By John L. Aaron
The Tri-State Lynx Women’s Cricket squad is indisputably the most organized, very well coached and responsive of any known women’s cricket program in the United States at the moment, as is evidenced by their rate of success under the watchful eyes of their coach and mentor Linden Fraser.
Meeting for the second time in this year’s Tri-State Women’s One-Day Tournament in the tri-state area, the undefeated Lynx with an arsenal of players, including several US national players and others who have represented cricketing nations, clobbered New York Warriors by 179 runs last Saturday at Gateway Park in Brooklyn.
The Tri-State Lynx appears to showcase a different star on their team each outing. This past weekend it was Nadia Gruny scoring only the second century (107 not out) in US history by a female player. The other and first one, a few weeks ago by Lorena Vitte, 100 not out. USA national player Indomatie Goordial-John missed scoring a ton by the margin of a single boundary earlier in the tournament. All three ladies no doubt help to make Tri-State Lynx the cricket powerhouse it is fast becoming.
In their now familiar orange and blue uniforms, the team enjoyed a romp in the park against the New York Warriors, themselves with a few former national players from other cricketing countries.
With recent women’s cricket benefactor John Warburg in attendance and a moderate group of spectators, the Lynx paraded another of their stars Nadia Gruny, and appears to do so at every outing, making it virtually impossible for the opposition to identify and target a specific player as the threat to victory. However, staples like Indomatie-Goordial John are almost expected to be involved in the Lynx victories. Last Saturday was no exception, as Goordial-John grabbed 4 wickets for 5 runs off of 8 overs, and including 5 maidens.
Batting first Tri-State Lynx was in a spot of trouble as teammate Tamika Kowlessar “on loan” to the Warriors struck early claiming the prized scalps of Lorena Vitte and Meena Bhaskar (sister of 15 year-old teammate Shebani Bhaskar), but not before Catherine Joy Jones, a pillar of the Warriors had sent USA national wicketkeeper Monique Mathee back to the stands without scoring.
The Lynx would recover from 15 for three to score 238 for 5 in their allotted 40 overs, albeit recording one of their lowest totals of the tournament, thus far. The Lynx if bothered by the tally did not appear worried at all. It was business as usual – go out and get the job done.
The Tri-State Lynx’ total was a result of worthy partnerships between Nadia Gruny and three of her teammates – Karen Bayles, Goordial-John and skipper Candacy Atkins. Gruny who arrived in New York on a red eye flight from San Francisco just hours before the start of the match, would record the highest total (107 n.o.) by any US women’s player and only the second recorded century. Her painstaking recovery knock included 6x4s and a massive 14 off of the final over. She was ably assisted by Karen Bayles, herself arriving on Saturday morning from Florida and scoring 33, including 3x4s. Indomatie Goordial-John and Candacy Atkins each scored 29, as part of the Lynx total of 238.
Tamika Kowlessar with figures of 5-0-26-2 and Catherine Joy Jones 8-1-52-2 were responsible in large part for the five Lynx dismissals.
In response, it was a daunting and uphill task for the New York Warriors, with a batting line up that was missing US national Joan Alexander. New York was off to a disastrous start losing wickets at rapid intervals, but standout bowler, turned batswoman Catherine Joy Jones was applauded for a stalwart effort, scoring 67 in the New York Warriors response of 119 all out in 29 overs. The only other player to reach double figures was veteran Beverly Brown with 17, including two boundaries.
However, it was Jones’ enthralling knock that kept the crowd on its feet, as she played an array of shots, both aggressive and defensive, while dispatching the ball to the ropes on eight occasions. Unfortunately, Jones ran out of partners and gas, shortly before the embarrassing debacle came to an end, as the late afternoon sunlight crawled across the Gateway Park and away from the Belt Parkway towards downtown Brooklyn.
Stalwart Goordial-John’s devastating match figures of 4 for 5 was supported by Shondell Ward 7.2-2-31-3, Shinead Emerson 4-1-28-2 and Triholder Marshall 7-0-37-1.
When one looks at the production effort of the Tri-State Lynx against the backdrop of the commitment and effort the ladies make to participate, it is not surprising that they have yielded the success they have in less than two years. Nadia Gruny took the red eye flight out of San Francisco and entered the record books; Karen Bayles and Monique Mathee arrived on Saturday morning from Florida just hours before the match and contributed 33 and some excellent work behind the sticks, respectively. Lynx skipper Candacy Atkins worked until midnight on Friday night, before traveling from Connecticut to contribute 29, and so the stories go, for both teams I am sure, but one cannot question the dedication of the Tri-State Lynx players and their coach Linden Fraser, to a cause they are all passionate about – making the USA national team.
“I am amazed by the level of commitment and passion of these ladies,” said benefactor, cricket fan and player John Warburg, as he watched the match to the end.