable nature of the wicket.
Sunday League Scoreboard Merryboys innings
M Belcon c Webster b Searles 21
R Harris lbw Hinds 23
I Rajah not out 141
R Latchana c Solozano b Hinds 18
J Sookdeo run out 16
A Alfred not out 100
Extras 1b, 9lb, 14w, 1nb 25
Total for 4 wkts 344
Fall of wkts: 48, 48, 71, 118.
Bowling: K Cooper 10-0-79-0,
J Searles 10-3-71-1,
T Webster 8-0-63-0,
A Hosein 9-2-28-0,
T Hinds 9-0-64-2,
K Pierre 4-0-29-0.
J Solozano lbw Richards 8
T Webster b Jaipaul 144
N Alexis c A Khan b Latchana 27
A Hosein c Richards b Latchana 6
T Carriah not out 92
D Cruickshank b Isaac 9
T Hinds c Belcon b Jaipaul 38
J Searles not out 5
Extras 3b, 3lb, 9w, 1nb 16
Total for 6 wkts (47.5ovs) 344
Fall of wkts: 42, 147, 160, 214, 238, 335.
Bowling: R Jaipaul 8-1-42-2,
R Harris 7-0-44-0,
M Richards 9-0-80-1,
K Isaac 9-0-83-1,
A Khan 10-0-62-0,
R Latchana 4.5-1-28-2.
Result: QPCC won by 4 wkts.