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USACA National Under-15 Tournament
Smashing Beginning For New York Region Youngster

By S. Ali and C. Bennett

June 26th, 2009
The demolition duo of Armanauth Persaud and Waqas Shah got the New York Region (NYR) off to an excellent start with an emphatic 10-wicket thumping in their opening match against the South East Region (SER) in the United States of America Cricket Association’s National U-15 Tournament at the Spartan Ground in San Francisco, California.

Armanauth Persaud (top) and Waqas Shah.

NYR captain Trevis Ross, after winning the toss in the 40-over affair, opted to take the field first in conditions that seemed aptly suited for his seam bowlers. Persaud and Yousuf immediately rewarded their captain’s confidence, wreaking havoc in the opposition’s batting lineup in two devastating and clinical spells of seam bowling. Persaud in particular bowled with tremendous control in a miserly spell, returning 4 for 8 off his 8 overs, while Shah who fought valiantly to control the swinging ball in his spell returned an also impressive 2 for 24 off his 8 overs.

With the SER reeling on 32 for 6, Ross marshaled his troops well in the field applying unyielding pressure, plugging the gaps with attacking field placements and leaving the opposition no room to breathe any form of life. Medium-pacer Chris Singh and left-arm orthodox spinner Brandon Dat would later contribute variety to the attack, which proved to be too much for the opposition as they mopped up the tail, relegating the SER to a paltry 38 all out. The writing was on the wall well before NYR coach Ashmul Ali could complete his customary instructive rounds around the boundary.

For NYR in reply, it was once again the Persaud and Shah show. The instructions from the coach were very simple, imploring the youngsters to apply themselves in their reply with a further expectation of attaining victory without losing any wickets. Having already dismantled the opposition in their stint with the ball, Persaud and Yusuf perhaps not realizing that they had just landed in California and were not on their home turf returned to add salt to an already severely wounded SER team, blasting the 39 runs required for victory in a mere 3 overs -- almost as if they had a plane to catch. Persaud finished unbeaten on 22 and Shah unbeaten on 9.

After the match, NYR manager Selwyn Caesar was elated at the outcome, stating, “I have not seen youngsters swing the ball like this in a long time. I am very satisfied with the maturity shown by these young players and the way they responded to their coach.” For his part, Coach Ali also expressed satisfaction with his team’s all-round performance and the emphatic victory registered by his young charges. ”There is still work to be done. These boys played like a team and showed discipline on the field even though they had little time to prepare. I am also really impressed with the leadership of Captain Trevis Ross on the field. The team will be gearing up for much tougher competition in the next two days and hopefully return to NY with a championship,” said Ali. Captain Ross added, “I am confident that we will give a good account of ourselves and I am happy with the way we bowled and fielded today.”

NYR will take on North West Region in their next encounter.

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