CENTRAL Zone retained their title with a nail-biting six-wicket victory with five balls to spare against South East in the Scotiabank NextGen Under-15 Inter Zone cricket final, at the National Cricket Centre in Couva, on Wednesday.
Propelled by an outstanding even half-century by opening batsman Adrian Mahase, Central Zone easily overhauled South East’s total of 184/7.
Also playing an important role in the victory was captain Luke Ali, the man of the match who made 38 and also grabbed 3/35 in eight overs.
Central ended on 185/4 in 49.1 overs with Alexander Chase not out on 21 and Thomas Walsh unbeaten on 17.
All-rounder Fareez Ali also contributed 28 to the winning total after claiming three South East wickets for 29 runs in ten overs.
In sunny conditions at the start of the day, last year’s beaten finalists South East were indebted to opening batsman Brendan Boodoo who hit a composed 45.
He received valuable support from Akshay Seecharan who got 30 and Oshan Gobin chipped in with 22.
Also contributing to the South East tally was Christian Rampersad who made 18 and the score was bumped up with a surprising 44 extras conceded by Central.
Before the match Scotiabank corporate communications manager Cindy Mohammed met the players and offered words of encouragement before the final.
Scotiabank are the sponsors for the first time of the NextGen Under-15 snd Under-13 Inter Zone competitions.
Also present was Azim Bassarath, president of the TT Cricket Board who urged the youngsters to put their best foot forward. Bassarath said that the national team will be selected for the upcoming Cricket West Indies Regional Under-15 tournament based on performances in the Scotiabank series.
South East 184/7 (50 overs) (Brendan Boodoo 45, Akshay Seecharan 30, Oshan Gobin 22; Luke Ali 3/35, Fareez Ali 3/29) vs Central 185/4 (49.1 overs) (Adrian Mahase 50, L Ali 38, F Ali 28; Christon Ramkissoon 2/31) Central won by six wickets