New York Softball Cricket
By Morris Seecharan
In quarterfinal game where the winner moves on and loser sits out, Sunrise the number 1 team playing the Titans the number 8, one would thought the game would be a one sided affair.  However with sports being what it is this game had so  many twists it made you felt the team against all odds will be moving on while the favorite will be sideline to just a mere spectator.

(L tor ) Ravi Etwaroo, Antonio Dallai and Cheong were the heroes in Sunrise win over Titans. Photo by Loretta Cheong

Titans winning the toss with no hesitation choose to bat as they were not going to make the same mistake of putting in Sunrise to bat as they did in the 25 over and suffered defeat from explosive Sunrise bats. R Durgano and L. Dolivera open for Titan and was face by Khemraj Somaru and Rohit Kowlesser whose bowling continue to be in line and on target. With the attacking bowling from Sunrise opening pairs R. Durgano was ran out by Alex Hussain as they try to turn a double with a ball down to shallow third man in the 5th over and the score at 6. In the next over Khemraj struck having Durgano caught with score at 8. Titans losing two quick wickets were panicking as the last time they met Sunrise they were bowled out cheaply. However R Ramkisson and C. Hiralall at the crease knew that they have to hold off Sunrise bowlers. Hiralall who was dropped off the first delivery he faced at short cover looked to be the aggressor while his partner Ramkission holds an end. As this pair begins to repair their offensive they found success with the help of drop catches by Sunrise teams. With runs hard to come Ramkisson and Hiralall successfully build a solid partnership taking the score to 65 for 2 in 15 overs.

Hiralall batting with command and Ramkisson right behind continued to build on their partnership as they were scoring. Sunrise bowlers could not find the break through gone through different rotation as this Titan pear benefited from the many fielding mistakes. However after a remarkable 94 runs partnership Deryck Basdeo finally had the break through as he had Hiralall caught for 52 in the 19 over. Hiralall score a magnificent half century and putting his team at a solid position. Right after Ravi Etwaroo had Ramkisson caught at long on by Khemraj for 41 with score 127 for 4 in the 22 overs.  With the removal of this pair Titans did not capitalized using the many wickets on hands to build a huge score. Sunrise bowlers took control of this game as the only other batsmen to reach double figures was D. Singh with 25 as Titans was restricted to 164 for 8 in 30 overs.

Deryck Basdeo had another good bowling figure taking 2 for 26 while it was good to see Ravi Etwaroo finding bowling success with 2 for 31 while Khemraj, Rohit, and Rohan had 1 wicket each.

Sunrise batsmen knew that the required run rate was in their favor as Rohit Kowlesser with his captain Roopnarine Dayal respond well started above the required run rate in the first 3 overs. In the first five overs Titan bowlers could not find the wickets of Sunrise opening pair. However they would slow down the pace of the game as they introduce their spin bowlers. Rohit and Dayal stay and set a nice foundation as in 8 overs and L. Dolviera bowling at number 5 found the stumps of Dayal with the score at 39. Sunrise vice captain who had been success for the pass several game join Rohit who was playing cautions moving the ball picking up singles. After a tower six down deep square leg Wahab go edged and caught at mid on with the score at 48 for 2 in the 9th over. Right after Rohit connected to long on and was caught by brilliantly with the score 62 for 3. Harris who was moved up to # 4 looked settle bating as S. Basdeo was caught by running catch at extra cover. Harris joined by Cheong who looked settle however with 2 ball to left to the 15 over break and Harris on 25 he popped up to mid on and at the 15 over half Sunrise once more found themselves in trouble at 84 for 5 with all their top order batsmen in the pavilion hoping that the bottom half batsmen will bail them out once more.

Cheong and Ravi the experience heads for Sunrise was left to solve the puzzle and manufacture a serious win for Sunrise. These two batting maestro dug in and put all their energy to craft a much needed partnership. Slowly moving the ball around and safe guarding their wickets Cheong and Ravi picket up the score moving toward their target. Cheong with some aggression picket up key boundaries as Ravi hold a much needed end picking doubles and singles. As their partnership grew they breathe some fresh air back into Sunrise offensive. Titan bowling rotation was fabulous as they using a 7 man bowling rotation to make Cheong and Ravi uncomfortable. There were a few maidens and low scoring overs for Titans bowling attack as they try and increase the required run rate. However after a 44 runs partnership and Cheong on 21 A. Haniff found the stumps of Cheong with the score at 128 for 6 in 25 overs. Cheong batted like a champion for his team staying Ravi and bring his team back into contention of this game. With 37 runs to make in 5 overs and 4 wicket in hand Sunrise was very comfortable at this position.  Especially with Ravi and Khemraj two hot bats at the crease and plenty of success in closing games for their team.  Khemraj looked solid as he got off the mark with a double and quickly hit a boundary. What looked like a promising batting success for Sunrise turned into chaos as Khemraj playing down to short square leg and running down his creased found himself run out by  swift throw to the keeper as Titans try and put the brakes on Sunrise batsmen with the score at 138 for 7 in 27 overs. Right after P. Ramkisson bowled Alex Husain and R. Ramkisson had Rohit caught as Sunrise loss 3 wickets for 1 runs and in serious trouble of being gobbled up by Titans with the score at 139 for 9.

With their backs against the wall and 23 over left to make in 2 overs the odds were against Sunrise and they did not have a double digit score in any overs thus far in the game. Most notable was Antonio Dallai who struggled with the bat in the 30 overs joined Ravi. With all eyes on Antonio hoping for a miracle he connected the 1st delivery of P Ramkisson to mid wicket for a boundary which bought a big uproar from Sunrise camp. The 2nd delivery with the leg side boundary packed with fielders Antonio connect for another boundary which raced away between two fielders to square leg for 4 which brought all the Sunrise players on their feet.  Antonio connect for another 2 doubles and triple as he and Ravi ran desperately in between wickets as Ramkisson was tagged for 15 runs by Antonio. It could have not been a more perfect time for Antonio bat to come alive. The game was still in the balance with 8 runs needed in the last over. Ravi who was flawless thus far faced the last over from Roopnarine Titan number 2 bowlers who was stingy thus far. Ravi picked the two first deliveries for doubles as they ran it down safely. The 3rd delivery was dot ball which quieted Sunrise but with 4 runs needed in 3 balls Ravi got another double in the 4th ball as they 2 needed in 2. Ravi wasted no time scored another double in the 5 delivery shocking Titans as he and Antonio was the super heroes for Sunrise bringing the winning total of 165 with 1 delivery to spare. This brought jubilation to Sunrise and their supporter as they ran onto the field congratulation Ravi and Antonio as they snatched a win from the claws of Titan. Ravi batted with class and his unbeaten knock of 32 was the key to this victory. Most cherished was Antonio blasting an unbeaten 15 runs, and one of his biggest over of his life moving his team to the semi final.  It was a joyful celebration for Sunrise and at the same time the Titans team should not feel any less as they played a very hard game like champions.

Titan’s bowlers were predominantly spinners and kept their team in the game but unfortunately could not close it in the end. R. Ramkisson 2 for 26. P. Ramkisson 2 for 29, and K Roopnarine 2 for 32.