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East Coast: A Winning Recipe Gone Bad
By James Persaud

August 21st, 2008
Tomorrow New York Softball Cricket league will kick off the playoffs in its premier competition the “30 Over Cup” sponsored by Novelty Financial Group. The 30 Over Cup championships is, if not the most coveted prize in the local softball season. This year the playoffs will start without an East Coast team, for the last six seasons the East Coast entourage was always a front runner and a force to be reckoned with.

Eon Ellis

The East Coast team worked its way through the ranks starting from a division four team until it reaches the premier division. Over the years East Coast has made many changes to its team and its recruiting base, expanding to new heights and winning many championships. At times it seems as if the expansions had out done its self and looked like a kitchen with too many cooks and everyone wants to add an ingredient to the skillet and by the time the fire is out you had a skillet full off stateless gumbo.

Last Sunday in the last qualifying game before the playoffs Assassins and East Coast clashed, with each team needing a win or face elimination. Both teams showed up at the park early and began to plan strategy on a perfect day for cricket. East Coast won the toss and the time they took to decide on either batting or fielding, I could have flown from New York to Toronto and landed safely. East Coast asked Assassins to bat and the over was reduced by five because of the late start. East Coast opening bowlers Matai, Seeram and Sookdeo bowled well restricting the Assassins to 68 for 2 by the water break.

When play resumed skipper Ellis knew he had to take the challenge to the bowlers if his team stand any chance of winning. Ellis (53) and Debedin (44) put on a show especially Ellis driving through and over cover and mid off, reaching the boundary many times as Debedin played a more anchor role and giving his skipper the strike. Ellis was severe on the pacers and it was Yudy Shivkumar with his spin bowling who was able to put a check on the scoring rate and grabbed 2 wickets before he was forced to leave the field due to an injure.

With five over remaining it was clear the East Coast team was loosing it as it was hard to figure out who was the captain or the leader on the field. Assassins scored 102 runs in the last 12 overs to reach a total of 170 for 5 in their allotted over.

It was by no means a too big of a total and was well within the reaches of the East Coast batsmen, providing the openers could get a good start. Any plans for a good start the batsman had to get past Narine (2-9) and Chattergoon (2-11), East Coast never got a start they were hoping for as wickets kept falling on a regular interval and the only man to reach double figure was Shivkumar with 10. Singh (2-2), Dilchand (1-11) and Sanichar (1-8) soon rapped up the East Coast batting order for a miserly 47 for 9, in 13 overs, with last man refusing to take the crease and bat, surrendering to defeat. It was a humiliating defeat for East Coast one that end their bid for the 2008 season Triple Crown. But do not count out East Coast, they will now have time to regroup and wait for the Mini World Cup 20/20 competition, while catching up on the Olympics.

The playoffs will bring many keenly contested games in all four divisions, leading with the undefeated United Star taking on the Bronx Lions, Cavaliers versus Bravehaert while Kris Shobai, Hustlers will do battle with Assassins and Mafia intertwine with the surging Liberty Knights.

Last Sunday Liberty Knights won a nail biter against Country Boys; Liberty Knights chasing a total of 152 was at one time cursing before loosing an additional 5 wickets to score the last 28 runs. Liberty Knights reach their target with the last wicket at the crease; Country Boys played a great game and only lost because of some poor fielding.

In division IB the top two teams with points, Canal and Enterprise will take on Titans and Lightening respectively. While Cotton Filed will battle Ron Cricket, Sunrise and Waves will try to get to the next round.

Division IIA, this where teams are eager to make the leap to division one cricket, and the field is very crowded with Triumph playing undefeated will take on Rebels, New Jersey will play Ranchers, Unpredictable plays Young Brothers and Eagle Lounge versus Wakefield.

In division IIB, New York Mid Rise a new team playing for the first time has created a super impression and is the favorite to win this division. Local Boys will play NY Mid Rise, Better Hope 2 versus Ravens in a rematch, Flashers will battle Young West Indies, Heat and Strikers will do the tango.

All the other teams who failed to make the playoffs will be playing in the 15 over knockout competition.


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