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New York Kings Of Eastern Conference U-19s

By Orin Davidson

New York rebounded from disastrous start to win the first ever Eastern Conference Under-19 title of the United States of America Cricket Association’s (USACA) national championships last weekend in Atlanta Georgia.

The Big Apple team brought smiles back to their supporters as they edged New Jersey/Washington by a whisker on net run rate to cart off the four-team competition trophy.

They outplayed Florida (South East Region) and Connecticut (North East Region) and got some help from the former team who upset New Jersey who had beaten New York in the opening round last Friday, to leave the three teams on two wins each.

But by virtue of New York winning their two games in less overs than the New Jersey and Florida with superior scoring rates, they clinched the title which was not at stake in the first three years of the national championship.

New York coach Linden Fraser said the triumph was justification for a team which pulled its socks up in the nick of time. The former Guyana fast bowler read the riot act to the players after the team lost to New Jersey in the opening game and seemed on the verge of relinquishing the national title they won last year even before the finals.

“I enforced a curfew for the time ever as a coach. It was lights out at 9 pm, they had to dress properly and do all the right things on and off the field,” Fraser told Cricket International.

The coach said poor shot selection caused their demise against New Jersey as top batsmen got out to bad deliveries.

The measures obviously paid off as New York went out the next day Saturday and took out Florida by six wickets with almost half the overs remaining.

Anand Singh led the victory charge with a solid all-round performance to condemn the strong Florida side to their lone defeat last Saturday. Batting first Florida were shot out for 148 in 46.4 overs. James Evans topscored with 27 as New York’s spinners ran rings around the batsmen. National allrounder Dunae Nathaniel who played in this year’s World Cup in Sri Lanka could only manage 17, going via the caught and bowl route by Karan Ganesh who bagged two wickets for 19 runs off his 10 overs. Singh was the main wicket taker, nabbing 3-27 while Kumar Ramsabad, known more for his batting ended with 2-11 off three and a half overs. Andre Kirton chipped in with 2-16 with his left arm spin.

Singh then led New York’s scoring with the bat, hitting 33 to take the Man of the Match award as New York replied with 152-4 off only 26.4 overs. Star batsman Akeem Dodson scored 25 before being run out and captain Ganesh also got 25 unbeaten. David Umadan got into the act with 22. Extras were a healthy 26.

Coming against the weakest team in the competition, New York put away Connecticut by seven wickets to seal the title, on the next day, last Sunday.

This time it was the pacemen who secured the victory with Dwayne Smith proving virtually unplayable. He blasted through the innings, snapping up four wickets for three runs from 4.2 overs as Connecticut were routed for 98 in 23.2 overs. Dwayne Hurley supported with 2-26. Kirton also created havoc, taking 2-4 and Ganesh 2-22.

Dodson hammered the opposition’s attack for 43 to take the Man of the Match prize as New York replied with 104-3 in 17 overs. Ganesh got 20 not out and Smith, who surprisingly did not get the MOM, added 20 to his wicket haul.

Connecticut ended the competition losing all three of their games.

New York will advance to the national finals along with the Eastern Conference runners up to take on the top two teams from the Western Conference for the national title later this summer in Washington.

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