By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The parings for the semifinals of the Flow-Peter Haycraft Twenty 20 Cup Tournament were determined on Sunday afternoon, when Royal Knights overpowered the Vikings for a four wickets victory on the Greenland Recreation Grounds.
The Vikings will take on seeded Cavaliers—who uprooted Under The Tree—while the Royal Knights will face second placed Grenada, this weekend.
Invited to bat, the Vikings went on to make a below par 132, with Aviskhar Swekarran’s 42, laying the foundation before he was stumped out. Swekarran shared a 33 run partnership with Vishal Munessar, before Munessar went lbw for 18. Collis Frazer contributed a supporting 22.
Reno Mettleholzer was the pick of Royal Knights bowlers with 3 for 16 while Charlie Shepherd bagged 3 for 39.
With wickets falling around him, Royal Knight’s Jomel Lafleur steadied the ship with a patient, 54. before he was caught by Frazer, on of Swekarran’s 3 for 22 haul. Lafleur and Ryan Mangal had a 67 run partnership for the fourth wicket. Mangal was dismissed for 10 and Shepherd contributed 38 not out. Vikings’ Bishar Hidar snatched 2 for 5.
“We didn’t make enough runs but its good the guys put up a fight with a small score,” Vikings captain Vaden Walker said. “We didn’t go in and put up a good score. We’re supposed to make around 200 to be able to defend it. Our batsmen didn’t apply themselves. We didn’t build on partnerships. I think it was one of those days.”
Richard Fredricks said Royal Knights had to make a statement against the Vikings.
“Our next game is in the playoffs and we wanted to come and give a good performance and carry the momentum from today into next weekend’s game,” he said. “We saw championships fight. We told the guys champions do a little more than everybody else. Everybody chipped in, there was a little flair with the bowling, but, at the end of the day, we came out on top and we restricted them to 132 and on this ground, that’s good.”
Against Grenada the semis on Sunday, Fredericks said while they want to be champions, they have to improve their fielding.
“We haven’t dropped any catches but we have to take the spectacular or the hard chances and it will boost the morale of the team a little, then things will fall in place.” he noted.
In Sunday’s first match, sent to bat by Under The Tree, defending champs Cavaliers, led by Jagnarine “Sugar” Persaud, used the day as batting practice and as a tune up for the Vikings, by posting 255 for 7.
Persaud narrowly missed a century, settling for 95 off 12 boundaries. He had a 121 run partnership with Aaron Baker, who finished on 47 not out.
Under The Tree’s Otis James bagged 4 for 67.
In response, Under The Tree had a feeble reply, putting up the tournament’s lowest score of 70. Only Elroy Bracking with 25 and Rohan Blake with 12, reached double figures.
Ronniel Jeffrey and Paul Briglall, were Cavaliers’ leading bowlers with 2 for 15 and 2 for 17 respectively.