By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 29th Anniversary):- Cosmos walked onto the Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn on Sunday June 26, 2011 against Progressive to mark their 900th match. It was only fitting as it was a coincidence that Cosmos would share such a hallmark in the club’s history with a team like Progressive; a team that has engaged in a high level of competitiveness and tremendous camaraderie with Cosmos over the years.

Lalta Persaud.

Well, when it comes to the history of Cosmos and rivalry between teams, there is nothing too gentle about the gentleman’s game like that between Cosmos and Progressive. The battle has enveloped these two teams and the spectators at every opportunity and last Sunday’s match lived up to those expectations.

Progressive, after winning the toss and elected to bat, had positioned themselves on 89 for1 in the 20th over before cosmos struck two crucial blows.  Faisal Taj bowled Captain Kevil George (34) and Ricky Kissoon, after a probing spell, then trapped John Sylvester (3). Taj then removed L. Rattery, and when wicketkeeper D. Siddique ran back to the 30 yard marker and gloved a brilliant catch to removed danger-man Mikey Alexis. Cosmos then exposed the progressive tail when L. Deonarine had opening batsman T. Henry (55) stumped off a wide down the leg side and the match had swung with progressive on 121 for 6 in the 29th over.  When C. Elliott nicked to slip went down in the next over, a crucial opportunity was missed and Cosmos would later rue that opportunity as  the pair posted a rearguard effort to reach 178 for 7 off 40 overs.

Cosmos made steady progress in their quest for a victory as they moved to 72 for 2. Taj (15) was just beginning to get settled when he ran himself out after he pushed to point and took off for an impossible run. However, a lack of application on a good batting wicket accounted for a middle order collapsed. Ryan Persaud (13) was outdone by a faster ball and Rasheem James (17) then played an adventurous sweep and missed. Kissoon and Deonarine followed soon thereafter as Cosmos slide to 125 for 8 in the 30th over.

Lalta Persaud held Cosmos hopes together with an aggressive late surge as he and Sham Ali chipped away with at the opposition’s total in fading light. These two teams have never seemed to miss an opportunity to engage in a tense battle, and this match was not any different as it had turned and twisted throughout the day. Cosmos needed another 25 runs in 4 overs with the last power-play over to be bowled with Persaud and Ali leading the fight back. The first ball in the last power-play over was a full toss, Ali swing and missed and the stumps rattled behind him. Dass needed to get a touch to give Persaud the strike at Cosmos’s last hope. He charged down the wicket and swing, missed, stumped. The postmortem of ifs and would haves became the topic of conversation as Cosmos lost this match and with that possibly a missed chance of a playoffs spot for the first time in the last ten years.