By Sham Ali
Metropolitan Cricket League
(Celebrating 31st Anniversary):-Keith Edie and Hemchand Hardeo delivered two scintillating batting performances to register their maiden tons for Cosmos amidst a marathon 194-run unbroken partnership against Lions at Floyd Bennett Field last Sunday.

Hemchand Hardeo (left) and Keith Edie slammed centuries and produced a partnership of 194 runs.

On a picture perfect day for cricket Cosmos won the toss and elected to bat. Edie and Hardeo came together with the score on 40 for 2 after the early fall of the openers. They then proceeded to build a partnership that mirrored that of a classic old school batting display; solid in defense and nimble between the wickets.  Edie had looked solid in his two previous outings but was unable to convert, however, with the ball still moving about a bit he demonstrated the patience required and played within his limitations. He was composed, selective in his execution, and tight around the stumps.

On a hard pitch and an outfield that had transformed itself from a green pasture a few weeks ago to a burned out grass encouraged stroke-play. Both batsmen build their inning solidly, getting their eye in before branching out. Edie looked particularly comfortable through extracover. He was in his element with a few crisply executed drives and was quick off the back foot to find the midwicket boundary. Hardeo is an experienced batsman who appeared to have kept his form in his back pocket as he milked the attack along the ground in the early stages of his inning and when the ball ventured closer to his pads, he exhibited some sweet drives to push passed his half-century.

It was a hot day and as this pair weathered the conditions they were beginning to look ominous and grew in confidence after both had chalked half-centuries. They began to punch the ball with authority on both sides of the wicket to fuel a partnership that was balancing on six runs an over. After the break, the urgency was evident as the Lions attack appeared tame and began withered under the raising temperature. Cosmos had recovered well and as the partnership swelled passed the 100-runs mark it appeared on the records list as the 121st century partnerships for Cosmos.

In a mood for runs and rather oblivious to the records that were tumbling Edie found a couple of boundaries and moved into the seventies while Hardeo grasp on air to regained some strength and open his appetite. This pair lends good support to each other as they raced neck and neck to their individual centuries. But Edie took ownership of the lead, he was neat through extracover region throughout his inning and he played the most assured drive of his life and when the ball took a hop on the ropes for a deserved boundary once more and he raised his bat in liberation to acknowledge a brilliant century off 85 balls with 8 fours. Cosmos records tables will have a seismic shift once Hardeo who had stroked the ball with consummate authority throughout his inning can find another dozed runs.  He missed two juicy short balls but then Edie came down for a midwicket conference to calm the nerves. They ran well between the wickets and did so for the next dozen runs. When Hardeo push to deep mid off and they turned for the third run it signaled another spark of brilliance to bring up his century off 85 balls which included 11 fours on a willow that still had a few cobwebs on it but was raised high.

Cosmos inning closed on an improbable 234 for 2 off the allotted 35 overs with Edie on 103 not out and Hardeo on 102 not out in an unbroken partnership of 194 runs.

Lions had an uphill task against a Cosmos bowling attack that has potent mixture of swing and spin. With the ball swerving around a bit it left the openers markedly unsure, however, Cosmos fielding did little to validate as they spilled two regulation catches at first slip and point in the first two overs. Lions resisted to some extent to go into the water break at 35 for 2. Thereafter, the inning fell apart against a Cosmos spin attack that pierced through an exhausted Lions batting line-up. Faisal Taj picked up three quick wickets to start the rot in his spell of 3 for 15. Lions could not muster any resistance to impede a cosmos charge or the strength to challenge the mammoth total that was ahead of them. Ralston Levy teased the Lions tail and ultimately severed 4 for 12 in the space of 5 overs while David Mohamed nipped out 2 for 7 and Lions were bundled out for a paltry 77 all out.

This might have been a low-intensity match, however, Cosmos batsmen remained focused and put together in two clinical batting performances in which both players scored centuries. It was a feat accomplished for the eighth time in Cosmos 31-year history. And much of Cosmos luster on this day were reflected as the records tumbled. Their 194-runs partnership is also the 2nd highest for the 3rd wicket behind the 203 runs partnership between Sham Ali (107 not out) and Ramesh Mohabir (107) in 1989. The partnership is also the 8th highest for cosmos behind the; 303 runs partnership in 2007( V. Woolcock(209no) and D. Thomas) ; 286 runs partnership in 2006(M. Nurse 146no and O. Baker 139no; 242 runs partnership in 1985 (S. Ali 130no and A. Ali 126), 233 runs partnership in 2004(R. Afzal 117 and S. Shah 107no; 203 runs partnership in 1988 (A. Ali 106no and G. Rampersaud 96), 203 runs partnership in 1989 (S. Ali 107no and R. Mohabir 107), 202 runs partnership in 2003(A. Qurashi 110no and S. Wazid 89no). This may just be the beginning as there are a few more cannons that are yet to be cranked.

Cosmos will play Lucas next Sunday at Floyd Bennett.