St. Elizabeth’s is known as a cricket-loving community and a large number of sports fans turned out to see two of the legends of the West Indian game, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle, once again showcase their talents at the Treasure Beach Sports Complex in St. Elizabeth.
Batting first, Gayle’s XI scored 156 runs for the loss of 6 wickets at the end of their allotted 20 overs and the ‘Universe Boss’ himself was the highest scorer with 52 runs off 37 balls. Besides, Gayle’s nephew Ricardo McGleachy scored 34 off 17 balls and Damion Ebanks scored 22.
While bowling, Howard Powell and Nehemiah Perry took a wicket each and Chrismer Santoki managed to take 2 wickets for 26 runs.
In reply, Lara’s XI scored 145 for 4 in 20 overs with Wavell Hinds scoring 43 off 46 balls, Lara 32 and Delroy Morgan 23.
When it was all over, Gayle’s XI won by 11 runs against Lara’s XI, but over 5,000 fans got a glimpse of batting maestro Lara and the Universe Boss.
Ironically, both Gayle and Lara were dismissed twice by no-balls, but the celebratory nature of the occasion meant the fans cheered the umpires’ decisions each time.
For Lara, having thousands of Jamaican fans turn up to support the event was a fitting reward. Lara’s opinion about this tournament was,
“It was great fun out there. It was a no-brainer coming out and supporting Daren Powell, and if I had to come out and do it again tomorrow, I would. To see the turnout is just spectacular and to see and feel the atmosphere with Chris Gayle and guys like Delroy Morgan and Wavell Hinds, who I played with in the past, I am looking forward to coming back.” Lara said
Gayle, who was Lara’s opposite, was overwhelmed by the support in the match and vowed to keep playing if the reception they continue to receive is like this.
“It’s a great feeling, I haven’t seen this crowd in a long time in Jamaica, so that goes to show that people still love cricket, and I know St Elizabeth is the heart of cricket, and big thanks must go out to Lara for taking time out of his busy schedule to take part.” Gayle said
Organizer Darren Powell was also delighted that fans were able to see some of their past cricketers turn back the clock, and from all indications, the event could garner more support to go ahead.
“I would love for next year to do a cricket clinic a couple of days before the event with some youngsters. I still have the youth in my focus.” Organizer Darren Powell Concluded