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NY Challengers Unchallenged Champions
Defeats Everest/ACS For Second Straight Year

By John L. Aaron
NY Challengers were returned Eastern American Cricket Association champions for the second straight year, defeating Everest/ACS last weekend in the league’s premier cricket event – its Big-4 Championship. This is NY Challengers’ second year as a team in the EACA and they have begun to build a legacy of employing some of the best cricketers available in the New York metropolitan area. It is unfortunate that there’s no genuine inter-league competition in the New York area, whereby the EACA would have a chance to test the quality of the players, such as those playing for NY Challengers and against the other leagues.

The 40-Overs final saw a NY Challengers XI led by current US national captain Steve Massiah, challenged by Everest/ACS led by Zamin Amin. The highly anticipated final was played at Idlewild Park in Rosedale, Queens and saw NY Challengers winning the toss and inviting Everest/ACS to take first strike. Maybe winning the toss was the key to Challengers’ victory, because Everest/ACS barely reached 181 all out in the allotted 40 overs.

Everest/ACS with accomplished batting down to number eight failed to post a challenging enough total for the 2005 Big-4 champions NY Challengers. None of the Everest/ACS top order batsmen reached scores worthy of a premier final, or even a half-century. The closest was the prolific Amjad Khan with 32 followed by Anil Solomon with 28. Having lost their first four wickets for less than 100 runs, Everest/ACS had placed themselves in an awkward position to defeat NY Challengers – a team with younger players, adequate enough batting and a bowling line-up that by far is probably the best among the leagues in New York.

Everest/ACS 181 all out and just over 4.5 runs per over, would not be enough to thwart the NY Challengers, who must have been chomping at the bit for a second Big-4 championship. Challengers’ skipper Steve Massiah got 4 wickets for 41 runs from his spell of 8 overs, while Kumar grabbed two.

In reply, NY Challengers needed only 34.5 overs and the loss of five wickets to wrap up the victory – their second in as many years.

Openers L. Cush c. S. Singh b. Z. Amin, 51 and K. Farrouq run out, 51 got NY Challengers off to an excellent start in pursuit of the victory target. Farrouq’s run out was followed by a similar fate for skipper Steve Massiah, 17. Despite those early losses, the Challengers were undaunted in their quest for a second championship, as the hard-hitting Andrew Gonsalves contributed 33 not out helping NY Challengers to their second Big-4 championship in two years. The three Challengers wickets were shared among Z. Amin, T. Hastoo and A. Khan.

Reflecting on his team’s second defeat at the hands of the NY Challengers, skipper Zamin Amin said, “We have been right there with them (NY Challengers) over the past two years, but unfortunately we needed a few younger players to really compete.” The veteran player complimented his opponents, remarking that they were the better team, with some excellent players. He however added that Everest/ACS did allow NY Challengers some breaks, by dropping openers Farrouq at least three times and Cush once.

Both teams are however still in the hunt for the league’s Twenty/20 championship which wraps un in a couple of weeks. Everest/ACS would no doubt be anxious to redeem themselves, while NY Challengers are probably chomping at the bit to steal both the Big-4 and 20/20 championships this year.

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