By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 29th Anniversary):- Faisal Taj lighted up the historic Walker Park as he blazed his way to an unbeaten half century to secure a comfortable 6-wicket victory over 138 year old Staten Island cricket club at last Sunday.
Cosmos needed to get 130 runs in off their allotted 35 overs got off to an aggressive start with opening batsman Dawan Siddique leading the attack while Ryan Persaud picked up the occasional singles. Cosmos had raced to 42 in 6 overs before Siddique (22) finally holed out on the mid-on boundary and when Persaud (11) fell, in the next over, to a rather dubious run out decision, Cosmos had a slight hiccup.
However, Taj promoted to bat up in the order responded well to his new role. He showed with good temperament as he anchored one end after Cosmos lost another two wickets. At 72 for 4, Rasheem James joined Taj and they began to rebuild the Cosmos inning. Taj mixed aggression with a solid defense while taking full advantage of the occasional loose deliveries to register his first half century of the season. James was equal to the task with some sensible batting as he worked the ball around and rotated the strike while picking up the occasional boundary. The combination of Taj and James took Cosmos home comfortable in the 17th over with an unbroken 5th wicket 70-run partnership with Taj getting 53 not out (7-4s; 3-6s) and James 22 not out (2-4’s; 1-6’s).
Earlier, Cosmos decision to insert Staten Island to bat on a wicket that appeared to offer a bit of movement for the seamers yielded early rewards. Slow Medium pacer Sham Ali (2 for 5 off 5 overs) struck with the first ball of the match when he disturbed P. Nandavan woodwork in what the umpire termed was a ‘leg break’ he then picked up C. Chaudhary to give cosmos an early inroad into the opposition’s middle order. Left arm medium pacer Yogindra Dass held a steady line operating from the Davis end. At the change, Ricky Kissoon (2 for 22 off 6 overs) then made further inroads and subsequently tightened the screws on the opposition middle order. With Staten Island on 72 for 5 in the 19th over, the introduction of off-spinner Maurice Powell then drove the opposition against the wall. Powell proceeded to mopped up the tail with 4 for 27 off 7 overs. H. Khan got 32, U. Kodi got 15 and S. Sackroolar got 16.
After that unceremonious end to Cosmos match against Liberty last Sunday in the Floyd Bennett fiasco when they were 78 for 0 in 8 overs, Cosmos rise above the uncouth episode and bounced back in this match to complete an important win with a good all-round performance.
Cosmos will play Suburbia on Sunday at Floyd Bennett.