Cayman Islands Prison may not be a great place to be an inmate but anyone playing for its cricket team is in jubilant mood this week.
The side consists of mostly prison officers and they will be doing a difficult job in a better frame of mind after reaching the final of the Money Express Knockout competition on Sunday.
They beat Greenies comfortably overhauling their 144-4 with ease thanks to a fine unbeaten 79 by batting hero Saheed Mohamed.
He showed exceptional patience in building his innings after Prison lost their first two wickets quickly. He dug in to stabilise the innings before finding his momentum later on and stepped it up in the end for Prison to reach 145-5 in 36 overs in a match reduced to 47 overs. Mohamed also took a couple of wickets with some tricky leg-breaks. Kevin Basil’s spin bowling for Prison was a crucial contribution. His figures of 3-15 belie the fact that he took wickets at crucial times when Greenies looked dangerous. Michael ‘Jacko’ Jackson top scored for Greenies with 27 and Josh Brown got 19 and took a couple of wickets.
The match was umpired by Courtney Young and Kenneth ‘Teacher’ Miller.
Greenies fast bowler Hector Robinson said: ‘Mohamed was definitely the difference between the teams. Their second top scorer only got 17. At least we finished second in the league.’
Robinson was in superb form himself, taking a couple of wickets and always troubling the Prison batsmen. The 41-year-old Jamaican is still one of Cayman’s fastest despite his age and the fact that work commitments, injury and attending the cricket world cup hampered his appearances to only four matches.
Robinson is chairman of the Stanford 20/20 committee that will introduce a professional league to Cayman this year. He said: ‘I am very competitive and work and train hard to make sure I won’t leave a game depressed after being hit all over the park. Our team’s Rupert Bool is as fast as anyone I’ve seen this season and Ryan Bovell in the Police side is one of the quickest too.’
Prison will play the winner of this Sunday’s other semi between Police and Esso. Police won the league going through the season unbeaten and are firm favourites against an Esso side that squeezed through against By-Rite last week.
Prison captain Troy David said: ‘Mohamed is the best all-rounder on the island and we back ourselves against anybody. We are the defending champs from last year and only lost twice in the league this season to Police which we hope to avenge.’
Prison manager Alton McDonald said: ‘We made some excellent breakthroughs when we got Jackson and Brown out who were building big scores. If Police reach the final it will be a grudge match as the last league loss was very controversial because it was interrupted by rains and we felt the overs were not calculated properly.’