Regal Masters turned the tables on rivals Floodlights Masters to advance to the final of the 12th annual New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) Independence Cup in New York yesterday.
Regal Masters, sent in, got excellent contributions from their top order to post 213 for 3 from their 20 overs. The new opening pair of Mahesh Chunilall and Troy Kippins put on 115 for the first wicket that laid the foundation for the assault.
Chunilall was first to go for 34 (30 balls; 2×4; 2×6) in the 12th over bowled by Unis Yusuf (1/15). Eion Abel (08) followed shortly after at 126/2. Kippins played some exciting strokes but at 128 for 3 was run out for 70 with nine fours and three sixes from 42 balls.
In the 15th over, Rudolph Baker and Eric Thomas joined forces and took the score to 213 for the same three wickets. Baker ended on 44 not out (26 balls; 5×6; 1×4) and Thomas 31 not out (16 balls; 3×6; 2×4), the two featuring in an unbroken 85-run partnership.
In reply, the defending champions lost wickets at regular intervals with only opener Unis Yusuf showing hanging around for 41. At the half way stage of the run chase Floodlights were above the required run rate at 109 for 6 with only 105 required but with just four wickets in hand.
Regal Masters, who were sloppy in the field in the group stage, held their catches this time around as Floodlights were restricted to 176 for 8 falling 37 runs short and bowing out of the tournament. Skipper Ramo Malone batted at number 8 and tried desperately to see his side over the line but he fell for 31 (14 balls; 3×6; 2×4).
Pacer, David Harper was the pick of the Regal bowlers with 3/28 and he was supported by Fazleen Mohamed with 2/21, Kippins 2/55 and Laurie Singh who was very economical with 1/19 from four overs.
Regal Masters will meet Better Hope Masters at 10:00h today at the Roy Wilkins Park in Queens. Better Hope edged NYSCL Masters by three wickets off the last ball chasing 129.
In the final of the Open Category, SVC All-Stars will meet NYSCL All-Stars at the same venue from 14:00h.