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‘Ganguly’ Bowls Guyana All Stars To Independence Cup Victory

By Darshan Chickery

July 5, 2009
Asif Ally (Ganguly) bowled the spell of his lifetime to snatch what looked like a certain victory away from the WISA XI in the West Indian Softball Association’s 2009 Independence Cup Final earlier today at Dr. Charles Drew Park in Queens.

Asif Ally collects the winning trophy from WISA president Rabin Sharma. Victorious Guyana All Stars (below) with awards.
Better known for his batting, ‘Ganguly’ as he is popularly known, took advantage of the WISA XI’s inept use of their batting lineup. He captured five wickets for eight runs off 4.2 overs to lead Guyana All Stars to a 42 run victory.

Guyana All Stars batted first and miraculously patched together 109 for 8 off the allotted 25 overs. Early in their innings, Guyana All Stars played like the underdogs they were, entering the finals. They lost their first six wickets for 20 runs before Canadian Anil Ramoutar joined Peter Persaud.

Ramoutar and Persaud repaired the damage somewhat with a fifteen runs partnership before Persaud was bowled by Trevo Ramoutar for 7. This final looked liked a one-sided affair until Anil Ramoutar was joined by his country man, Bobby Parasnauth. Together, they put on a game saving 37 runs partnership. Ramoutar went for 35 in the 18th over off Shashi Wilfred. His aggressive knock contained three sixes and two fours.

At 70 for 8, WISA XI had the opportunity to close out Guyana All Stars but failed yet again to put the ‘final nail to the coffin’ as Gairy Singh and Parasnauth would bat through the remainder of the inning. They added another 37 invaluable runs to bring their total to respectable 109 for 8. T. Ramoutar’s 3 for 20was WISA XI most successful bowler. Vish Persaud and S. Chattergoon took 2 for 23 and 2 for 19 respectively.

During the course of the competition, it looked like 120 runs was all a team needed to have a chance to win a game at this venue. Even though the outfield was heavy, the wickets played even. With 110 runs to get, WISA XI had what seemed like the upper hand with a very good batting line-up on paper.

Narshad Hamid and Krishna Singh gave WISA XI a good start of 31 before Singh was caught off the bowling of Peter Persaud for 13. Persaud struck again when in the very next deliver to get Ian Bhagwandin without scoring. Vicky Subkaran joined Narshad and the two took the score to 47 for two after 13 overs.

Needing 63 runs with eight wickets in hand, WISA XI appeared to be in the driver’s seat until they resumed their inning. Narshad did not add to his score of 13 after the break. He was Ganguly’s first victim to make the score 48 for 3.
WISA XI still had the services of Vicky Subkaran at the wicket and Prasana Malipal, Moe Khan, S. Chattergoon, Shashi Wilfred, Vish Persaud, , Vishal Singh and T. Ramoutar to help them secure the victory. Guyana All Stars needed 7 wickets to avoid that.

Gairy Singh and Ganguly alternated taking WISA XI’s wickets from the 14th through 19th over before Ganguly finished off WISA XI with his first two deliveries in the 20th over.

Subkaran top scored with 24. He virtually got zero support from his middle and lower order batsmen, as the last seven batsmen made a meager 2 runs between them. Vish Persaud made the two while T. Ramoutar was unbeaten on naught.

Ganguly captured five wickets for eight runs from 4.2 overs with his occasional leg spin. He was superbly supported by Gairy Singh who took 3 for 11 off his five overs. Peter Persaud chipped in with 2 for 18.

The tournament was graced with presence of Tom Bacchus, President of the Orlando Softball Cricket Association. He was the main presenter of the trophies and a substantial cash award donated by a third party to the winning team.

To sum up this tournament and game, ‘it is said that cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties’. The WISA 2009 Independence is proof that that saying still holds. Guyana All Stars survived by ‘the skin of their teeth’ to eked out a one wicket victory against El Dorado Boys in the preliminary round. They then came back from 30 for 7 to score 109 for 8. Then for good measure, they managed to bowl out WISA XI for 67 after they were 47 for 2.

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