Metropolitan Cricket League
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 30th Anniversary):-Cosmos cruised to a comfortable 9-wicket victory over Staten Island at Van Courtland last Saturday. It was a crucial match for both teams and more so for Cosmos as they were badly in need for some reprieve after their disastrous display two weeks ago against Spice Island. They were not prepared to repeat the past as they took on Staten Island who was brimming with confidence on five consecutive victories.

Cassius Burton had 4 for 23: Photo by Shiek Mohamed

Cosmos won the toss inserted Staten Island to bat on hard pitch under brilliant sunshine on a hot and humid day. It was a calculated decision that had cosmos second guessing themselves after Staten Island raced to 50 for 1 in the 8th over before C. Chaudhary (6) nicked to wicketkeeper Cyril Choy. And for the umpteen time cricket offered one of its fluctuating fortunes. Left arm orthodox, Leonard Achaibar and right arm leg spinner of Cassius Burton asked too many questions to which the opposition had no answers and subsequently ripped through the opposition line-up.

Achaibar struck with his fourth ball when the aggressive I. Zahoor (40) fended at turning delivery to gave Choy his second catch. Achaibar then bowled S. Gill and had danger-man F. Mugal (16) mishit flew high into the air where Mohan Kissoon at mid-on settled under it and completed a well judged catch, one for the ages.  Burton got into the mix when A. Syed (2) slashed found the outstretched hands of a leaping D. Soodeen at gully, brilliant stuff, one surely for the highlights. He then trapped Staten Island captain S. Sackroolar and Choy picked off another two stumpings, A. Ramdeo and G. Shangie, as Staten Island failed to bat out their 35 overs as they slumped from 50 for 1 to 100 all out in the 23rd over. L. Achaibar took 3 for 27, and Burton 4 for 23.

Cosmos Faisal Taj and Dindiyal Soodeen began the pursuit of their target with purpose and mixed aggression in a 37-runs opening partnership before wicketkeeper Zahoor dove down the legside and held on to an excellent catch to dismissed Soodeen (20). Burton then joined Taj and the pair took a liking to the rather pedestrian Staten Island bowling attack with an unbroken 63-runs partnership. Burton (22 no) was quite telling on anything just outside off stump to the backward point boundary while Taj (47 no) when went airborne as Cosmos chased down their target of 101 in 11.3 overs.

Footnote: Cosmos versus Lucas on 6/30. After Cosmos knocked over Lucas for a megre 120 runs the circus that followed thereafter is unworthy of air but a reminder of backward backyard cricket, of batting and don’t want to field for any number of convenient excuses after a passing ‘bird tears’ drizzle. K. Thomas, for reasons of his own, decided to start his over around the wicket where a patch of tape repaired the edge of matting edge. The fall, the trip, the plan, the dive, whatever it was is just what was required to end the match. How the bowler ended up on the ground on the opposite side of the wicket is a crawling guess. In  discomfort, perhaps only he or they knows, but help is not what was needed, forfeiture was more like it while the neighboring league was enjoying their cricket game. It is quite unfortunate and rather distasteful that few players, and just a few, at times would stoop to such a level as to embarrass their team without care and sink the game to a new low.