By Dyon Ravello
The first round of EACA Power 40 came to a close on Sunday 24th June. The final round was not without its fanfare or tense moments as Falcons hosted Meter Meer Zorg at Flushing. Falcons won the toss, taking the opportunity to have first strike. Fast Medium bowler Amarnauth Persaud got in the action earlier as he bowled opener Rajendra Khan and captain Zulifikar Ali. At the other end J. Hardeen played resourcefully as he attempted to keep his team on course. Persaud’s new ball partner Rocky Kowchai was not absent from the action as he removed opener Mahindra Harprashad (17), Komal Shamsundar and Manoj Shamsundar.
Hardeen’s cameo came to an end leg before to Ramdiall for 24 with MMZ creating and opening into the Falcons tail. However, they were denied immediate success as Lakeram Mohan and J Karan put together a consolidating partnership. It was Mohan attempting to increase the run rate only to be caught at straight mid wicket for 27. That dismissal created a real opportunity as Zaaid Majeed had Karan caught for 25 and had wickets 9 and 10 all timbers. Falcons all out for 146 in 29 overs. Majeed led the attack with 3/21, Kowchai 3/21 and Persaud 2/32.
Needing less than four runs per over for what would have been predicted as another cruise home, got off to the most disastrous starts as Captain Azurdeen Mohammed was run out trying to pick up a quick single off a fumble in the covers. Fellow opener Ken Nandkumar rue the loss and knew he would have to make up for the err. Nandkumar took the attack to Falcons but he would see the back of Baksh as he was caught at square leg off Komal. Then Nandkumar (23) would play one shot too many as Komal accounted for the disturbance of his stumps.
Reeling with three wickets down in only four overs MMZ were now at the mercy of the Falcon’s claw. Manoj accounted for Travis Ross with Kumar Hemnauth dismissing Persaud in the very next over. Hemnauth would again induce the edge but this time wicketkeeper Z. Ali could not hold on giving Saud Hussain first ball chance. That miss would count to be a costly one, as Hussain played the waiting game as he anchors his team. The procession of wickets slowed be nonetheless continued, Majeed, Ejaz Asgarally and Kowchai were all victims as Falcons looked to press home the advantage.
Batting at number 10, Rawle Hoyte (24*) played his usual “no non-sense” innings to complement Hussain’s steady approach. The pair mixed aggression with cautious taking the single as well as pouncing on the odd boundary. Their efforts were more than sufficient as Falcons ran out of tricks to pry the last two wickets. MMZ recovering at the depth to seek home from a very precarious position.
In such a low scoring affair Hussain’s (27*) rearguard innings was undoubtedly the game changer. MMZ now move on to EACA Divison A alongside Hillside, Big Apple, and LIUCC from Zone II as Falcons, All Stars, Arsenal and Victory will vie for Division B bragging rights.