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Cosmos M.C. L. Champions

(CCC) – COSMOS the new CHAMPIONS in town wears the CROWN! It was a solid if not spectacular performance by this Cosmos team as they once again stamp their seal of excellence and lift the champions’ trophy in the MCL Round Robin Final. Displacing a formidable Progressive with utter ease in the semi, and then virtually demolish Mid Island, for the third time this season, but none more compelling than in this Round Robin final when the two teams met last Sunday at Floyd Bennett “test” ground.

The policy, according to Cosmos president Sham Ali, was firm and the objectives quite simple, “it’s a commitment that demands steadfastness in adversity and a healthy appreciation of the good times, when they deign to make an appearance. “ This 2006 season presented a little of both, but for a team such as Cosmos where discipline is the cornerstone, the result in this 2006 Clement “Busta” Lawrence Round Robin final is testament of good club that has led by example over the years.

Cosmos went into this match as firm favorites and did not disappoint the large crowd in attendance. A brilliant show by Cosmos bowling attack and another sterling performance by Dixeth Palmer with the bat ably supported by cosmos leading and runner-up batsmen Dennis Evans and Orlando Baker sealed an emphatic victory. Mid Island sprung another surprise on this encounter when they elected to bat on a pitch that would have certainly lend some help to their pace attack. Clinical spells from cosmos Martin Nurse (6 overs for 22 runs), Sham Ali (6 overs for 20 runs), and Vinord Woolcock (6 overs for 19 runs) kept cosmos in firm control.

After Sham teased and bruised the edge of both openers only to see two near regulation catches uncharacteristically spilled at second slip, it was Dennison Thomas, 2 for 34 who bowled with good control. He produced two searing inswinging yorker, which cannoned into the leg stump of S. Andrew, and another, which uprooted the middle stump of K. Rougier. In came Austin Hutchinson (22) – who suffered some pains from Dennison in the last encounter - he got the better of the battle this time with two mark heave over mid wicket. When Orlando Baker cradled Hutchinson at deep mid-wicket off Ashmul Ali, and then rocketed a return over the bails to run out T. Smith, - if you blink, you would have missed the artistry and quickness of former West Indies youth player Hemant Gangapersad behind the stumps, just like that cosmos pounce on this opposition. At 92 for 6, C. McClure made a brief appearance, but a gritty resistance by the two veteran C. “Cobbler” Thomas and Former Jamaica player Clem Thompson rescued their team from further despair taking the total to 140 in the 37th over. The spin duo of T&T national David Mohamed (2 for 21 off 8 overs) and Ashmul Ali (2 for 40) stifle this opposition to a trifling total of something resembling respectable at 165 runs in 40 overs.

Cosmos captain Dixeth Palmer declared his intentions very early in the season, but none more so than in this playoff and backed by a talented team. While Dennison deputized successfully for the first four games of the season, Palmer utilized the wealth of experience form Ashmul, Ganga and David. He led from the front marshalling his team throughout. He could not have asked for more from an administration that wrestled the challenges thanklessly and players who gave their support generously throughout. While StLouis, Ram and Henry were always willing when called upon, managers Shadi Khan was proud of the way in which this team knitted and Lloyd Scott express admiration of the discipline and competitive display throughout.
The opening pair of Dennis Evans and Shafeek Shah in the early games was quite successful and that of Evans and Palmer later proved rock solid, which laid the foundation for the last two convincing victories. Cosmos lost a total of three wickets in the semi and final to get a total of 340 runs. The bulk of the runs came from the bat of Palmer. He led his team to victory with a brilliant unbeaten century in the semi, and in this final, he stroked a composed 92 not out off 72 balls to take his team to within six runs of victory and just eight short of his own milestone. The perhaps the cheap act to bowl two balls very wide of leg stump, in which the wicketkeeper’s effort or lack of, resulted in the four wides, to deny Palmer a chance of another century, damper some last minute excitement and reduced the gentleman’s’ game to meaning. However, the sportsmanship of seasoned players like C. McClure, Clem Thompson, and E. Thomas must not be overshadowed, while Cosmos maintained their distinction as the two teams engaged in a good contest.

Unlike Cosmos victory in the thriller in 1999, when the scoreboard read Cosmos 166 for 1, Cosmos pavilion storm the field with Baker and Palmer at the helm and took this championship in the most emphatic and convincing fashion. Leon Silas in his excitement stroll away with the trophy from the scorers’ table over to the cosmos camp. When Dixeth Palmer hoist the coveted MCL Championship trophy, he must have felt proud of his team’s unrelenting effort throughout the 2006 season and his own noble contributions to the game in this area over the last twenty years. It is without question that Cosmos achievements, over the years, are a result on the high level of organization and a club that is setting the standards for the future.

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