By James Persaud
A solid knock of 97 runs by the 2011 NYSCL Independence Cup most valuable player, Andrew Gonsalves was not enough to stop Guyana All Stars from winning their first Independence Cup.
NYSCL All Stars Captain Andrew Gonsalves won the toss and asked Guyana All Stars to bat. Guyana All Stars found themselves in some early troubles, losing three quick wickets. But a solid partnership between Skipper Vijay Seonarine and Amar Singh took some steam out of the NYSCL All Stars bowling attack.
When NYSCL All Stars won the toss and asked Guyana All Stars to bat first, it looked like a bad decision, playing on a new pitch which looked as if it would not hold up because of the rain. Guyana All stars send Amar Singh and Raja Parasram to face the bowling of Ramesh Barron. Barron not one of the real pacer, but swing the ball well, with his second delivery he had Parasram driving to Gonsalves at mid off and he was gone without scoring. The score was one and the new batsman was Ravin Ivan, Ivan drove the first ball over cover point for a double and the next ball he pulled to mid wicket for four.
The other opening bowler was Peter Sookdeo, who was very quick, his third delivery, Singh straight drove back over the bowler for a boundary to open his account. Barron struck with the first ball of his second over, a rising ball which Ivan tried to worked of his body and gave a simple catch to forward short leg and he was out for 7.
Karran Ganesh was the new batsman at number four, and he tried to knock his way out of trouble, but Barron strikes again removing his off stump and he was gone for 8. The score was on 51 for 3 and only five over, Guyana All Stars had a good run rate, Amar Singh looked solid and he was playing some fine shots, especially the pull shot which raced to the boundary a few times.
With the fall of three quick wickets, this brings the Skipper, Vijay Seonarine to repair the damage with Singh. Seonarine batted very carefully and slow and picked his shots well, while Singh took his chances picking up some boundaries and doubles. This partnership troubled the fielders a bit as they went into a relax mode and the runs kept coming easy. At the thirteen over break the score was 115 for 3.
After the water break, with five runs added Barron had Singh caught for a well played innings of 58 runs including nine boundaries, Singh stand at his crease and showed dissent at the umpire’s decision, something not new for this batsman.
The new batsman was Shashi Wilfred who smashed the first ball for the first six of the game, and in the next over Sookdeo bowled Seonarine for 24. Deo Samaroo came to the crease and struck a boundary before he was run out for 6, Manoj Sukhra was caught of Omesh Ganesh for 6. Sadiq Kayoon was run out for 5 and Bobby Pahalad batting at number nine was struck in the face by a rising ball and the game was held up, while the medical staff treated him. When Bobby took the crease he and Bhola added 19 runs for the last wicket before Bhola was run out for 8 and Bobby was unbeaten on 9 and a total of 179 all out. Ramesh Barron took 4 for 37, Omesh Ganesh 2 for 22 and Peter Sookdeo grabbed 1 for 28.
When NYSCL All Stars took the crease the sky was all dark with rain cloud and it looked as if the sky would open up any time. But as the game progress into the afternoon it became better for cricket. And the crowd just kept on coming in large numbers, Prashad Mahadeo and Michael Persaud took the crease for NYSCL.
With Bobby and Bhola doing the bowling for Guyana, Bobby was the first to strike when he bowled Mahadeo for 6 in the third over of the innings. In the next over Bhola had Persaud caught for 7, Ravi Sahadeo came to the crease and after getting off the mark with a single, Bhola struck again. NYSCL was in a bad position, six over and three outs and only 32 runs in the book.
This brought the NYSCL captain Andrew Gonsalves to the crease to join Michael Rangasami, this pair looked well for the next 4 over before a mix up running between the wickets and Michael making the sacrifice, he was run out for 4. This brings Erapalli Sahadeo to the crease to join his skipper.
This was the last pair of recognize batsmen in the NYSCL line up, Gonsalves knew that he would have to stay to the end if his team stand a chance. Sahadeo was due for a big innings, and for the next ten over this pair did just what was needed to bring the large crowd to its feet.
Gonsalves bat like a champion while Sahadeo gave him good support, this pair added 74 valuable runs. Sahadeo was the first to go in the eighteenth over when he drove Ganesh Karran to a widest cover position and Seonarine running to his left and diving full stretch out and held onto the catch. This was the catch of the day and the turning point of the game, as the other batsmen just made their way to the crease and back.
Gonsalves did not give up, as he continues to bat well and played some glorious cricket stroke, this delighted the crowd and many times bringing them to their feet. He is a batsman with great desire to win, in his innings of 97 including 9 boundaries and a six; it was one of his best innings. He picked his shot well and tried a little too hard when he try to gave himself some room trying to cut Samaroo and loss his off stump.
Yudy Shivkumar was caught of Samaroo for 3 and Ramesh Barron was caught of Kayoon by Karran at deep square leg without scoring. Omesh Ganesh was caught of Bobby for naught and Mo Khan was left not out on 2, the innings came to close with 16 runs short. Bobby, Samaroo and Bhola took two wickets each, Ganesh and Kayoon bagged one wicket each.