POWERGEN have claimed the 2020 UWI-Unicom Twenty20 title following a 14-run victory (Duckworth-Lewis), over Queen's Park Cricket Club, on Sunday night, at the Sir Frank Worrell Ground, UWI SPEC, St Augustine. In a rain-affected affair reduced to 11 overs, the Southerners gave the tournament favourites and defending champs a reality shock and regained the crown they last held in 2018 to signal their intent for the upcoming season.
Sent in to bat, Powergen made 103 for four in their 11, which proved out of reach for the Parkites, who could only muster 98 for six chasing a revised target of 113. Powergen had Jeron Maniram's heroics with the bat to thank as he clattered 22 off 11 with two sixes to see them over the line with a healthy total, as well as skipper Ancil Bhagan. The latter turned in another man-of-the-match performance of two for ten to win the Player-of-the-Series accolade.
Powergen started confidently, getting to 45 in the sixth over thanks to openers Steven Katwaroo and Cephas Cooper. Katwaroo made 24 off 23 with one four while, Cooper accumulated 20 off 18 with two boundaries. The breakthrough came when Cooper edged pacer Philton Williams behind to wicket-keeper Nicholas Alexis. Williams (three for 19) followed up with the score at 57, castling Katwaroo, but he'd soon turn villain as the Parkites put on an uncharacteristic display of indiscipline in the field.
Catches win matches but QPCC's fielding was sloppy to say the least thanks to a half-dozen dropped catches, most of the schoolboy nature. These were attributed to the likes of Williams, Daron Cruickshank as well as Alexis. QPCC were clearly taking the opposition for granted. Their body disposition and smiles suggested they were underestimating their longstanding rivals and they'd soon be punished for this lackadaisical mentality.
Alexis made amends somewhat, gloving Ewart Nicholson off Williams for five with the score at 60 after eight. Akeil Cooper perished six runs later, lofting Christopher Vincent to Cruickshank in the deep for seven but Maniram would enter the wicket to bring some late fireworks to the fore alongside Akeem Alvarez. They put on an unbroken 37 for the fifth-wicket with Alvarez getting ten off five thanks to a four and six in the final over. This decisive over cost 23 from Tion Webster and proved to be critical in QPCC's downfall.
The Parkites were abysmal from the onset with Sunil Narine getting a hat-trick he doesn't want to be associated with. The makeshift opener was caught and bowled in the first over by Kavesh Kantasingh for his third duck on the trot. Webster then holed out to Cooper (Cephas) off Daniel St Clair for a duck too and with both openers gone, QPCC seemed paralysed on six for two. Skipper Justin Guillen and Alexis took proceedings to 22 before Bhagan stamped his authority. He scalped Alexis, caught by Dave Mohammed for three and just one run later he bowled Guillen for 17 (two fours, one six).
Jesse Bootan and Cruickshank advanced the chase to 43 before the latter lost his stumps playing all over Mohammed for nine. Bootan and Isiah Rajah gave it a go but once the equation read 68 needed from 30 balls, hope quickly disappeared. Jarlanie Seales would be smashed for a couple sixes by Rajah, while Bootan soldiered on, garnering three fours in his 19 from 11. But when Kantasingh (two for 29) got Bootan offering Cooper (Cephas) another one in the deep, it was game, set and match for Powergen.
Rajah made 28 from 16 with three sixes while Dexter Sween got 17 off 11 with two fours but they couldn't get over the insurmountable hurdle despite an unbeaten stand of 27. With 24 needed off the last over, St. Clair ensured Powergen would take home the $40,000 purse. QPCC pocketed $14,000 for their efforts. Malteenoes All-Stars' Steven Jacobs, Vincent and Mohammed all ended tied on Most Wickets with nine apiece while Katwaroo won Most Runs with 184 runs at an average of 46. Bhagan nicked Katwaroo to the MVP plaudits, though, as his spell here, his three-for in the semis and his astute captaincy overall sealed glory for Powergen.