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The victorious Cosmos cricket club.

Cosmos Again Reign Supreme As Champions Of The MCL

By S. Ali

Sept. 13th, 2008
(Celebrating 26th Anniversary)- For the second time in three seasons, COSMOS raised the coveted Premier Championship Trophy of the Metropolitan Cricket League Round Robin Competition in vintage fashion, convincingly defeating Progressive last Sunday in the championship game at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn. It was a perfect day for a final after drenching overnight remnants from Hurricane Hanna had sewn some doubts as to whether the contest would even have been staged. However, the day was blessed with clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine as the two best teams in the competition vied for the MCL championship supremacy.

The match, which was carded to be a keen contest and a hard fought battle between the two top teams which have contributed to raising the standard of cricket in the tri-state area and have entertained the MCL with some of the most thrilling matches in recent years, began on somber note as Progressive came in with heavy hearts at the passing of several members of the clubs membership and fan base. Progressive, however, would not be deterred as they put up a brave fight and competed with the resolve of true champions.

Nevertheless, the evolving success of Cosmos was once again carefully scripted in this 2008 season as they punctuated the premier competition with another celebration in the championship match. The challenge of emulating the success of their youth team- Cosmos Kings, which won the inaugural NYPD Twenty/20 championship in a spectacular finish only a few weeks ago seemed to have been added inspiration for the senior team heading into the MCL final. The challenge was readily acquiesced and since Cosmos has been a team that has flourished when faced with challenges, Cosmos’ prolific opening batsman, the impenetrable Vinord Woolcock responded in kind.

Woolcock, who compiled 6 centuries for Cosmos last season including a record double century of 209 not out, again rose to the occasion in the championship game, meticulously constructing a textbook innings. His fellow opening batsman, the pugnacious Martin Nurse got Cosmos off to breezy start posting 50 runs in only 5 overs with a quick-fire 35 runs off 16 balls, eventually forcing Progressive to resort to three early bowling changes before he was deceived by a slower ball from John Sylvester.

Vinord Woolcock of Cosmos.

Timothy Surujbally (40), who had struggled to stay in consistent form earlier in the season, applied himself for a crucial 64-run second wicket partnership with Woolcock. Dixieth Palmer, the architect of Cosmos’ victory in the semi-finals, scoring a brilliant unbeaten century, managed only a short stay at the wicket on this occasion. However, Palmer closely guarded the team’s strategy which had been carefully mapped out under the watchful scrutiny of Cosmos’ longest serving captain, former master batsman and now current coach, Ashmul Ali.

With Cosmos on 132 for 3 in the 23rd over, Orville Williams (29 n.o.), with two centuries already under his belt this season, joined Woolcock in the wicket. This pair remained unruffled in an unbroken 64-run partnership. However, it was Woolcock’s chiseled, masterful match-winning 67 not out that comfortably steered the two-time champs to their third lien on the prestigious Clement “Busta” Lawrence Trophy.

Sham Ali, the destructive force in the semi-finals, again served up another clinical spell of swing bowling. However, with four foiled chances, Sham went wicket-less conceding a miserly 28 runs off his 8 overs. The consummate professional, Kevin Darlington was again on target in his opening spell, initiating the first breakthrough when he got one to deviate slightly clipping the edge of captain Kevil George, who was deputizing for former U.S. national team captain Richard Staple. Nurse, as he has done all season, kept his team in the match bowling with genuine pace and accuracy in his spell of 2 for 23 including a maiden off 7 overs. Cosmos captain Ricky Kissoon, with figures of 2 for 30 kept the other end guarded and just as a budding partnership between Sylvester and Ricky Tousaint was beginning to appear ominous for Cosmos, he removed both batsmen in his fourth over relegating Progressive to 123 for 5 in the 31st over. It was however Mahadeo Moonesar, whose left-hand orthodox spin mesmerized the Progressive batsmen all day long. Moonesar’s brilliant Derek Underwood-like performance, returning match figures of 2 for 25 of 8 overs, might have even been more stellar had Cosmos’ fieldsmen not allowed 2 rudimentary chances off the prolific leg spinner to go a begging. While Cosmos’ bowlers stuck to their task, the fielding was not up to its usual high standard in this final. In the end, Progressive managed a fighting 194 all out off their allotted 39.3 overs, Selwyn Andrew leading the way with 33, ably supported by Sylvester (30) and Mikey Alexis, who had a swashbuckling 27 off 18 deliveries.

