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Chandrika, Montfort star in Vikings Super 9 triumph

Players and supporters of Vikings celebrate their Super 9 championship win.

By Frederick Halley

TORONTO, Canada – Led by fine batting performances from former Guyana and West Indies opener Rajendra Chandrika and current Canadian all-rounder Mark Montfort, Vikings retained the Toronto & District Super 9 title with an easy six-wicket victory over archrivals Centurions in last Sunday’s final, played at Maple Leaf Cricket Club ground, King City.

The game, reduced to 36 overs because of a damp pitch, saw Centurions restricted to 176 for eight and Vikings reaching the required target with five overs to spare.

Chandrika, who is aiming to regain his place in the Guyana team, stroked a fluent 60 off 70 balls, which included four fours, two fives and a six. The stocky right-hander, who batted at number three, shared in two important partnerships after Vikings lost experienced opener Rayyan Pathan (12) with only 13 runs on the board in the second over.

The second-wicket partnership between Chandrika and opener Marvin Small (32) yielded 61 runs while the Enterprise-born batsman added a further 98 for the third wicket with his Guyana-born teammate Montfort whose 48 off 52 balls was laced with eight fours.

By the time Chandrika and Montfort were dismissed within 14 runs of each other, both aiming to finish off the win in a hurry, Vikings were well in sight of victory which was duly achieved with skipper Royston Crandon and Raj Nannan on 16 and two undefeated, respectively.

There was one wicket each for Ruvindu Gunasekera, Balaji Rao, Raymond Byone and Atiba Alert for 23, 28, 34 and 48 runs respectively.

Earlier, Centurions started disastrously with former Guyana Under-19 fast bowler Jeremy Gordon sending back opener Vidhu Adhihetty and number three batsman Mehrab Hossain for golden ducks in the first over with a mere three runs on the board.

It took a brave innings of 70 from Pathirana Dhanuka to bring some respectability to the innings. Dhanuka, who batted at number four, and struck three fours and two sixes, shared in several useful partnerships before he went via run-out off the final delivery of the innings. He added 60 for the eighth wicket with Atiba Alert (20 with two fours) to resurrect the innings from 116 for seven in the 19th over to the eventual 176 for eight after 36.

Gordon ended with two for 46 off seven overs while Montfort completed a fine all-round performance with two for 50, also from seven. Crandon, Nannan and former Guyana Under-19 skipper Eugene LaFleur chipped in with one wicket each.

Vikings advanced to the final after their semi-final encounter against Victoria Park was rained out the previous weekend. Based on T&D playing conditions, there are no rain days for semi-finals; hence the team with the highest points during the season will advance to the final. Centurions defeated JB Masters in their semi-final clash.

In last year’s final, Vikings inflicted a huge 116-run defeat on JB Masters to end a 21-year drought, although they were declared joint-champions in the 2017 controversial final versus Centurions – a decision that did not go down well with executives and players of the club.

Vikings’ long-standing president Bhowan Persaud praised his charges for a fantastic display, not only in the final but also for their outstanding performances throughout the 2019 season.

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