Rising Stars wins KFC Six-A-Side tournament

It was a dramatic finish in the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Six-A-Side Cricket Tournament as the Rising Stars defeated the defending champions Police Enforcers by two runs on Sunday at Haynes Oval.

The Rising Stars batted first and scored 79 runs with two batsmen out. The defending champions came up short, scoring 77 runs with no balls left to spare. Three wickets fell for them.

The tournament started on Saturday morning and wrapped up on Sunday afternoon. The Lions Cricket Club finished third in the tournament which featured six teams.

A happy Jagnauth Jagroo, captain of the Rising Stars, said it took a team effort to take down the defending champions.

“First off, I want to say congrats to the boys. It was a complete team effort coming through the competition. There are those persons who put their hands up when necessary and are needed the most. It was more so a team effort than anything else,” Jagroo said.

Over the two days of competition, the Rising Stars only lost one game. The Enforcers defeated them earlier in the day.

Jagroo, who scored seven runs in the final, got a key catch on a connection from Greg Taylor Jr. who tried to get a six on a hook shot.

“Coming into the final, we knew that the police was one of the strongest teams in the competition and it was going to take a special effort. Luckily, the batters stood up and coming down to the back end we just executed the best we could and came out on top,” Jagroo added.

One of those batters that stood up for the Rising Stars was opening batsman Kevin Surujlal. He scored an unbeaten 31 runs. His inning included three sixes and two fours to lead his team in runs. After Jagroo was out, Rudy Fox took the batting crease. He came in and partnered with Surujlal.

Fox raced out to 28 runs before he was caught and bowled by Taylor. Fox had more boundaries than runs scored infield. He had three sixes and two fours as he helped to progress the run rate.

The Enforcers had 14 extras – 13 wides and one bye.

“We have an experienced bunch of guys. We have guys who play this game week in and week out,” Jagroo stated. “We have each other’s back. It was one of the reasons we came out victorious in the 2019 season and we are here again today.”

Marc Taylor, Greg Taylor’s younger brother, paced the way for the police. He finished with 31 runs not out. It included finding the boundary with two sixes and three fours. The towering batsman got help from Orlando Stuart who beat the ball for two sixes before he fell prey to a Jagroo delivery. Stuart had 17 runs in the innings.

The Enforcers had a great chance to win the game but in this format of cricket, batsmen must find the boundaries and the gaps. They needed 11 runs in the final over to win the game.

Marlon Graham was tasked with bowling the final over for the Rising Stars. He gave up eight runs including a boundary. More importantly, he picked up two wickets in that over.

The Enforcers ended the game with 77 runs – two runs short of a tie and three runs short of a victory. The Rising Stars almost lost the game coughing up 18 extra runs – 16 wides and two byes.

The Rising Stars skipper said no matter the circumstances his teammates had each other’s back to come out on top. He added that the team is mostly driven by confidence.

This win ended a fruitful year for the Rising Stars. They won the 2019 Bahamas Cricket Association (BCA) TwentyTwenty (T20) League after they got the best of the Lions. They will be looking to successfully defend that title next season.

With the cricket season set to start tomorrow, Jagroo said his team will take the momentum from this win.

“Sports in general is about momentum. We will take the momentum into the regular season. It is a momentum sport, so we will take the confidence and lesson from this tournament into the regular season,” Jagroo stated.

The Nations Cup will kick off the 2019-20 BCA season tomorrow. The BCA T20 League will start next weekend.

Tomorrow’s games will see The Bahamas battle the World squad at 10:30 a.m. On Sunday, Jamaica plays Asia at 10:30 a.m. Haynes Oval is the venue for both games.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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