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Pure Cricket Excitement!
Pure Players And Brooklyn/Queens Emerge Big-4 Champs!

By Sam Sooppersaud

Sept. 11th, 2008
Cricket fans were treated to a double header finals on Sunday, September 7th, at Bayswater Park, Far Rockaway, Queens, New York. At Ground # 1, Albion Sports Club took on Pure Players for the "A" Division championship, while at Ground # 2 Carpet Doctor battled it out with Brooklyn/Queens Cricket Club for the "B" Division title, both games were played under the auspices of the Nassau Cricket League. (Gallery)

Nassau Cricket League Big 4 final Division 'A' winners Pure Players.

A brilliant century from opening bat V. Raichandra, 102, and a hard-hitting 62 n.o. from the veteran Sudesh Dhaniram, helped Pure Players to steamroll over Albion Sports Club whose performances with the bat, the ball, and fielding, uncharacteristically let them down. Throughout the entire season they had executed brilliantly in all areas of the preliminary games.

Albion were the first to bat, and their openers Naresh Manbode and A. Harmacoond gave them a decent start of 49 runs in just 8 overs, a scoring rate of just over 6 runs per over. In the 9th over Manbode fell for 17 and the score was 49 for 1. Then in scoring the next 49 runs Albion lost 5 more wickets. At 98 for 5, they were in dire trouble and never really recovered from the shock of losing wickets in such quick succession. Only opener A. Harmacoond offered any real resistance to the bowling, scoring a patient and face-saving half-century. The number eleven batsman K. Ramphal added some respectability to the Albion score, by contributing 19.

Pure Players unleashed an attack of seven bowlers on the hapless Albion batsmen. D. Roopchand returned figures of 3 for 49 in 8 overs, J. Khan 2 for 30 and S. Dhaniram 2 for 25 were the other wreckers of the Albion batting machine. J. Khan 1 for 26, and F. Jugmohan also joined the wicket-taking party. Despite dropping five catches and missing a few close run-outs, Pure Players were still able to dismiss Albion for a manageable 189 runs.

The Pure Players openers of K. Khan and V. Raichandra started their innings very shakily, both being dropped before either had scored a run. They however settled down very nicely and took the score to 92 before Khan (17) was out caught off the bowling of T. Dhanraj. V. Raichandra, once he got his sights in, played a wide repertoire of shots all over the ground. His square cuts were immaculate, and any ball that was short-pitched was given the deserved punishment of being pulled to the boundary.

With the fall of Khan's wicket the master-blaster Sudesh Dhaniram walked out to the middle. As usual he started pensively. He was given a life before he had scored and was dropped for a second time during his knock. Albion surely regretted their lapses as Dhaniram blasted their bowlers to all parts of the outfield. At the other end Raichandra was adding to his personal score with some sweetly-timed off drives.

He reached his century by playing yet another hook shot for 4 off Naeem Baksh. One ball later he was caught off the same bowler for a brilliantly made 102. None of the Albion bowlers were spared punishment, and they were so perturbed that they bowled 11 wides. With the score on 187 Dhaniram clubbed his third six, and in the process clinched the victory for Pure Players.

While at Ground #2, the father and son performances of N. Rampersaud and S. Rampersaud helped Brooklyn/Queens to squeeze past Carpet Doctor and claim the coveted Division championship. Papa N. Rampersaud took 3 wickets and then came back to score a game-winning 56 runs, while his son S. Rampersaud claimed 2 wickets.

Carpet Doctor took first strike. Openers R. Williamms and S. Ramdath took the score to 43 before Ramdath was caught off the bowling of Pino Sagar for 14. Wickets fell at regular intervals, but Carpet Doctor kept moving the score along. Their batsmen found the slow left arm spin of Jerry Jumadeen too wily to negotiate. Carpet Doctor was eventually bowled out for 174. R. Williams top scored with 26, C. Elliot, 21, R. Bissram, 24 n.o. and P. Dyanand, 25, made useful scores.

Jerry Jumadeen 3 for 31, S. Rampersaud 3 for 40, N. Rampersaud 2 for 31 were the main wicket-takers. P. Sagar and R. Samuels got one wicket apiece for 14 and 27 runs respectively.

Brooklyn/Queens started their innings with a flurry of 4's from the bats of openers Jai Ramkissoon going about his business in his patented swash-buckling fashion. By the third over Brooklyn/Queens had 29 runs on the board. Ramkissoon was then caught for 19 at deep long-on attempting yet another extravagant shot. The other opener S. Samuels fell with the score at 58. Within the next 13 runs, two more wickets fell and Brooklyn/Queens were dangling at 4 for 88. But the fifth-wicket pair of S. Rampersaud and P. Ramsingh repaired the damage with a 56-run partnership. Three more wickets the fell with the score at 168 for 8, and the game evenly poised with either side having the chance to go ahead. The ninth wicket fell at 171, with Brooklyn/Queens still needing four runs for victory and senior citizen batsman B. Ramdeen strolling to the middle.

By this time pandemonium had broken out among the respective supporters of each club. They were shouting advise to the batsmen on how to, and where to play the ball, with supporters of the bowling side suggesting what type of delivery to bowl, or where the fielders should be placed in order to stop the singles.

B. Ramdeen played the first four balls he faced without scoring a run. The fifth ball he turned to the onside for a single. The score was then 172 for 9. Pino Sagar faced the sixth ball of the over and scored a single. He was then on strike for the new over. The very first ball of the new over, he pulled to square leg and the batsmen crossed for two. The second ball Sagar dabbed to the offside and the batsmen crossed for a single, and the victory for Brooklyn/Queens.

Earlier Rudy Narine had bowled superbly and was on the verge of putting the game away for Carpet Doctor with his flighted off-spin. His bowling figures of 5 for 30 was the highlight of the Carpet Doctor's bowling performance. The other three wickets that fell, were shared by R. Williams 1 for 32 and R. Ramoodit two for 32. Brooklyn/Queens squeezed pass Carpet Doctor's total of 174 with one wicket in hand and thus won the coveted Division championship

After the games President of the Nassau Cricket League Mr. Paul DaSilva addressed the players and thanked them for entertaining the spectators with the high standard of cricket played. Lots of food and liquid refreshments were available for everyone in the park to indulge, thus ensuring that a good time was had by all.

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