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Palmer's Ton Propels Defending Champions Cosmos

By S. Ali.

May 27th, 2009
(Celebrating 28 Anniversary)-
Cosmos captain Dixieth Palmer’s appetite for big innings continued as he slammed the first ton in the Metropolitan Cricket League 2009 season, an unbeaten 102 against New Hope at Floyd Bennett last Sunday. Palmer, a former Jamaica national team representative squeezed all hope out of the recently promoted New Hope team.

Dixieth Palmer

Kevin Darlington

George Adams

After winning the toss and electing to bat, Cosmos’ opening batsman Donald Bennett, who looked to be in good touch, batted beautifully and got into the 20’s before falling victim to a shooter that kept low on the early season wicket. Bennett’s opening partner, Ashmul Ali, was then joined by Palmer in the wicket and the pair combined experience and class to entertain in an unbroken second wicket partnership. The pair were only separated when Ali, one of Cosmos’ most decorated players, succumbed to two weary knees which forced him to retire on 47. Ali, who rarely embraces any sort of fanfare, strolled to the crease like a true campaigner to open the batting, largely playing a sheet anchor role for Palmer.

Palmer, whose talent and ability never seems to fade varied seemingly impervious defense with “shock-and-awe”-type aggression as he plundered his way to a near chanceless century. Though requiring a few occasional puffs of air late in his inning, once Palmer had bat in hand he appeared to be in mid-season form as he blazed his way on an extremely unpredictable wicket. Palmer sent six hapless deliveries crashing over the boundary and into the brushes, which offered both he and Ali seemingly much needed breaks in the action, also hammering eight fours interspersed in between.

Upon Ali retiring, George Adams strode to the wicket an added some bit of flair and excitement to the proceedings, contributing one mighty six and 2 fours before offering a catch to long off. Adam’s dismissal led to the promotion of Kevin Darlington in the order. Darlington had only destructive intentions for the New Hope bowling attack when he stepped on to the scene but in a veteran move opted to rotate the strike with Palmer as the latter pushed on towards the coveted three-figure mark. Cosmos would rattle up a good total of 210 for 2 off a reduced 35 overs.

Despite being a team in transition, Cosmos proceeded to bundle out New Hope for a paltry 99 in reply as Darlington and George Adams put an early dent in the opposition's line-up. Both Darlington and Adams had a field day as they took turns “cart-wheeling” stumps out of the ground. Darlington ended with a 3-wicket haul while Adams captured a double. Ali and Leonard Achaibar would split the remaining wickets as Achaibar's left arm orthodox mesmerized the opposition further on a turning pitch leaving the opposition with no hope.

One New Hope batsman went by way of run out, resulting from some smart bit of outfield cricket by young Under-19 New Region representative, Marlon Persaud. Persaud, running full speed to his left at short backward square, latched on to a well struck pull shot, picking up cleanly and firing a return on top of the stumps to Donald Bennett, who did the rest with the batsman caught woefully short of his ground.

The commentary duo of Achaibar and Carl Bennett were to add their twist to an already eventful afternoon as Carl Bennett would settle under and hang on to a “skier” hit to mid-on, off the bowling of Achaibar, which led to sheer comedy in the Cosmos camp – mostly from the 'new talent’ Nathan Henderson, whom waited in vain for a crack at the leather. It was a successful beginning for Cosmos as they turned in a good all round performance in defense of their 2008 Metropolitan League round-robin crown.

Cosmos manager Shadi Khan stated that, “While we expect our club to undergo some bit of transformation for this upcoming season, as customary we expect to be extremely competitive and despite the changes look forward to pursuing the opportunity of winning another championship this season.”

In week two, Cosmos took an unceremonious dive and soaked up a few questionable decisions at the water-logged River Valley, suffering their first loss of the season, a 3-wicket defeat at the hands of River Valley. Defending a meager 130 for 7 off the reduced allotment of overs, Cosmos fought stoutly but in the end were undone by the conditions, going down to defeat to River Valley for the first time in almost a decade.

On Memorial weekend, Cosmos were in Hartford, Connecticut defending the Lowell 'Slim' Sutherland Trophy for an unprecedented eighteenth time in the Club’s history. The highlight of the victory was a sparkling innings by George Adams that was filled with some lusty hitting as he plundered 78 out of a total of 96 as Cosmos sailed to an 8-wicket win in the Twenty/20 affair. Hurricane Adams’ blast was achieved in less than 10-overs as he left the many spectators on hand at Keney Park reveling in jaw-dropping amazement.

Cosmos will play Westbury on Sunday at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn.

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