Metropolitan Cricket League
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 31st Anniversary):-It was days like this that reminds you to keep your standards high among cricketers and remain steadfast in your methods. It was days like this that convinced one Roy Sweeney to rightly pencil the permit for cricket to be played at Gateway. And it was days like this that ends with more periods rather than question marks if you respect the services of the umpires and if you remember that cricket is bigger than any individual. And on days like this you will find that success will always come your way for doing the right thing, and in the process you may also be able to lift the few out of dark spaces for the greater good of the game.

Richie Sieuchan ensure a win for Cosmos with a determined 43. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

And it was days like this that Cosmos did that which they have done consistently over the years; they maintained their standards and played that coveted brand of good competitive cricket. Cosmos captain Sham Ali gambled decision with the bowling in the match and choose to sit out as Ricky Kissoon and David Mohamed marshaled the boys, and marshaled they did. despite a good 41-run opening partnership between, the now young Masters player, M. Kingston who started that competition with a blast and R. Staple, Cosmos remained relentless in their pursuit and hit back with three quick wickets. on a pitch that lay tame Cosmos bowlers held on to a tidy line that kept the opposition under constant pressure throughout the inning after Cosmos had won the toss and elected to field. Kissoon was grudging with a persistent line mounted the early pressure with 8 overs for 26 runs as Sohan Dass kept probing and eventually detached the pair when Kingston (24) attempted to go over mid-off but found R. Sieuchand at slip at the stroke of the break.

Upon resumption, Cyril Choy affected a direct hit in a brilliant play from silly mid-on to run out R. Staple (21). S. Anderson (0) then drove upishly at an out-swinger from Dass (2 for 46 off 8 overs) and S. Salam took a well judged catch above his head at backward point. At 51 for 3 off 14 overs the village shook, and thereafter, the opposition batsmen never got a chance to regain their balance as Cosmos attack kept pounding on a territory that many had left untouched since 2012.

Only Steve Messiah in a mini partnership with Roye offered some resistance with patient 53 runs. He was given an early life behind when Levy had brushed his edge on ten; he then settled and showed clearly that he is a cut above the rest with the bat. Cosmos though had the lid tightly fixed on this match and a heave from Roye (20) found Levy darted around from deep mid-on to mid-wicket region as if he was on the turn of a 220 yards dash to complete an excellent catch; that performance from Levy practically summed-up Cosmos brilliance in the field all day. He then followed up with a flighted delivery that drew Rashard Marshal (7) into a drive as he was eager to combat the spin but failed to get to the pitch and obliged Sieuchand at slip.

With the score on 131 for 5 off 29 overs it was enough to silence the drum beat of the 300 mark. Salam (2 for 29 off 8 overs) was nearing the end of a brilliant spell as he hit a flawless length with his chinaman, he forced Messiah (53) into an attempted pull that took a leading edge and it found Mohamed waiting at square-leg for business for the ball to come down, and when it did, it was a significant opening and all the opposition hope went with it for Messiah had carried the weight of the team’s batting for a while.

Ralston Levy is just a class cricketer whose brilliance in the field gives Cosmos an added boost. His 2 for 32 off 8 overs was little justice for his spell as his left arm orthodox spin hit an impeccable line with flight and drift and served a potent mixture in this match. Sieuchand92 for 10 off 3 overs0 and Faisal Taj (1 for 7 off 2 overs) then plugged any opening and hope of a late burst as they mopped up the tail and Cosmos had reduced the opposition to 155 all out in 37 overs.

Invariably, there is nothing scientific about Cosmos approach in getting the required runs and it was inevitable for Cosmos to push the unscrupulous renditions aside as the clouds rolled by and the sun stood tall on a harmless and predictable pitch as Taj and Hemchand Hardeo set about their task. Taj (4) went via lbw and Hardeo, after he had batted solidly 39 runs, attempted an ambitious drive to find the man on the deep mid-on boundary, 76 for 2. The in-form Keith Edie and Richie Sieuchand did what they were required to do; they left well, defended strongly off either foot and dispatched the bad deliveries to the boundary. And assuredly this pair had their hands on the control by the second break as the partnership had grown to a purposeful 54-run to take Cosmos to 131 for 2 by the 30th over by which time Villagers had fought hard but appeared resigned for the inevitable.

Until now, Sieuchand has been relatively quiet with the bat and on an occasion where his abilities were required he responded with an inning full of positivity and equally high on concentration albeit belligerent at times. He went big over extra-cover for the maximum on either side of the wicket, swept cleanly, and then found the boundary with a few stinging square-cuts to take Cosmos within an arms-length  of the target. And on an absorbing day in which Cosmos had dominated the greater part of the match their only blip, inconsequential as it maybe, came within 25 runs of a hurry to put the finishing touch on this match. When Edie, Sieuchand and Choy had a rush-of-blood Cosmos batsmen had already padded and parked any clutter behind the wicket and at 138 for 5 they invited Mohamed and McKenzie for a knock that delivered a seismic 5-wicket victory in a game that was more than just 22 yards, a lot more.

Cosmos will play River Valley next Sunday.