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Eastern American Cricket Association
League Kicks Off 20/20 Feast

By John L. Aaron

The Eastern American Cricket Association wrapped up its 40-overs schedule last Sunday and simultaneously kicked off its 2006 Twenty/20 tournament.

Following one week on the heels of the dramatic win by Guyana against Trinidad & Tobago in the Allen Stanford multi-million inaugural competition in Antigua, the EACA players appeared very excited at the opportunity of participating in their league’s own first such tournament.

Canal Fends Off Warriors
The mixture of experience, youth, enthusiasm, arrogance and determination to win, catapulted Canal No. 2 Polder to victories over East Side Warriors and a much depleted NY Challengers at Heckscher State Park, last Sunday.

Winning the toss, Canal elected to field against their first opponent East Side Warriors at Heckscher State Park III, while NY Challengers engaged Richmond Hill at Heckscher State Park II.

East Side Warriors behind the bats of Saud Alvi, 72, Ali Alvi 26, and H. Rafique, 26, saw the Warriors reach a decent 175 for 8 wickets off the allotted 20 overs. Bowling for Canal: Anand Singh grabbed 4 for 26, while the experienced Temal Singh snatched 2 for 27, to restrict the explosive Warriors to just under nine runs per over.

Canal, in reply and following a brief interruption for interpretation of the rules, reached 177 and the victory for nine wickets in 19.4 overs. The final 12 runs coming in the final four deliveries. Top scorers for Canal were Amar Singh, 39, Anand Singh, 21 and Temal Singh, 19. Ali Alvi was the Warriors best bowler with figures of 3 for 41.

NY Challengers Undone
In their second match of the day, Canal came up against a NY Challengers squad bereft of its skipper Steve Massiah and Lennox Cush, both of whom are representing the USA in the Americas Cup in Canada. Cush was coming off his financially rewarding exploits as a member of the victorious Guyana 20/20 squad in Antigua. In addition, Kaleem Bux and Marlon Kallicharran were both recipients of disciplinary action taken by the NY Challengers management team, and as such did not represent the club in its first 20/20 challenge.

Having toiled against a challenging Richmond Hill and finding itself without its usual arsenal of batsmen and bowlers, with which the team has dominated the EACA, NY Challengers faced an assertive and energetic Canal No. 2 Polder, willing to play blat ball against Challengers’ frontline bowlers Kingston and Nandalall, only to punish the less used hurlers in their quest to a six-wicket victory.

Opting to bat first and no doubt give its batsmen an opportunity to rest, NY Challengers reached 143 all out in 19.3 overs. The very dependable Andrew Gonsalves fared better with his bat in this contest, falling just three runs shy of a half-century, while K. Nandalall recently promoted in the batting line-up contributed 20 in the losing cause. Bowling for Canal: Temal Singh had 4 for 24 accompanied by Anand Singh, with 3 for 21.

Canal in response to Challengers’ modest total reached 144 in 18.2 overs for the loss of only four wickets. Amar Singh, 37, Anand Singh, 29 and David Umadhan, 20 sang Canal’s praises. Thus, Canal No. 2 Polder posted two impressive wins in the EACA’s inaugural 20/20 tournament.

Richmond Hill Splits 20/20
Richmond Hill challenged NY Challengers in their first 20/20 encounter last Sunday at Heckscher State Park, losing by 20 runs, after Challengers won the toss and elected to bat.

Opener Q. Farrouq scored 70 (7x4’s and 3x6’s), while other worthwhile contributions came from P. Mahadeo, 42 and Andrew Gonsalves, 29, as NY Challengers posted a healthy 195 for 6 off their 20 overs. The crowd was disappointed in not being able to see the number 10 and 11 batsmen, Shook Shivmangal and Al Akbar at the crease. It has since been reported that both players have been in camp for the upcoming games, in the absence of Messrs. Massiah, Cush and those declared persona non grata within NY Challengers. The Challengers wickets fell at 4, 95, 112, 145, 166 and 176.

Bowling for Richmond Hill, Imran Ali and Shiv Raghubar each snared two Challengers wickets. at 26 and 40 runs respectively.

Needing almost 10 runs per over for victory, Richmond Hill was challenged, but responded with a respectful 175 for 9 off the allotted 20 overs. Tamesh Balwant, 40, and Steve Raghubar, 40 n.o., along with Ramphal Bactowar, 21, spearheaded the gallant attempt for the Hill. The wickets fell at 15, 16, 44, 94, 97, 108, 113, 118 and 152. Andrew Gonsalves had 3 for 37 off his 4 overs, while Q. Farrouq had 2 for 55.

Hill Better Warriors
Richmond Hill coming off the defeat at the hands of NY Challengers fared much better against East Side Warriors in their second match of the day, routing a hapless Warriors XI for 107. Only two Warriors reached double-figures. Opener S. Alvi and P. Sushant each scored 22, with Mr. Extras contributing the largest score of 40.

