By Dervon A. Wallace
Former champion Villagers CC made it 2 wins in as many starts all be it a nail biting 2 wicket win with 3 balls to spare against a resurgent Mid-Island CC lead by former Jamaican international Clem Thompson as action continued in the Metropolitan Cricket League Clement “Busta” Lawrence Round Robin Tournament on Sunday May 12, 2013 at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens NY.
As the start was delayed due to some mopping up exercise of the pitch which was caused by the overnight heavy rain which lashed the Tri State, it was cleared that the team winning the toss may want to insert their opponent and that was justified by Villagers CC returning captain Cliff Roye who won the toss and ask Mid-Island to take first strike.
Rohan Burrell still smarting from his brilliant century in the first round open the batting with James Sewell took advantage of a weaken Villagers attack as only Talisman Gordon bowled with any precision.
The pair added 73 from 13.3 overs before the veteran Ewart Gayle had Burrell caught on the long-on boundary by Andre Hopper for 29 (41 balls 1×4) . James was next to go for a well played 47 (58 balls 3×4 and 2×6) caught by Ramroy Ricketts at short mid-wicket off the bowling of Cuthbert Mendonca who had him caught in the slips a few balls earlier only to see the outstretch arm of umpire Errol Gardener signaling no-ball. Ian Grizzle made 22 (28 balls 2×4) before he was run out and Ryan Gittens was bowled by Gordon for an entertaining 43 (47 balls 3×4 and 1×6) as the innings folded for 195 for 7 from the allotment of 35 overs.
Gordon finish with 1 for 25 from 7 overs, Hopper 1 for 40 from 5 overs, Gayle 1 for 33 from 5 overs, Richard Staples 1 for 32 from 7 overs, Mendonca 1 for 27 from 4 overs and Melroy Kingston 1 for 35 from 7 overs .
Needing 196 for victory Villagers opened with Melroy Kingston and Richard Staples, Kingston after looking good was first to go for 16 (14 balls 1×4 and 1×6) with the score on 32 from the first ball of the 6th over brilliantly stumped down the leg side off the bowling of Lesroy Drew by the wily young wicketkeeper Andre Lindsay who kept all Villagers batsmen on watch keeping up to the stumps from the word go. It was to be 32 for 2 one ball later as Marvin Simpson continued his trademark of failing to score in his first game every season for the last 4 years when he was struck plum in front for a golden duck. Villagers was in a spot of bother when captain Roye attempting a single was found short by Lindsay for 1 to make it 34 for 3 in 8 overs. Staples was joined by Mendonca and they tried to construct on inning putting on 40 from 37 balls before the latter was also run out by Lindsay for 14 (28balls 1×4). Gordon better known for his bowling showed that he can be considered an all-rounder as after top scoring in the previous game did so again with an enterprising half century of 52 (40 balls 3×4 and 2×6) while sharing in a 48 run partnership with the experience Staples who was playing a responsible innings showing how good of a player and educated cricketer he is before he was controversially given out bowled for 38 (61 balls 2×4) to a ball that appear to many in the ground to have rebounded off the wicket keeper’s pad before disturbing the stumps and after consultation between both umpires Gardener and Victor Reeves he was given out much to the disgust of the Villagers camp.
Hooper who was making a return to the Villagers team after a few years did not fare well and made 3 as Villagers slip to 127 for 6 from 25 overs, Raldo Mowatt joined Gordon and they put on 34 before Gordon was out caught off the bowling of Nick Ramratton to make it 161 for 7 still needing 35 from 36 balls with Villagers having the luxury of an opening batsman for much of his career in the form of Charles “Give Thanks” Walker walking in at number 9 and he guided Mowatt who played his best inning for Villagers since joining the club some 3 years ago in making a very good 25 (21 balls 3×4) before been comprehensively bowled by a delighted Ramratton off the last ball of his spell and 32nd over of the inning. Needing another 13 from 18 ball Walker was joined by another veteran in Gayle who is known for his left arm spin bowling but both seems to have the cool head it needed in the situation as they carefully negotiated whatever Mid- Island throw at them stealing a couple singles and could been seen tiring in their brief stay.
It was 189 for 8 at the completion of the penultimate over, with Walker on strike for the start of the 35th and final over Villagers still needing 7 runs to win, it was the elder statesman in Walker to light up the park as he swung Gittens first delivery exquisitely over mid-wicket for a sweetly timed boundary and could be seen and heard waving and telling the bowler in no uncertain terms: “I’m the Elder!!! you can’t short to me or you’ll be retrieving balls after balls” the next ball was pitched up and the two veteran stole a leg bye, the third ball of the over was superbly cut though backward point by Gayle who held the pose for whatever camera was in the ground before the two “old foe” completed the 2 runs needed for victory much to the delight of the Villagers camp.
Bowling for Mid-Island: Gittens 0 for 38 from 6.3 overs, Drew 2 for 26 from 7 overs, Thompson 0 for 27 from 7 overs, Grizzle 1 for 58 from7 and Ramratton 3 for 47 from 7overs
Final score Mid-Island 195 for 7 from 35 overs and Villagers CC 196 for 8 from 34.3 overs
Man Of The Match: Talisman Gordon.