Metropolitan Cricket League | Scorecard Below
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 31st Anniversary):- A match that may unnerve the souls of the golden oldies of the gentleman’s game played out in an inglorious atmosphere at one of cricket most historic venue. However, these are changing times and with that comes a change of complexion of the game, and subsequently out goes the gentle and in with the pomp and ‘man-up’ bravado. And so a mankadling Staten Island simply manhandled Cosmos with a crushing 7-wicket victory at Walker Park, Staten Island last Sunday.  It was one of those days where the approach of the two teams’ one complacent, the other basic and purposeful proved to be the defining factor that yielded the appropriate result.

Majid Arab hit an unbeaten 76 in Staten Island win over Cosmos.

Cosmos after winning the toss and elected to bat got off to a good start with the score on 54 for 1 by the 6th  over, and inning appeared to have a promising portent on a hard pitch,  but then a series of airy fairy strokes proved to be cosmos undoing as their top order crumbled to 58 for 5. Faisal Taj, cosmos lucky charm badly in need of a polish went for a headless duck at deep mid-off. K. Edie was in a rush, and then Richie Sieuchand who looked compact before he chased a wide off the matting to slip. Staten Island kept it very simple while nagging away at Cosmos.

Then the high came; the man who cannot swim but seemed possessed with ancient powers for just this match Abdul ‘Zafar’ Syed dived low down to his right at square leg, rolled over, shades still on, and  came up came up with an awe inspiring catch of the match and the prized wicket of David Mohamed off G. Shanghie. And then the ‘unfortunate’ came, Sohan Dass, last week’s hero, this week victim when he was given out run-out for ‘Browning’ out of his crease when   Faud Mughal committed the mankadling act, on appeal umpire L. Ramsay delayed a bit, perhaps hoping for withdrawal, but then he had no choice, And in just one second Staten Island known for a different standard of cricket moved to another. In 1888 a proposal, the lbw, was made to do away with an obnoxious custom of blocking the wicket with the pads and return to the old fashion way of playing the ball with the bat. So strenuously was a change in the law that some advocated that it will give the umpires wrinkles. Alternatively, in this ‘testosterone high’ age of limited overs cricket the 1947 Browning/Mankadling has resurfaced and the International Cricket Council has decided tie lasso around the neck of the once gentleman’s game; unlike the wrinkles of the LBW, this Mankadling may require a strong shot of a good whisky.

Abdul 'Zafar' Syed of Staten Island.

As ugly and as distasteful as mankadling may appear, it is written in the ICC playing rules and teams have a choice, like it or not. With that dismissal, 68 for 5, Staten Island pushed Cosmos against the wall and kept them there to the end except for a brief fight back from Cyril Choy and Sham Ali who attempted to repair some of the damage with a 30-run partnership that took the score to 101 before both of them fell to ill advised shots. Cosmos lower order was just as woeful as their top order as the last five wickets fell for 24 runs with 12 overs remaining and Cosmos was bundled out for paltry 126 runs.

The veteran Habeeb Rahman known for his aggression redefined his time at the crease with a patient inning as he and M. Arab laid an important foundation with a 69-runs opening partnership by the 19th over before Rahman (24) holed out to T. Mckenzie on the deep mid off boundary off D. Mohamed. Ralston Levy then picked up two quick wickets, 71 for 3 in the 20th over. However, Arab who capitalized on his earlier chance at slip constructed an inning of character with a match-winning 71 runs as he and Charu Chaudhary (12 n.o) who came to the fore to further frustrate the Cosmos bowling attack which eventually ran out of options. Staten Island then registered an emphatic 7-wicket victory in the 29th over.

Cosmos will play Mid Island next Sunday at Floyd Bennett.