Metropolitan Cricket League
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 30th Anniversary):-Cosmos grinded their way throughout the season and ultimately checked the box in the semi finals column of the Metropolitan Cricket League Round Robin competition after they completed a comprehensive victory over Lions at Floyd Bennett Field last Sunday. The win was rather inevitable after Lions had performed below par throughout the season, but Cosmos was not in the mood for complacency since they needed to gain the maximum points from this match to cement their spot in the semis with Mid Island and Progressive only inches behind.
But Cosmos had one thing in mind, to win by a mile and that is what they did. Sham Ali and Sohan Dass both struck blows in their opening overs to push Lions into a corner early in their inning. They maintained a tight opening spell that was back up by some excellent fielding. Cosmos has been superb in the field all season and they simply turned up the knob a notch and the runs just dried up. At the change, instead of the mystery man Sajib Salam, it was ‘the big show’ Rasheem James who was handed the cherry in his hand to operate from the aviator’s end. His opening over was somewhat pedestrian but soon hit on a tidy line and immediately put a dent into the opposition’s middle order with three quick wickets. Two nicked off successive deliveries to wicket-keeper Cyril Choy set James up on a hat-trick, but his huge shout for lbw from a full ball was turned down – it is just another one of those occurrences that we have become accustomed to lately. Two balls later Faisal Taj held on to a low catch at first slip to give James his 3rd wicket as Cosmos kept the pressure on this opposition.
When Salam finally got the ball, Choy decided to switch the wicket-keeping duties over to Dindyal Soodeen, a decision which he may regret, as Soodeen picked off two clinical stumpings off Salam first over that left Lions inning in deep trouble. They were eventually bundled out for just 66 runs in 23 overs. James took 3 for 13 off 6 overs, Salam 3 for 8 off 3 overs, Ali 1 for 9 off 4 overs, Dass 1 for 2 off 5 overs, while Burton and Taj took one wicket each.
But the events that lead up the final round of the playoffs calls for pause, and Lions having been bowled out for a small total is minor when compared to their efforts to rise above the iniquity from the outside to influence them not to show up and play the match. Lions must be commended for their stand.
One would think that the league had turned that corner but it seems that there are still a few who lingers on that stupid bridge. And then there was old trick to derail the points table by attempting to claim a match by putting the umpires on trial. That effort to derail the points table, troubling as that may be, especially in a season that was highly competitive is reserved for the slippery few who lacked any cricketing dignity or any dignity at all. Such efforts are located somewhere between dishonesty and delusional.
And furthermore, to have the gall to push such claim to the league’s administrative table with “toast, peanut butter and jelly” and perhaps hoping for partiality is just reprehensible; it didn’t ‘wash!’ What is even more disappointing though is that the competition was so intense with two matches left in the Round Robin competition and seven teams fighting for a spot in the playoffs that such xxxx surfaced by a team that is close to bottom among the 15 teams. Really, to engage in such frivolity one had to have anaesthetized oneself by clonking oneself over the head with one’s own steel-based frying pan. Unfortunately, lurking among us are a few who will try anything to take the fun out of the game at the local level.
As so Cosmos stood clear of the schemozzles. It took Cosmos opening batsmen, Taj (46) and Soodeen (26) just 5.3 overs to knock off the 66 runs needed for victory leaving plenty of time for the two teams to socialized and enjoy their refreshments. And as the sun sets and the news of upsets in the other matches filtered in, it was progressive who took the maximum from River Valley and edged out Mid Island, who held their destiny in their hands but let it go against New Hope and that pushed Cosmos into 3rd place.
Cosmos will play Westbury on Sunday at Westbury HS.