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New York, Setsup Showdown With New Jersey

By Orin Davidson

July 5th, 2008
New York took one step closer to acceptance by disgruntled fans when the Regional team inched closer to regaining the Eastern Conference title with a close victory over Florida (South East Region) on Saturday.

Defending champions New Jersey (Atlantic Region) honored their part of the bargain in the quest to regain the respect of United States cricket fraternity by outplaying Connecticut (North East) in the other game.

It means the two most accomplished teams in the Eastern Conference will collide for the title on Sunday, in a rematch that could go a long way towards restoring respectability in the sport after the United States team’s embarrassing elimination from the 2011 World Cup preliminary competition.

New York who thumped Connecticut on Friday, were made to earn their laurels in getting past Florida by 12 runs in a rain affected encounter at Idlewild Park, Queens

The home team managed a modest 224 runs all out after being sent in to bat, then halted Florida’s victory charge by dismissing the latter team for 212 runs in 41 overs.

But the victory did go down with some measure of controversy when Florida was docked three overs for slow overrate. As a result their allotment was reduced to 41 from 44 after a late start had trimmed the original 50 overs a side encounter.

Lennox Cush, now considered a Twenty20 specialist led New York’s triumph with a solid all-round performance as veteran Kester Sylvester led the scoring for the second day in a row.

He struck a valuable 76 runs tally at the top of the order, to follow up on 69 made the previous day.

The right-hander hit five fours and two sixes and got support from Cush who came good with 40 that included a solitary boundary. Captain Steve Massiah chipped in 39, aided by three fours while Dennis Evans contributed 23.

Perennial leg spinner Nasir Javed showed that he is still the best from the South, by bagging four wickets for 41 runs. And although he got good support from Jibran Alamgul and Dhronal Shah with 2-51 and 2-21 respectively, Florida’s batsmen wasted their bowlers’ effort.

Mohammed Masood was the visiting team’s highest scorer with 28 batting at number seven. Anand Tummala got 26 and Shah 25.

Cush capped his day’s work by capturing 3-41 with his off spin while youth player Dwayne Smith made his presence felt with an impressive haul of 2-17. George Adams supported with 2-33.

A little earlier in the day New Jersey sailed by Connecticut by four wickets at the Floyd Bennett field.

The embattled Connecticut batted first and could only muster 194 all out in 39 overs to which Atlantic replied with 197-6 in 36.2 overs.

Captain Fazal Alam stood around for a topscore of 37 while Alexis Martin was left support-less with 36 not out at the end. Keniel Williams was the only other batsman to resist with 29.

Former West Indies all rounder Neil McGarrell was the best bowler on show, ending with great figures of 2-15 off eight overs for New Jersey. Kiran Patel added to the batsmen’s woes, taking 2-43 and Nadeem Akram maintained it with 2-45.

New Jersey captain Roopnarine Gowkarran made a solid 55 not out while Clain Williams and David Walton cashed in with 45 and 40 respectively. Star batsman Rashard Marshall did not as he made only six. Keniel Williams bagged 3-45 for Connecticut but his effort was in vain

New Jersey will now move on to Idlewild Sunday for the deciding clash with New York while Connecticut will stay on at Floyd Bennett to play Florida in the final round of matches.

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