AFTER PLAYING key roles in helping Titans Cricket Club to the USA T10 International Cricket Premier League title on Sunday, Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Mark Deyal touched down in Washington on Tuesday for the Unity Cup T20 tournament second edition.
Deyal joins a list of several Caribbean cricketers who will feature in the competition, which bowls off at Veterans Cricket field and Bolen Parks Cricket fields, Washington on Wednesday.
He, alongside TT cricketers Rayad Emrit, Lendl Simmons, Khristopher Ramsaran, Denesh Ramdin, as well as Jamaican pacer Sheldon Cottrell, form an integral part of team Skky Strikers.
Other TT players such as Jon-Russ Jagessar, Navin Stewart, Jarlarnie Seales, Jesse Bootan, Kyle Phillip, Ewart Nicholson will be featured alongside fellow West Indians Dwayne Smith, Chadwick Walton, Keon Joseph, Andre Fletcher, Christopher Powell, Jonathan Foo, Kesrick Williams, Nyeem Young, Ashley Nurse and Jon Ross Campbell.
The Unity Cup T20 will see 13 teams divided into four groups playing in round-robin matches followed by the knockout stage.
Deyal is hoping to maintain his recent run of form as he chases back-to-back US titles.
In Sunday’s USA T10 International Cricket Premier League final at Broward County Stadium in Florida, Deyal’s Titans team defeated Samp Army by eight wickets to win the title.
Batting first, Samp Army were restricted to 63/7 courtesy Aaditya Varadharajan (2/7), Ramsaran (2/8), Deyal (2/12) and skipper Emrit (1/15). Sarnam Patel topscored with 27.
In reply, opening batsman Chadwick Walton struck an unbeaten 46 runs (five sixes, one four) from 18 balls to lead Titans to 69/2 after just 5.4 overs. Deyal (13) was their next highest contributor with the bat.
On his way to the T10 title, Deyal also captured three man of the match awards. Two came from Titans’ first two matches as Deyal captured 3/11 in a nine-wicket win and followed up with another return of 3/12 and 16 with the bat in a five-wicket triumph.
His third man of the match performance came in the semi-final as he lashed 32 (three sixes, one four) from 13 balls and 1/8 in a 31-run victory.
For his standout performances, Deyal was also adjudged player of the series. Heading into his opening Unity Cup T20 opener on Thursday, Deyal wants a repeat, but improved performance.
“The USA T10 was pretty good for me as I was using this as a good prep for the Unity T20. I’m thankful for winning three man of the match awards en route to the crown. Coming into this tournament, I was doing a lot of work at home.”
“More so, putting into practice for what I’d like to do for this year’s Caribbean Premier League T20 in a couple months.
“I’m eager to play in all these tournaments at the moment because it gives me good match practice, awareness and game-scenarios to help execute my plans. So when CPLT20 comes around I would be a lot sharper than I was previously,” he said.
At the Unity Cup T20, some of the known players from other overseas countries include David Wiese (South Africa), Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Asif (Pakistan), Samit Patel (England), Gareth Delany (Ireland) and Nitish Kumar (Canada).
After this tourney, Deyal anticipates a return home to compete in local tournaments ahead of the August-September CPLT20. In December, he makes his usual trek to the US T20 Open.
First round matches of the Unity Cup T20 bowl off on Wednesday.