By Frederick Halley
TORONTO, Canada –After suffering consecutive defeats to Dirty Dozen in 2016 and archrivals Caribbean Sensation last year,
Skeldon Sports Club recorded an emphatic 40-run victory over the latter to emerge winners of the Ontario Masters Softball Cricket Clubs (OMSCC) 2018 Over-50 tournament which climaxed at the St Bede’s ground, Scarborough here last Saturday.
Led by a masterful boundary-studded 102 from former Guyana player Shivnauth Seeram, Skeldon made amends for their failure in the last two years in a game witnessed by a fair-sized crowd in a very festive atmosphere.
Set a challenging 237 for victory, after Skeldon had reached 236 for six in their allotted 20 overs, Caribbean Sensation were restricted to 196 for four when their 20 overs expired.
Imam ‘Bunzie’ Gafoor (68 not out) and Roy Brittania (39 not out) gave Caribbean Sensation some hope in an unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership of 112 but the task proved beyond them, as the Skeldon bowlers kept a tight rein on proceedings.
Gafoor, who was later named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) on the losing team, smote eight sixes and a four while Brittania’s knock included two sixes and a four.
Skipper Ganesh Ramraj had earlier given his team a bright start but his dismissal for 37 (3×6, 1×4) and the unfortunate run-out of Jito Narine who scored a quick 29 with three sixes were telling blows in the hectic run chase.
The three wickets which went to the bowlers were shared by Naz Baksh, Mohan Harihar and Jaimini Singh, the latter going for 40 in a single over.
The day started with Seeram and Singh sharing an opening stand of 48 before Singh departed for 28 (3×4. 1×6).
Thereafter, it was mainly Seeram’s show as he treated most of the bowlers with disdain, clobbering 11 massive sixes and a four, sharing in a second-wicket partnership of 69 with Sunil Dhaniram who hit 29 with two sixes and a four.
Former Canadian World Cup player, Desmond Chumney, also contributed a quick-fire 29, lashing four sixes and a four in the process.
There was one wicket each for Mohamed Azizuddin, Rudy Ramdial, Ramanand Dass and Imam Gafoor.
Apart from winning the trophy sponsored by businessman Teddy Hussein, who is also the president of Skeldon, MVPs Seeram and Gafoor were also recipients of cash awards from Hussein.
Prakash ‘Pandit’ Singh of Skeldon was also presented with a gift certificate, compliments of Caribbean Wave Restaurant, for being adjudged as the fielder taking the best catch.
OMSCC president Azeem Khan lauded both teams for reaching the final and was extremely pleased with their display.
According to Khan, the OMSCC Over-50 Division started some nine years ago with the objective of giving the most experienced cricketers the opportunity to continue to engage in and enjoy their boyhood sport.
Khan also spoke about the interest the tournament has generated over the years and thanked the several sponsors for their generosity that has helped it to survive.