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Vintage Palmer Blasts Cosmos Into M.C.L. Final

(CCC) – The tensions were high and conditions near perfect for the match-up between these two to ranked teams- Cosmos/Progressive - for a spot in the MCL final, however, controlled spells from Martin Nurse, Ashmul Ali, David Mohamed and a searing one from Dennison Thomas followed by a brilliant unbeaten century from Cosmos captain Dixeth Palmer virtually obliterated Progressive hopes, and reserve a spot for Cosmos in the MCL final when the two teams met at Floyd Bennett test field last Sunday.

A careful opening partnership of 47 runs between Kester Sylvester and Richard Staple (16) began to set the stage for Progressive after they were sent in to bat. But, when Martin Nurse (3 for 31 off 8 overs) induced Staple to attempt an ambitious drive into the hands of mid-on, and then with his next delivery -a perfect Yorker- uprooted Donald Bennett’s the middle stump, it was a struggle thereafter. A bowling change further pressurized this opponent. The fiery Dennison Thomas (1 for 25 off 8 overs) left a very bruised Kevil George until he was reduced to a swipe off Ashmul Ali (2 for 29 off 8 overs). Ali further frustrated Sylvester (38) before trapping him plumb. At 119 for 7 in the 31st over, L. Spence (40) and M. Gray (27) showed some resistance as the progressive total closed on a reasonable 172 for 8.

After a satisfied performance in the field and a decision that so far proved correct, it required a concentrated effort form the Cosmos batsmen to zip up this match. Openers Dixeth Palmer and Dennis Evans were satisfied to wait and punish the loose balls, a tactic that is in quite contrast to their batting styles. When Evans (31) departed off a miscued pull in the 10th over with the score on 51, Orlando Baker was satisfied to play himself into a comfortable position at the other end giving his captain full support.

Palmer remained defiantly unruffled on his way to his second century of the season. A captain’s knock of 108 not out, in a must win match, included nine fours and one six. It was a match-winning second wicket partnership of 120 in 20 overs with a rather subdued Orlando Baker (28), which give progressive ample time to laundered whites separately and storage for next season. When Baker sacrificed his wicket, cosmos needed only ten more runs to win and Palmer secured a convincing victory with a spanking six. Cosmos manager Shadi Khan was pleased with his team’s performance in this match and reminded them to remain focused.

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