Navin Bidaisee

HITTING OUT: Alescon Comets batsman Navin Bidaisee hits down the ground during their Premiership One League match against Central Sports at Pierre Road, in Charlieville, last Saturday. Bidaisee scored 28 and 21. Central Sports won by an innings and 259 runs. Comets will be in action this weekend against defending champions PowerGen Sports at Syne Village in Penal. --Photo: ROGER SEEPERSAD

Central Sports will be going for their second straight win in the National League Premiership One competition this weekend when they tackle Preysal Sports at Inshan Ali Park in Preysal, starting at 10 a.m. today.

For this weekend’s encounter, the league will revert back to a two-day format with action starting today and continuing tomorrow.

The first round of the Premiership One league competition was played over three consecutive days. However, due to various constraints, all the rounds could not be played over three consecutive days. Of the seven rounds of the competition, only three will be contested over three consecutive days.

Last weekend, Central Sports impressed in their opening round victory over Alescon Comets with Kjorn Ottley slamming an unbeaten double century and Imran Khan posting an undefeated ton to go along with his seven wickets in the second innings.

Preysal were also victorious in their return to the top flight as they defeated First Citizens Clarke Road United in Preysal. Ravi Rampaul took five for 57 and five for 25 for Preysal and is expected to give the Central Sports batsmen a tougher challenge this weekend.

Meanwhile, defending champions PowerGen Sports, who were awarded 24 points from their opening fixture against Raw Fitness Victoria Sports after the final day was abandoned without a ball bowled, will be action against Comets at Syne Village in Penal. And they will be looking for maximum points as they try to catch up to Central Sports and QPCC I, both of whom secured full points from their respective season openers.

Victoria were deducted four points after the ground staff “altered the pitch without consent of the standing officials”. The match was played at Victoria’s home ground at Barrackpore West Secondary School. The decision was taken by the National League Committee based on the report of the umpires and guided by the regulations.

Yesterday, Victoria, via a media release, cleared the air on the issue. Victoria noted that on the morning of the final day of the match when the ground staff were removing the covers, a small amount of rain water that had collected overnight seeped through and wet the batting or popping crease area on one side of the pitch.

“In an effort to ensure the water did not cause further damage to the pitch, one member of the ground staff team genuinely tried to dry this soggy area so as to ensure that it did not cause the pitch to be further affected by the seepage and to avoid losing play for the remainder of the match,” the media release stated.

“The Management of RFVU (Raw Fitness Victoria United) wishes to unequivocally state that this was an attempt to ensure that the game was played and no further damage was done as a consequence of the seepage. It is most disappointing that allegations of an act of sabotage are being made against our club in some quarters without knowledge of the facts and any basis to do so.”

“The wicket itself remained untouched and perfectly normal. Our commitment towards good sportsmanship and upholding the rules and regulations that govern the gentleman’s game of cricket is without question. As a community-based Club we stand by and believe in those values,” the media release concluded.

Victoria will have an opportunity to put that incident behind them when they travel to the Oval in St Clair to face QPCC I this weekend.

In the other Premiership One fixture this weekend, Clarke Road will host Queen’s Park II at Wilson Road in Penal. All matches bowl off at 10 a.m. each day.

National League Fixtures:

(Round 2) Today & Tomorrow

Premiership 1

First Citizens Clarke Road United vs QPCC II, Wilson Road

QPCC I vs Raw Fitness Victoria Sports, Queen’s Park Oval

PowerGen Sports vs Alescon Comets, Syne Village

Preysal Sports vs Central Sports, Inshan Ali Park

Premiership 2 North

Munroe Road vs Canefarm, Munroe Road

EYM vs Merry Boys, El Socorro

Aranjuez Sports vs Defence Force, Aranjuez

QPCC III vs Prisons, Port of Spain

Premiership 2 South

St Julien vs Caldrac, St Julien Ground

Cosmos vs Endeavour, Kumar Rec Ground

Marchin Patriots vs Yorkshire, Marchin Ground

Barrackpore United vs BFL, Daren Ganga Rec Ground

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