MAROONERS CROWNED SUPER50 CHAMPIONS

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Strong bowling sets things up, batting formalises first regional title

Combined Campuses & Colleges Marooners are the new champions of the West Indies Super50 Cup.

A whirlwind half-century from opener Kyle Corbin to follow a stifling bowling performance propelled the Barbados-based composite side to a six-wicket victory over Guyana Jaguars in the Grand Final on Sunday at Kensington Oval here.

All but 12 of Corbin’s 72 from 53 balls were in boundaries and he shared a Marooners record opening stand of 109 with left-hander Kjorn Ottley to help them successfully chase a target of 205 for a victory that gave them their first regional title in any format at the third time of asking.

Left-hander Nicholas Kirton formalised the result with 74 balls remaining, when he pulled a short ball from Romario Shepherd to the wide long-on boundary for four, sparking jubilant scenes among the Maroooners faithful.

“This victory means a lot to me,” said Marooners captain Carlos Brathwaite. “A lot of people have been telling me over the last year that I needed to sacrifice some of the franchise (Twenty20) cricket and return to the first-class game.

“I spoke to (Marooners head coach) Floyd Reifer about trying to get my batting back on track and the opportunity to come lead the Marooners, if possible. Spoke to Kyle and got his blessing, as he was the incumbent captain, and for such big decisions and sacrifices to be made and for it to culminate in a victory, and for us to go down in the history books, it’s a special feeling.”

He added: “Our motto was that we wanted to be respected around the region. Floyd instilled in us that we were playing to win which was different to the past, where we just came looking to be competitive. When you are competitive and you get that close, it’s not winning. You always have near-misses.

“This year, we came to win and did a lot of soul searching. . .but the message was clear – if we want to win, we needed to play a brand of cricket that was attacking, no fear and since then the message from the dressing room was always the same. This is a culmination of a lot of things and a lot of hard work.”

Earlier, Jermaine Levy topped a defiant half-century from Tagenarine Chanderpaul with a return of 4-43 from 10 overs, as the Jaguars, sent in to bat on a slow pitch, were bowled out for 204 in 49.1 overs.

Brathwaite, the WINDIES Twenty20 captain, snared 3-42 in his allotted 10 overs and Akeem Jordan captured 2-30 from 7.1 overs.

“We are very disappointed as a group,” said Jaguars head coach Esuan Crandon. “I thought we played well in the group stage heading into the knockout stages and fought well against Jamaica to get into the Grand Final, but we did not play our best here.

“We kept losing wickets at crucial times and we did not have any substantial partnerships to really to take us to a respectable total – but Marooners played well, they had a good start, Corbin played a good innings and put some pressure on us and took the game away from us in the Power Play.”

Chanderpaul led the way for the Jaguars with 56 from 95 balls that included just four fours, Raymon Reifer supported with 38 and Trevon Griffith added 20.

But the Jaguars failed to build significant partnerships and every time it looked like they would break free they lost a wicket and lost their chance to draw level with Trinidad & Tobago Red Force on 11 titles.

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