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Youth teams from T&T did the country proud when they made the finals of the Youth US Open T20 tournament in both the Under-17 and Under-15 categories, only to fall at the final hurdle at the Central Broward Regional Park on Monday night.
The T&T Secondary Schools U-17 team and the Kumar Rampat Cricket Academy U-15 squad both visited the tournament for the first time and reached the finals at the Central Broward Regional Park.
The KRCA was drawn to play the Washington Future Stars in the Under-15 tournament and narrowly lost the final by three runs. Led by national under-15 fast bowler Liam Mamchan, the KRCA was the toast of the U-15 segment as they mauled all opposition before them leading to the finals. Even the Washington Future Stars were hammered by six wickets in their preliminary round meeting, as they went to the finals unbeaten with four victories.
In the finals, Washington batted first and scored 96/7 off their 15 overs (the game being reduced).
They then lost early wickets which put them behind in the game, until West Indies U-15 player and tournament MVP Andew Rambaran came to the crease. He and Andre Suglal batted well and was taking the team home at 60/3 when Rambaran lost his wicket for 25 and the collapse set in. Suglal followed for 27 and in the end they were left to get 11 runs off the final over and fell short by three.
At the final awards Rambaran dominated hitting the highest score of 71 and scoring the most runs in the tournament. Also finishing as the top bowler with seven wickets was Adesh Singh.
In the Under-17 finals, Secondary Schools batting first was restricted to 68/9 against the Ontario Reds with Naparima College student Darren Samlal scoring 18. They found the spin of Raqib Shamshudeen difficult to handle, as he grabbed 3/10. When Ontario went in to bat, they got an opening partnership of 31 in no time, which set the tone for the eventual win. Shamshudeen was struck 24 and Ethan Gibson stayed to the end with 27 not out, as they won with eight overs to spare.
Chairman of CCUSA Mahammad Qureshi said he was very happy with the standard of cricket played at the youth level and wants to make the tournament bigger and better every year. “We were very happy with the standard of cricket played in this tournament and Trinidad brought so much in terms of the talent you sent here. Our players are better off having played with some great guys from the Caribbean.”
YOUTH US OPEN T20 SCORES U-15
At Lauderhill: Washington Future Stars 96/7 vs KRCA 93/8 (Andrew Rambaran 25, Andre Suglal 27) – Washington Future Stars won by 3 runs.
YOUTH US OPEN T20 SCORES U-17
At Lauderhill: Secondary Schools 68/9 (15) (Darren Samlal 18, Raqib Shamshudeen 3/10) vs Ontario Reds 70/1 (7) (Raqib Shamshudeen 24, Ethan Gibson 27no) – Ontario Reds won by 9 wks.