Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Merchant, Coleman, Powell star as Manchester dethrone Saints in final
Manchester crowned themselves the 2012 Jamaica Cricket Association Twenty20 championship winners after dethroning St Catherine Cricket Club by 51 runs in the final at Up Park Camp yesterday.
Batting first, Manchester made 147 for nine, before returning to bowl out St Catherine for 96 off 13.4 overs.
Leading the way for Manchester was national off-spinner Jamie Merchant and unheralded pacer Chris Powell, who claimed three for 27 and three for 17, respec-tively, while national Under-19 representative, Tristan Coleman, had earlier led the way with an outstanding knock of 62.
"We are really, really happy as the team has been playing some good cricket since the start of the season and today we came and showed it," said Manchester captain Gary Graham.
"We have been winning the national two-day title for several years now, as well as a few one-day titles, so to win the T20 after going close a couple of times is another accomplishment," added Graham, as Manchester had been beaten in the final in the first staging of the championship three years ago, and also in the semi-finals last year.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Manchester found themselves in a hole when they lost their first three wickets, including key opener Zeniffe Fowler, with only five runs on the board.
Coleman, bryce on form
However, thanks to the diminutive Coleman, who hit four sixes and six fours, the in-form Damion Bryce, who made 23 and off-spinner Jamie Merchant, they were able to crawl their way back and post a competitive total.
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell, three for 11, and Odean Brown, three for 29, claimed most wickets for the Saints.
Needing to score just over seven runs per over to make it a three-peat of titles, St Catherine, found the penetrative pace of Powell hard to handle up front and never recovered after losing four wickets with only 36 runs on the board.
Wayne Morgan ended with a topscore of 23, while Brown chipped in with 19 not out as their big guns - national players Andre Russell, Danza Hyatt, and Tamar Lambert - made seven, nine and seven, respectively.