GUYANA'S Malteenoes All-Stars will look to buck the Twenty20 (T20) trend of domination in national cricket recently by stopping Queen's Park Cricket Club from retaining the UWI-Unicom Twenty20 title. The Parkites claimed this trophy, as well as the TTCB Festival T20 crown last year, and will now face steadfast opposition in a team equally strong.
Malteenoes advanced to Friday's semi-final following an elementary eight-wicket win (Duckworth-Lewis) over TT Defence Force, on Tuesday night, at the Sir Frank Worrell Cricket Ground, St Augustine and await the Parkites, who crushed Aranguez Sports Club by the same margin in the earlier match.
Electing to bat first, Defence Force never looked comfortable in the wicket with man-of-the-match Raj Nannan ripping through the first five batsmen to end with five for 19 from four. David Adams was the first victim, bowled by Nannan for three with Kelly Rosalis falling LBW right after for duck. Shaquille Johnson made an enterprising 18 with three fours but Nannan continued to stamp his authority.
Johnson went leg-before, skipper Kareem Mohammed was then caught by Quintin Sampson for 14 and Allan Laurent went LBW for 12 to leave the soldiers tottering on 53 for five in the eighth and Nannan in raptures. John Fiaz was the next to depart, castled by Kellon Carmichael for six with Jonathan Foo then getting Jordan Samkaran caught behind by Nichosie Barker for 12.
Anthony Adams then struck with a pair of quick wickets, getting Steve Alonso who placed into Carmichael's hands for four, followed by James Duncan edging behind for two. Carmichael wrapped up the final wicket, although the last pair did provide some resistance with a partnership of 30. Dion Wells made 15 with three fours but he was out hitting his own wicket off Carmichael, leaving Keishawn Dillon unbeaten on 20 (one four, one six). Adams took some stick but ended on two for 36 with Carmichael nabbing two for 14.
In their turn at the crease, Malteenoes wasted little time thanks to openers Trevon Griffith and Robin Bacchus. They put on 49 in just under five overs before Dion Wells (two for 24) bowled Griffith, who made 27 off with three fours and two massive sixes. Bacchus perished at 69 when Wells got him LBW for 31 off 22 with five boundaries. Vice-skipper Travis Blyden (12 not out) and Jonathan Foo (10 not out) would see the Guyanese home in under 11 overs after the target was reduced due to 44 minutes lost to rain before and during their innings.
The semis against the Parkites bowls off from 6pm at the same venue with Saturday's semis to be contested between Powergen and the winner of Merry Boys and Marchin Patriots, which played last night. The final bowls off at the same time and venue Sunday as well. Admission is $20 to the public and $10 for UWI staff and students.