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Sewdial Powers New York Home
……New Jersey Takes Out Connecticut

By Orin Davidson
May 23rd, 2009
Lightening don’t normally strike twice, yet the improbable almost befell New York Saturday in the defense of their United States Under-19 cricket championship.

Casper Davis Jr rout Florida with figures of 5 for 60. Below Gregory Sewdial played a captain's knock hitting 76 not out.

Another sluggish performance, this time in the batting department cut it close for New York as they sneaked past Florida/Georgia (South West Region) by two wickets to post win number two at 188th Street, Seaview ground. It was a display reminiscent of their subpar bowling the previous day that result in a narrow 13- run win over Connecticut/Massachusetts (North East).

It was however, a successive day for captain Gregory Sewdial who came of age with a mature batting display to seal New York’s triumph and setup the customary showdown for a place in the final, with arch rivals New Jersey/Washington (Atlantic Region), who outplayed Connecticut by four wickets minutes afterwards , nearby on field #2 at the Seaview venue.

Sewdial lifted his game with a dashing display that yielded him 76 accomplished undefeated runs. He was the only scorer of note for New York who struggled to their target, ending on 137 runs for eight wickets. It was after fiery pace bowler Casper Davis Jr led a rout of Florida who slumped to 135 all out in 32.2 overs, with a five-wicket haul.

Sewdial took the crease at number three and immediately showed he was a cut above the rest of the batsmen, mixing aggression with defense, scoring boundaries at will as wickets tumbled around him. He struck 13 fours and was so dominant, the next best score was 13 from Keon Lake.

New York was undermined early by fast bowler Gaston Walker who sent back the first three batsman to leave the home team struggling on 23-3. Sewdial was a major stumbling block though, as he blasted his team to victory, right to the end. Such was the dismay of New York with their performance, number 10 batsman Hugo D’Oliviera slammed the winning wins with a straight heave for four and promptly threw his bat away, suggesting to his teammates, it was easier than they made it look.

Walker ended with three wickets for 39 runs, bowling unchanged for 10 straight overs. Zainali Sayyed and Vaibhar Nayar supported with 2-24 and 2-28 respectively. Earlier Davis’ pace overwhelmed Florida’s batting as he blasted out his first two victims in successive deliveries to setup a hat-trick ball. He ended somewhat expensive, but his five wickets laid the foundation for victory.

Davis’ emergence this year, has left the New York team spoiled for riches but, is also creating a dilemma because of the strict eligibility requirement this year. With only two places allotted for non- citizens/ residents, Davis who does not qualify in either category, is among three players vying for the position. Lake is the first choice, because of his all-round qualities, while opener Ileo Freeman is contesting with Davis for the other. Coach Linden Fraser explained that Freeman’s batting is crucial in a suspect order but he was rested for Saturday’s game and Davis got his chance which he grabbed with both hands and landed the Man of the Match award in the process.

Kavishwar Bridgepaul was New York’s next best bowler Saturday, bagging 2-18. Florida’s exciting 16-year-old batsman Steven Taylor hit seven fours in 36 while Mohamed Sheik top scored with 37 not out.

In another low scoring game, Mohamed Assad Ghous produced a brilliant batting display to spur New Jersey home. Ghous complied 93 to follow up on 75 he scored the previous day, to lead his lead to 174-6, chasing Connecticut’s 173 all out.

Ghous, who is establishing himself as one of the tournament stars, hit 15 fours Saturday in a one-man show. None of the other batsmen reached 20, as New Jersey needed just 37.2 overs to seal the deal.

Mohamed Assad Ghous

Leg spinner Andrew Ajodhi once again was Connecticut’s best bowling, picking up 3-34 as star utility player Asruddin Mohamed went wicket-less after initially doing duty keeping wicket.

Earlier Mohamed could not repeat his batting form against New York, as he went for 27 as Connecticut was dismissed in 43 overs. Rasheem James, another New York transplanted player, topscored with 29. The batting was undone by New Jersey’s spin led by Akash Pathak who was virtually unplayable with his leggies, otching excellent figures of 4-12. Fellow leg spinner Yash Shah supported with 2-28.

With both New York, and New Jersey, unbeaten with two wins each, they will virtually contest the tournament final, instead of the Eastern Conference decider Sunday at Gateway Park. In the other game, Florida and Connecticut will clash at 88th Street Seaview.

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