Metropolitan Cricket League
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 30th Anniversary):- Cassius Burton stroked a composed half-century at Gateway Park last Sunday to give Cosmos a comfortable 5-wicket victory over Pioneer in the Metropolitan Cricket League (Roy Sweeney) Challenge Cup competition after Cosmos suffered a slight hiccup from their top order batsmen courtesy of some extremely poor shot selection.

Cassius Burton hit a composed half ton against Pioneer.

It was another one of those short-fused displays that has gotten Cosmos into trouble in the past, but Burton, is a cool customer as he dished out the appropriate treatment required against a rather innocuous opposition attack as he held the Cosmos inning together.

Faisal Taj, the MVP in the Indo Caribbean Federation match on Saturday at the Roy Sweeney/Floyd Bennett Field where he struck a blistering 119 not out in plain view of the honorary guest of the match; the legendary commentator Joseph “Reds” Perreira, did not enjoy the same outing at Gateway. He fell cheaply to an extravagant heave where the burly D. Forbes took a well judged catch at deep mid-off. Ahsan Riaz (10) occupied the crease for a while before he holed out at square-leg from a soft sweep. Cyril Choy was next to go soon after, he had a sweet piece for the maximum but then attempted to repeat the stroke in the next ball and lost his mid stump.

Keddy Lesporis (22) was beginning to get settled but then had a rush-of-blood when he missed a cross-batted slog and lost his stumps. At 72 for 4, Burton remained unfazed by the performances around him and tactfully took command of the inning. He absorbed most of the strike while his partner Ralston Levy could not curb his aggressive instincts as he chalked up the occasional boundary. The pair had leveled the score on 142 before Levy was run out for a breezy 31 runs in a solid 71-runs partnership. Burton took the 5th ball of the 25th over for the maximum to remain on 56 (4 6′s, 3 4′s) not out.

Earlier Pioneer who looked multi-colored and uncoordinated in their outfit and quite disconnected from the discipline of the competition got off to a good start after they won the toss and decided to bat. H. Paul (29) and H. Darji (15) posted good a 50-runs opening partnership before part-time off spinner Keddy Lesporis accounted for both of them. A 3rd wicket 43-runs partnership between A. Ramnarain and M. Malik had positioned Pioneer  for a reasonable total, but Cosmos kept the pressure and eventually sliced the partnership when Levy took a good catch on the mid-on boundary off Lesporis who finished with figures of 3 for 34.

With the score on 99 for 3 and with the partnership broken the runs dried up against a probing Cosmos spin attack, and the opposition’s middle order fell apart.  Levy finished with 2 for 18 off 7 overs, Burton 1 for 3 off 5 overs, and Ricky Kissoon 1 for 20 off 7 overs before Pioneer was bowled out for 142 runs in the 35th over.

Cosmos will play Suburbia on Sunday at Idlewild Park.