Kensington, Clarendon to meet in JCA T20 final
Kensington Cricket Club and Clarendon Cricket Association will clash for the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Jam Twenty20 Bashment title after contrasting semi-final wins over St Mary Cricket Association and The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, respectively, at the Windalco Sports Club in Ewarton, St Catherine, on Saturday.
In the opening semi-final, Kensington Cricket Club easily disposed of St Mary by nine wickets. Asked to take firsts strike, St Mary got off to a horrid start, losing the wicket of Anthony Walters for nought to national pacer Nicholson Gordon.
A mini-recovery ensued as Orlando Lyons and Anchard Hamilton put on 52 runs for the second wicket before Lyons was caught by Ryan Francis off Jamie Hay for 40 off 35 balls with seven fours.
St Mary would continue to lose wickets with regularity as they struggled to put runs on the board. They moved from 106 for three after 15.1 overs to 138 for 8 in 20 overs.
Alwyn Williams chipped in with 35 from 25 balls, while Hamilton got 24 against Gordon, three for 15, and Ryan Francis, two for 21.
It took Kensington just 16.2 overs to get the 139 runs required to win. Opener Ryan Francis set a blistering 53 runs from 29 balls before he fell lbw to Jermaine Lynch.
Romario Lynch, 37, and Leroy Lugg, 27, then saw Kensington home without further loss, and it was a pleasing win for captain Cassius Burton.
“Hats off to my guys; they really played a disciplined game of cricket today. We have been working hard as a team, and this win is a testament to all the hard work we have put in,” Burton said.
In the second semi-final, Clarendon, lead once again by inspirational captain Krishmar Santokie, got the better of a UWI team that was missing national captain Paul Palmer Jnr due to injury.
Sent in to bat, Clarendon had the UWI team struggling to get runs on the board, and that early pressure brought about some early wickets. Santokie first removed Leonardo Friginette for nought, and then Brian Buchanan sent back stand in captain Chadwick Walton for 13 at 19 for two after 3.4 overs.
Nicholas Walters, with 36 from 34 balls, and Brad Barnes, 19 from 21 balls, helped to spruce up the UWI innings as they could only muster 118 all out in 19.5 overs
Buchanan finished with three for 26 from 3.5 overs, while Santokie bagged two for 17 and Tieno Osbourne two for 22.
Chasing a small target for victory, Clarendon would find themselves under some early pressure as Christopher Powell found the edge of Marcel Parchment for eight at 11 for one in the first over.
When spinner Kristoff Virgo bowled Wayne Davis for two at 13 for two, things were looking tense for the Clarendon-based team however, a fine innings of 56 from 41 balls from former national youth player Albert Gopie wrestled the match away from UWI.
Gopie was the last wicket to fall at 107 for six after 16.2 overs, but the job was already done, and captain Santokie came in and hit the winning runs as Clarendon posted 124 for six.
The victory puts Clarendon into their first national final, which was pleasing for Santokie.
“We have been playing some excellent cricket, our bowlers have been exceptional. Our batting has been a concern for us over the years, but (Albert) Gopie has come back with us and showed his true class, and that has given us confidence, and we are ready to go all the way this time around.”