EL SOCORRO Youth Movement (EYM) strolled into the semifinals of the UWI-Unicom Twenty20 (T20) Cricket tournament yesterday, at the Sir Frank Worrell Ground, St Augustine, with a dominating five-wicket win over FC Clarke Road. Following a win over Cane Farm to open Group C, EYM chased down a mammoth 183 in just under 19 overs to signal their intent, setting up a semifinal clash with Prisons, on January 26.
EYM won the toss and decided to field first, but found Adrian Ali in fine form. Ali hammered 106 off 67 in 73 minutes to help set up a total that seemed like a winning one. He cracked six fours and eight sixes, racing to 50 off 41 and then getting to his century in just 60 balls in total. Ali had decent support from Nicholas Sookdeosingh (21 with two fours) and Yannick Ottley (34 off 22 with two sixes) but it came down to the Ali show. Jonathan Bootan got Sookdeosingh out leg-before while Bryan Boodram run out Ottley, but by that time Ali had done the damage. Boodram would eventually trap him LBW but Saiba Batoosingh chipped in with 12 to take FC Clarke Road over 180.
EYM pulled no punches, racing to 50 for two in the fifth. Alden Daniel cracked 32 from 20 (four fours and two sixes) while Aaron Alfred smashed 53 from 39 (four fours and two sixes) to set the tempo. By the time Akheel Mollon removed Shaquille McDavid for duck and then nabbed Daniel, the game was evenly poised. Richard Ali (15) then fell to Kerwyn Sirju with the score on 88 which allowed Alfred and Keon Isaac to ramp up the chase.
They took the score to 135 in the 15th only for Cleavon Kalawan to scalp Alfred. However, Isaac’s 43 off 26 (four four, two sixes) tipped the balance in EYM’s favour and turned the game on its head. The nail in the coffin came with Brandon Ramdial coming in to make an unbeaten 34 off 17 and steal the match. With 49 from 31 needed, Batoosingh stymied things in the 17th with just six off his over. Mollon, despite scalping Isaac, then went for 15 in the 18th and this took things to 19 needed from the final two overs.
Batoosingh came back to try to close it out but Ramdial had other plans. He put the bowler straight overhead onto the UWI SPEC building a couple times and added a four for good measure to march his side to 184 for five off 18.5 overs, sealing the semis spot. Group D will be contested between champs Powergen, Club Crusoe from Tobago and UWI today starting at 10 am, with the winner facing Queen’s Park in the first semis on January 25, all at the same venue.
Summarised scores: FC Clarke Road 183/4 (Adrian Ali 106, Yannick Ottley 34, Nicholas Sookdeosingh 21, Bryan Boodram 2/43) vs. EYM 184/5 (Aaron Alfred 53, Keon Isaac 43, Brandon Ramdial 34 not out, Alden Daniel 32, Akheel Mollon 3/38). EYM won by five wickets.