Ambassadors are SCA 2021 Elite champions
The victorious Ambassadors side with SCA president Shiv Persaud at extreme right
The victorious Ambassadors side with SCA president Shiv Persaud at extreme right

By Frederick Halley

LAST year they were crowned Group A Elite champions after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the organisers to divide the division into two groups of four. There were also no playoffs, hence no final.

On Sunday, Ambassadors Sports Club, after topping the points table among the eight teams during the regular season and subsequently winning their semi-final against Ajax Cricket Club, were crowned the Scarborough Cricket Association (SCA) 2021 Elite champions.

MVP Shuaib Zaidi collects his MVP trophy from SCA Chief Financial Officer Shiv Persaud.

In a hard-fought low-scoring final, played at the Ashtonbee Number One ground, Ambassadors huffed and puffed their way to 127 for six in 37.2 overs after limiting archrivals Victoria Park Cricket Club to 124 all out in 45.5 overs.

Urged on by a fair-size gathering of spectators, Ambassadors slipped to a precarious 80 for five in the 25th over as Victoria Park kept a tight rein on proceedings with experienced spinners Parth Desai and Shailesh Patel bowling intelligently.

However, a rearguard effort from Razon Rahaman (28 not out) and Shuaib Zaidi (26) who added 46 for the sixth wicket saved the day for the eventual winners. With just one needed for victory, Zaidi went caught by Krunal Panel off Arjun Sood after hitting a four and a six. A more subdued Rahaman was still there at the end despite not hitting a boundary.

Durand Soraine had earlier hit an entertaining 42, batting at number three, a knock that included three fours and two sixes before his stumps were knocked back by Jaimit Patel. The only other player to reach double figures was Ryan Lall (11). Desai ended with two for 25 from his 10 overs.

Earlier, it was a steady procession by Victoria Park after they were invited to take first strike. The innings never got going as wickets fell at regular intervals. They were in danger of not reaching 100 but for a stubborn 35 (one four, one six) from the burly Tarun Pothugunta that ensure they reached an inadequate 124.

Fast medium bowler Zaidi, who was later named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the winners, bagged four for 32 in an inspired opening spell while Soraine claimed three for 11, Talha Shaikh two for 15 and skipper Amerish Deoraj one for 14 in an economical spell of 10 overs. Pothugunta took the MVP award for the winners.

Zaidi also ended with the most wickets (23) in the season with economy rate of 4.32 at 11.17 runs apiece. Trushil Patel (Islanders Sports Club) took 19 wickets from eight matches with an economy of 3.93 and an average of 11.16. In the third spot was Mohammad Azmi (Highland Creek) who claimed 18 wickets, economy 5.27 at 18.33 runs per wicket.

Zaheem Ghazanfar of Highland Creek topped the batting with 282 runs from five matches, hitting two centuries, including a top score of 122, averaging 70.5. Guyanese-born Yoodhanlall Sukhlall (Ajaz) totalled 258 from six matches with a highest score of 92 and a average of 559.6 while Hassan Haider Khan (Highland Creek) made 199 from nine matches with a highest score of 81, averaging 22.11.

SCA president, Guyanese-born Shiv Persaud congratulated both teams for reaching the final and lauded the camaraderie exhibited among the players.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All our printed editions are available online
Subscribe to the Guyana Chronicle.
Sign up to receive news and updates.
We respect your privacy.