NYSCL players celebrate winning the Legends Cup. President Eric Ferrier second from extreme right (Picture by John Ramsingh

NYSCL Masters upstage Regal Masters to take 2019 Legends Cup

By Frederick Halley

July 2, 2019


After suffering a 22-run defeat in the preliminary round encounter, played on the opening day, New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) rebounded to defeat pre-tournament favourites Regal Masters by five wickets on the final day of the 2019 Legends Cup, played at Baisley Pond Park, Queens New York, last Sunday.


The win by the New Yorkers, in the NYSCL organised tournament, allowed them to stop the Guyana-based Regal Masters from retaining championship honours and also saw them cart off the Eagle, symbol of supremacy among the Over-45-year-old players plus the US$2500 first prize in the 20-over clash.


Led by a responsible undefeated even half-century from the consistent Erapalli Sahadeo and a fine four-wicket haul from Navin Narine, NYSCL proved the superior team in what turned out to be a highly competitive affair, reaching their target of 131 with 11 balls to spare, losing five wickets in the process.


The right-handed Sahadeo, who started the tournament in a blaze of glory with an unbeaten 87 against Canadian Legends, was again in subline form, entering the fray in the second over of the innings, following the dismissal of opener Karamchand Panday (four), superbly caught by wicketkeeper Eric Thomas off the bowling of Throy Kippins and he was there at the end when victory was achieved.


Sahadeo, who struck two fours and three sixes, featured in two vital partnerships which swung the game NYSCL’s way. He added 47 for the second wicket with Rishi Singh whose contribution was 22 and an unbroken 65 for the sixth wicket with Nandalall Doodnauth who was undefeated on 26 (three fours) much to the delight of the partisan supporters.


At 60 for two at the halfway stage, the game was evenly poised with the bumper Sunday afternoon crowd mostly rooting for the home team. They were, however, silenced to a certain extent in the first over after the break when veteran Ramesh Deonarine sent back Faizal Ulla (five) and skipper Ravi Sahadeo with consecutive deliveries, both being bowled “neck and crop”.


Abdul Hafeez averted the hat-trick but lost his leg stump to Laurie Singh in the following over, as Regal staged a grand fightback. It was, however, the last wicket to fall as Sahadeo and Doodnauth took centre stage in their rescue act.

MVP Erapalli Sahadeo poses with his trophy after receiving it from a sponsor.


Usually known for his accuracy, David Harper endured a nightmare 17th over, which cost 23 runs, followed by 11 in the 18th bowled by Mahendranauth Parasnauth put paid to any hopes Regal Masters had of taking back the Eagle to Guyana for a second consecutive year. Deonarine ended three for 17.


Earlier, after winning the toss and taking first strike, Regal Masters were given a steady start by openers Uniss Yusuf and Eon Abel who added 42 runs before disaster struck in the fifth over with the introduction of Navin Narine. Yusuf (15) was the first to go, bowled, attempting a sweep while Throy Kippins (0) went caught at backward square, also sweeping.


With the dependable Ramesh Deonarine (one), Harper (two) and Mohendra Arjune (two) going in quick succession, Regal Masters slumped to a disappointing 66 for five after 11 overs with Abel still battling.


Abel eventually was dismissed in the 12th over for 36 which included three fours before Eric Thomas and Lloyd Ruplall joined forces to add 55 for the sixth wicket – the best partnership of the innings.


Attempting to up the ante in the final over, Thomas was bowled for a top-score of 38, decorated with a solitary four and four sixes, with Ruplall unbeaten on 19, as Regal Masters ended on 130 for seven, a total that eventually proved inadequate.


The semi-finals saw Regal Masters thrash their Guyanese counterparts Fisherman by a massive 159 runs with Deonarine (92) and Yusuf (78) being the main contributors as the winners piled up 228 for seven in their allotted 20 overs. Fisherman, who were competing in their first overseas tournament, were routed for a paltry 69. Apart from whipping NYSCL, Regal Masters also defeated SVC Corriverton and Canadian Legends in preliminary rounds action.


Erapalli Sahadeo was adjudged man-of-the-match in the final and the tournament MVP while Bhim George of Corriverton SVC was the lone centurion. Regal Masters’ Laurie Singh topped the bowling with 12 wickets while NYSCL’s Navin Narine recorded the best bowling figures (four for 10), all being rewarded for their efforts.

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