Defending champions Sagicor Life UWI retained the Sagicor General Twenty20 title in a close and exciting match by two wickets against CGI Maple at Kensington Oval last night.
CGI Maple the 2013 Elite Division champions were seeking their second title for the year and included West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach in their final 11.
Sagicor Life UWI who dominated the 2012 cricket season were looking to add another trophy to their growing collection.
The west coast team led by Renaldo Parris won the toss and batted. Openers Pedro Agard and Shane Ramsay faced two tight overs from the Sagicor Life opening bowlers, pacer Kevin McClean and off-spinner Nekolai Parris.
McClean did not concede a run in the first six balls of the match and Parris kept up the pressure on the CGI openers who scored just one run off the second over.
Despite the run drought in the first two overs Ramsay and the veteran Agard posted 50 in eight overs. Ramsay, who top-scored with 35, played and missed several times but when he struck the ball it sped to the boundary. His 35 runs were compiled in 35 minutes and contained three sweetly time boundaries and two well-struck sixes. He shared an opening partnership of 60 before he was bowled by off-spinner Steven Jacobs.
Agard retired hurt with his score on 28 in the twelfth over when CGI Maple’s total had reached 74 for the lost of one wicket.
It was at this stage that Carlos Brathwaite who was the seventh bowler used by the UWI ripped the heart out of the Maple middle-order. The tall medium-pacer bowled four stingy overs for eight runs while taking three vital wickets.
Maple lost five wickets for 39 runs, and Agard returned to the crease in the 19th over but did not add to his score.
At the end of the twenty overs Maple had reached 114 for 6 wickets. Shane Parris made a useful 20.
Set a target of 115 to win their first title of the season, Sagicor UWI were off to a flying start. Openers Shacaya Thomas and Simon Naitram posted 21 run in 1.2 overs. After Naitram was dismissed for 20 captain Kyle Corbin and Thomas added 19 runs for the second wicket. At 43 for 1 Sagicor UWI appeared to be coasting smoothly to the title.
It was at this stage that the UWI batsmen seem to have lost the plot as wicket started to fall like ripe golden apples in season. The Cave Hill-based team were floundering at 57 for 5 at the end of the tenth over as off-spinner Ramsay and left arm spinner Jamar Griffith spun a web around UWI’s batsmen.
Jacobs, batting at number 7, and Brathwaite who came in at 8, steadied the shaky UWI with a seventh-wicket partnership of 39. Jacobs was then run out for 29 and Brathwaite was dismissed for 15.
It was left to Akeem Dewar and McClean to guide their team to victory in the 20th over with the UWI ending on 115 for 8 in 19.4 overs. Roach bowled one over for 9 runs.
Brathwaite was named Man-of-the-Match. (DH)