Metropolitan Cricket League Challenge Cup
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 29th Anniversary):- Cassius Burton asserted himself as the man in charge of the island, for the day that is, with an excellent all-round performance. It was as though he intended to deliver a compelling farewell speech in the most powerful manner. Only that it was not done with an unassuming voice emanated from pen and paper in one act, but was wordlessly delivered in two acts.
One with the whizzing of a spinning ball in one inning that accounted for a rarity in limited over cricket – a 5-wicket haul, and the other with the crack of leather on willow that took his average passed the 200 mark in the Metropolitan cricket league 2012 season. It is a feat that stands unaccompanied among the batsmen in the history of the league, as Cosmos again established their authority over Mid Island last Sunday at Floyd Bennett field.
It took just four overs of controlled right arm leg spin from Burton to blow away the opposition middle order batsmen, that after Sham Ali had dented the top with three quick wickets on a pitch that offered some lateral movements in the early stages of the match. At 21 for 3 in the 7th, the skies cleared from a pale grey to blue and any hopes of mid Island resurgence, after their initial setback, became rather gloomy with Burton and left arm orthodox Ricky Kissoon operating in tandem.
As the runs dried up, only the two veterans Ian Grizzle and Clem Thompson, the former Jamaica national player, offered a brief resistance. Thompson was let off at mid-on before he had scored and then survived another chance on the mid-on boundary where Burton’s acrobatics on the ropes told the story of the day of Cosmos’s brilliance in the field. On the edge of ropes Burton judged a skier with a timely leap and in the process of taking the catch he threw the ball back into the field before falling over the boundary. It was a brilliant piece of fielding that reduced a six into two runs. Thompson (28) survived, but was later undone by a faster ball from Kissoon.
Burton and Ricky Kissoon combined for a military spell that proved too difficult for the Mid Island lower order and the mounting pressure forced them into series of faulty strokes and eventual submission. Burton then initiated the mid Island procession when Regis Burton ran in from the mid-off boundary to pouched low catch to dismissed I. Grizzle (26). Dass then held on to one at mid wicket while the hands of Faisal Taj and Ralston Levy were safe in the slips, and Neil Lewis picked the bails to give Burton 5 for 18 as Mid Island was bundled out for a paltry 94 runs in the 27th over.
Cosmos then made light work of their target with Burton leading the way with another cameo inning after Taj went with the score on 4 for 1. A solid 47 runs 2nd wicket partnership with Ahsan Riaz (22) put cosmos in a commanding position, and then a breezy 45 runs in 5 overs with Levy (11) ensured that Cosmos reached 96 for 2 in 15.2 overs. Burton remained on 44 runs not out for the 6th time in seven innings. His only completed inning came via a run out taking his average to over 200. With one more match to be played, Cosmos will be looking for a victory to top their zone and earn a spot in the semi finals.
Cosmos will play Islandwide sext Sunday at Floyd Bennett.