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Ed Ahmad New York Caribbean Cricket Cup
50-Overs Semi Finals Excitement

By John L. Aaron

The 2006 Ed Ahmad New York Caribbean Cricket Cup 50-Overs semi finals is expected to generate quite a bit of interest tomorrow, as Guyana and Pakistan clash at Idlewild Park in Rosedale, Queens, and Trinidad & Tobago take on Jamaica at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. Both games get underway at 11:00 am.

Guyana’s Biggest Challenge
Guyana without the likes of its skipper Steve Massiah and all-rounder Lennox Cush will be tested against an in-form Pakistani squad tomorrow in Queens, New York. Both Massiah and Cush are currently peddling their talents for the USA in the Americas Cup, in neighboring Canada. With the veteran and former Guyana and USA skipper Zamin Amin at the helm, Guyana may not be as depleted as some pundits are arguing, as Narsingh Deonarine, fresh off of his heroic exploits in the Allen Stanford multi-million dollar Twenty/20 tournament in Antigua, is expected to join the squad.

However, Pakistan behind the hard-hitting bats of Nadeem Younis and Amjad Khan may very well prove too much for the Guyanese. However, as the biblical saying goes - the race is not for the swift, but he who endureth to the end. It is a 50-overs contest and the strongest will survive.

Guyana Over Windwards
Last week, Guyana enjoyed an impressive win over the Windward Islands. The Windwards were scuttled all out for 145. Narsingh Deonarine with figures of 10-0-34-5 was the pick of the Guyana crop of bowlers.

Guyana replied with 147 for the loss of three wickets. Marlon Kallicharran, 41 and Andrew Gonsalves, 40, topped the charts, with Narsingh Deonarine contributing 28, n.o. along with Bhim George, 22, n.o. At that time the team was also skippered by the indefatigable Zamin Amin, in the absence of Guyana’s regular skipper Steve Massiah. Zamin Amin is a cricket tactician and will use everything at his disposal to thwart the efforts of the Pakistanis. An ardent student of the game, Amin has outwitted his opponents on several occasions and will need to employ some, if not all of those skills tomorrow against Pakistan.

Pakistan on the other hand has Malik Razaq, Amjad Khan and Nadeem Younis, hard hitters of the ball along with spinners Rashid and Hunan. The game promises to be an exciting match-up and fans are encouraged to arrive early, so as not to miss any of the anticipated fireworks.

Pakistan Tops Barbados
Last week, Pakistan behind 74 from Malik Razaq and 65 from all-rounder Rashid, made circles around Barbados at Van Cortlandt Park, in the Bronx. Batting first Pakistan scored 281 in 44 overs. The Barbadian bowlers Benn, Bryan and Peter Singh each grabbed three wickets for 14, 41 and 59 respectively, as the middle-order Pakistani batting line-up took advantage of a struggling Barbados bowling attack.

In response, Barbados could only reach 174 all out in 40 overs. Top scorer was Headley with 38, followed by Brawaithe with 27. Pakistani’s Rashid snatched 3 for 38 off 8 overs, while team-mate Hunan snared 3 for 35 off his 9 overs.

NY Youth XI Topples Jamaica
A New York Youth Development XI upset a somewhat depleted Jamaica squad at the Floyd Bennett facility in Brooklyn, last weekend.

Jamaica failing to start with a full squad and forfeiting five overs, came up against a very motivated Youth XI and eventually ran out of gas, but not without adding some excitement at the game’s end, and eventually losing by two runs.

Batting first the NY Youth Development team reached 282 all out in 49.3 overs. Former Trinidad & Tobago national Under-19 batsman Manoj Sirju blasted 60 (10x4’s). The twenty-one year old muscular youth displayed some awesome stroke-play, dispatching the ball to the boundaries with relative ease, C. Alexander, 35 and F. Mendonza, 27 added to the NY Youth tally.

In response, Jamaica with some of its top-line players playing away, soon found themselves struggling against their much younger opponents. Jamaican opener S. Jackson with a painstaking 72 teamed up with one of Jamaica’s most recognizable batsmen in the line-up, national player Rohan Alexander, 90, in an effort to halt the hungry youths, coached by Linden Fraser and managed by Rudy Persaud. In the forty-fifth over Jamaica had a chance to squeeze out the victory, but some very tidy bowling youth skipper Karran Ganesh and much younger Alexander, saw the NY Youth home with their very first win and the upset of Jamaica. The youth bowlers shared the eight Jamaican scalps equally among four of its seven bowlers used. The victory though a somewhat diluted one, should still boost the confidence of the individual youths for further competitions.

The NY Youth Development team played spoiler to Jamaica, by effectively knocking Jamaica out of the 50-overs competition; or rather Jamaica knocked itself out of contention by failing to show up in full force.
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