By James Persaud
A superb knock of 79 runs by Vicky Subkaran, a miss timed hit by Amit Moonsammy and a juggling catch by Raja Parsram sealed a 5 runs victory for United Stars. It was expected to be the clash of the titans as United Stars and Assassins got ready for the last finals of the season and that’s exactly the way it ends.

Vicky Subkaran (left) and Ravin Ivan pose with winning trophies after defeating Assassins.

As the players arrived at the park, many got the news of the passing of Navin Narine’s father the night before. NYSCL President Eric Ferrier spoke to the players about the preconditions of the game based on the weather; he then asked them to take a moment of silence in respect of Navin’s father.

Navin, an outstanding softball cricketer, loss his father and it was only fitting to take some time out to pay respect by some of his close friends and fellow teammates.

Soon after the two captains stepped to the middle and spun the toss, United Stars chose to bat and the air was soon filled with action and excitement.  The action was not coming from the batmen or the bowler as is expected, but from the fielders, especially Anand Singh who was fielding at a short third man.

Opening the bowling for Assassins was Derrick Edwards who was fast, wild and wide but his ineffective bowling created a run out. Ravin Ivan called for a single on a wide ball and Amar Singh sent him back, a very quick return from Anand found Ivan short of his crease and he was on his way without scoring. Raja Parsram came to the crease and he looked quite uncomfortable against Edwards and Ganesh Chattergoon, Amar also was struggling.

Amar was trying to play almost every ball on the onside and made too many mistakes, he got a top edge and gave  Amit Moonsammy a simple catch at short mid off, the score was 10 and 8 runs was extras. Vicky Subkaran joined Raja and they both struggled, Subkaran survived a close call for run out. Edwards and Chattergoon was bowling well, Edwards very fast and Chattergoon getting some swing under the dark cloud hanging over head.

After five overs a bowling change was made with Frankie Baichoo replacing Chattergoon, the score was on 23 for 2. Subkaran made some adjustments and decided to use his reach and play more on his front foot, he struck Baichoo fourth ball through cover point for a boundary. Another bowling change after eight overs with Amit Moonsammy, Moonsammy was on target and by now Raja and Subkaran was looking much more comfortable as they built a partnership.

With one over remaining before the water break Assassins brought on their leg spinner Imtizas Alli, Alli received a hasty welcome as both batsmen knocked him around for 15 runs. At the break the score was 66 for 2, Raja on 23 and Subkaran on 25.

When play resumed Moonsammy took the ball and this paid off quickly, Raja add one to his total before he was out caught. The new batsman was Bobby Pahalad to face Baichoo, Pahalad looked very unsettled at the crease and Baichoo’s third delivery removed his off stump and he was on his way back to the pavilion with a duck. Vijay Seonarine batting at number six hit Baichoo for a huge six and a double to complete the over. Seonarine and Subkaran picked up the tempo and the runs were coming at a much steady pace.

When Subkaran was on 43, Moonsammy draws him forward to a slower delivery which was struck into the deep long off, Anand running in got both hands onto the ball, stumbles hit the ground and spill the catch. Seonarine and Subkaran added 84 runs in a fifth wicket partnership, Subkaran was first to go caught by the wicketkeeper Ravi Persaud of Moonsammy for a well-played inning of 79 including 4 fours and 6 sixes.

Six runs later Seonarine was caught of Kaleem Bux for 22, Bux had a bad first over but settled in later to pick up 2 wickets. Manoj Sukhra struck a six in his 7 not out, Chris Ramlall was run out without scoring and Gary Singh struck a four before losing his stump to Bux.

Assassins reply with the opening pair of Anand Singh and Ravi Persaud to chase a target of 164 runs, Bobby opened the bowling for United Stars and bowled a very long first over. Bobby was wild and wide and every time the batsmen would cross on the wide sending the score to 10, his fifth delivery Anand whips it off his pad straight into the safe hands of Sukhra at leg slip.

Kaleem Bux came to the crease and kept up the quick running between the wickets, Bobby draws him forward and the ball went high to the fielder at mid-wicket and the catch was taken, Bux was gone for 3. He walked away from the middle looking very disappointed.

The new batsman was Waheed Ward, as if the meeting that the Assassins players had prior to taking the crease was to run as many singles and double as possible, well it didn’t really pay off as Ward was run out for a golden duck as the ball by ball announcer would say.

This brought the powerful hard hitting Eon Ellis to the crease, together he and Ravi kept the run rate up and added another 24 runs before Ravi went caught of Subkhran for a stubborn 14 runs. United Stars bowling was not devastating but the target was huge and this caused the batsman to take chances which end in mistakes at times. Ravi was batting well and struck Subkaran deep to the long on boundary and Sadique Kayoon took a stumbling running catch.

At the water break the score was 77 for 4, well set for a big second half. Ellis and Moonsammy took the challenge to the bowlers and this kept the scorers and the spectators busy as they added 31 runs in the next 3 overs. Ellis chopped one down to cover point, the fielder juggled the ball but there was no chance for a double, Ellis took his chances and he was run out for a well played 39 runs.

The fall off Ellis wicket brought some relief to the bowlers and fielders as he and Moonsammy stole the show as the spectators went wild. Ellis knew that he had made a big mistake, as he walked away he kept on gazing at the sky but all he saw was dark clouds. Frankie Baichoo came to the crease and like a hurricane, Sukhra knocked his stumps out of the ground and he went back without scoring.

Amit Moonsammy knew it was up to him to bring it home and together with Gary Whaite they batted very sensible, they took no extra chance and kept the huge crowd on the edge of their seats. Whaite was getting the single, turning over the strike to Moonsammy who found the boundary at least five times. Gary Singh was given the ball and Moonsammy knocked him deep twice and took 14 off the over. Bhola and Subkaran had their share of punishment too as they both bowled an over each for 12 and 11 runs respectable late in the innings.

With 12 runs still needed from the last over, skipper Ivan took the ball and the over went like this, single, double, single, single, single and the last ball still needing six runs. Ivan sent one straight down the middle, Moonsammy got a good heave and the ball went high but not enough distance. Raja running to his left got under about ten feet from the ropes and settled as he waited for the ball, it hit his hand he fell on his back and continued to juggle with the ball on his chest but was able to hold on for the out.

It was a perfect, exciting and fun filled game an idyllic way to end the 2011 season, Moonsammy had 42 runs and a good all round game but just miscued the white ball. Whaite was left not out on 9 runs and the total was 158 for 7 in 20 overs.

 
 
 
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