Scarlet Ibis claw Hummingbirds in Namalco U-23 opener

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Scarlet Ibis’ Sion Hackett receives the man of the match award from TTCB president Azim Bassarath after his team’s 25-run victory over Hummingbirds in the Namalco U-23 Cup opening match at National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva, on Wednesday. – Courtesy TTCB


SCARLET IBIS had a flying start to the Namalco Under-23 Cup on Wednesday as they defeated Hummingbirds by 25 runs when first round action bowled off at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva.

Sent in to bat, Scarlet Ibis were dismissed for 216 in 48.3 overs, but they successfully defended their total, as Hummingbirds were bowled out for 191 in 43.3 overs.

Scarlet Ibis openers Nathaniel McDavid (46) and Leonardo Francis (39) put on a stand of 81 before McDavid was caught by Tariq Mohammed off Navin Bidaisee’s spin. Eleven runs later, Bidaisee struck again as he had Francis trapped leg before.

The pair’s removal sparked a small collapse as captain Kirstan Kallicharan (13), Giovanni Ramdenny (nine), Leonardo Julien (16) and Anderson Mahase (four) departed, in that order, to send them to 144/6 after 36.2 overs.

Sachin Seecharan (34) and Sion Hackett (29) however, rescued the innings by building a 62-run partnership which took Scarlet Ibis to 206.

When Hackett was caught by Mohammed off Damion Joachim, the remaining three wickets fell for just ten runs, which set a target of 217.

Bidaisee (3/32) and Joachim (3/34) finished with the best bowling figures for Hummingbirds.

In their turn at the crease, Hackett’s pace reaped quick rewards as he had Hummingbirds’ Mbeki Joseph (15) and skipper Cephas Cooper (one) both caught by Kallicharan after just 6.1 overs (23/2).

Middle order batsman Justyn Gangoo showed the most resistance as he topscored with 42 from 50 balls but Hackett would get his scalp, courtesy of a caught by Julien.

Mohammed scored 36, while Bidaisee and Avinash Mahabirsingh chipped in with 27 and 24 respectively.

Hackett finished on 4/44 from 9.3 overs while Ramdenny bagged 2/3 from two, and Mahase 2/16.

For his stellar performance with the ball and innings-saving knock, Hackett was adjudged man of the match.

The other Namalco Under-23 Cup match between Masqueraders and Flamingos at Inshan Ali Ground in Preysal was abandoned without a ball bowled because of a wet outfield.

At a short opening ceremony held before the match in Couva, the cricketers were challenged to take their destiny into their own hands as the 2023 domestic season bowled off.

Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) president Azim Bassarath urged the two teams to get seriously invested in their personal development.

“The TTCB is pleased to provide the opportunity for you all to address the national selectors as the U-23s are very important in our national development programme.

“However there is only so much that the TTCB can do. You also must take responsibility and become invested in your growth and development which will take your game to the next level,” said Bassarath.

The TTCB president, third vice-president Parasram Singh and TT Red Force coach David Furlonge met the players of both teams before the four-team Namalco-sponsored tournament bowled off.

Bassarath said the TTCB is placing emphasis on the U-23s because it is the only missing age group in the national set-up, which possesses a wealth of talent.

“I am hoping you all take the opportunity that is being presented by putting your best foot forward with individual performances that will help your team achieve success.”

He also thanked Namalco Construction Services Limited for their generous sponsorship of the TT$120k and said that this investment will significantly assist the national youth development plans of the TTCB.