By Dervon Wallace
On the back of impressive all round performance by Rashard Marshall, Villagers CC made it 3 in 3 comprehensively defeating a good New Hope CC by 7 wickets with 116 balls to spare as action continued in the Metropolitan Cricket League Clement “Busta” Lawrence Round Robin Tournament on Sunday June 2, 2013 at the Gateway Cricket Field in Brooklyn NY.

Rashard Marshall hit an unbeaten 48 in Villagers win over New Hope. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

On a hot Summery like spring afternoon at approximately 12:30pm with the sun shining in all its brilliance and temperature in the 80’s New Hope CC captain discarded USA international Durale Forrest won the toss and decided to take first strike.

Devon Hollness and Norman Malcolm opened the batting for New Hope and on a pitch that offered a lot of bounce both found the pace of George Adams who is mourning the loss of his dad too hot to handle. Malcolm, who was hit on the helmet after ducking into an Adams short ball, maybe felt he was better off in the pavilion as after constantly playing and missing was first to go for 1 when his middle stump was sent cartwheeling by an Adams Yorker from the last ball of the third over  with the score on 11. Forrest joined Hollness and they added 46 from 53 balls for the 2nd wicket before Hollness 19 (34balls 2×4) fell to a sharp superb one handed catch by current USA international Rashard Marshall at short extra cover off the bowling of the expensive Ewart Gayle.

Another discarded USA player in the form of the dangerous Quasen Alfred joined his captain and made his intention clear that it’s going to be him or the Villagers bowlers hosing the first ball he faced high and wide over long-on off Gayle for the first maximum of the day. With former USA captain Richard Staples controlling the Belt Parkway end with his accomplish off-spinners having replaced Adams, and with runs flowing from the pavilion end it was worrying time for Villagers captain Cliff Roye as to many in the ground he was playing a bowler short. After seeing Gayle 3 over going for 15 he turned to part-time off- spinner Marshall who to his credit held his nerves after seeing his first and third ball dispatched to the boundary by Alfred to get the breakthrough at 98 for 3 with the fifth ball of the 16th over when he had Forrest 35 (40 balls 3×4) expertly gobbled by 60 year old wicket keeper Charles “Give Thanks” Walker who continue to display a high standard behind the stumps that any young wicket keeper could learn from.

It was 100 for 4 five balls latter when Alfred on 34 (18balls 2×4 and 3×6) held out to Adams who run in some 15 yards from the long-off boundary to take a well judge catch off Staples. New Hope was in further trouble 9 runs later after Marshall who came on the scene as a young promising medium swing bowler in his youth days in his native Jamaica at times seems to be going back to his roots deliveries of a medium pace type got the edge of Ryan Gibson’s bat to have him caught behind as the elder statesman Walker showed his first catch was no fluke as he swallowed up an even sharper chance. With the top order back in the hut it was former Villagers batsman Patrick Dewar who delighted the spectators with some delightful stroke play in top scoring with a half century of 53(38 balls 3×4 and 4×6). He brought up his 50 with a bit of luck when on 46 he was put down by Roye off Adams at first slip and the ball wrong footed Cuthbert Mendonca on its way to the third man  boundary . It was Adams who had the last laugh as in his next over he had Dewar plumb in front to one that kept a tat low and wrapped up the inning next ball dismissing Anglin in similar fashion for a golden duck.

Bowling for Villagers: Adams 3 for 35 from 6.5 overs, Mendonca 0 for 11 from 4 overs, Staples 2 for 36 from 8 overs, Gayle 0 for 37 from 3 overs, Marshall 4 for 40 from 8 and Steve Massiah 0 for 11 from 1 over.

With arguably the strongest batting line up on paper in the competition Villagers started their reply with Staples and Melroy Kingston and the former seems to be in a hurry as he treated the crowd to ray of stroke play taking a particular liking to Alfred serving him some of his own medicine striking the ball to all parts of the ground.

Villagers 50 came up from a mare 32 balls, before Staple short but entertaining knock ended  when he was caught off Alfred for 40 (24 balls 8×4 and 1×6) to make it  64 for 1 in the 7th over. Current USA captain and arguable one of the best batsman in the country Steve Massiah walked at number 3 making his debut for Villagers and his class was immediately on display.  Massiah shared in a 41 run partnership with fellow Guyanese native Kingston  before the latter was stumped off impressive left arm wrist spinner M. Brooks for 21 (33balls 1×4 and 1×6).

Marshall joined his national captain and the two put on 28 from 18 balls before Massiah was expertly caught and bowled by K. Fritt for a well played 42 (33 balls 6×4 and 1×6). Marshall took over sharing in an unbeaten 44 runs 4th wicket partnership with another debutant in Damien Henry who was not out on 2 and Marshall an attacking unbeaten 48 (33 balls 3×4 and 4×6) on the way finishing the game with 24 off Fritt’s 5th over. Brooks finish with 1 for 15 from 6 impressive overs including the only maiden of the game, there was a wicket apiece for Alfred 1 for 40 from 3 overs and Fritt 1 for 39 from 4.4 overs.

Scores in the match New Hope Cricket Club 175 all out from 30.4 overs and Villagers Cricket Club 177 for 3 from 21.4 overs.

Man of the match Rashard Marshal.