Defending champions East Zone face the representative team from South in a clash of the undfeated in the final of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) Under-15 tournament today, Thursday (March 10, 2016) at the Alescon Comets Ground at Pierre Road in Charlieville.
Managers of the teams on Wednesday both expressed confidence that the 2016 championship trophy will be theirs after the 50-overs-a-team match which gets underway from 9.30 am.
Kazim Mohammed said the East Zone boys are bound for history after dominating the Under-15 competition for the past six years and although he expects a challenge from the South team, he believes that their reign will extend for yet another year.
With convincing victories over North, Tobago and North-East in the three-round preliminary stage of the TTCB sponsored competition, East have banked heavily on the strong batting performances of opening batsman/wicketkeeper Leonardo Julien and the allround brilliance of Samir Ali. Julien, who is pictured, is the current captain of the National U-15 team as well.
“The boys have responded well to what the coach has been telling them and with history weighing heavily on their young shoulders, we expect them to embrace the opportunity and keep the Under-15 trophy in the East Zone cabinet,” said Mohammed.
Equally assured is Shakar Maharaj, manager of the impressive South squad who have rattled up three scores in excess of 240 runs in two preliminary round matches and the semi-final of the tournament.
Maharaj said their frontline batsmen Darren Samlal, Kyle Roopchand, Antonio Gomez and Tariq Mohammed have made light work of the opposing bowlers and will be counted on to do the same against East Zone in the final.
“We are also indebted to Vanir Maharaj, a left-arm quickie who has posed serious problems for the top half of rival teams which has put us in a very advantageous position. He also had a personal best match-haul of six wickets for 35 runs against South-East in the third round,” said Maharaj.
The manager credited the team’s success to the excellent groundwork laid by coach Anil Lakhanwho he said had been working with cricketers who have been playing together since they were Under-13s and have formed the backbone of their respective schools’ age group teams.