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Richmond Hill Advances To Big-4 Championship
Defeats Atlantis in Keenly Contested Semi-final

By John L. Aaron

July 18th, 2008
Richmond Hill, in a very competitive semi-final defeated Atlantis Cricket Club for the second straight year in the EACA’s Big-4 semi-final at the compact Baisley Pond Park, in Queens.

Atlantis without their skipper Lennox Cush and this year’s addition William Perkins, both of whom were off seeking fame and fortune in the Stanford 20/20 Superstars US$20Million team selection, came up short against a far younger Richmond Hill XI. Deserving winners Richmond Hill winning the toss, elected to field in a second attempt to decide the semi-final winner of this year’s Big-4 contest, last week’s match being rained out. Atlantis was in early trouble, as openers Nigel Harper, 01, and Freddie Roopchand, 06 were sent packing with only 11 runs on the tins in the second over. However, Desmond Thompson, 22, and Swanston Benjamin, 70, rallied for a third-wicket stand worth 57 runs, before Thompson was run out. Benjamin’s 70 came off of 66 deliveries in 1 hour and 32 minutes, an inning that exhibited patience and determination, while some of his batting teammates showed indiscipline and injudicious shot-selections at the other end.

Zaheer Saffie

Swanton Benjamin

Swanston Benjamin was only one of three Atlantis batsmen to get past 25 runs, as wickets fell around the tall right-handed batsman. Power-hitting seam bowler Lincoln Deonarine with 22 showed some interest in helping to post at least 200 for Atlantis, but he fell to the bowling of Sunesh Wazid, who returned figures of 4.3-0-30-3. The other eight Atlantis batsmen could only muster a total of 52 runs, as Atlantis caved at 166 all out in 36.3 overs of the 40-overs contest.

FOW: 10, 11, 57, 68, 77, 111, 126, 140, 165, and 166. Bowling for Richmond Hill S. Sadloo 6-1-11-2; Z. Saffie 8-1-26-2, while U. Latchman and A. Harripaul, each with one wicket apiece were the other wicket-takers for Richmond Hill.

Richmond Hill in reply, showed excellent composure and execution as they clawed their way back from a three for 28 runs hole, to post 167 for 5 in 34 overs and the semi-final win. A tremendous amount of heart by the Richmond Hill middle-order batsmen, playing before a partisan home crowd were the key factors to the team’s comeback and a tribute to the batting depth of the very successful club.

Atlantis in a surprising move placed Desmond Thompson behind the stumps and used regular wicket-keeper Marlon Kallicharran as one of its opening bowlers. The move immediately paid off dividends as Kallicharran and Daryl Evelyn struck early sending back Mustaq Yusuff, Sunesh Wazid and the often-dependable Tamesh Balwant for 2, 8 and 5 respectively. Nigel Harper fielding at long-on was responsible for taking two brilliant catches in Atlantis’ early success. A fourth wicket stand of 60 between Zaheer Saffie, 43, and Joey Sadloo, 29, formed the basis for the victory as the Atlantis’ bowlers struggled to sustain the earlier success, while contributing 29 to the wides column.

Top scorer for Richmond Hill was Zaheer Saffie, 43 off of 54 deliveries, followed by Joey Sadloo with 29 off 33 balls in 48 minutes and J. Sookdeo, 24 off 29 balls and retired hurt after being hit in the head by a delivery off the bat of Saffie. Richmond Hill rallied to the victory, as the Baisley cricket fans appreciated the tense nature of the match and offered their support of a keenly contested match-up. Despite some excellent glimpses of good fielding, Atlantis could not hold on to two catches offered by the Richmond Hill batsmen that could have significantly changed the direction of the game in Atlantis’ favor. Insert the old adage here – catches win matches, indeed.

FOW: 3, 10, 28, 80, and 140. Bowling for Atlantis: M. Kallicharran 8-1-27-2; D. Evelyn 5-0-28-1 and C. Mendonca 8-0-31-2, were the successful bowlers for Atlantis.

The semi-final victory matches up Richmond Hill with East Bank in the EACA’s Big-4 contest this weekend. East Bank sauntered into the final, having been awarded the semi-final victory over Everest/ACS, following a set of controversial circumstances resulting in the semi-final match not being played by the two teams, two week-ends ago.
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