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Cosmos On Top Despite Shocking Result Against Villagers

By S. Ali And C. Bennett

July 10th, 2009
(Celebrating 28th Anniversary)
– Defending champions Cosmos have positioned themselves once again atop the points table in the 2009 Metropolitan Cricket League premier round robin competition with two scheduled games left to be played. While several teams vying for one of the top four positions in the points table of the wide-open competition remain separated by only one or two points, Cosmos appears geared up for a spot in the playoffs despite a minor setback against Villagers last Sunday at Gateway Park, in Brooklyn.

Ordelmo Peters of Villagers struck a brilliant 103, while young Keddy Lesporis (below) of Cosmos hit 62.

After Villagers won the toss and elected to take first strike, Cosmos inflicted the early blows, reducing the opposition to 60 for 3 after just 10 overs. Sham Ali scalped a clueless Charles Walker with ease caught behind moments after being let off at gully, prior to him even troubling the scorers. George Adams pace proved too much for a hapless Dwyer Brown as a length delivery bounced off his bat for a simple return catch. Teenage batting sensation Keddy Lesporis then turned in a sterling bit of fielding, separating the stumps off a direct hit to run out Talisman Gordon without scoring. Reeling at 18 for 2, Glenmore Hall a regular in the New Jersey cricket league and an occasional with Villagers, strode to the wicket and rode his luck well after two regulation catches went down one at second slip when on 26 and dolly at short mid-on when on 53, both off paceman Adams.

Cosmos paid the price to the tune of conceding two tons, including one from Ordelmo Peters, whose yearly visit from Jamaica led from the front like a cricketer worthy of the title of leadership. Peters, a former Jamaica national player, batted with resolute patience in scoring a crisp 103 with three fours and nine sixes in perhaps one of his best innings on U.S. soil. The other ton came from Hall who struck a belligerent 135, which included 11 fours and 9 sixes. The Hall and Peters (H&P) show featured in a brilliant 179-run partnership for the fourth wicket. By the time Cosmos ended the H&P show and Kevin Darlington excised a hapless tail, Villagers had already gained some bit of ascendancy piggy-backing on the two tons from the diminutive Hall and the determined Peters.

Cosmos in their reply had an early setback in just the second over of their quest for the opposition's 290 all out in 40 overs when Dennis Evans miscued a pull off a long hop to Gordon who accepted the catch low down at deep backward square. Donald Bennett and Keddy Lesporis then came together and delighted the partisan crowd with a mixture of lofty hitting and steady stroke-play as Cosmos raced to 100 in 14 overs, before Lesporis edged a loosely played square cut, succumbing after an aggressive 62 off 68 balls with six fours and three sixes. When the six-footer Clive Samuels with an outstretched front foot and Donald Bennett, advancing down the wicket, were both adjudged out leg-before-wicket, the writing on the wall smacked with contradiction as especially the latter’s dubious decision left many wondering why apparently closer decisions had been overturned earlier when Cosmos had asked the same questions with conviction.

Villagers would seize the opportunity to temper the Cosmos assault via two good spells from J. Persaud and M. Powell. When the hard-hitting George Adams was run out from a direct hit by a rejuvenated Peters, who ran for all he was worth and made a spectacular throw to strand Adams well short of his ground, it was left to a composed Melroy Kingson who took the fight to the opposition before holing out for a well-played 35 runs.

Though the match was played in a tension-filled atmosphere, laced with foul- mouthed expletives even on the field of play from the oppositions few, the men of Cosmos were undeterred showing their class, depth and appropriate restraint, ultimately absorbing the remaining overs for 233 runs on this day and denying Villagers that crucial and much needed extra point.

While the rare win by Villagers over Cosmos seemed to resonate with some degree of acrimony and a strange sense of vindication, perhaps the result of Cosmos’ relentless pounding of this opposition over the years, it appeared evident that a permanent wound may have indeed been inflicted. For Cosmos to sit atop the tables with 34 points despite a loss in a highly competitive Metropolitan League, it was enough to salt the sourness evidenced by the desperate and distasteful rendition of an opposition that has essentially been shrouded in years of mediocrity.

In the end, it was however a keen contest and a win that rest squarely on the orchestrated prowess of two excellent cricketers, Glenmore Hall and Ordelmo Peters. One would have hoped that Villagers would have utilized this all-important victory, against a quality opponent, as a springboard to turn around their sub-par season and lift themselves up, come as it may seemingly once a decade.

Unfortunately, as can be expected, even in victory Villagers were sordid as the team's penciled ghosts chose to misuse two excellent performances from its players as a platform to vent pent-up frustrations and bitterness, even misrepresenting the facts, in exhuming pettiness on a proven quality and consistently superior Cosmos squad. Not only have they done an injustice to the performances of two stellar cricketers but they also polluted the team’s win at a time when victory should have been sweet.

It stands to reason that both top performers find friendship in a happy, distinguished and proud Cosmos camp, and away from the few foul-mouthed hooligans. Cricket, Cosmos and the Metropolitan League are better than that! Well played Villagers!
Cosmos will play Progressive next Sunday at Floyd Bennett, in Brooklyn.

In celebration of the club’s 28th anniversary, Cosmos has dedicated the 2009 season as its inaugural benefit year for a prominent contributor to its illustrious past. This year’s honoree will be team manager Shadi Khan. The inaugural celebration is scheduled for Saturday, Aug.8, 2009 at Floyd Bennett Field. All are invited.

Summary Score June 5, 2009
Venue: Gateway Park. 40overs
Toss won by Villagers.
Umpires: L. Champagnie / R. Taylor

Innings of Villagers: 290 all out off 40 overs
G. Hall 135, O. Peters 103, K. Charles 8
FOW: 1-0, 2-18, 3-60, 4-239, 5-263, 6-273, 7-275, 8-289, 9-290, 10-290
Bowling for Cosmos:
K. Darlington: 8-1-37-4; D. Evans: 8-0-60-2; S. Ali: 8-1-44-1; G. Adams: 5-2-40-1
T. Treasure: 4-0-41-1; L. Achaibar: 3-0-29-0; M. Kingston: 2-0-16-0; A. Ali: 2-0-23-0

Innings of Cosmos: 233 for 9 wickets off 40 overs
K. Lesporis 62; D. Bennett 36; M. Kingston 35; K. Darlington 20
S. Ali 16; T. Treasure 14; C. Samuels 10
FOW: 1-10, 2-100, 3-115, 4-120, 5-155, 6-164, 7-180, 8-214, 9-216

Bowling for Villagers:
E. Gayle: 8-0-57-3; J. Persaud: 8-0-23-2; T. Gordon: 8-0-58-1; D.Powell: 8-1-24-1
D. Bourne: 5-0-33-1; K. Charles: 1-0-18-0; A. Dodson: 2-0-10-0

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