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Revisiting The Local Scene

By Ray Sundar

Feb. 10th, 2009

16th Sunder Match
Baisley Pond Oval, N.Y.

Inclement weather forced postponement of the 16th Harry Sunder match from September 27, 2008 to October 4, 2008. Though the weather prognosticators forecasted sunshine, early morning cloudiness and a brief shower sent a chill up the coordinator’s (Ray Sundar) spine. However, around 10:30 A.M. the dark, dismal, gloomy cloud which hung over the ground began to dissipate and sunshine prevailed. Temperature hovered in the low 60’s.

Both teams were at full strength and rarin’ to go. The New York All Stars, led by the charismatic and talented Andre Kirton, were chomping at the bit and wanted a go at their opponents. PSAL, led by the affable and adept K. Bridgelall, were equally energized, wanting to shed the underdog status.


The talented Andre Kirton.

The captains strode to the crease. Bridgelall spun the coin. Kirton called “heads”. It was “heads”.
The dynamic Akeem Dodson, US U-19 World Cup Player, and Mr. Reliable, Basdeo Ramnarine, opened for the New York All Stars, facing the fast bowling tandem of Bridgelall and Gomes. They tore into the PSAL bowlers, with Dodson in punishing form. His top score of 75 was decorated with 2 mammoth sixes and 7 exquisitely executed fours disdainfully dispatched to the boundary. Ramnarine scored a quiet 18, Greg Sewdial, arguably the best U-19 player, 12 and Andre Kirton smashed 2 lusty sixes to account for his 12. The other frontline batsmen did not fare too well.

At the expiration of the allotted 20 overs, New York scored a sizzling 154 for 6. That translates into 7.7 runs per over. John Adams’ talented Thakur Singh took 2 wickets.

PSAL got off to a flying start, tattooing fast bowlers Shawn Mehta and Ahmad Dodson. Anthony Rampersaud led the charge putting willow to leather. The first 5 overs proved expensive as PSAL raced to 45 without loss. That is, until Kirton, US U19 World Cup Player, introduced himself into the attack. The scoring rate subsided as wickets tumbled all around. Kirton, the spin meister, was in terrific form taking 4 for 11 as PSAL capitulated for 84. Rampersaud top scored with a cavalier 43.

Prior to the match it was expected Dodson, clearly one of the best young batsmen, and Bangladesh’s Dominic Gomes, a youngster who swats 6s with reckless abandon, would vie for the pyrotechnics trophy. Dodson danced alone as Kirton mesmerized and befuddled Dominic, trapping him LBW for 1, fulfilling a promise he made to me that he will get Dominic very cheaply.

The winning team received a trophy and cash, the losing team cricket gears and the MVP, Akeem Dodson, a bat.

Preysal’s Glen Lorick, one of the true stalwarts of the tournament, was honored for his sterling contributions and meritorious services over the years. Next year others will be so honored.
Aman Tassa Group, led by Amrit Khadar and Bang Out International led by Mohan entertained those in attendance.

Starting in autumn, the match seemed to have concluded on a cold wintry evening as the heavy sweaters, leather jackets and coats made a grand entrance, enveloping some of the ladies as they were visibly trembling.

PS: Our thanks to Queens Parks Department, Chubby Bedessee of Bedessee Sporting Goods, Laparkan Shipping, Hibiscus Restaurant, Bisram Bhagan, Al Abzal, Caribbean Daylight, NewYorkCricket.com, Cricket International, Herman Singh Showtime, Joe Siewharack, Glyne Hurley, Bassett Thompson, Ricky Kissoon and Ronald Chinsammy.

Legends of Port Mourant Match
Baisley Pond Oval, Jamaica

Mahadeo Ajodi’s Connecticut U-17 11 was all set to lock horns with New York City Coaching School U-17 11, managed by Joe Siewharack and coached by Glyne Hurley, for the 3rd Legends Trophy.

Starting an hour late, batting first New York scored 116 for the loss of 9 wickets in the allotted 20 overs. Z. Khan slammed 2x4s in his top score of 16. K. Narine contributed 11. A. Bilal and Patel were the pick of the bowlers, taking 2 wickets each. U-15 spin maestro, Andrew Ajodi, 15, chipped in with 1 wicket. Andrew performed sensationally well in Bermuda in the summer in the ICC Americas tournament, mesmerizing and outflummoxing the opposition.

In response Connecticut managed 102 for 9 in the allotted 20 overs. Chad Monroe, affectionately referred to as Chris Gayle, clobbered 2x4s and a mighty 6 in his top score of 26. S. Sawh contributed 19. C. Rose took 3 wickets.

The lanky Chad Monroe was adjudged Man of the Match. In addition to his 26, he took 1 wicket. He was rewarded with a bat for his efforts. All the other players received gloves, forearm guards or private guards.

Ray Sundar, president of Legends of Port Mourant, Inc., congratulated Harry Brijlall (and the team), the winning captain, and presented the Legends Trophy to him. Mr.Siewharack, Mr. Hurley, president of the Coaching School, and Mr. Mahadeo commended the youngsters for their commitment to the match, playing in less than perfect weather and advised them to continue applying themselves and put forth their best effort.

