Inside the Sagicor Twenty20
with Keith Holder
Date Published: 2009-08-29
Cock-a-hoop Carlton cuddle first major BCA title in two decades after grabbing Sagicor General Twenty20
August 29 - (www.bcacricket.org) - If there is one very happy cricket club in Barbados today, it must be TeleBarbados Carlton.
Starved of a major limited overs title for two decades and still seeking to win the First division cup for the first time since way back in 1981, Carlton captured the second edition of the BCA Sagicor General Twenty20 championship with a commanding 50-run win over pre-match favourites ICBL Empire under lights at Kensington Oval on Friday, August 21.
On reflection, Marlon Graham’s team can say they were blessed. Lest we forget, the first attempt to play the eagerly-awaited final ended in abandonment on Wednesday, August 12 at the same venue when rain swept across the ground after 11.3 overs with Carlton 61 for two after winning the toss.
Play had started promptly at 7 o’ clock before the rain forced a stoppage at 7.42 p.m.
Fingers were kept crossed on the second occasion as there was again heavy rain in the evening but a beefed-up ground which was prepared for the 2007 ICC World Cup where the final was played, proved that it is truly a gem in every sense of the word. The drainage is excellent and it was with great relief that play was able to start at 7.15 p.m.
The rescheduled match allowed Carlton to draft in new West Indies opener Dale Richards, whose niggling right shoulder injury had sidelined him for the original contest. And how splendidly he responded after Empire gambled by putting Carlton in!
It has always been argued that international players should show they are a cut above the rest when it comes to the domestic arena. Richards was rampant in setting up Carlton’s win with a magnificent, unbeaten 83 in a total of 177 for five.
His figures were a true indication of his dominance after the run out of Richard Greaves of the last ball of the very first over with two runs on the board.
Richards entered at No. 3, soon settled and played some breath-taking strokes in his 62-ball knock which contained six fours and four sixes.
At 35 for three in the sixth over, Carlton would have been worried about posting a competitive total but once Richards remained at the crease, there was always hope.
The fact that Carlton managed 103 off the last ten overs including 57 off the last five, underlined how crucial his presence was.
Empire are used to winning titles, especially in the last 20 years as evidenced by seven at the Division 1 level – the most by an any team in the period under review – and five in the Sagicor General Super Cup (50-over-a-side) including four in six finals since 2000.
Yet, they lacked a fighting spirit at the crease for which they are renowned and were limited to 127 for eight.
Openers Jason Hinds and Jason Parris were back in the pavilion by the fourth over with the score 24 but with a very lengthy batting line-up stretching to fast bowling all-rounder Javon Searles at No. 10, a much more spirited effort was expected.
The fact that two of their first-class players Kevin Stoute and Ryan Hinds, the latter with international status as well, could not get the ball away, built telling pressure that kept mounting.
Both scored 14 off 20 and 21 balls respectively with Hinds in particular clearly out of sorts.
Big-hitting Alcindo Holder managed the topscore of 33 off 31 deliveries before he was fifth out with the score 100 in the 15th over and by then, Carlton knew the title would be heading to Black Rock.
Captain Marlon Graham, arguably one of the most economical limited overs bowlers in the island, used the new ball and bowled his allotment of four overs on the trot while conceding just 11 runs to be the meanest bowler in the match.
Credit must also be give to medium-pacer Dawayne Sealy, the former Barbados Under-19 player of a couple seasons ago. Brought on in the 14th over as the last of six bowlers, he produced an excellent line and length from the Joel Garner end at the north and took one for 16 off four overs as batsmen, in particular seasoned campaigner Robin Parris, the Empire coach/player, found it difficult to get bat onto ball.
It has been a wonderful season so far for Carlton in the three major competitions. They currently lead the standings in the First division championship after the sixth round of matches and also top Zone ‘B’ of the Sagicor General Super Cup with 16 points following the fifth round of matches on August 23.
Graham has attributed their impressive all-round showing to the presence of new coach, Desmond Haynes, the outstanding former Barbados captain and West Indies opening batsman.
“I think Mr. Haynes has brought new life into the club with his ideas and the guys have bought into his ideas and they are paying dividends,” Graham told the BCA website (www.bcacricket.org).
Haynes has been associated with Carlton from way back in the mid 1970s when he played at the Division 1 level. Some of his old Barbados and West Indies team-mates refer to him as “Mr. Resign”, based on the fact that he has quit key positions unexpectedly.
Carlton will now be hoping he sticks with them for a long time as they eye the Division 1 title they last tasted in a share with St. Catherine 28 years ago, as well as the Super Cup, of which their only success was in 1989.
New Carlton player, all-rounder Khalid Springer, is sure to savour the moment. He is now part of two champion teams in the Twenty20 tournament, having captained the inaugural winners CGI Maple last season.
Summarised scores of the Sagicor General Twenty20 final:
Carlton 177-5 (20 overs) (Dale Richards 83 not out, Carlo Morris 26, Kirk Gibson 17, Khalid Springer 16, Shirley Clarke 14 not out; Andre Evelyn 2-30).
Empire 127-8 (20 overs) (Alcindo Holder 33, Jason Parris 18, Jason Haynes 15, Kevin Stoute 14, Ryan Hinds 14; Alex Bridgeman 2-30).
Man-of-the-Match: Dale Richards.
Umpires: Tunley Franklyn, Patrick Grazette. Stand-by: Vincent Bullen. Match referee: Clifford Clarke. Duckworth/Lewis Manager: Mervyn Jones.
Man-of-the-Match adjudicator: Jason Bennett.