New York Softball Cricket
It was a clash of the Titans on Sunday June 16th at the beautiful at Baisley Park on 150th Street and Rockaway Blvd., in the finals of the New York Softball Cricket 25 overs Cup between Untouchables Cricket Club led by former Guyana national player Andrew Gonsalves and Assassins Cricket Club led by Eon “Viv Richards” Ellis.
After a brief wait for a soccer game to finish and setting up of the commentary booth. Both teams gathered in the middle as President Eric Ferrier to address the players. The two captains met on the pitch and the toss was won by Gonsalves.
Assassins were asked to take first strike on a nice batting track and a quick outfield. Opening the batting for Assassins were the pair of experienced softball players in Pooran Beria and Raja Parasram. The two batted very cautiously to start the game.
Jai Sanichar and Moe Khan opened the bowling for Untouchables and kept the batsmen at bay. Andrew decided to take the ball and in his second over after giving up a 6 to Beria he eventually had him caught for a well played 26 with the score on 37. In came in Nigel Bridgelall at number 3 but he didn’t last long as he was sent back without scoring as he was caught and bowled by Moe Khan. In came in the inform Brian Manniram to the crease.
Raja and Brian batted cautiously to take Assassins to a par score of 52 for 2 in the 13 overs. The game was poised for an exciting second half with the bowlers on top and with 8 wickets in hand. Raja and Brian started pushing the run rate up as much as possible knowing they needed a big total to defend against the long batting order of the Untouchables team.
With the score on 78 in the 18th over Raja was bowled by Javid Ali for a well played 30. Next came in Kaleem Bux to join Brian at the crease. Commentators Murph Seeram and Lenny Achaibar were projecting a total of 115 – 120 at the current run rate. But the two batsmen put on a show for the large crowd on hand. Both men batted sensibly and took the single and double but made sure to put away the bad balls for boundaries.
In the 22nd over which was bowled by Jai to Brian went for 20 plus runs which included 3 6’s and a 4. Michael Remgasammy and Javid also bowled in the end and were hammered by both Kaleem and Brian. Kaleem was the first to go in the 25th over caught for a very well played 43. The very next ball Brian was caught for a classic innings for 56. The pair put on a very useful 82 run partnership. Eon Ellis and Amit Moonsammy batted out the final over to take the score to a very defendable one of 169 for 6. The final 7 overs went for 91 runs.
Untouchables knowing the task at hand went in there with a plan and got off to a fast start with some fine strokes from Ravi Sahadeo and Asif Ally. The two batsmen took the score to 28 after 4 overs. Skipper Ellis decided to make a quick bowling change and brought in Popie Singh. In his second over he had Sahadeo choked and popped him up for the first wicket. In came in the dangerous Prashad Mahadeo who destroyed East Coast in the Semi Finals. The first ball to Prashad came from Shawn “Gaza” Persaud who had him caught without scoring to put serious pressure on the Untouchables after getting off to a flying start.
But the game was just beginning with the ever dangerous Andrew Gonsalves coming to the crease. In the next over Popie struck again getting Asif to hit one out to midwicket. Andrew called in Michael Rengasammy to the crease. The two batted well and took the score to 64 in the 13 overs.
With the second half about to begin, the spectators knew they were in for a treat with Gonsalves still batting and the game in the balance. The crowd got even bigger with other finals finishing and more spectators arriving. Eon knew he had to get wickets to put more pressure and with the asking run rate about 9+ plus an over, Gonsalves had to go after the ball.
In his second over after the break Shawn was struck for a towering Six by Andrew but the experienced Shawn came back in the next delivery and gave him a slower one and had him caught in deep mid wicket to give Assassins the wicket they wanted and needed. Michael was batting well for Untouchable but he was not getting a partner to stay with him because of some good bowling from Amit Moonsammy, Popie Singh and Nigel Bridgelall. With Ravi Murray having a bad over to start the game, Eon decided to ask Ronald Evelyn to give him an over and hopefully get a break through but it was not to be as Rengasammy slammed a huge 6 and 2 more 4’s to bring the game back. With 60 runs needed in 5 overs, Ellis asked Pooran Beria to take the ball and what a magical spell he had to put an end to the game. Pooran picked up 4 wickets for 9 runs in his 2 overs and bowling out untouchables for 142 in 24 overs. Brian Manniram was awarded man of the match for a well played 56 and taking 3 catches. Special thank commentators Murph Seeram and Lenny Achibar for a job well done.
Also a thank you to the league for well organized finals. Assassins were back on top of softball and celebrated the win with all the long time supporters. All the talk coming into cricket this year was about the 4 big teams: Assassins, Untouchables, East Coast and United Stars and the fans of softball enjoyed two wonderful weeks of cricket from these four teams. Assassins look forward to continuing its success in the President’s cup replacing the 30 overs cup. The Assassins team would like to send out a special thank you to John from Johnny’s Restaurant and Sports Bar located on 107th Street and Rockaway Blvd for its long time support and sponsor.