19th Federation Match
Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn

The less than professional tactics of the Bronx Park Rangers associated with Whitestone/Ferry Point Park, forced the relocation of The Federation’s 19th annual cricket match to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.


Ralph Tamesh with the honorees.

The captains, Trinidad’s Ritchie Siewchand, and former Guyana national player, Sudesh Dhaniram, strode to the pitch for the coin toss. Siewchand won and elected to bat first as brilliant sunshine descended on the field of play.

Trinidad scored just over 5.2 runs per over in reaching 209/5 in the predetermined 40 overs affair. Siewchand scored a brisk 55 and was ably assisted by Surajbally, 52, the evergreen Ganesh Ramsingh, 43, and formerWest Indies player, Raphick Jumadeen, 36.

Requiring a run rate of 5.25 per over for victory, Guyana rattled off the requisite runs for the loss of 7 wickets. Zahir Saffie, the eventual MVP, scored an enterprising 76 to lead all batsmen. Jumadeen took 2 wickets for 43 runs.

In the post-match presentation, former West Indian test players, Leonard Baichan and Raphick Jumadeen, along with Vibert Durjan, were honored for their contribution to the further development of the sport.

As usual The Federation’s officials – Ralph Tamesh, Bisram Bhagan, Frank Singh, Balram Rambrich - did a good job and ought to be commended.

Guyana three-peats
Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn

Granted a reprieve by the rain gods, Guyana rebounded well to defeat a semi-depleted Jamaican squad and win the Ahmad Tournament.

In the rain interrupted final three weeks earlier at Idlewild Park, Guyana was precariously perched. Jamaica, with its high powered imports on hand, had Guyana, with all its high powered imports, on the run. But, proving the weather prognosticators got it right, the rains came; ground maintenance personnel sprung into action, covering the pitch; umbrellas materialized out of thin air; makeshift covers appeared. And Mr. Joe Siewharack, the creative public relations officer of New York Cricket Coaching School, rigged up a temporary cover for six of us under a tree to view the proceedings. The torrential downpour continued. Eventually the match was called off.

Fast forward three weeks to Floyd Bennett Field. Again intermittent rain wreaked havoc. The match was pushed back 3 hours and reduced to a Fifteen/15 affair. Massiah won the toss and elected to take first strike. Guyana made 121/8, with the dashing Sudesh Dhaniram contributing 34. Bowling for Jamaica, Allen took 2 for 10, Thomas 2 for 9 and Gayle 3 for 26.

With several of its high octane imports missing, Jamaica made 110/7. Dennis Evans led all batsmen with 35. McGarrell was the pick of the bowlers, taking 2 for 8.

Mr. Ahmad ought to be commended for his steadfast sponsorship of this tournament. Perhaps, in the future, he could make a special effort to incorporate more players in his tournament who qualify to represent the United States. Also, he may want to start a class action movement to legitimately uplift cricketing standards in the US as USACA seems impotent in this regard.

NYPD Cricket Tournament
Gateway Oval, Brooklyn

Following closely on the heels of the PSAL High School Cricket Tournament earlier in the summer, the New York Police Department came up with its version, involving six teams consisting 15 players each – Pak Brighton, Punjab, Cosmos, Panthers, Superstars and Knight Riders.


The victorious Cosmos Kings.

The final of this Twenty/20 format pitted Punjab against Cosmos at the beautiful Gateway Oval in Brooklyn. Young men from South Asia, Guyana and the Caribbean came prepared to “duke it out for top dog status”. That is, to be crowned champions.

11 a.m. start easily became noon. As someone kiddingly remarked, “we are on Indian stretch time”. The weather gods were in a good mood as brilliant sunshine predominated, with nary a cloud littering the clear blue skies. With temperatures hovering in the balmy 70’s, it was a picture perfect day for the gentleman’s game.

Cosmos won the toss and elected to field. Punjab responded with 180/8 in their allotted 20 overs. Among the runs were Asad 63 (6x4s) and (3x6s) and Syed 37. The chief wicket takers were Syed 3/35 and James 2/22.

Chasing 181 for victory at an asking rate of 9.05 per over, Cosmos started cautiously before Rasheed James exploded, unleashing a ferocious assault, scoring 73 not out with 5x6s and 3x4s. Not to be out done, Bangladesh’s Dominic Gomes put willow to leather, causing an explosion registering a 9.2 on the Richter scale. In shredding the bowling asunder, he ended the match with 3 consecutive majestic sixes to take his team to 184/3 with one delivery to spare. A collective sigh of relief enveloped the Cosmos team as the nail- biter, the nerve wracking encounter came to a successful conclusion.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the police department deserve tremendous credit for this outreach. Messrs Ricky Kissoon, Ashmool Ali, Sham Ali and Shadi Khan deserve a round of applause for molding this tough, fighting unit.

A Suggestion
USACA owes the aforementioned organizers, sponsors, volunteers and cricketers a debt of gratitude for the mini subsidization and affording the youths an alternative to the streets thus enabling them to channel their energies in a positive manner. They ought to reform their attitude so that a more meaningful and comprehensive effort could be instituted to alleviate cricketing standards in general. In the continued absence of transparency the ICC should shed its spinelessness and employ effective sanctions, not the baloney meted out in the past.

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