Sergeant commands Regal to 3rd consecutive Florida Cup
An ultra-aggressive 85 from Rickey Sergeant gave Regal All Stars a commanding 131-run victory over Softball Cricket Canada (SCC) All Stars in the Open final of the 15th edition of the Florida Cup, which ended last Sunday in Fort Lauderdale.
The stocky right-hander walked in at number 4 with the now three-time champions being at 33-2 in the third over after winning the toss, and powered them to 233 for 7 from their 20 overs. However, at the start of his innings, he was just a spectator at the other end, playing the supporting role to Patrick Rooplall, who seemed a man possessed.
Rooplall hit two sixes and two fours off the first six balls he faced, to get the ball rolling in the resulting carnage at the Central Broward Regional Stadium — the only international cricket venue in North America. In the next over, Sergeant got into his stride, and started to match Rooplall shot for shot.
The attacking right handers took the score to 89-3 before Rooplall holed out at midwicket for 46 (3×4; 5×6) in the eighth over.
After Rooplall’s departure, Sergeant received support from Sewchand Budu, who made 16 (1×4; 1×6); and Eon Ellis, who made 22 not out (1×4; 1×6), before he was 5th man out at 196-5 in the 17th over, 15 runs short of what would have been a well-deserved century.
Ellis, Rabindra Ramnauth with 03, Martin Dutchin’s 06, and Delroy Pereira’s 10 not out (1×4; 1×6) then saw the champions past the 200-run mark.
Earlier, in-form opener Sachin Singh on 08 (2×4) and Captain Fazal Rafiek on 01 had fallen to Ramkissoon, who was the pick of the SCC bowlers with 3/33 from his four overs.
SCC’s reply was immediately off to a bad start when fast bowler Martin Dutchin (2/13) sent back opener A. Rukhram without scoring and K. Parbhudin on 06 in quick time. Dutchin was supported by opener Shilenda Ramnauth (1/13) to leave SCC on 28 for 3 after 8 overs — and they never recovered.
R. Ramsuchit, who top-scored with 47 (4×4, 2×6), and A. Sookdeo who made 22 were the only two batsmen in double figures when the innings ended at 101 in 19.4 overs. Kishore Smith was the most destructive Regal bowler, having snared 4/22, while Pereira picked up 2/23 (3.4). For his destructive innings of 85 (7×4; 6×6), Sergeant was later named Man of the Match. Sewchand Budhu was named Man of the Series.
Regal All Stars have now won three Florida Cups in a row, having copped the 2016 and 2017 titles.
In the other categories, Orlando Legends won the Over-50 title after beating South Florida Legends in the final, and SVC Corriverton took the Masters Over-40 title when they beat SCC Masters. The 15th edition of the Florida Cup was organised by the South Florida Softball Cricket League.
Across the three formats, there were 28 teams in all, with 10 each in the Open and Masters Over-40 categories, while there were 8 teams in the Legends Over-50 category.