NY Mayor's Cup
Sam’s Food Stores T20
Strikers Shoot Down NY Destroyers
By Orin Davidson
April, 11th, 2010 | (Photo Gallery)
They are not known as Strikers for no good reason.
The team from the Bronx and the Commonwealth League struck at the exact right moments to kill off New York Destroyers and capture the Sam’s Foods Twenty20 title in the final at Whitestone Park on Sunday.
A scintillating batting performance brought the New Upscale sponsored Strikers back into the game and to an eventual seven -wicket victory with 10 balls remaining, to deny the recently formed NY Destroyers their second title in four competitions.
Shabaz Ahmed, a portly but hard hitting right-handed batsman, took the match away from Destroyers by making their bowlers feel what it is like to be destroyed, with a crushing half century. He slammed 58 as Strikers successfully chased down 166 for the loss of four wickets after Destroyers posted their highest score of the competition in 165-7 in their allotted 20 overs.
Although Destroyers coach Linden Fraser was eyeing a 175 total, it was still felt their eventual total of 10 less was good enough to cart off the title and the trophy and $5000 cash prize that went with it.
But Shabaz whose team uses Whitestone as its home base, tore into the much vaunted Destroyers attack led by United States national fast bowler Kevin Darlington.
He attacked from the get go, hammering 58 off a mere 33 balls that included five fours and four sixes which was solidly aided by Vijai Seonarine with an unbeaten 46. Seonarine’s knock contained three fours and three sixes from 34 balls and was part of a match winning third wicket partnership that left Destroyers shell shocked.
The pair viciously took on Javein Thomas’ off spin for 24 runs in one over that was the pivotal moment in the game that turned the tide in Strikers’ position for good.
Thomas was brought on from the Long Island bay end, and after capturing the second wicket, of Mohamed Aktar, was kept on for one over too long. Darlington gave Destroyers the ideal start when he shattered Abdil Ali’s stumps after unnerving him with a wicked bouncer that breached the left hander’s helmet grill and cut his jaw, in the previous delivery.
And when Thomas bowled Akhtar following a brief flurry, it set the stage for Shabaz and Seonarine to take the attack to Destroyers.
The pair found the boundaries with beautifully timed shots so frequently, it so rattled Destroyers’ captain Barrington Bartley, he failed to use his most prolific wicket-taker leg spinner Dwayne Smith until much too late.
Shabaz and Seonarine brought the run rate down to six runs an over during the assault and when the former was eventually well caught on the mid wicket boundary by Azeemundin Khan, the match was as good as over.
Even a second spell from Darlington made no difference as he was also belted over and beyond the boundary by Seonarine, a former Guyana first class player for Berbice, whose all-round brilliance in the competition would surely earn him a tournament MVP award if one was up for grabs. Darlington’s one wicket cost 36 runs while Thomas’ two cost 46.
who lost the toss and were sent in to bat first for the first time
in the series, set a brisk pace and seemed set to top 180 runs after
Akeem Dodson, Bartley and Clain Williams combined for entertaining
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