Trinidad and Tobago Red Force batsmen Keagan Simmons slammed an unbeaten 122 but it wasn’t enough for his team, the East/Tobago Leatherbacks, as they fell to a close three-wicket loss to the South Pavers in the opening round of the Namalco/TTCB Under-23 Cup on Thursday.
Simmons faced 133 balls and struck a six and six fours, as he led the Leatherbacks to 193 for four off 44 overs at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva.
Set a revised target of 232, based on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, South reached 232 for three with Shankar Seepaul top-scoring with 54 off 24 balls, with five sixes and two fours, to seal the result.
In Thursday’s other game, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Red Force player Joshua Da Silva struck an unbeaten 82 off just 58 balls to lead North Masqueraders to a six-wicket victory over Central Flamingoes.
After winning the toss, North inserted Central and had them struggling at 87 for seven in the 18th over before James Duncan rescued the innings with 79 off 71 balls.
Duncan struck four fours and four sixes as the Central tail rallied to post 233 all out in their 42 overs. Dexter Sween did the early damage for North, grabbing four for 53, including four of the top five batsmen in the Flamingoes’ line-up.
The chase got off to a good start for the North team with Iqwe Craig (56) and Leon Basanoo (22) posting 77 for the first wicket.
But North then suffered a couple of setbacks with both openers, along with Kevon Surzano, all being dismissed in the middle overs.
However, Brandon Maharaj and Da Silva put on 129 runs for the fourth wicket to all but seal the result.
Maharaj struck three fours and faced 69 balls for his 56 while Da Silva counted four fours and four sixes.
The Namalco Cup continues tomorrow with North up against South at Tarouba and East/Tobago taking on Central at NCC in Couva.
All matches are 50-over affairs and bowl off at 2 p.m.
Under-23 Cup Scores
East/Tobago Leatherbacks 193-4 (44 overs) (Keagan Simmons 122 n.o.; Shaaron Lewis 1/33, Jyd Goolie 1/29, Justyn Gangoo 1/28) vs South Pavers (revised target: 232) 232-7 (42.1 overs) (Shankar Seepaul 54, Shatrughan Rambaran 36, Justyn Gangoo 32 n.o., Cephas Cooper 29, Jabari Mills 27 n.o., David Williams Jr 21; Nathaniel McDavid 2/46, Jean Phillippe Barrie 2/51)
—South Pavers won by 3 wickets
Central Flamingoes 233 (42 overs) (James Duncan 79, Bryan Boodram 30; Dexter Sween 4/53, Jonathan Bootan 3/49) vs North Masqueraders 237-4 (46.3 overs) (Joshua Da Silva 82 n.o., Iqwe Craig 56, Brandon Maharaj 56; Daniel Ramsawak 2/46)
—North won by 6 wickets