Domtar retain Masters title with crushing win
Raymond Graham, Gleaner Writer
A brilliant undefeated innings of 65 by former national player Wayne Cuff helped defending champions Domtar Sports Club to brush aside former champions Mico Masters by 53 runs and retain their title in the Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum Masters T20 cricket final at Kensington Cricket Club on Sunday. Scores: Domtar 167 for five, Mico 114 all out.
The champions walked away with a beautiful trophy and cash prize of $75,000, while runners-up Mico pocketed $50,000.
A large crowd turned up to witness the climax; a clash of former champions. At the start, a minute's silence was observed for three outstanding personalities who passed away recently - umpire Douglas Sang Hue, former top coach Roy McLean and politician Roger Clarke.
Then, confident after getting the better of their opponents three weeks ago in the preliminary round, Mico's skipper, Michael Donegal, won the toss and asked their opponents to take first strike.
Donegal would have regretted that decision as they were made to toil hard in the field as Domtar, led by Cuff - whose 30-ball innings included three sixes and two four boundaries - had them pay for the decision. Another former national player, Delroy Morgan, scored 29, and Raymond Brown got 27 for Domtar.
Christopher Flemmings, with two for 24, was Mico's best bowler.
Mico Masters started slowly, and after eight overs, they crawled to 29 without loss. They never recovered as their top two players - Carl Brissett (28) and Orville Pennant (16) perished while trying to step up the tempo, and the remaining batsmen failed to negotiate the good bowling.
Vincent Gray, with three for 26, took the most wickets, while skipper Orville Lewin took two for 23 and Dave Harris two for 27.
Lewin was elated.
"We were always confident of victory as we have a very balanced team, and despite losing to Mico earlier, we were not fazed because we lost on a wet wicket, and any team that won the toss that day would have won, and Mico were fortunate to have won the toss then," said Lewin.
Donegal blamed poor fielding for his team's defeat.
"We were let down by sloppy fielding as our players dropped too many catches as Cuff and Morgan gave easy chances early in their innings, and their early departures would have made a big difference," said Donegal.
Preceding the final was the third-place play-off, in which Wray All Stars steamrolled St Thomas Eagles by 91 runs. A brilliant 85 not out by former Jamaica opener Wayne Lewis and 28 from Raymond Ferguson took their team to 170 for three. In reply, St Thomas struggled to 79 for six, with Samuel Barrett (26) and Keith Edwards (21) scoring the most runs. Victor Forrest took two for 13 and Dennis Moore two for 16.
First: Domtar $75,000
Second: Mico $50,000
Third: Wray All Stars $30,000
Fourth: St Thomas Eagles $15,000
MVP: Carl Brissett (Mico Masters)
Top batsman: Wayne Lewis (Wray All Stars)
Top bowler: Carl Brissett (Mico Masters)
Top wicketkeeper: Cecil Lewis (Mico Masters)
Most catches: Keith Edwards (St Thomas)/ Solomon Darby (Mico Masters)
Player of the Final: Wayne Cuff (Domtar)