Metropolitan Cricket League
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 31st Anniversary):- Cosmos has produced one of their most disciplined performances so far this season after David Mohamed and Richie Sieuchand ensured a convincing 7-wicket victory to complement a good all-round performance over Lucas at Floyd Bennett Field last Sunday.
It was Cosmos bowlers who were most disciplined under the sun as they kept Lucas batsmen searching throughout the inning. A grudging opening spell from Sham Ali and Ricky Kissoon had pushed Lucas into a corner at the break with the score on 41 for 1 after 15 overs. That scorecard could have been worst for the opposition had Cosmos held on to four edges that oddly went begging off Ali who completed a military spell with figures of 1 for 18 off 8 overs. After Kissoon served Z. Fowler a sweet first ball full toss which he dispatched for the maximum, the thought of runs aplenty must have ran through his head. However, the taste of that first ball quickly disappeared as Fowler was left searching for more until his palette ran dry as Kissoon zeroed in on an impeccable line. Fowler was then pushed into survival mode with Kissoon spot on the penny whizzing passed the outside edge in a wicket-less spell of 8 overs for 29 runs.
Curiously, the Lucas openers were overly cautious in their approach in the beginning and appeared in no hurry to exploit the perfect batting conditions on a good pitch and a fast outfield. That approach would prove counter-productive as they struggled to get going when they needed to. And there were more headaches to come at the change as Cosmos spin menu proved to be an unhealthy source on this day. The runs dried up as Ralston Levy and S. Salam delivered another pressure filled 15 overs to restrict Lucas scoring to a minimum. There were few choices on offer and very little room to breathe from a left arm orthodox and right arm spin menu; one from which this opposition would never order. Fowler (32), the Jamaica national player, succumbed to the pressure when he attempted to hit his way out against Salam but succeeded only in finding Hardeo at deep mid-wicket who took an excellent running catch. Levy was just too good for M. Darlington who looked flustered as he poked, swung and missed a few times before he ran passed a flighted delivery that turned miles away from him and Cyril Choy toyed with his bails.
Despite a few early lapses in the field that didn’t prove too costly Cosmos bowlers had their spinning fingers on the control in this match and that was backed up by some excellent work in the field. Relief was not coming anytime soon for this opposition when they had hoped to extend their arms in a late overs blast as Sieuchand and Taj held a tight line in the closing overs. O. Crawford attempt to rescue his team from a seemingly limping 102 for 4 after 30 over. He took his chances for a good 40 runs to add some respectability to the total before the lower order implosion was devised by Sieuchand 3 for 23 and Taj 2 for 26 to restrict the Lucas inning to 163 runs.
The notable absence of the fireworks in the middle was due largely to Faisal Taj who has been unusually quiet in his previous outings and he needed to find some polish. He did when he cashed in on the first two deliveries with a boundary and a maximum to get the scoreboard ticking. He then settled in to anchor the inning with an out-of-character mood as he and Hemchand Hardeo posted a good 53-runs opening partnership by the 8th over. Hardeo (17), fresh off a century, was beginning to look ominous again before he lighted up to a juicy short ball and pulled it to the man at deep mid-wicket. Keith Edie continued his good form and began stroke the ball with confidence; a sumptuous off drive to the mid-off boundary followed by a crisp on-drive was as good as any stroke of the day. The partnership grew to a half century bringing the total to the century mark, by which time the opposition was becoming increasingly bereft of ideas and bowling options. Edie went for a solid 30 runs in a 55-runs partnership with Taj, but then lost his stumps when he attempted to cut loosely at a ball that was too close to him, 103 for 2.
Taj then went for ‘patient’ 48-runs when he pulled a short ball into the hands of the man at short mid-wicket and Lucas had a rear scent of fortune from the few which they had missed earlier, however, by this time Cosmos was on cruise control at 117 for 3 in the 18th over. It took Cosmos 26.1 overs to end an attritional day for the opposition and any hope which Lucas had to penetrate further into the Cosmos order was dispelled as Mohamed (26) and Sieuchand (20) who looked untroubled push passed the 164 runs required with an assured 47-runs partnership to give Cosmos a convincing win.