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T&T Captures 50-Overs Championship

By John L. Aaron
Trinidad & Tobago captured the Ed Ahmad New York Caribbean Cricket Cup’s 50-Overs championship last Saturday at Idlewild Park in Rosedale, Queens.
The local soca cricket warriors defeated Pakistan by three wickets in an exciting finale to this year’s 50-Overs competition, which saw representative teams from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, a USA Development XI, a New York Youth Development XI and the finalists Trinidad & Tobago and Pakistan, compete for a $3,000. first prize and a giant-sized trophy.

T&T Extends Winning Streak

Led by Glen Lorick, Trinidad & Tobago captured its third Cup title in four years. At the end of the game, skipper Lorick announced his retirement from representing Trinidad & Tobago in the Ed Ahmad NY Caribbean Cup competition.
Winning the toss and electing to take first strike, Pakistan was following a successful pattern which brought them to the finals banquet. However, it was a day when the hungrier team would defy all ritualistic patterns.

Younas Delights Crowd

Pakistan skipper Nadeem Younas, no stranger to first-class cricket in the USA and his native Pakistan opened with a flurry of seven boundaries, delighting the just assembling crowd at the popular Idlewild Park. His knock of 47 was one of pure power-hitting, as he dispatched the ball to various parts of the boundary and once over it. His electrifying 47-run stay at the middle did not disappoint the sparse opening crowd, and helped add a 58-run second wicket partnership with young Hunan Munir (65), as Pakistan sought to steady their ship having lost opener M. Afzal for four ct. wktpr. Ballie off Roopchand.

Nadeem Younas was run out (or rather his runner was run out attempting a second run). A disappointed and somewhat angered Younas departed, bringing some quiet to the Pakistani batting, which managed to reach the 200 mark with a tremendous amount of diligence and patience.

Pakistan would have been further hard pressed to reach the two-century mark, had Trinidad & Tobago held on to the many offers which found the carpet. Dropping catches was one of the areas that T&T skipper Lorick cautioned his players prior to the start of the match.

Study In Youthful Patience
The Pakistani innings of 201 all out in 46.4 overs was, in large part a result of the patience of young Hunan Munir who stayed the course for his team, even ejecting the contents of his stomach at midfield, before being c. Roopchand b. Rampersad for 65. The young player’s knock included only four 4’s, but were it not for him and wicket-keeper Razzaq, lbw Rampersad, 32, things would have been worse for Pakistan.

Munir, a regular on the NY Region’s Under-19 squad was a study in youthful patience, as he appeared determined to bat out the entire innings, before he upchucked and was caught off the very next delivery. Eight of the Pakistani batsmen could only muster a collective 36 runs, as the talented squad fell to the spin of Rampersad and Baichan, two former Trinidad & Tobago national players.

The Pakistan wickets fell at 9, 67, 102, 111, 121, 181, 182, 199, 201 and 201. Bowling for T&T: D. Rampersad 7.4-0-31-3, R. Baichan 10-0-36-2 and D. Mohammed, I. Persad and D. Roopchand one wicket apiece for 19, 30 and 31 runs respectively.

T&T Stumbles To Glory
This is possibly the first year that Trinidad & Tobago competed in the Ed Ahmad Cup without the larger-than-life and “imported” T&T stars, and a tribute to the efforts of skipper Glen Lorick, who always believed in his squad and in turn made believers out of them. It may or may not be Lorick’s swan song, but it was certainly his finest moment as T&T’s skipper.

Trinidad & Tobago, after a somewhat decent start in contrast to Pakistan, quickly lost
four wickets for 75 runs, as the top order batsmen chasing an average of only 4 runs per over, appeared intent on finishing the match in ten overs or less. Their dismissals were the result of poor shot selection under the circumstances and much to the disgust of skipper Lorick and manager Jimmy Maharaj. It could have been worse as Pakistan lowered no fewer that four T&T catches to the carpet.

It appears as though the T&T batsmen they wanted to get on top of the bowling of the Pakistani pacers Adil and the other young (Wahab) Munir, but it was the latter that got on top of them, taking the first three of four T&T batsmen. Samuels with 5x4’s and 1x6 in his 31 pounced on the Pakistani bowling early, before returning a somewhat difficult catch to Munir, who held on to it for dear life. Samuels’ 31 came off of 24 balls in 27 minutes.

Picking Up The Pieces
T&T needed to get it together against Pakistan after losing some of their top order batsmen – S. Samuels, c&b W. Munir, 31, A. Ballie, lbw. Adnan, 12, D. Rampersad, c Naeem b. W. Munir, 5, and D. Roopchand c. wktpr. Razzaq b. W. Munir, 10. It was a disappointing turn of events, as Samuels, Rampersad and Roopchand have been among the runs for T&T throughout the tournament, but failed when it mattered most. Their departure saw the in-form Denzil James to the middle. However, James would strike a solitary boundary in his very valuable MVP knock of 41 off of 66 deliveries in 88 minutes, before departing. His knock was indeed deserving of the MVP title, as he forced himself to remain at the middle, in his attempt to bat out the remaining overs, without recording the “crowd delighting boundaries.”

Bringing It Home
Veteran Dave Mohammed’s knock of 22 off 31 deliveries helped put T&T back on track to the victory. His was a knock of experience and steadfastness, as T&T was running out of batsmen, even as Pakistan kept giving them dropped catch after dropped catch. Ironically, the last three batsmen used by T&T all scored 22 runs each. Mohammed’s lbw to R. Afzal saw skipper Glen Lorick entering the fray and needing to remain at the middle to bring home the anticipated T&T victory. It would not be easy, as Lorick’s 22 n.o. came off of 51 balls in just over one hour. His two boundaries were indicative of the necessary patience he was forced to exhibit as a skipper, in search of a victory and before a crowd that had swelled considerably since Pakistan occupied the middle. At the other end of Lorick was Kerwin John, batting considerably low in the order and also scoring 22 n.o. including 3x4’s and off 30 deliveries in 43 minutes at the crease. Together John and his skipper Lorick would see the victory home in 42.5 overs.

The T&T wickets fell at 42, 56, 70, 75, 102, 136 and 158. Bowling for Pakistan: Wahab Munir’s figures of 8-0-51-3 was the pick of the crop. Adil, Adan, Naeem and Afzal each grabbed one T&T scalp.

In the end it was Trinidad & Tobago and a sea of red, white and black celebrating another premier tournament victory. It was not exactly pretty, but as the saying goes – a win is a win. T&T stayed the course, even after losing their heads early in reply to Pakistan’s 201 runs. Lorick’s innings was one of pride, faith, hope and I am sure a little bit of fear; even though I am sure he would not admit it. However, in the final analysis it was Lorick who, together with John were determined to be there, if and when the 50th over had been bowled. That’s what players need to do more often in the longer versions of the game, because all runs are made in the middle and not back in the stands. You can only score runs at the middle, unless you are Charles Baker, scorer extraordinaire, and you are sitting at the scorer’s table.

Newyorkcricket.com congratulates Glen Lorick and the Trinidad & Tobago players and Manager Jimmy Maharaj on their successful journal to becoming 2006 Ed Ahmad NY Caribbean Cricket Cup 50-Overs Champions!
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