The East Side Warriors wickets fell at 35, 37, 51, 67, 85, 97, 101, 101, 106 and 107. The Hill’s Sunesh Wazid was the most successful bowler with figures of 4-1-13-4, along with Imran Ali and Shiv Raghubar, each with 2 wickets and at a cost of 18 and 21 respectively.

Richmond Hill in reply and following a somewhat disastrous start, polished off the Warriors’ 107 in 11.1 overs, losing five wickets for 108 along the way. The principal scorers were Steve Raghubar, 34 (6x4’s), Sunesh Wazid, 25 (4x4’s) and Mustaq Yussuff, 20 (4x4’s). Three other Hill batsmen refused to contribute any runs, while Claude Thomas chipped in with a deuce and Mr. Extras, 27. The Hill’s wickets fell at 2, 4, 67, 102 and 104.

Golden Arrow Bars Ambassadors
Baisley Pond Park was the scene of the only other 20/20 clash, with Unified Ambassadors engaging Golden Arrow.

Batting first Unified Ambassadors rattled up 127 all out in their 20 overs. Middle-order batsman I. Ally enjoyed an aggressive knock of 49 (5x4’s and 1x6) and was the only Ambassador admitted with double-figures. The Ambassadors’ wickets fell at 22, 27, 33, 33, 35, 82, 89, 106, 117 and 127. P. Seicharran 4-1-12-3 shared the Arrows scalps with R. Boodhoo 4-1-20-2.

In response Golden Arrow, 128 and behind the bats of recent Guyana Twenty/20 hero Narsingh Deonarine, 55 n.o. (10x4’s), and local big bat Amirnauth Ramcharitar, 62 n.o. (5x4’s and 4x6’s) knocked off the Ambassadors by 10 wickets.

EACA Wraps Up 40-Overs Schedule
The EACA concluded its 40-overs schedule with two matches last weekend. Heckscher State Park I saw Atlantis destroyed by a buoyant Bayshore Tigers.

Tigers Maul Atlantis
Winning the toss and electing to take first strike, Bayshore Tigers reach 202 all out in the reduced 30 overs affair, with middle-order batsmen Naveed, 44 (5x4’s) and I. Omar, 34 (6x4’s), leading all scorers. The Bayshore Tigers wickets fell at 26, 34, 52, 121, 138, 154, 174, 192 and 202. Yahawee Coffie with very impressive figures of 1-0-10-3, along with skipper Cuthbert Mendonca 6-0-34-2 helped stem the Tigers’ roar, as Atlantis with a no-excuses reason for playing with only nine men.

Atlantis appeared to have lost the game somewhere along the Southern State Parkway, as a lethargic group of players made the long and arduous walk to and from the middle, with not much time spent there. Only skipper Mendonca, 22 (4x4’s) and veterans William White, 19 (2x4’s) and Haseeb Sheriff, 17 (1x4 and 1x6) created any hope. Atlantis was very quickly dismissed for a paltry 108 in 16.4 overs. Tigers’ Waqas 4-0-11-3, Umer 6-0-22-2, Abdullah 4-0-32-2 and Arif 2.4-0-22-1, were responsible for the rout.

Everest/ACS Asserts Position
Knocked from the number one spot after leading for several weeks, Enmore fell further; losing to newly crowned 40-overs champs Everest/ACS, at Bay Park.

Winning the toss and taking first strike, Everest/ACS knocked up 231 for 8 in the allotted 40 overs and under ideal playing conditions. Everest/ACS’s batsmen spread the wealth around, with the prolific Amjad Khan reaching 60 off 52 balls in 95 minutes. Opener S.N. Singh contributed a healthy 36 along with N. Solomon, 31. The wickets fell at 38, 62, 113, 158, 179, 184, 201 and 203. The veteran spinner Deryck Kallicharran was Enmore’s most successful bowler grabbing 3 for 46 off eight overs.

Enmore looking to regain some respect after being toppled from the top spot, replied with a very shaky and uncertain start, losing their first four wickets for 28 runs, before a fifth-wicket stand yielded 74 runs. Eventually, Enmore would collapse all out at 168 in 36.5 overs. Top scorers were N, Mohamed, 43 and S. Alli, 40, as the Enmore wickets fell at 1, 1, 28, 28, 104, 110, 126, 161, 164 and 168. Karran Ganesh with 3 for 24 off 5.5 overs.

Everest/ACS’s 63-run victory assured them the league’s 40-overs championship ring for 2006. They now, must prepare to do battle once more under the leadership of Zamin Amin in the EACA’s Big-4 semi-finals against Richmond Hill tomorrow at high noon, at Lido Beach.

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