It was a rematch of the 2010 NYSCL Legends Cup tournament finals, NYSCL Legends versus Better Hope All Stars. And the end was full of excitements and nail biting, and the result was the same, NYSCL Legends defeating Better Hope All Stars with three balls to spare.
Once again NYSCL Legends opening batsman Tony Fernandez dominate with the bat, scoring 77 runs not out in the finals and winning all the batting awards and the most valuable player of the 2011 tournament.
Better Hope won the toss and bat first, opening their innings with Ramroop and Gordon, this pair put on a 19 runs partnership before Ramroop was caught of Cedric Beaton. The new batsman was Arjune and this pair stayed together until the tenth over and taking the score to 65 before Gordon was caught of Paul Drickpaul for 34 runs including five boundaries and a six.
Mohamed join Arjune who was striking the ball well, Mohamed was bowled by Andrew Jerrick for 7. And two over later Jerrick struck again, he had Arjune caught at deep mid wicket for a top score of 37, including three boundaries and three six.
With two new batsmen at the crease, Narine and Chatterpaul Singh, they both was striking the ball well, Narine got 22 before he was bowled by Beaton and in the next over by Drickpaul he had Singh caught for 23.
Better Hope skipper Ronald Evelyn and Persaud tried desperately to keep the strike rate up and was only able to get the score to 157 for 7 of their allotted over. Evelyn was caught of Drickpaul for 5 and Perasud was unbeaten on 5. Bowling for NYSCL Legends, Paul Drickpaul took 3 for 21, Cedric Beaton and Andrew Jerrick bagged two wickets each.
NYSCL Legends need to get a score of 157 of 20 over; this looked like a big task, since Better Hope beat NYSCL Legends in the preliminary rounds. But this time NYSCL had played all their all rounder’s thinking they might need the extra batting.
Tony Fernandez and Julian Holder took the crease for NYSCL; Better Hope gave the ball to S. Mohamed, Mohamed a big burly pacer was knock around for 8 runs in the over. The other pacer Ronald Evelyn got the same treatment as Holder pulled him over square leg for a six and his over cost 9 runs.
The Better Hope skipper used five bowlers before he was able to get the break through, the opening pair of Fernandez and Holder put on 68 runs, before Holder was bowled by J. Persaud for 36. The speedy Cedric Beaton came to the crease and the first ball he struck for a double and the next ball he called for a quick single and he was run out for 2.
Paul Drickpaul joins Fernandez at the crease and this pair bat with ease as the runs kept coming easy. Better Hope needed a wicket desperately if they stand any chance of pulling of a victory, while NYSCL knew if Fernandez stays to the end it would be their best chance. Fernandez a tall lanky hard hitting batsman, has always play his best cricket in these competitions especially when its clutch time.
Drickpaul was out in the 17th over, he was bowled by J. Persaud for 12, the new batsman was Rabindranauth Singh, the next ball he gave the mid off fielder a simple catch and he was on his way back to the pavilion without scoring. This brings a loud roar of cheers from the Better Hope camp, the next batsman Linden Langhorne drove the first from Arjune straight to Evelyn at cover, who had to leap into the air but was able to hold onto the catch. Langhorne was gone for a first ball naught, and both teams camp became very earsplitting.
The NYSCL skipper Boodram Deopaul not wanting to see any more of this, he stepped to the crease himself, and in the last two over the game have turn and can go either way. But it was full of excitement and nail biting, what you would expect from an over 45 age group.
While wickets was falling, Fernandez was still looking solid and whenever he had the strike he was able to find the boundary and kept the NYSCL camp hopes high. Boodram got off the mark with a single, the next over Boodram went for big drive, and the ball hit his hand and deflected of his head and went back to the bowler for a caught and bowl, Boodram just stand in disbelief.
With eleven balls remaining and still needing 13 runs, Derek Edwards came to the crease, Edwards got off the mark with a boundary, the next they took a single and Fernandez send the next ball to the boundary. This set the game for an even more exciting finish, NYSCL needing 4 runs of the last over, the first ball was a single then another single and the third delivery Edwards drove through covers and the batsmen cross for a triple and the game was over. Fernandez was unbeaten 77 and Edwards on 9, J. Persaud took 3 for 33 and Evelyn and Arjune claimed one wicket each.