News day / NICKOLAI MADRAY
Defending champions Hillview College defeated Presentation College Chaguanas by eight wickets on Saturday to reach the final of Powergen’s Intercol T20 at the Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba. Hillview will face Naparima College, looking to claim their second title of the season in the final on May 4.
Batting first, Presentation Chaguanas posted 123 runs for the loss of seven wickets from their overs. Isaiah Ali top-scored for the side from central with 34 runs, while Matthew Patrick scored 30 runs. A disciplined Hillview bowling unit was led by Rickash Boodram who copped two wickets for 13 runs in one over, while Ronaldo Forester claimed one for seven runs.
In response, Keagan Simmons guided Hillview to their target of 124 runs, losing just two wickets in the process. Simmons stroked an unbeaten 60 runs, while Kirstan Kallicharan contributed 36 runs and Navin Bidaisse got to a brisk 22 runs.
The win sees Hillview on the cusp of a double yet again after retaining their league crown earlier this season.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, head coach of Hillview College Richard Kelly snr, said, “The squad is feeling elated as you would expect, being in this position for the second year running, and they are full of confidence heading into the final. Of course, I keep emphasizing that we should never take anyone for granted and this year’s other finalists, Naps, are an excellent team.”
Noting the possible threat that Naparima’s star batsman and West Indies U-19 player, Cephas Cooper, can pose towards his squad, he continued, “Cephas is an extraordinary player and we would not be taking him lightly at all, but, while we may wish him all the best on the day, we will not be going easy in the final.”
Indicating several of his players are preparing for upcoming exams, the Hillview coach said, “It may be a bit difficult to get them out on a regular basis for training before the finals, but whenever we can, we intend to put in some time for us to be ready for the match.”
The final of the SSCL Intercol T20 will take place at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. The Girls Open final will also be played on the same day at 2 pm with Barrackpore East against either St. Stephen’s College or Holy Name Convent Port Of Spain. The boys final will begin at 6 pm.