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Richmond Hill and Everest/ACS Advance To EACA 20/20 Finals

By John L. Aaron

After several months of cricket lovely cricket, and a few heartbreaks along the way, the curtains come down this weekend on the Eastern American Cricket Association’s 2007 season, with not one, but two division finals being played on the same day.

Tomorrow, the EACA will roll out its Division A and Division B Twenty20 finalists at Idlewild Park in Rosedale, Queens.

A schedule 10:30 am start will see the Division B finalists Sew Shivnarine led Golden Arrow XI come up against the Debo Sankar led East Bank XI. It is expected to be a hotly contested affair, despite the scheduling conflicts that kept both teams in active for the better part of the past month. However, both teams have been practicing and getting otherwise prepared in their quest to bring home at least one championship, this year.

The other match up, scheduled for 1:30 pm is the Division A finals between the now red-hot Everest/ACS led by the veteran Zamin Amin and the youth-oriented Richmond Hill led by the EACA Secretary Sunesh Wazid. Both teams earned the right to meet in the finals despite several hiccups and speed bumps along the way.

Last weekend saw Everest topping Enmore in their semi-final encounter, while Richmond, despite an earlier season scare by Atlantis, managed to come back strong, defeating the Cuthbert Mendonca led XI.

Everest/ACS Tops Enmore
For the second time a=in as many weekend Everest/ACS outplayed Enmore in their quest to reach the golden circle. Having defeated Enmore in the coveted Big-4 championship at Baisley Pond Park, the previous weekend, Everest/ACS returned to compete with Enmore for the right to play in this weekend’s final.

Everest/ACS with 251 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs, and behind the bats of Terry Hastoo, 26, Zamin Amin, 29 and Tony Roberts, 18 n.o., along with a healthy contribution of extras, especially wides conceded by Enmore, the Zamin Amin XI set the bar at 12.55 runs per over. It certainly was not an unobtainable goal, given the propensity for batsmen to score runs at the small fenced park. Anil Seebarran was Enmore’s best bowler grabbing three wickets along the way.

However, Enmore’s batting line up collapsed along the way, reaching only 129 all out, while giving back one over in their allotted 20. Syed Mohammed and Nazir Mohammed both contributed 36 runs apiece in the losing cause. Trevor Walke and Karran Ganesh each snared three wickets for Everest/ACS, while on their way to the victory.

Atlantis Fails To Climb The Hill
Atlantis without one of its franchise players Lennox Cush was unable to overcome the bowling attack of Richmond Hill’s Ramphal Bactowar and Zaheer Saffie, in their semi-final encounter.

Batting first Atlantis rattled up a meager 153 in their 20 overs, not enough for the small park and the explosive bats of some of the Richmond Hill batsmen.

Quyaam Farrouq, in an opening stand posted 68, before being caught off the bowling of Saffie. The other major contributions to Atlantis’ 153 came from the bats of Manoj Sirju, 24 and veteran William White, 20. Former West Indies Test all-rounder Clayton Lambert, playing in his fourth game for Atlantis was beautifully caught and bowled by Wayne Isaacs for three, clearly a disappointment for Atlantis in Cush’s absence.

Bactowar with figures of 4-0-25-4, Zaheer Saffie 4-0-25-3 and Wayne Isaacs 4-0-28-2 along with some poor showings at bat by the Atlantis batsmen, were responsible for the low target set Richmond Hill.

Earlier in the season Atlantis had managed to bowl out Richmond Hill for 73 at Lido Beach. However, this was a reinforced Richmond Hill XI that showed up; as the Sunesh Wazid led team easily won the semi-final and the right to face Everest/ACS in the final tomorrow.

Richmond Hill’s runs came off the bats of young Azurdeen Mohamed, 46, Ramphal Bactowar, 36 and former Atlantis player Mustaq Yussuff, 25, along with Sanjai Sookdeo, 19. Reginald “Ibus” Ralph had figures of 4-0-24-3 and Rodney Sooklal and Clayton Lambert each grabbed one wicket apiece, in Atlantis’ losing cause.

The Final
Everest/ACS is the favorite to win the EACA’s Twenty20 final tomorrow, but they will be facing a formidable opponent in youth and speed in the Richmond Hill team. It may very well come down to guile and experience versus agility and heart.

The Richmond Hill squad will no doubt be going all out to capture a title, while the veteran Everest/ACS squad will make every effort to capture their second championship in as many weeks.
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