By Frederick HalleyTORONTO, Canada — Essequibo’s dominance in the Ontario Masters Softball Cricket Clubs (OMSCC) Inter-county softball tournament continued over the last weekend at theMVP Robert Lall receives his award from a representative of the Khan family.Ashtonbee ground, Scarborough here with the players from the Cinderella County carting off an unprecedented fifth consecutive title in a lopsided final.Contesting the final against East Coast Bannas after earlier disposing of West Demerara in their semi-final encounter, Essequibo inflicted an eight-wicket drubbing on their opponents in the Khan Memorial-sponsored tournament, played in honour of the late Samad, Cecelia and Simon Khan, father, mother and brother of Mark and Nazir Khan who are associated with GT Bannas and EC Bannas in the OMSCC and Ontario Softball Cricket League (OSCL).Chasing an inadequate 93 for victory, after restricting East Coast Bannas to 92 for eight in their allotted 20 overs, Essequibo rushed to 98 for two in a mere 8.5 overs much to the jubilation of their players and supporters.Opener Ahmad Bradshaw slammed an unbeaten 44 which included four massive sixes and two fours while Robert Lall, who batted at number four, finished on 24 not out – an innings that was laced with four sixes. The two wickets went to Mark Sawh and skipper Mark Khan.Apart from Navin Nauth who was left stranded on 29, which included three sixes, and opener Ian Baldeo 22 with two sixes and a four, no other East Coast Bannas batsmen reached double figures as Lall marked a fine all-round effort with three for 17 from two overs.In the semi-final game, Essequibo took first strike and rattled up a challenging 132 for eight in their allotted 20 overs, with Ricky Bradshaw leading the way with an attractive unbeaten 37, which contained two sixes and a similar number of fours. Captain Azeez Baksh supported with 34 (three sixes and a four). Sheldon Burnett took two for 16 from three overs.When West Demerara batted, opener Mike Singh held the innings together with a fine 35, hitting four sixes in the process. He, however, failed to get adequate support from the middle and lower orders, as they were limited to 109 all out in 20 overs, going down by 23 runs. There were two wickets each for Abdool Azeez, Rudy Bhopaul, Ricky Bradshaw and Robert Lall.Robert Lall was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament for his dynamic all-round performance while he also copped the prize for the bowler claiming the most wickets. Abdool Azeez took home the trophy for the player scoring the most runs while the Spirit of Award went to Abdool Azeez.Medals were also presented to all the players and officials from the winning and first runner-up teams.Unlike previous years, Berbice failed to field a team in this year’s tournament. At the presentation ceremony which followed, OMSCC president Azeem Khan expressed sincere thanks to the Khan family for sponsoring the tournament. He also showered praise on Trophy Stall (Guyana) for its input.Vice-president Paul Jaman also congratulated the participating teams and the Khans for their fine gesture, pointing out that the occasion was beyond cricket and more about the family’s contribution to the sport.Mark Khan said that it was a pleasure to be involved in the sponsorship of the tournament and promised that he is aiming for it to be even bigger next year.The Essequibo players also expressed their appreciation for Jenny Tajpaul of Re/max Community Realty Inc. Brokerage for her generous sponsorship of their uniforms.
The Slaneysiders set up the clash with Tipperary by seeing off hurling giants KilkennyBut Fanning says this won’t factor into their game.Throw in at Nowlan Park is at 4 and Tipp FM will have full live coverage in association with the Donal Ryan Motor Group – Nenagh, Thurles & Roscrea and Arrabawn Store, Tyone, Nenagh.At 2 o’clock in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick play host to Galway in the other semi-final.Galway defeated Limerick in the last round of Division 1B three weeks ago. Senior Hurling Coach Declan Fanning says Tipperary won’t be getting caught up in the “Davy” factor this afternoon.The Premier take on Wexford at Nowlan Park in the National Hurling League semi final.Tipp include 12 players that started last Septembers All Ireland final for this afternoon’s game. Photo © Tipperary GAA