By Vinode Mamchan
The Bravo brothers Dwayne and Darren were on top of their game but their efforts could not help the defending champions the US All Stars as they were defeated in the finals of the 2017 US Open T20 tournament by seven wickets by the Somerset Cavaliers at the Central Broward Regional Park.
Darren Bravo who was the star of the tournament, scoring the most runs 334 fell for 16 and Dwayne got two, as the US All Stars sent in to bat made 158/8 of 20 overs. Darren Bravo had slammed an unbeaten 80 in the semi-finals and Dwayne got an unbeaten 56 as they made a victory target of 143 off 12 overs, look like a walk in the park, reaching 143 without loss of nine overs.
Playing the finals, just an hour later, the duo could not repeat the magic and fell early. Hamza Tariq and Jaskaran Malhotra were the two batsmen who rescued the batting for the US All Stars, after the early loss of the Bravo brothers. Tariq, the TKR batsman scored a classy 44 of 30 balls with three fours and three sixes, while Jaskaran who had earlier recorded two centuries in the tournament got his 31 of 28 balls with three fours and a six. Skipper Rizwan Cheema made 21 towards the end of 20 balls and Zishawn Qureshi scored an unbeaten 14 that included a huge six.
The pick of the bowlers for Cavaliers was Tahir Khan with 3/38. Khan was voted player of the final for this effort. In the semi-finals he grabbed four wickets for eight runs to send the California Bears, that included Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine and Lendl Simmons packing.
When Cavaliers started their reply, they never looked fussed and batted with great control in getting over the finish line.
Openers Sunny Sohal and Guyanese Gajanand Singh posted an opening stand of 56 runs for the Cavaliers and this took the fight out of the US All Stars. Singh made 24 of 17 balls, while Sohal counted 39 of 33 balls with three sixes and two fours.
When the two were sent back into the dugout, former West Indies opener Xavier Marshall turned up to put the icing on the cake. He slammed an unbeaten 64 of 36 balls with five fours and five sixes.
US ALL Stars 158/8 (20) (Hamza Tariq 44, Jaskaran Malhotra 31, Rizwan Cheema 21, Darren Bravo 16, Zishawn Qureshi 14no, Tahir Khan 3/38, Syed Najafshah 2/16, Muhammad Khalil 2/26) vs Somerset Cavaliers 159/3 (16.5) (Xavier Marshall 64no, Sonny Sohal 39, Gajanand Singh 24) – Somerset Cavaliers won by 7 wkts.