… Regal Legends highly favoured to retain Over-50 title
DEFENDING Over-50 champions, Regal Legends, the lone team representing Guyana in this year’s 17th edition of the New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) Independence Cup which bowls off today, are highly favoured to retain championship honours when the annual tournament climaxes on Sunday.
In last year’s inaugural entry into the Legends category, Regal Legends played unbeaten throughout the tournament, culminating with a crushing victory over Williamsburg Legends in the final, played at Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, New York. Since then, they have also added the Prime Minster’s Cup (Guyana) and the Florida Cup to their collection.
Asked to tale first strike by Williamsburg in last year’s final, Regal Legends raced to 237 for four from their 20 overs with opener Unis Yusuf blasting a top score of 94, falling six shy of a well-deserved century.
The pugnacious knock from the Herstelling, East Bank Demerara resident was laced with seven sixes and five fours as he finished the tournament with 215 runs from four innings. Hard-hitting left-hander Eric Thomas also cashed in with an undefeated 72.
In reply, Williamsburg Legends laboured to 95 for eight from their 20 overs, handing Regal Legends a huge 142-run victory. Bowling for the new champions, left-arm spinner, Laurie Singh claimed two for 14 and captain, Mahendra Hardyal two for 20.
Williamsburg were the third opponent of Regal Legends who failed to get past the 100-run mark. Rockaway Legends folded for 30 chasing 254 and Marine Masters limped to 80, batting first. Only semi-finalists, NYSCL Legends, with 105 chasing 201 to win, reached triple figures against the clinical Regal bowling attack.
Player-of-the-final Yusuf, who also scored the most runs in the tournament, was adjudged the Most Valuable Player in the Legends category.
Regal Legends have been further boosted this time around by the presence of veteran softball player Wayne Jones, whose all-round prowess is well known around softball circles in and out of Guyana. Jones was skippering Mike’s Wellman during this year’s Florida Cup when tragedy struck and unfortunately their owner Lakhram ‘Mike’ Singh passed away on the first day of the three-day tournament.
The defending champions in the Open All Stars category are Kingsmen All Stars while Cricket Doctors (New York-based) were the Masters Over-40 winners in 2021.
The draw for the tournament, which also features the Open All Stars and Masters Over-40 categories, took place last night at Johnny’s Restaurant & Bar, Rockaway, Boulevard, Queens, where all the participating teams received their packages containing the competition rules and other correspondence.
NYSCL president Eric Ferrier wished all participating teams good luck and “for coming into this exciting flamboyant and coloirful city, and welcome in advance to our 17th edition of this so friendly and competitive tournament.” (Frederick Halley)