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Gonsalves Spurs NYSCL To Independence Cup Triumph

Bobby Pahalad collects the runners-up cash prize from James Persaud.

Andrew Gonsalves receives the best batsman award, while Frankie Baichu (below) accept the best bowler award.

Dharampaul Singh receives his trophy.

By Orin Davidson
July 6th, 2009
Andrew Gonsalves rose to the occasion as his high reputation suggests to spur the New York Softball Cricket League’s # One Team to an easy victory over Guyana All Stars and in the process cart off the Independence Cup softball title on Sunday in Brooklyn.

The former Guyana first class player stroked an attractive half century to help the NYSCL side romp home by five wickets in the much anticipated final.

One of the few players to transition from the hard ball variety to softball, seamlessly over the years, Gonsalves compiled 51 before at appreciative crowd at the Floyd Bennett field. It was one of few accomplishments in a low scoring game where Guyana All Stars scored 134 runs for eight wickets in their allotted 25, batting first.

In reply the NYSCL side rattled up 138-4 in 24 overs. Gonsalves and Michael Persaud laid the foundation for the victory with a second wicket partnership of 85 runs. The pair came together after opener Pooran was dismissed with only 17 runs on the books.

Gonsalves eventually struck four fours and by the time he was finally run out, the match was already in the bag for the NYSCL team. Persaud went on to make 27 following which star batsman Kris Shobai was dismissed for four and Erapali Sahadeo 10.

Frankie Baichu, D. Singh and M. Sukhra each took one wicket, in justification of the ease in which the NYSCL batsmen approached their target.

Earlier the All Stars had little answer for the NYSCL bowlers and eked out their eventual score, that was never going to be enough for the powerful NYSCL lineup. Ravi Bali was the All Stars best batsman, scoring 43. Ravin Ivan supported with 26 in the only other score of note. They found it difficult putting away the bowling of Peter Sookdeo who ended with 2-26 from his allotted five overs. Pooran Beria was also penetrative, taking 2-28 from his five overs.

On a heavy outfield, the All Stars needed players to justify their tag, to get the better of the perennially impressive Sookdeo who has consistently proven himself one of the most effective softball bowlers in New York. R. Barron, Nigel Brown and. J. Ali chipped in with one wicket each for the NYSCL squad.

In the absence of one of the better teams in the Independence Cup Assassins, the NYSCL has taken over as the team to beat following their second straight title triumph. It earned them the prestigious Eagle trophy and $4,000 championship prize.

Gonsalves also carted off the trophy for highest scoring batsman in the series which started on Friday. Baichu took the equivalent prize for bowlers.

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