GSCL 2011 Championship: It’s Tropical!
Morgan’s 119 and Powell’s 87 n.o lead rout over Vibes
Dean Morgan, with his club record breaking sixth ton of the season, and Tony Powell, with a “POW POW” like 87 not out, paired up for a dynamic 145 runs third wicket partnership to lead Tropical Sports Club to an exciting 73 runs victory over defending champions Vibes Sports Club in the 2011 League Championship game. With boundaries at seemingly the most demanding parts of his innings which lasted for 39 overs, Morgan paced himself with eight 4s and six 6s on the way to the record. This was his first season and it started with his huge 169 against Lawrenceville. Powell also had a boundary laced inning with ten 4s and two sixes to help Tropical amass a formidable 279 for 3, built on a 72 runs opening start from Lindo at Morgan. Vibes, as expected, had a crack of a start in a reply spearheaded by Garrick with a blistering 43, diced with eight 4s. But Wong, 2 for 35, and Slocombe, 3 for 42, kept pressing, and Vibes succumbed for 206.
The game took the form of something out of a well executed “war games movie” packed with action and high drama, yet able to keep the packed audience – spectators in this case - fully engrossed and quietly involved, but with moments of cheers and boos from the two camps. Vibes won the toss and chose to field. No mystery, no surprise. It was heavily overcast, and a rather cold, gusty wind blew across the field. “ English weather” said players and spectators. “150 runs max on this kind of day” said the punters. Surely they were right when Edwards opened with two consecutive maidens with the ball seemingly “dangling in the breeze”. But the make-shift opening bowlers of Edwards and Roberts could not hold as Vibes was missing the seasoned pair of Dyer and Francois to injury. Soon Morgan was walking down the pitch to Edwards – stopping him in his trot twice - boos, then launching him deep over long-on, and pulling him through mid-wicket - cheers. Meanwhile, Lindo had dispatched Roberts to the backward square leg boundary a couple of times and the run rate quickly climbed to seven, spurring a quick change by skipper Mark Baker. This produced quick dividend as Parchment, bowling in place of Roberts, peppered Lindo with a series of short pitched deliveries including one that slammed into the helmet (boos & cheers), before inducing a false hook to mid off - cheers. R. Hoilett, who has struggled all season, batted at three and continue to struggle, and when on 16 chopped another Parchment’s short delivery unto his stumps. But the partnership was worth over fifty very valuable runs though the rate had slowed dramatically. Morgan had a let off as Parchment failed to hold a flat-batted smash right back at him, and he had another one later when Bartley also could not snatch a similar offering. By now the sun had peeped through a small opening in the clouds and the winds had slowed. Powell, who had received some harsh criticism for underperforming in the cup games took charge. He played the spinners – McFarlane and Bartley – with great care and picked and powered his shots with authority. A sizzling offdrive to the extra cover boundary between the sweeper and man at backward point bought cheers from all around. Two towering sixes added to the mix and the run rate motored back to seven. Morgan took a special liking to Smith who had come on for the wicketless McFarlane, and the score raced pass 200 against the depleted Vibes attack that was also missing Odean Brown. Punters wrong … by far; soon the score eclipsed the 250 mark, and Morgan had a ton! His inning ended in the final over when for the third time he hit one back to the bowler; this time it was to Garrick, and he held on.
Mother Nature did her best to ensure fairness in the weather conditions. The sun disappeared behind a thick mass of clouds and the winds picked up. Yet the Vibes response started in typical fashion. Two glorious inside out carvings through extra covers for boundaries, and Garrick was away in fine form. However, when on 43, he like Morgan had done, flat-batted a short pitched ball straight into the stomach of the bowler (Wong) who held on, and Tropical breathed a sigh of relief. The opening partnership ended at 59. Soon after, Smith stretched too far at a Slocombe’s off spinner that bounced and turned across him, and was smartly stumped – leg side – by Lindo. Bartley and Knight then began a reconsolidation and the required run rate began to creep up. The partnership soon reached fifty and a quiet hush engulfed both camps. The spectators angst was now about who would blink first in the now very evenly poised game. It was Vibes. With the score at 130, Bartley hit out at Slocombe and was caught in the deep at long on. One run later, Knight swung across one from Wong and was caught at mid-wicket. Then the most pivotal part of the Vibes innings happened. A horrendous mixup between Parchment and McFarlane for an improbable single led to Parchment’s run-out, and the quiet hush in the Tropical’s camp erupted into wild celebrations. It was always acknowledged that to beat Vibes one had to get the wickets of Garrick and Parchment early, and now both were gone. The celebrations got wilder two runs later – at 160 – when McFarlane popped a Williams delivery to Morgan for the sixth wicket. Dyer, still recovering from illness that kept him from bowling, launched four huge sixes to keep it interesting. But the task was now too tall. Sheriff Baker and his team were cornered. Later, a rendition of a Bob Marley’s big hit echoed over the grounds, with the make over, “Tropical Shot The Sheriff”.