Imran Khan took eight wickets over two innings yesterday at the Pierre Road Recreation Ground, Chaguanas, as he dismantled the Merry Boys’ stumps on his way to claiming the new national record for wickets taken in the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) National League Premiership I Division and Alescon Comets’ first title, in over a decade. The game officially ended as a draw with both teams gaining 15 points in the final round of matches.
Khan’s new record of 68 wickets in seven games not only ended Comets’ title drought this weekend but, he shattered Kavesh Kantasingh’s previous record of 63 wickets from 10 games.
On Saturday, Comets made 161 runs for the loss of five wickets and managed to push on to 264 runs for the loss of nine wickets in yesterday’s continuation of the innings. Khan finished as the top-scorer of the match with 65 runs off 86 balls which included seven fours and one six. His team-mates Kastri Singh and Justin Joseph contributed 23 and 26 runs, respectively, placing Comets in a commanding position for the title.
Khan took up the mantel once more with the ball even though his opponents, Merry Boys, knew of the bowler’s threat as he came into the final game of the season with 60 wickets from six games. Khan, 33 years old, was just four wickets away from being the highest ever wicket-taker in the National League Premiership I division.
The outstanding bowler kept his cool as he reminded the Merry Boys team of his talent. Khan took seven of their wickets in 12 overs for 25 runs which included five maiden overs. Comets’ Rayad Emrit was left only to walk away with two wickets for 19 runs as Khan disassembled his opponent’s batting order. Merry Boys’ Isiah Rajah made 14 runs while, Narsingh Deonarine contributed 11 runs as they were all out for 76 runs after 29 overs.
Speaking with Newsday after his accomplishment and the team’s victory, Khan said, “It is a great feeling, after so much years, to finally win a title and this was due to a total team effort. Even if it may seem as though they depend on me a lot, it was always down to a total team effort at the end of the day.”
He noted the secret behind the successes of both his record and the team’s title was consistency as he detailed, “I did not try anything different this season, just focused on being more consistent. Remember in anything you do, keep working hard, stick to the basics and be persistent and the results will come.”
When asked about one thing he would not change about this season he said, “Hopefully moving forward, we are able to maintain the team chemistry as this factor was a really important one in claiming the division. In both the good times and bad times, we supported each other, along with the proper management and leadership from the coach and supporting staff, I think this had a lot to play in winning the title.”
With Comets analysing their position on the league table after the ‘first day’ score, they elected to send the visitors back in to bat. During this innings, Khan took one wicket for 19 runs and Merry Boys were on 44 runs for the loss of three wickets, before the game was called off, resulting in a draw with both teams gaining 15 points.
President of Alescon Comets, Dinanath Ramnarine, congratulated the squad saying, “I think the team played exceedingly well throughout the season and it is great to see them perform in this way as they went on to win the title. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary so this is a massive accomplishment for the club. This whole squad are a great team of players and they were able to deliver the title in which we have not won in over 10 years.”
At Pierre Road: ALESCON COMETS 264/9 dec - Imran Khan 65, Christopher Barnwell 52, Vikash Mohan 29; Aneil Kanhai 3/63, Isaiah Rajah 2/38, Uthman Muhammad 2/40, Rishaad Harris 2/49 vs MERRY BOYS 76 - Ranga Lachana 16; I Khan 7/25, Rayad Emrit 2/19 and 44/3 - I Rajah 23. Match drawn.
At Syne Village, Penal: POWERGEN 130/9 dec - Aaron Jones 29, Teshawn Castro 27; Namir Suepaul 5/49, Dominic Drakes 2/20, Darren Deonarine 2/40 and 176 - Akeil Cooper 34 not out, T Castro 33, Ewart Nicholson 28, Jason Mohammed 20; D Deonarine 5/46, N Suepaul 3/43 vs QUEEN’S PARK II 184 - Jonathan Augustus 73, Sherwin Peters 33, Joshua Ramdoo 25; Kavesh Kantasingh 5/47, Ansil Bhaggan 3/49, Samuel Badree 2/59 and 95 - Joshua Ramdoo 19; K Kantasingh 7/43, Varoon Samaroo 2/10. PowerGen won by 27 runs.
At Queen’s Park Oval: QUEEN’S PARK 214 and 150/5 - Darren Bravo 76, Jeremy Solozano 51; Marcelle Jones 3/64 vs RAW FITNESS VICTORIA UNITED 188 - Vikash Rampersad 64 not out, M Jones 26; Anderson Phillip 4/32, Shannon Gabriel 3/43, Khary Pierre 2/38. Match drawn.
At Felicity: CENTRAL SPORTS 256 and 251/3 - Keddy Lesporis 65 not out, Jyd Goolie 51 not out; Yannick Ottley 2/86 vs FIRST CITIZENS CLARKE ROAD 202 - Y Ottley 52, Nicholas Sookdeosingh 36, Dejourn Charles 36; Shazan Babwah 3/52, Kissoondath Magram 2/39. Match drawn.