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New York Holds Off Connecticut ….. New Jersey Trounces Florida

By Orin Davidson
May 22nd, 2009
Maybe it was the occasion, or just plain rustiness as New York made a ragged start to their defense of the United States national Under-19 championship, while their chief rivals in the Eastern Conference New Jersey/Washington DC (Atlantic Region) was brilliant in opening round matches Friday in Brooklyn.

Azrudeen Mohamed during his knock of 57.
(Photos by Shiek Mohamed)

In defeating Connecticut/ Massachusetts (North East Region), New York looked a far cry from the team that exhibited peerless standards in winning the 2008 and 2007 national titles.

They were pushed to the hilt by Connecticut, known as the weakest team in these championships before winning by 17 runs at Gateway Park.

Before an enthusiastic gathering of cricket fans, witnessing the champions for the first time at home, New York were weak in the field and ineffective in bowling. It resulted in the team’s discard Asruddin Mohamed, appearing for the first time in Connecticut colors, upstaging his ex teammates with a fine all-round performance, that was the foundation upon the team’s strong showing.

Mohamed stuck an attractive 57 runs, opening the batting as Connecticut chased down New York’s challenging score of 250 all out, ending on 233 runs for nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Taking first strike New York came on strong in the latter stages of their innings to post a score which in normal circumstances should’ve well beyond the reach of Connecticut, Leirkam Latchman top scored with a fine 52 and shared a solid fifth wicket partnership of 78 with Keon Lake who compiled an impressive 44. Captain Gregory Sewdial did not live up to his normal high standards, nevertheless he scored an important 28 batting at number three..

None of the other batsmen made an impression against steady bowling spearheaded by the irrepressible Mohamed who bagged three wickets for 41 run with his orthodox left arm spin. Andrew Ajodhi supported well with his right arm leg spin, bagging 2-35 while Herno Smith was also impressive as he captured 2-33.

Mohamed who was omitted by New York this year for failing to attend any of the team practice matches and trial games, decided to try out for Connecticut, was instantly selected and justified the decision with a performance that earned him the Man of the match award.

Leirkam Latchman top scored with a fine 52 for New York.

His absence for New York’s training seemed not to have any effect on his play as he looked sharp while taking the attack to the New York fast bowlers who were wayward most of their spells. The home team did not help themselves by spilling catches and missing routine ball gathering on the ground.

After Mohamed was given out lbw to a decision he was disappointed with, Connecticut suffered a collapse, but a 75 runs ninth wicket partnership spearheaded by Patel Vrushank who hit an aggressive 45, almost brought off an upset victory.

Regis Burton was New York’s best bowler, picking up 4-45 in a solid display while Keon Lake captured 2-30.

New Jersey, on the contrary produced a clinical display particularly in the field to rout Florida/Georgia (South East Region) by 126 runs at the 108th Street Seaview ground.

Batting first New Jersey compiled 231 all out, then skittled out Florida for a paltry 105 in 30 overs. Mohamed Assad Ghouse led New Jersey’s scoring with an attractive 75 and got good support from Henry Wardley who struck 46. Nisarg Choukshai contributed 31.
Zainali Sayyed was Florida’s best bowler, claiming 4-28 in a brilliant performance and although Gaston Walker supported well with 3-47 and Vaibhar Nayer had 2-46, Florida’s batsmen let down the team.

New Jersey’s Yash Shah was the chief wrecker of Florida’s innings, bagging four wickets while Ghouse returned with the ball to notch two ,

The Eastern Conference series will continue Saturday with New York taking on Florida at Floyd Bennett Field and New Jersey opposing Connecticut at 108th Street.

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