FAVOURITES Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) are expected to move a step closer to retaining the UWI-Unicom Twenty20 title on Tuesday when they face Aranguez Sports Club to bowl off the 2020 quarter-finals. Both teams meet in the opening match from 2 pm at the Sir Frank Worrell Cricket Ground at UWI-SPEC. Guyana’s Malteenoes All-Stars play TT Defence Force (TTDF) to round out the double-header at 6 pm.
The Parkites made easy work of Group A, comfortably beating Marchin Patriots in their first game. They restricted the visitors to 141 for eight, with Christopher Vincent scalping three for 32, Tion Webster taking two for 22 and Dwayne Bravo nabbing two for 27. With Bravo recalled to the West Indies T20 team, fans are hoping Sunil Narine runs out as he batted and bowled on the match day. Narine made 29 off 16 as the defending champs eased to 142 for four in 18.5 overs.
In their second match, QPCC sent the hosts, UWI, out of the competition after bowling them out for 102. Dexter Sween took three for ten and Narine and Webster got two apiece again. Kirstan Kallicharan made 31 off 26 while Webster got a quickfire 19 and Narine accumulated 17 off 15. Webster has a knack of making big runs in this tournament, so folks are expecting fireworks from him and Narine as openers.
As for Aranguez, they needed to beat Merry Boys in Sunday night’s Group D closer to avoid the Parkites, but fell agonisingly short. Merry Boys made 168 for seven, with Ashmead Mohammed scalping four for 12. However, Aranguez ended on 165 for seven as Dion Ferrier offered a skipper’s knock of 53 not out from 45 and Isaac Kennedy cracked 49 off 30.
There were a couple contentious decisions in the final two overs, though, as Aranguez felt they had a case for a couple no-balls above waist height which went uncalled by the umpires. Earlier, both teams beat East Zone Tigers to set up this decisive finale. Aranguez bowled the Tigers out for 132 with Ferrier claiming seven for 17. They patiently made 134 for two in 19, thanks to Samuel Felix’s unbeaten 61 off 56 and Johann Lezama’s 40 not out from 28.
Malteenoes could derail the Parkites’ charge, though, as they’ve been one of the tournament’s strongest teams as well and winners of this match day will play each other in the semis. Opening Group B, the Guyanese made the highest team score so far with 209 for eight against Tobago Marlins. Trevon Griffith got 53 and Jonathan Foo made 41 before they bowled Marlins out for 127. Captain Steven Jacobs got five for 27. In their second match, Malteenoes were bowled out for 151 with Raj Nannan making 25 and Quintin Sampson 21. They then dismantled Preysal for a paltry 45 with Kellon Carmichael taking four for four, Jacobs three for seven and Nannan two for 14.
They’ll be considered favourites over Defence Force, although the soldiers did pull off a major upset over Clarke Road in Group C. They made 156 for six thanks to 87 from 56 balls from Earnil Ryan and then limited Clarke Road to 141 for six as Josiah Searles did the damage with three for 27. TTDF lost the second game to Powergen, though, as they couldn’t chase 156.
In Wednesday’s quarter-finals, Powergen play Preysal at 2 pm while Merry Boys and Marchin Patriots meet at 6 pm. The semis are on January 17 and 18, with the final to be played on January 19 at the same venue – all at 6 pm. Admission is $20 to the public and $10 for UWI staff and students.