NEWLY crowned Premiership champions Alescon Comets pressed for a second major title of the 2018 cricket season after defeating Merryboys by five wickets on Monday to advance to the semifinals of the T20 Festival.
After Merryboys had posted 143 for five wickets in their 20 overs, Comets replied with 144, also with the loss of five wickets but in 17.4 overs in one of the feature matches of the quarterfinal round at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba.
In the first match of the double-header to bowl off the T20 Festival, organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, defending champions Queen’s Park I beat Caldrac by eight wickets.
Comets owed their success to the brilliant batting of opener Shemroy Barrington who stroked 67 off 40 balls with 12 boundaries, and an undefeated 44 by Stephen Katwaroo studded with six boundaries and one six.
The pair rescued Comets from the perilous position of 96 for five, after losing four wickets in the space of five runs, as Ricky Jaipaul (three for 28) and Atiba Allert (two for 26) gave Merryboys a sniff of a swift victory.
But when Roshon Primus was sent back to the pavilion, Katwaroo used his experience and with the support of Brandon Ramlal (15 not out) staged a 48 run partnership or the sixth wicket which took Comets to a well-deserved victory.
In the other match, discarded West Indies batsman Darren Bravo, in the role of opening batsman, provided the pyrotechnics for the Parkites smashing an undefeated 60 with two boundaries and five maximums to lead a successful run chase.
The left-hander and team captain Justin Guillen put on 60 for the second wicket to help Queen’s Park to 115 for two in 15.2 overs and overhaul Caldrac’s 110 for seven posted in their allotted 20 overs.
Guillen made 20 with three boundaries as the pair took the score from 33 for one to 93 before he departed.
Caldrac had earlier struggled against the tight Parkites bowling as Yannic Cariah took three for 23 and Terrance Hinds, Jon Ross Jagessar, Khary Pierre and Anderson Phillip each taking one apiece.
Topscorer for Caldrac was Shakeel David with a hard-earned 26 while A Andrae made 22 and Brandon Harrylochan contributed 17.
The T20 Festival continued on Tuesday with two other quarter-final matches at the Brian Lara Stadium.
Central Sports played Raw Fitness Victoria, while in the second match of a double-header PowerGen Sports came up against Queen’s Park II.
There would be a break on Wednesday and action will resume on Thursday with the Premiership semi-finals, followed on Friday with the last four play-off of the Championship Division when MYO take on Barrackpore at 2,30 pm, and Preysal tackle Fulham at 6.30.
The grand finals of both divisions will bring the curtain down on the T20 Festival on Saturday.