Metropolitan Cricket League
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 29th Anniversary):- The winds of change have blown in the direction of Cosmos as they persevered throughout the season and ultimately secured a spot in the MCL 2012 Round Ribbon competition with a convincing victory over Lions at Floyd Bennett field last Sunday. With that victory they have diffused any air of uncertainty and dusted off any lingering cobwebs that were still clinging on up until the final round as they now prepare for the semi final showdown.
Lions was the last hurdle for Cosmos to scale and they did it with a good team effort to rattle up a good 249 for 9 off their allotted 35 overs. FaisaL Taj provided the initial foundation with a solid 77-run opening partnership with Ahsam Riaz (28) before Riaz was adjudged lbw. Rasheem James and Cassius Burton contributed to their own demise by running themselves out, but then glanced at Taj, on their way, with a sort of shifted blame, 106 for 3. Taj, however, looked unfazed as he quickly diffused any blame by taking some sharp singles with the burly Sohan Dass to prove that his running is ‘ok’. He and Dass then combined for a 73-run partnership before he, Taj, holed out on the mid wicket boundary for a well played 79 runs.
Dass then tapped into his experience and held the Cosmos lower order together with mini but important partnerships. Dass, was clean off the pads through the mid wicket region and neat through point, mixed with a few crisp straight drives. He then gave a glimpse into his prowess as a batsman to have represented Guyana with the shot of the day, a scorching drive through the covers to bring up his 50. When he finally holed out on the mid wicket boundary for a classy 67 runs, he had positioned Cosmos on firm grounds at 230 for 8. By then, Lions had lost their strength and looked battered as Cosmos closed their inning on an imposing 249 for 9 off their allotted 35 overs.
Cosmos were relentless in defense of their target. They tackled Lions from every angle with a combination of blows. Fast-man James sprayed Lions with a barrage of ‘tactical wides’ -16 to be exact – that left Lions motionless and his team mates somewhat perplexed, while his other partners were on target. At one point there were eight men converging on the opposition as Cosmos had managed to back Lions into a corner. At 99 for 7 Cosmos became somewhat idle as it was only a matter of time before Lions would roar no more and finally collapse to 105 runs.
There could not have been a better script delivered by this Cosmos team as they were required to take full points from their last 5 of 6 games to earn a spot in the playoffs. They did it in the most convincing manner, against teams that were expected to blow them away, and they did it with a combination of basic old fashion cricket. It will be a most interesting contest in the semi final as this Cosmos team will be tested again.
Cosmos will play Progressive next Sunday in the semi final at Floyd Bennett.