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Ed Ahmad Cup
Exciting Finale Halts T&T and Pakistan Clash

By John L. Aaron
Cricket the glorious game of uncertainties, lived up to its cliché billing last Saturday at Idlewild Park in Queens, NY, as the uncertainty of the outcome of the game involving Trinidad & Tobago and Pakistan see-sawed toward an exciting finale, before being halted by several uncertain factors.

Trinidad & Tobago vs. Pakistan
Batting first, Pakistan behind some exhilarating hitting from skipper Nadeem Younis’ 36 off 17 balls (5x4’s and 2x6’s), was off to an exciting start despite the fall of fellow opener A. Ali for a duck. The hefty slugger had the crowd into the game and on their feet as he displayed some awesome hitting power in his 27 minutes at the crease.

Such was the pace of the game, as all of the Pakistani batsmen sought to go over the top, resulting in a collective 11x4’s and 6x6’s for a team score of 171 for 6 in 20 overs. Top scorer was R. Malik with 39 off 34 balls, with 3x4’s and 2x6’s. J. Afridi supplied 29 from his bat in as many minutes at the middle.

Pakistan’s wickets fell at 25, 50, 99, 104, 119 and 130. T&T’s Denis Rampersad had 2 for 36 off his four overs, while Jagmohan, James and Lorick each grabbed one wicket.

In reply and seeking to meet tournament leader Guyana in the final, Trinidad & Tobago got off to a poor start losing their first four wickets for 46 runs. However, Dennis Roopchand’s 87 not out showed some class, resistance and hope for the Soca Warriors of New York cricket. Roopchand was ably supported by Dave Mohammed’s 41. It’s unfortunate that Roopchand did not reach his century, despite still recording the highest individual score so far in the 2006 tournament.

It was during Roopchand and wicket-keeper S. Balley’s knock at the crease that all hell broke loose. Hitting over mid-wicket for a six, Roopchand was caught just inside the boundary by the Pakistan fieldsman, who realizing that his momentum would carry him over the boundary, threw the ball up in the air classic celebratory manner fashioned by so many fieldsmen. His ending up beyond the boundary was interpreted as having caught the ball beyond the boundary, resulting in the umpire signaling six.

At this stage of the game, Trinidad & Tobago were positioned at 160 for 7 and 18.2 overs completed, needing 12 runs for victory. Following the umpire’s call, several spectators close to the mid-on boundary rushed the field to encourage the umpire to reverse his decision. With the adrenalin, testosterone, sweat glands and vocal meters rising, not to mention some very colorful language and fading light, the umpire’s called it quits. Thus, bringing an end to an otherwise exciting finale to an equally exciting match. Could T&T have gone on to win the match? Could Pakistan have pulled out the victory? We’ll never know. However, we can find out today, as the match has been scheduled to be replayed by the organizing committee, following a hasty mid-week confab in Queens.

In the absence of a promised umpire’s report on the match, the Ed Ahmad Cup committee were forced to review the circumstances that led up to the abrupt ending of the match, and to arrive at a decision in the best interest of the game and the teams involved. The committee also found it necessary to appoint a disciplinary committee to review the ungentlemanly conduct of player(s) during the melee.

The disciplinary committee headed by Clifford Hinds and including Lloyd Dixon and John Aaron, met during the week and is reported to have imposed a monetary fine on at least one player for his behavior at the match.

The match has been rescheduled for a 10:00 am start at the Floyd Bennett Cricket facility in Brooklyn, New York.

Guyana versus NY Development Youth
Guyana took advantage of the opportunity of adding to their points and standing in the Twenty/20 tournament, defeating a NY Development XI at the same venue.

Batting first, Guyana made light work of the Development XI’s bowling reaching 177 for the loss of 5 wickets in their 20 overs. Sudesh Dhaniram with a stylish 68 including 4x4’s and 4x6’s led the way. Other contributors were A. Gonsalves, 28; B. George and Z. Amin, 25 and 20 not out, respectively. The Guyana wickets fell at 26, 45, 100, 101 and 132. B. Migul 2 for 18 and K. Ganesh 2 for 24 were the main wicket-takers.

In reply, the NY Development XI reached 113 for 7 off their 20 overs.

F. Migul with 26 not out along with skipper Karran Ganesh, also with 26, established some credibility to the NY Development Team’s tally. However, it was not enough to overcome the Guyana team’s tally.

Guyana’s Bhim George grabbed 3 for 15 off 4 overs, while Sunesh Dhaniram and Harry Harrinarine each snatched two wickets. The NY Development XI’s wickets fell at 16, 27, 48, 49, 62, 75 and 75.

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