By Sam Sooppersaud
A brilliant century by hard-hitting batsman, Ritchie Sieuchand, propelled Pure Players to the championship over West Indian Alliance, in the Nassau Cricket League 35-over tournament, when these two clubs met in the finals on Sunday, October 10th, 2010, at Bayswater Park, in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York.
These two clubs have always been a nemesis (friendly) to each other whenever they met in the past. The games have consistently been very close and competitive. But this time around Pure Players ran away with the game, defeating their opponents by 74 runs.
Batting first, Pure Players lost Vickram Raichandra with the score on 32 in the 5th over. The second wicket partnership of Sieuchand and H. Khan added 42 runs. Sieuchand started off very watchfully and tentatively. Once he was settled down he let loose a barrage of blistering shots, blasting everything thrown at him. He was given good support by Skipper Hafeez Khan (17) and Ramotar (36). He was in such tirade that at the end of the 21st over the score was 111 runs. By the end of the 24th over the score had escalated to 162 runs, 51 runs having been scored in 3 overs.
Skipper Conrad Carbon switched ends and changed his bowlers at regular interval but could not contain the rampaging Sieuchand. West Indian Alliance did not help their cause; their ground fielding and catching was atrocious. Bowlers were getting frustrated, judging from their body language, every time a fieldsman mishandled a ball or dropped a catch, which was frequent. By the time they had batted the allotted 35 overs, Pure Players had amassed 212 runs for the lost of 6 wickets. Ritchie Sieuchand went on to score a classic 110 runs.
Bowling for the WIA, Curtis Jon Baptiste claimed 3 wickets for 34 runs, while Conrad Carbon and Augie St John bagged 1 wicket each for 45 and 32 runs respectively.
West Indian Alliance started their run chase in a positive attitude. The first ball was driven by K. Persaud to the midwicket boundary. However, by the end of that first over, Persaud was back in the pavilion, LBW for 4. A recovery effort was put on by Errol Charles and Timothy Javier, to the tune of 63 runs. Once they were separated, the end of the WIA batting was in sight. From a score of 84 for 3 wickets, they were skittle out for 138 runs, loosing the game by a margin of 74 runs.
Pure Players used 5 bowlers in the process of routing the strong WIA batting lineup. Bowling figures were: K. Khan 1 for 18, M. Shafi 2 for 40, T. Sookan 1 for 30, J. Khan 2 for 14, and H. Khan 2 for 17.
At an impromptu closing ceremony after the game both captains thanked the players for their efforts. Ritchie Sieuchand was given a round of applause for his batting feat of scoring a ton. The losing skipper Conrad Carbon extended his team’s congratulations to the Pure Players for their victory and the championship. Likewise the winning skipper, Hafeez Khan, thanked the WIA boys for their efforts. “Someone must win; this time around it’s us”.