By Conroy Reid.
Dominating performances by Dean Morgan of Tropical Sports Club and Damian Bryce of Vibes Sports Club, in the semifinal games of the GSCL championship chase, helped each club stamped their ticket into the title game set for Sunday, October 7.
Morgan (pictured right) returned to form with the bat in a flashback effort, reminiscent of his outstanding six century season last year, by blasting a ton with seven 6s and twelve 4s as Tropical racked up 337 for 5 against this year’s surprise contender, Conrad Hunte Atlanta. He then returned to complete an extraordinary days effort by claiming a five- for with figure of 8-1-25-5. Bryce, continuing his first year stint in the league, exploded for 77 n.o, and along with Garrick’s 39 led Vibes rout of Caribbean Sports, chasing down 117 in just under 10 overs.
The stage is set for the continuation of a now fully developed and much heated rivalry between Atlanta’s two premier teams … though, except for last year’s Tropical’s victory in the title game, the recent matches have been pretty much one-sided.
Semi-Finals Round-up:At Lithonia Park: CSC 117 all out; Lambert 35 n.o; Williams 4 for 10; Brown 2 for 17; Vibes 120 for 1; Bryce 77 n.o CSC, with exception of Jamaica national captain - Tamar Lambert, and Shawn Beckford who was foolishly run out, proved no match for the highly effective Vibes bowling led by Jamaica National leg spinner Odean Brown, and senior cup paceman Orraine Williams.
Taking first strike after being sent in to bat, CSC met early disaster when Brown was late to respond to call from Smart and was run out for two. Smart, after launching a six over deep backward square leg, then failed to get on top off one that popped from Dyer and was caught at slips for eight. Gayle and Beckford then batted cautiously for a while before Gayle lost patience and swung wildly at Lyle and was bowled. The best partnership of the CSC innings then followed between Lambert and Beckford. This seemed set for a big score before it was cut short by a direct hit on a throw from the boundary by Dyer that caught Beckford nonchalantly reaching for the crease, only to be run out. This proved to be the catalyst of a wreckage.
The next six batsmen could only muster 17 runs total, as Williams took 3 in four balls, and Brown scalped two, while Lambert was left stranded. The Vibes run chase was like a wild horse stampede: 22 runs in the first over; 20 in the second, and 18 from two others. Lambert slowed things a little with 1 for 11 off 3.5, but the runs gate was already open and Vibes cantered home by nine wickets.
At Burdette Park: Tropical 337 for 5; D. Morgan 127; Powell 63 n.o, Givance 60; CHACSC 163 for 9; Edmondson 61, D. Morgan 5 for 25. Tropical’s batsmen, led by Morgan’s brilliant ton, warmed up in preparation for the upcoming final by recovering from last week’s humiliating loss in the T20 final against Vibes, to post a huge score. This was built on a foundation century second wicket stand between Morgan and captain Al Givance, 60 with three 6s and six fours.Former West Indies A player Tony Powell then chipped in with a very solid 63, including three 6s and five fours. This total was pretty such insurmountable for CHACSC, as Morgan completed his special ton and five-for day in one of “those once in a lifetime performance”. Young Kweise Edmondson top-scored with 61.