The unheralded but inspired West Indies Emerging Players clinched the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup with an emphatic 205-run victory over the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the tournament final at Queen’s Park Oval last night.
Sent in to bat first, the Emerging Players posted 293 for seven off their 50 overs thanks to Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies Under-19 player Leonardo Julien’s top score of 83.
The Hurricanes were then dismissed for 88 in 26.5 overs with leg-spinner and captain Yannic Cariah ripping the heart out of their batting as he accounted for Keacy Carty, Amir Jangoo and the dangerous skipper Jahmar Hamilton cheaply as the Hurricanes were reduced to 71 for seven in the 20th over.
First up, fast bowler Keon Harding gave them an early breakthrough when Montcin Hodge was caught behind by wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva in the third over.
Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair then added the big wicket of Kieran Powell a few overs later, caught behind by Da Silva standing up to the wicket for just 13 and with the score on 27 for two.
The Hurricanes found themselves in even more trouble when Devon Thomas cut Ashmead Nedd straight to the point fielder Kimani Melius for 15 before Cariah’s heroics all but sealed the victory.
Bringing himself on to bowl in the 18th over, Man-of-the-Match Cariah had Carty caught at cover by Julien for eight before bowling Jangoo for 20.
In the skipper’s next over, Akeem Saunders was run out for one, while Hamilton skied one to Melius who settled to take an easy catch at cover point. Hamilton made only six on this occasion and could not find a way back into the contest with off-spinner Kevin Sinclair grabbing four wickets for 20 runs, including the final three wickets to fall.
Earlier, Julien, who had only scored three runs in three innings prior to the final, saved his best for last and after being given the opportunity to open the batting, he grabbed it with both hands to score his highest regional 50-over score.
Julien, who is also the wicketkeeper for the WI Under-19s for next year’s ICC Youth World Cup, faced 85 balls and struck 11 fours and two sixes, putting on 60 for the first wicket with an equally aggressive Kimani Melius.
WI Under-19 skipper, Melius struck a four and six off Jacques Taylor as he raced to 28 off 34 balls before being caught by Carty off the same bowler.
Julien motored on to his half century off 51 balls but was eventually caught by Devon Thomas off Sheeno Berridge with the score in 167 for four.
The innings stalled a bit after Julien’s departure, however some big hitting from Dominic Drakes in the final few overs took the total past 290.
Drakes smashed three fours and two sixes in his 25-ball 38 while skipper Yannic Cariah (34), Kevin Sinclair (28) and Roland Cato (31) also chipped in for the Emerging Players with the bat.
But it was Julien’s innings that proved crucial and it was an innings his team needed after seeing the destruction the Hurricanes’ skipper Hamilton unleashed on the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the first semi last week.
After their semi-final win, Hamilton backed his team’s ability to chase any total but 293 proved to be way out of reach.
Emerging Players 293-7 (50 overs) (Leonardo Julien 83, Yannic Cariah 34, Dominic Drakes 38 n.o.; Sheeno Berridge 2/60, Quinton Boatswain 2/59)
vs Hurricanes 88 (26.5 overs) (Amir Jangoo 20; Yannic Cariah 3/8, Kevin Sinclair 4/20)
—Emerging Players won by 205 runs