Tony Becca | Well played, CCC Marooners

Posted in rbiazxks on January 19th, 2020

first_img SAME OLD STORY While it may have been something of a surprising result, however, it certainly was not, according to a few experts, a surprising and a shocking result. And it was not so for these reasons. The CCC Marooners got to the final a few seasons ago, and this time, after playing in Group ‘A’, they had one victory against the Hurricanes, two over the Pride, and one against the Scorpions, who they dismissed for a paltry 82 runs, while losing to the Hurricanes and the Scorpions. And then, after topping the zone, five points ahead of Jamaica, the Marooners manhandled the Red Force in the semi-finals and easily put away the Jaguars in the final. The Red Force, boasting some of the top dogs in limited-over cricket and the overwhelming favourites for the title, were beaten from the start of the supposed shoot-out, and the Jaguars were tamed in their pursuit of additional regional honours. Against the Red Force, the astute Carlos Brathwaite, probably seeing what happened to the Scorpions when they lost with one delivery to go on the previous night bowling in the dew, won the toss and elected to field. The CCC need not have feared the dew. In under one hour, the Red Force’s feared batting line-up of Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin, and Nicholas Pooran was history, as the scoreboard read 27 for six on the way to 92 in 33 overs. In one over, in his second of the innings, pace bowler Akeem Jordan removed three batsmen to make it three runs for four wicket off three overs, and when he bowled Darren Bravo shouldering arms, it was 25 for six with his figures reading five wickets for six runs off six overs. The Marooners replied with 93 for three off 16.2 overs to win by seven wickets with 33.4 to spare. Two days later, they won the toss again, decided to field first again, and destroyed the Jaguars again. The Jaguars, aided by some poor batting, were bundled out for 204 to which the Marooners replied with 205 for four off 37.4 overs to win by six wickets with 12.2 overs to spare. CCC’s performance, therefore, was certainly neither not surprising nor shocking. The surprising performance was the discipline, the urgency in the field, and the general approach, the confidence of the CCC players, and the disciplined bowling of the team, especially that by pacers Jordan and Jermaine Levy, and particularly by Jordan against the high-riding Red Force. It was a long, long time since I had seen a West Indian pacer bowl with such discipline, accuracy, and swung the ball, both ways, in a regional tournament. Except for Pooran, who drove carelessly at a good delivery to be caught at the wicket, and Dwayne Bravo, who carelessly swung at a high, useless bouncer and was caught, all the batsmen were dismissed by simply good bowling as Jordan ended with figures of 10 overs 18 runs, and five wickets. The really surprising results, probably, were the USA’s defeat of the Scorpions and the Hurricanes and Canada’s victory over the Windward Islands Volcanoes. Unlike the refreshing victory of the CCC Marooners in the West Indies domestic competition, the West Indies, or the Windies, were up to their old tricks once again. After losing the two-Test series, one by an innings and 272 runs, the other by 10 wickets, and losing the first one-day match by eight wickets with 6.1 overs to spare, the West Indies hit back brilliantly in the second one-day to tie the match, and even more brilliantly, to win the third by 43 runs. At that stage, the score, in matches, was one-one, and with two to go, many West Indians, as usual and especially the players, were smiling and hoping, or rather thinking that with two matches to go, the West Indies would either draw the series or, with a little luck, win them both and surprise not only most West Indian fans but also cricket fans everywhere. After all, although the bowlers were being clobbered left, right, and centre, the batsmen, two of them, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, one solidly and elegantly brilliant, the other dashingly brilliant, were standing tall, and with innings of 123 not out and 95, 106 off 72 deliveries and 94 off 64 deliveries, were just about matching Virat Kohli, 140 off 107 deliveries, 157 off 128 deliveries, 107 off 110 deliveries, and Rohit Sharma, whose 152 came off 117 deliveries. In confirming that all that glitters, especially on one occasion, is not gold, however, what followed was the same old story, or recent story, of West Indies cricket. On Monday morning, in the old Brabourne Stadium in the old city of Bombay (now Mumbai), the hope started to disappear. India, bolstered by Sharma and Ambati Rayudu, 162 off 137 deliveries, and 100 off 81 deliveries, blasted 377 for five declared, and after choking the West Indies at 20 for three, including two run-outs, and at 77 for seven after 18.5 overs, bowled them out for 153 in 36.2 overs to win by 224 runs to suffer their second heaviest defeat ever. The fifth and final match was even worse. After winning the toss and electing to bat, the West Indies were blown away for 104, and India replied with 105 for one off 14.5 overs to win the match by nine wickets with 35.1 overs to spare. In winning the series 3-1, India sprinted to victory by winning the final match before the break, and before 50 of the allotted 100 overs were bowled. The Super50 cricket tournament is over, and heartiest congratulations to the Combined Campuses and Colleges aggregation, to coach Floyd Reifer, to captain Carlos Brathwaite, and most of all, to Sir Hilary Beckles, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, who, despite criticisms, championed their participation in the regional exercise. In winning the title for the first time, the CCC Marooners topped the four big guns of the region, Barbados parading as the ‘Pride’, Jamaica as the ‘Scorpions’, Trinidad and Tobago as the ‘Red Force’, and Guyana as the ‘Jaguars’, plus the Leeward Islands, who played as the ‘Hurricanes’. In upstaging the finalists Guyana, who as the ‘Amazon Warriors’ won the four-day trophy and were hunting the Super 50 title to complete the regional ‘double’, the CCC Marooners, a selection of regional players, selected after the territorial teams had selected their team, more or less, made it a comfortable wire-to-wire affair. NOT SO SURPRISING RESULTSlast_img

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