Paramount wins final-ball thriller

Paramount players celebrate after Omar Willis hit the winning runs.

It was an exciting climax to Cayman Cricket’s 2017 Elite League with Paramount scoring the winning runs in dramatic fashion off the final ball to win the title over Sol on Sunday, 23 July, at Jimmy Powell Oval in West Bay.

After winning the toss, Sol skipper Ramon Sealy opted to bat first in the match reduced from 40 overs to 30 overs due to morning rains.

Sol displayed little urgency to start the innings and took 24 balls before the first runs were scored. Tight bowling from Paramount also contributed to the slow start. After five overs, there were only six runs on the board.

After opener Ricardo Roach was caught behind, Darren Cato came to the wicket. His presence would be the sole pillar of stability for much of the innings. As partners were sent back to the pavilion, Cato kept his cool even though the runs were slow to come.

With the score on 100 for eight, in came Wayne Cato to provide a partner that Darren could rely on. Rotating the strike with regularity, Darren Cato began to open up and dispatch the ball to the boundary. The pair put on 40 runs for the ninth wicket, the biggest partnership of the innings, with Wayne Cato scoring a composed 11.

Darren Cato had 63*

Darren Cato stayed till the end with 63 not out, as Sol laboured their way to 140 for nine off their 30 overs.

Paramount captain Omar Willis shared his thoughts with about the mindset needed for the chase. “We thought 140 was a reachable score but we knew the pitch started to slow up, so we knew it would have taken a lot of discipline in running down the score. We decided that partnerships were key in winning the match,” he said.

So, off they went but with the openers unable to get any starts, it was left to the middle order of Deno McInnis, Willis and Paul Manning to steady the ship. McInnis and Willis pressed on before McInnis was out for 27. Manning then joined the charge and put 29 runs under his belt before being dismissed. Willis, though remained to the end.

Conroy Wight congratulates Omar Willis

Although the total on the board might not have appeared large, it came down to Paramount needing eight runs from the final over. Then it was three from the final ball with Willis on 48, who struck the winning runs with a flick into the vacant fine leg area and brought up his half century to finish with an unbeaten 51.

“We would have liked to have won more comfortably but that’s cricket – we lost a couple of wickets. We knew that one of us had to bat through to the end, so I just took the responsibility,” the captain said.

“It’s a good feeling but at that stage, I even forgot about [making my half century] until I came off the field and they were congratulating me on the half century. I was only thinking about the three runs we needed to win,” he said.

Paramount wins the title with a three-wicket victory.

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