Dogs claim surprise victory in knockout final
Tuff Dogs sprang a major upset when they thrashed favourites Fine Leg Byes by eight wickets in the Evening Cricket League's Premier Division knockout final at Shelly Bay.
The Second Division final went according to the form book, however, as league champions PWC Byes beat runners-up Marine & Ports by 31 runs in Saturday's opener.
Fine Leg Byes, who lost only one match in winning the league for the second season in a row, to West XI, were restricted to 105-8 in their 20 overs, and then were outplayed as third-placed Tuff Dogs race to 106-2 with three and a half overs to spare.
It was another chastening experience for Fine Leg Byes, who also lost last year's final — albeit narrowly — to The Associates after dominating in league play.
Fine Leg Byes struggled after being sent in as Dhammika Jayalath, who claimed 4-12, kept them on the back foot, backed up by some brilliant fielding.
Former Cup Match and national team player Azeem Khan (formerly Pitcher), later named man of the match, then helped guide Tuff Dogs to victory with a knock of 41 after earlier taking a brilliant diving catch. Skipper Justin Barritt, whose former politician father John later presented the prizes, said: “It feels great to win the cup and beat a great team like Fine Leg Byes. They have won the league twice now and don't do many things wrong, so we knew we had to bring our ‘A' game — and we managed to do just that.
“We won the toss and decided to do what we do best — chasing. Dhammika, Herby (Adderley), Eranda (Perera) and Alan (Brangman) all bowled sensationally and hats off to them. They put is in a great spot. Azeem batted great as he has all season and Warren Smith also played a supporting role.
“David Lovell and Robin Joseph came in and steadied the ship and saw us to the finish line in 16.3 overs.
“We have a pretty new squad of young and old and local and expats. We gelled together really well and came on strong in the second half of the season. Credit to the players as they made my job hard in picking an 11 every week.
“We look forward to next season and cheers to Mr (Stephen) West for running a league that gets better every year,” added 33-year-old Barritt, enjoying his first season as skipper. PWC Byes, who chose to bat, piled up 131-5, adding 82 in the second 10 overs, and then dismissed Marine & Ports for 100 in 18.3 overs, despite skipper Trent Simmons' fighting knock of 40.
Janaka Pereira was the pick of the PWC Byes' attack with 3-25 while teammate Andrew Young was named man of the match for his 41, two wickets and a catch.
Said PWC Byes batsman David Gibbons: “After being 49-3 at the halfway stage, Andrew Young was ably assisted by some attacking batting from our lower middle order to post a very competitive total.
“Marine & Ports have an explosive top order and our entire bowling attack did an excellent job in limiting them to singles and making sure they were always behind the run rate.”
Added organiser West: “The two finals were a fantastic way to end our season.”