POWERGEN got off to a winning start in Group C action at the 2020 UWI-Unicom Twenty20 tournament yesterday evening, at the Sir Frank Worrell Cricket Ground at UWI-SPEC. Sent in to bat, the Southerners made 156 for seven in 20 before limiting TT Defence Force to 121 for nine to seal a 35-run win.
National legend Dave Mohammed came out of retirement and turned the clock back, claiming three for 27 in four to help Powergen make a statement. Defence Force beat Clarke Road earlier in the opening match, which meant the latter needed to beat Powergen in the night’s closing match to get a chance of progressing to the quarter-finals on run-rate.
Powergen struggled to build partnerships at the crease, however, relying heavily on national wicket-keeper and opener, Steven Katwaroo, who made 67 from 60 with six fours and a six. He lost Cephas Cooper (six) and Ewart Nicholson LBW for duck, both to Dion Wells (two for 10) in the onset. Akeem Alvarez followed leg before to John Fiaz for eight before Akeil Cooper entered to restore stability. He made 34 from 17 with two fours and three sixes as he and Katwaroo took the score from 55 to 110.
Jordan Samkaran (two for 39) would get Cooper with Jeron Maniram (seven) exiting soon after, bowled by Sion Cain. Katwaroo left at 142, lofting Samkaran to Earnil Ryan. Jarlanie Seales fell to Allan Laurent for seven, but Daniel St. Clair with 11 from seven would help his side over the 150-mark.
In their innings, Defence Force never looked comfortable with Powergen’s spin. Kavesh Kantasingh bowled Kelly Rosalis for duck and Anthony Alexander was out caught and bowled by St Clair for 19. With the openers gone at 23, Earnil Ryan (15) and Shakeel Johnson (16) took the score to 57 before Mohammed claimed a blazing one-handed return catch off his own bowling. That put danger-man Ryan back in the pavilion, with Johnson following two runs later, edging Seales’ pace behind to Katwaroo.
Laurent (22 off 14, one fours and two sixes) and Fiaz (20 off 16, two sixes) would embark on a 40-run fifth wicket partnership but the loss of two wickets at 99 killed the chase by the 16th over. Kantasingh bowled Fiaz to end with two for 19 while Mohammed castled Laurent. Mohammed then nabbed Samkaran LBW for a duck and brilliantly ran out Josiah Searles for two to leave the score at 102 for eight. Andre Medina was next to go, caught and bowled by Seales for two as Cain (11 not out) and Wells (four not out) finished with their team well short. Seales concluded with two for 23.
Today’s Group D action has matches at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm between Merry Boys, Aranguez SC and East Zone Tigers. The quarter-finals take place on January 14 and 15, the semis are on January 17 and 18, with the final to be played on January 19 at the same venue. Admission is $20 to the public and $10 for UWI staff and students.