By Dervon Wallace
Villagers Pacesetters Sports Athletic Club remain unbeaten in 2013 New York Metropolitan Cricket League (NYMCL) competition and on course for the double with a nail biting 1 wicket win over Cosmos CC in semifinal action in the Roy Sweeney Challenge Cup at the Gateway Cricket Field, Spring Creak Brooklyn New York on Sunday September 8. Villagers record now stand at play 15 win 15 and is one game away from equaling NYMCL winning streak set by the 1998 Mid-Island aggregation.
On a sunny morning with a slight breeze blowing across the ground Cosmos’s Captain Dr. Sham Ali won the toss and elected to take first strike on a Gateway wicket that offers support to both batsmen and bowlers, with batsmen at times guilty of underestimating the size of the ground trying to go over the fence. Cosmos openers Dehan Sidique and danger man Faisal Taj posted 19 before Sidique 12 (12 balls 1×4) was adjudged LBW to George Adams with the last ball of the third over. In came Cosmos best batsman in the form of Saint Lucian born Windward Island First-Class player and West Indies Sagicor High Performance Centre graduate Keddy Lesporis whose class was evident with even his forward defensive play. With the score on 37 Taj 16 (13 balls 1×4 1×6) after succeed in clearing a lethargic Marvin Simpson tried to clear his man again but Simpson more alert this time ran back from mid-on to take a well judge catch off the bowling of Talisman Gordon to make it 37 for 2 in 6 overs.
Lesporis 16 (23 balls 1×4 1×6) caught by Mowatt off Gordon was next to go and it was soon 78 for 5 from 14 overs with Aown Iqbal 2 and previous game Half-century hero Cyril Choy 14 (14 balls 1×6) back in the pavilion. D Sodden and Abrar Ali added 26 from 31 balls for the sixth wicket before Sodden 28 (30 balls 1×4 2×6) was caught by Richard Staple off Melroy Kingston bowling. Abrar Ali batting at number 7 shared in 4 crucial partnerships with the lower order, Cosmos in the process adding 84 in 14.3 overs. Abrar Ali getting 60 of them on his way to a top score of 68 (61 balls 3×4 5×6) before he was last man out caught by Staple from Marshall bowling with the first ball of the thirty fifth over as Cosmos was all out for 188.
Bowling for Villagers; Adams 2 for 27 from 7 overs, Gordon 3 for 40 from 7 overs, Cuthbert Mendonca 0 for 21 from 3 overs, Ewart Gayle 2 for 28 from 7 overs, Kingston 2 for 41 from 5 overs, Staple 0 for 11 from 3 overs and Marshall 1 for 16 from 2.1 overs.
Needing to score at 5.4 runs an over to secure a place in the final the Round Robin champion looked nothing like the champion they are as they slump to 15 for 3 inside the eighth over. Kingston was first to go playing on expansive drive losing his mid-stump for a duck, followed by Simpson who looked clueless to the movements generated by veteran medium pacer Sohan Dass who out fox him, having him playing down the wrong line before he induce him into a top edge to be dismissed for a duck and when Staple 7 (25 balls) was brilliantly taking one handed at first slip by Taj to give Dass his third victim it was share delight in the Cosmos camp. Gordon and Captain Cliff Roye went on a rebuilding mission with Gordon sensibly playing a sheet anchor role in a rearguard action as Roye fight fire with fire using whatever energy and power he have left from his days training with the Jamaica Defense Force in his native Jamaica to clear the fence with consummate ease on one occasion hitting a Ricky Kisson long-hop with distain power an estimated 120 meters on the Belt Parkway. They shared in a 74 runs from 89 balls partnership before Gordon was forced to retire. In came national representative Rashard Marshall surprisingly batting at number 6, himself and Roye added 28 before Roye having gotten a life on 59 played a captain’s knock leading from the front was caught for a magnificent 83 from 64 balls in 84 minutes laced with 7 fours and 6 Hugh sixes. At 117 for 4 in the twenty sixth over Marshal was joined by Villagers new found batting hero Adams, five balls later it was 125 for 5 with Marshall 10 (17 balls 1×6) after hitting Kisson for a biggie was next ball adjudged LBW by experience umpire Rohan McFarlane.
A returning Gordon didn’t last long and was dismissed for 19 (55 balls 1×4) to make it 140 for 6 from 30 overs. Still needing 49 from 5 overs Adams and the hard hitting Raldo Mowatt added 44 from 21 balls before the latter was stumped for a quick-fire 20 (12 balls 1×4 2×6) and when Mendonca was out LBW for 1 with the last ball of the penultimate over to make it 186 for 8 it was nervy time in in the Villagers camp as manager Venelda Wallace was seen nervously leaning on the perimeter fencing that shake vigorously without her knowing and it was too much for founding member and club’s General Manager Hugh Pitter as he opted sit by himself. With 3 runs needed from the last over Kisson was given the ball and after a long conversation with captain and senior players he produce a dot ball to start with and the next ball was a wicket via the run-out route as 60 years old former England county player Charles “Give Thanks” Walker showed his knowledge of the game in his peruse to get Adams on strike sacrifice his wicket in trying to complete a second run.
Veteran Gayle walked out to join Adams as the tension was evident on both set of players. Villagers had in their ally a man on a mission in USA representative 33 years 67 days old George Maverick Adams better known for his bowling but is yet to be dismiss in his last 4 innings since destroying 2 of the quickest bowlers in the country. Adams loft the next ball 90 meters over long-on to seal victory at 193 for 9 from 34.3 overs and a place in the final, to be unbeaten on 39 (31 balls 2×4 3×6). Adams now have scores of 50*(25 balls), 14*(10 balls), 62*(23 balls) and 39*(31 balls) in his last 4 knocks for a total of 165 from 89 balls with a strike rate of 185.39
Bowling for Cosmos; Sham Ali 0 for 25 from 7 overs, Dass 3 for 29 from 7 overs, Taj 3 for 36 from 7 overs, Kisson 1 for 63 from 6.5 overs and Abrar Ali 1 for 38 from 7.
Final score Cosmos 188 all out in 34.1 overs and Villagers 193 for 9 from 34.3 overs.