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Vinord Woolcock Slams Twenty/20 Ton

By S. Ali-

Oct. 1st, 2008
(Celebrating 26th Anniversary) - Vinord Woolcock stroked a belligerent century against Lions in the Metropolitan Cricket League (MCL) Twenty/20 quarter finals at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn last Sunday to lead Cosmos to a comfortable victory and a spot in the semi-final. The impenetrable Woolcock followed up his man-of-the-match performance (67 not out) in Cosmos’ seven-wicket victory over Progressive in the MCL Premier Round Robin championship a week earlier, by scoring an unbeaten 107 not out.

Vinord Woolcock

On a much welcomed warm and sunny mid-September day, Cosmos went into the match with a different tact, promoting four of their youngsters for inclusion in the senior team, and once again leading by example in providing opportunities for their U-19 players to gain valuable late season experience. Two of the young debutants, promising all-rounder Abdullah Syed whose cameo inning in the championship match which sealed an impressive victory for the New York Region U-19 team in the recently concluded USACA U-19 tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as well as the prolific all-rounder and hard-hitting middle order batsman Dominic Gomes, who led Newcomers High School to the inaugural Public School Athletic League championship, performed admirably. The other two debutants, left arm medium pacer Keshan Dass and the cerebral all-rounder Atiq Baksh whom wore their Cosmos senior caps proudly seemed well at ease at the elevated level, versus a high-riding Lions.

Lions, perhaps still reveling in their victory over Villagers in the MCL Challenge Cup semi-final, won the toss and elected to bat getting off to a good start reaching 64 runs in only 6 overs against a surprisingly wayward and indisciplined opening attack. However, Cosmos’ fielding department which was bolstered by the addition of the youngsters, greatly neutralized Lions’ charge and the indisciplined bowling putting the brakes on the opposition by restricting them to a reasonable 154 for 6 in the allotted 20 overs.

Cosmos reached their target with two overs to spare after Woolcock and Shafeek Shah anchored innings with an unbroken opening stand. The otherwise aggressive Shaw, played second fiddle at the wicket as if his chemical meter was reading an adrenaline imbalance that was exceptionally low as he was content to restrict his repertoire to just two strokes -- a long-forward defensive and a vicious attempted square cut -- as he supported the battle against the Lions’ attack. When Woolcock cut Shah defended, Woolcock drove Shah defended, Woolcock hooked Shah ducked and in the process came up with a 'breathtaking' unbeaten 23 runs while absorbing a full dose of the highly charged Woolcock at the other end.

In the company of Woolcock, the highly subdued Shah showed the patience of a yoga instructor as Woolcock went berserk, cracking 13 fours and 3 sixes. The destructive Woolcock reached his century with his signature pull over the mid-wicket boundary in an inning that lasted just 73 deliveries. However contrasting the styles were of the opening pair at the wicket, they formed a deadly combination to cage the lions in the eighteenth over.

It was an impressive win for Cosmos, improving its record on the season to 18-1-1 and registering its 15th consecutive victory on a brilliantly sunny cricket day in a competition that perhaps for the first time in the MCL will run into October. Cosmos will play Liberty in the semi-final on October 5th at Floyd Bennett field.

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