Twelve years in the making, Virginia finally captures the top honors in the WCL by beating the powerhouse Kensington in thrilling finish. Virginia, after scoring 195 for the loss of 8 wickets was able to hold its nerves and its catches at crucial moments to restrict Kensington to 192 for 8 in 40 overs.
Kensington, after winning the toss elected to field, perhaps to surprise Virginia and they did. Virginia was held to a poor run-rate as tension mounted. Virginia could not break the shackles, even though, two of their top batsmen, Carl Wright (49) and Tony Powell (66) were at the crease.
Two of WCL's most explosive batsmen and Virginia could muster only 103 runs in 27 overs. But Tony kept finding holes and the run-rate slowly crept up. Chris Vassell with Baxi Soudhan and Jason Nelson finished strongly to end Virginia's 40 overs at 195, leaving Kensington to score 196 in 40 overs for a victory and retain the Division I Championship.
Kensington started confidently with Donald Bennett and Gowkaran (Juicy) Roopnarine. Donald was surprised by the ball that came in sharply and took out his bails. Juicy played down the wrong line and was plumb in front. Both Usman Shuja and Baxi Soudhan bowled well to maintain the pressure on the batsmen. Wayne Cuff (60) and Barrington Bartley (66) put on 82 runs to wrestle the initiative away from Virginia.
Kensington seemed to have the upper hand as long as its captain Bartley was at the crease. But Usman Shuja held a magnificent catch at the deep mid-wicket boundary to get rid off the dangerous Kensington Captain.
That wicket, along with a great bowling spell by Virginia captain Gunu Suri (2/29 in 8 overs) helped Virginia put pressure on Kensington who tried to accelerate the score, but to no avail.
Needing 8 runs to win in the last over, Usman Shuja delivered a great over by yorking Everton Cox and then restricting Kensington to just 4 runs. Needing 4 runs to tie the game on the final ball of the over, Kensington could only muster a single, thus delivering the WCL Division I Championship NAMC Trophy to Virginia.
This was an exciting game that was well contested and the players and the spectators alike were thrilled to be a part of a spectacular show put on by both teams. Congratulations to Virginia for its first ever WCL Championship and claiming the North Atlantic Mortgage Company (NAMC) Trophy!
The league is thankful to the umpires Ram Ragoo and Harry Goodall for officiating the game and also the volunteers who helped with getting the field ready for the game.
Tony Powell was declared the MVP of the finals for his 66 runs in 77 balls to hold Virginia's innings together.