For his part, man-of-the-match Woolcock was laser-focused, showcasing a masterful performance stroking his opponents out of any hopes of a repeat of the 1999 championship thriller in which Cosmos successfully defended 131 against Progressive, in the process effectively widening the margin of victory. Woolcock unleashed a series of straight drives reminiscent of some of the greats of yesteryear. With Cosmos within 3 runs of victory and the entire Cosmos contingent on the boundary ropes, Woolcock leaned forward and drove with the full flow of his bat, bisecting the bowler and mid-off as the ball raced along the green Floyd Bennett field on its way to the boundary. After stroking the winning runs, Cosmos batsman Woolcock along with his partner Williams and the entire Cosmos team did not engage in any gaudy celebratory jubilation out of utmost respect for their opponents/friends, acknowledging a trying time for the Progressive club. Instead, both teams shook hands and embraced each other prior to leaving the field of play. Ultimately, it underscored the character of each team and the respect they have for each other, further showcasing the kind sentiments and deep camaraderie existing between the teams.

A satisfied and relieved Woolcock commented, “after last season’s Challenge Cup loss to Westbury, where I was able to get the team off to a good start but could not hang around to see it through to a successful end, I was determined that this championship final would be different. I am happy that I was able to deliver all the goods for Cosmos and all of our fans today.”

A graceful Progressive Manager Jeff James explained that, “very early on in the season I predicted that our 2 teams would have competed in today’s final and while we have had a number of adversities coming into the final, our team gave a good account of ourselves and our players were able to put aside personal tragedy in order to come out and play as hard as we could and in good spirits. We congratulate our friends from Cosmos, they are deserving champions.” Progressive’s captain George said, “I too am happy that we were able to compete at a high level today. Our guys gave good effort and had we bowled with a bit more discipline at the top of our bowling attack, the outcome might have been a lot different.”

Cosmos’ captain Kissoon suggested that, “any thing less than today’s outcome would have been a disappointment for our club given the level of talent that we have and the manner in which we have played our cricket all season.” Cosmos Manager Shadi Khan commented that, “while we like to beat up on teams, I feel badly that it had to be Progressive that we had to defeat for this championship. We share a very deep bond with Progressive but unfortunately today someone had to win and someone had to lose.” Khan then added slyly, “I’m just glad that it was us [that won].” Ever the perfectionist, Coach Ashmul Ali expressed that, “while we achieved our goal of regaining the MCL championship for 2008, I felt that we could have executed much better while we were in the field. However, I am very pleased with the effort of all the guys and of course particularly pleased with today’s outcome.”

Cosmos are 2008 MCL Champions.

Metropolitan Cricket League Round Robin FINAL - Sept. 7, 2008
Venue: Floyd Bennett Field (40 overs)
Umpires: Dewith Coleman / Mark Ebanks

K. George c/wkpr S. Shah b. K. Darlington 15
S. Andrew lbw b. M. Moonesar 33
J. Sylvester b. R. Kissoon 30
C. Dowman c/wkpr S. Shah b. M. Moonesar 07
R. Tousaint c. T. Surujbally b. R. Kissoon 20
M. Alexis lbw b. M. Nurse 27
M. Gray Run Out (sub) L. Latchman 21
G. Coleman b. D. Palmer 15
M. Miller c&b M. Nurse 00
W. Lewis Run Out (direct hit) - R. Kissoon 03
H. Henry Not Out 00
Extras 23
TOTAL 194 All Out off 39.3 overs.
FOW:1-34 (K. George), 2-69 (S. Andrew), 3-80 (C. Dowman), 4-123 (R. Tousaint), 5-123 (J. Sylvester), 6-166 (M. Gray), 7-189 (M. Alexis), 8-189 (W. Lewis), 9-194 (M. Miller), 10-194 (G. Coleman)

Bowling for Cosmos
Name O-M-R-W
S. Ali 8-1-28-0
K. Darlington 8-1-46-1
M. Nurse 7-1-23-2
M. Moonesar 8-2-25-2
R. Kissoon 5-0-30-2
V. Woolcock 1-0-8-0
D. Palmer 3.3-0-23-1

M. Nurse b. J. Sylvester 35
V. Woolcock Not Out 67
T. Surujballi c/wkpr- S. Andrew b. C. Dowman 40
D. Palmer c. J. Sylvester b. C. Dowman 07
O. Williams Not Out 29
M. Moonesar Did Not Bat
N. Hutchinson Did Not Bat
S. Shah Did Not Bat
S. Ali Did Not Bat
R. Kissoon Did Not Bat
K. Darlington Did Not Bat
Extras 18
TOTAL 196 for 3 off 34.1 overs.
FOW: 1-52(M. Nurse), 2-116(T. Surujbally), 3-132(D. Palmer)

Bowling for Progressive
Name O-M-R-W
M. Miller 4-0-40-0
J. Sylvester 8-1-28-1
C. Dowman 8-0-53-2
H. Henry 5-0-23-0
K. George 8-0-38-0
W. Lewis 1.1-0-8-0


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