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A Score To Settle

By James Persaud
June 6th, 2008
Two seasons ago on a rainy Sunday afternoon and a late start East Coast and Assassins clashed in the New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) 25 over Championship finals. This Sunday the same two teams will take on each other again, this time in the semi-finals of the same competition.

In the last encounter East Coast won the toss and bat first, getting off to a fast start. After 13 overs East Coast was well placed for a huge total. At the water break both teams had much extended team’s meeting.

When play resumed Kris Shobai was brought into the bowling attack very early and he soon struck with his nagging half break, removing four valuable middle order batsmen. The East Coast innings came to an end with a well defendable score.

East Coast opened their bowling attach with Peter Sookdeo and Mahendra Seeram (Murph), both bowled well sending back half the batting side by break time. At half time East Coast was blowing horns and waving flags in eagerness of victory.

Assassins had one thing in their favor; the Rock- Kris Shobai was still at the crease. Kris batted with patience playing every ball by its merit and after 23 overs he had single handily placed his team into the winners circle.

This Sunday game will be different, East Coast will come out fired up on all eleven cylinders and powered by bragging rights. Assassins on the other hand would be without the services of Kris, who will be doing battle with United Star. Assassins have had its share of success and are arguably the most successful softball franchise.

If past performances are to be used as an advantage Assassins played East Coast two Sundays ago in the Super 8 finals, Assassins set a meager score for East Coast. But with good captaincy and an all round team performance by Ganesh Chattergoon (Speddy) bowling and Andrew Gonsalves superb catching, Assassins took the edge again. Assassins has two of the best softball cricket strategist Navin Narine and captain Eon Ellis who seems to always pull the trigger at the right time.

Hustlers Takes On United Star
Hustlers started the 2008 season very slow losing their first three games; this is a new team with new players who are playing together for the first time. As the season progresses the teams began to play better as players find their niche. Hustlers won enough games to grab the last slot in the playoffs and last Sunday played superbly to upset the number one seed Country Boys.

In the second rounds of the playoffs coming up against United Stars things will be a little difficult; United Stars will depend on their strength which is their bowling. United Stars has played well so far but seems to lack one or two solid middle order batsman. In the semi-finals last Sunday against Braveheart Bhola Pahalad grabbed a hat-trick the first in the premier division for the 2008 season. Both United Stars and Hustlers has solid opening batsman with Ravi Balli and Dhanraj for United Star, Pooran Beria and Kris Shobai for Hustlers. These teams will be looking for a good start from their openers to set the pace of the game.

DIVISION IB
Wildfire versus Williamsburg

If team Manager J P Singh has things his way there will be Wildfire all over Williamsburg. Williamsburg will have no need for a fire truck, providing that the Hardeen and Appadoo brothers could handle the bowling of Wildfire, Singh brothers Vinod and Looknauth. In an earlier encounter between the two teams, Wildfire had the victory and will be looking to make it two in row.

Nationals Battle Bronx Lions
Nationals has played good solid cricket so far in this competition, this team suffer one defeat by default. Last Sunday in the quarter finals Nationals squeak by another Bronx team Ron Cricket by 30 runs. This Sunday game will be the true test for both teams and the winner of this game could well be the champions of this division. Both teams are evenly matched with good pace bowling and solid batting.

DIVISION IIA
Lightening, Ranchers, NY All-Stars and Sunrise Vying for Championship

Playing division two cricket always brings out the best in teams as they are eager to play in the higher divisions. The four remaining teams in this division are equally good, but Lightening must have the edge since they have not lost a game so far this season. Last season New York All-Star went to the finals and after a good bowling display restricting the batting side, collapses in their batting and had to settle for second place. They will be looking to redeem themselves and hoping for better result. Ranchers and Sunrise has been here many times before and are capable of creating huge upset on any given day.

DIVISION IIB
Falcons, Legends and Young Brothers

Young Brothers will take on Legends, while Falcons will wait to find out there opponent is since there are some corrections to be made. Young Brother a new team is having a wonderful season so far setting their opponents huge target. In last Sunday game they scored well over two hundred runs against Local Boys, all rounder Krishna Twari and team captain Dhanraj has led the team in batting. Another first year team Falcons surprisingly upset Invaders in a low scoring encounter in the quarter finals last week.

Legends will be looking for an all round good performances from the Morrison brothers and skipper Boyo Narine if they are to reach the next round.

The weather forecast is for a hot sunny Sunday; the games are equally hot and will be intensely contested.

NYSCL Quarter Finals Games Summary
DIVISION IA

United Stars Vs Braveheart
United Stars 172 all out
V. Seenarine 28, V. Dhanraj 23
T. Ganeshram 4 for 37, K. Deodat 3 for 27
Braveheart 105 all out
Bhola Pahalad 3 for 11, T. Ramoutar 2 for 28

DIVISION IB
Williamsburg Vs Titans

Titans 138 all out
C. Hiralall 39, R. Dargana 32, A. Kissoon 24
H. Sackichand 3 for 34, Renny Appadoo 2 for 11
Williamsburg 140 for 6
N. Persaud 34 not out, Romey 21 not out
C. Hiralall 2 for 14

Ron Cricket Vs Nationals
Nationals 161 all out
K. Nandalall 33, V. Nagamootoo 32
B. Hiralall 3 for 19, R. Bechem 2 for 27
Ron Cricket 131 all out
R, Bechem 38, B. Hiralall 20
H. Ramkarran 3 for 19, S. Singh 3 for 34

DIVISION IIB
Falcons Vs Invaders

Falcons 136 all out
V. Ramnarine 39, C. Baichu 34
Winston 4 for 3, P. Valladares and N. Vickram 2 wickets each
Invaders 120 all out
Winsto 34, N. Vickram 16
C. Baichu 4 for 16, M. Singh 2 for 21

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