FIREWORKS from all-rounder Derone Davis and good bowling from pacer Rayad Emrit led Central Sports to the TT Cricket Board T20 Festival premier I title over PowerGen, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba on Saturday night.
Davis struck 51 off 22 balls to guide Central Sports to an imposing 195/7 in 20 overs, before Emrit took 4/31 in four overs to help dismiss PowerGen for 168, in 19.2 overs, to prevail by 27 runs.
Batting first, Central Sports got off to a nervy start as they were reduced to 49/3 in the eighth over with Kjorn Ottley already back in the pavilion for 12.
The pair of Aaron Alfred and Davis rescued the innings with an 82-run fourth-wicket partnership.
Davis, more known for his spin bowling, found the boundary regularly, hitting three fours and four sixes. It included a 30-run over where Davis struck spinner Damion Joachim for four sixes and one four in the 13th over.
Davis said that over swung the match in Central’s favour. He told Newsday, “I think the game changed when I got that over for 30 (runs), that kind of shifted the momentum a lot and brought us back into the game. I think that was very important at that stage of the game.”
Davis said his knock reminded people of his batting ability.
The 30 year old said the partnership between Alfred and himself help set up the innings for players like Roshon Primus and Terrance Hinds.
Davis (51 off 22 balls) and Aaron Alfred (45 off 38) fell in consecutive overs as PowerGen fought back to make it 135/5 in the 15th over.
But Barbadian Primus and Hinds kept the scoreboard ticking, with the former striking a couple massive blows over the ropes with ease.
Primus was dismissed by experienced pacer Ravi Rampaul for 21 off ten deliveries and Hinds ended unbeaten on 28 off 19 balls as Central Sports fell just short of 200.
Spinner Ansil Bhagan (2/24), Nial Smith (2/25) and Rampaul (2/33) were among the wickets for PowerGen.
The crowd, which included mostly PowerGen supporters, would have been anticipating a positive start from their top order.
After losing Daniel Williams for duck in the first over, West Indies batsman Evin Lewis and Cephas Cooper provided entertainment.
They combined to add 65 runs for the second wicket with Lewis showing that the boundary rope was no hindrance for him.
Primus got a taste of his own medicine as Cooper and Lewis scored 19 runs of the fifth over to get to 55/1 and move ahead of the required run rate.
Emrit, 42, got the breakthrough when he bowled Cooper for 35 off 19 balls, an innings which counted three fours and two sixes.
PowerGen captain Jason Mohammed fell leg before for two as Emrit grabbed another.
Lewis was still at the crease and PowerGen’s chances of winning the match rested on his shoulders. He continued to demonstrate his power-hitting ability and found an able partner in Akeil Cooper.
However, Emrit could not stay out of the contest trapping Lewis leg before for 47 off 31 balls (three fours, four sixes).
It became an uphill task for PowerGen as wickets started to tumble.
PowerGen were eventually all out for 168 as Central Sports lifted the title. Emrit ended as Central’s best bowler and fellow fast bowler Marlon Richards took 3/26 in four overs.
An elated Central Sports owner Richard Ramkissoon said he tried to put together a competitive team. “This year was a lot of hard work. I worked very hard in terms of putting the team together, the composition of the team. I knew I had a very powerful team and once they played proper cricket we were going to take the title.”
Central Sports had a decent season finishing fourth in the National League premier I competition and third in the 50-over tournament.
Top-order batsman Ottley said Central Sports are a close-knit unit. “I think we are family. We get along good with everyone. We always support one another so we have a good unity.”
CENTRAL SPORTS 195/7 (20 overs) (Derone Davis 51, Aaron Alfred 45, Terrance Hinds 28 not out; Ansil Bhagan 2/24, Nial Smith 2/25, Ravi Rampaul 2/33) vs POWERGEN 168 (19.2 overs) (Evin Lewis 47, Cephas Cooper 35, Akeil Cooper 32; Rayad Emrit 4/31, Marlon Richards 3/26). Central Sports won by 27 runs.