NYSCL 2014 President Cup Div. 1
By James Persaud
Most believed that it would have been West Dem day, but if they had any chance this was taken away by the superb bowling of Andrew Gonsalves who took a Hat-Trick to spiral them to defeat. After winning the toss, the West Dem captain and his players looked to be at a lost in making a decision of either batting or fielding first.  It was only after a long team meeting they settle for batting.

Andrew Golsalves (left) collects the New York Softball Cricket League President Cup.

In the blue camp Untouchable did not appeared troubled about batting or bowling, after many days of heavy rain earlier in the week. The pitch was well soaked, even and looked in perfect condition for batting, West Dem had this idea also and send Chris Ramlall and Amar Singh to open their innings.

Gonsalves knowing the track well opt for spin first, Gonsalves took the new ball himself. Ramlall took strike, the first ball he flashed outside the off stump and missed, the second ball he stretched outside the off stump, misses and loses his balance and was stumped by Prashad Mahadeo.

The West Dem skipper Pooran Beria step to the middle, Amar Singh had a long chat with him. Beria pushed the first ball to cover point for a single and Singh got a single of the fifth. Moe Khan shared the new ball and gave up a single and a double in his first over. Both batsmen was very cautious, and Gonsalves started the fifth over with a full toss and Singh smashed it over the mid-wicket boundary for the first six of the game.

In the sixth over a bowling change was made, Javid Alli was given the ball. Alli struck first ball, Singh driving hard to a short square leg and Gonsalves took a magnificent diving catch. Singh stand his ground in disbelief and thinking it was not a clean catch, but the square leg umpire supported the bowling end umpire and signal that it was a good catch. Singh was gone for 13 with the score on 32, the new batsman was Michael Persaud.

Persaud and Beria started to build a partnership, both batsmen settle for the single and double and the next boundary would come in the tenth over off the bat of Persaud. Asif Adam was brought into the attack in the twelfth over and the last delivery of the over, Persaud (14) was caught by Sudesh Persaud. Steve Boodai coming in at number five and together with Beria would see their team to the water break without any further damage and the score on 63 for 3.

When play resume Adam continue and he gave up 4 runs in the over, and with Beria gaining confidence he tried to take the attack to the bowlers. The score raced to 90 after the sixteenth over, as if Gonsalves had seen enough he took the ball in the seventieth over. The first ball Beria got a single and the next Boodai pull to square leg for a double, and Gonsalves third delivery had Boodai (7) driving and losing his middle stump.

The new batsman Tolesh Arjune drive the first ball he faced to Asif Adam at short mid-off and he was gone for a duck. Sunil Panday was next and the ball by ball announcer reminisce about the past success of Panday. And before he could finish, Panday pushed the first ball he faced straight back to Gonsalves to complete a hat-trick. The fielders had a short celebration, they wanted more and soon settle hoping for a helmet-trick against Omesh Ganesh, but Ganesh showed Gonsalves the full face of the bat as the spectators took their seats.

Pooran Beria watched as his teammates came in and soon leave, Beria was looking good after a slow start, but he needed someone to stay and build a partnership. Omesh Ganesh looked as if he would try to hit his way out of trouble, he made big swings and connected a few times for double and triple, the boundary was hard to find. After a 20 runs seven wicket partnership, Javid Alli in his second spell had Ganesh (7) driving and losing his stump with the score on 113 for 7.

The West Dem innings was beginning to look much better, since at one point it looked as if they will not reach triple figure. Ray Boodai coming in at number 9 stayed with Beria and put on another 20 runs partnership before he was caught by Mahadeo of Asif Adam for 4. Next in was Ramesh Ganesh, Beria try to hit Javid Alli over the top and was brilliantly caught by Erapalli Sahadeo.

This was another well played innings by Beria, his top score with 68 of 65 balls including 2×4 and 1×6 with a strike rate of 104. Last man in Steve Deodat, stayed with Ramesh and add 4 runs before Ramesh (4) was bowled by Asif Adam and the score on 140 all out.  Andrew Gonsalves took 4 for 21, Javid Alli 3 for 19 and Asif Adam bagged 3 for 30.

In reply Untouchable open their innings with Wasim Aslim and Ravi Sahadeo, against the attack of Omesh Ganesh and Pooran Beria. Aslim was his usual style getting down very early and was never able to get the ball away and settle for singles. While Sahadeo looked more aggressive and played some fine cricket stroke and had boundaries of both opening bowlers. The opening pair would put on 26 runs before a bowling change in the fifth over with Amar Singh. A running mixed up between Sahadeo and Aslim and a good throw from Michael Persaud found Aslim short of his crease and he was run out for 15 including 1×6.

Prashad Mahadeo join Sahadeo at the crease, Mahadeo got off the mark with a boundary and this pair would stay together for the next 5 overs and add another 48 runs. By the tenth over West Dem had used their fifth bowler in trying to break the partnership. Ramesh Ganesh had Sahadeo (23) driving and was caught by Steve Deodat for the second out. With the game leaning in favor of Untouchable 74 for 2 in 10 overs, Andrew Gonsalves made his way to the wicket.

Gonsalves got off the mark with a single, and in the eleventh over Mahadeo was caught by Amar Singh of the bowling of Steve Deodat for 27, with 3×4. Asif Ally add 20 runs with Gonsalves before he was bowled by Omesh Ganesh in the sixteenth over and the score was 102. Erapalli Sahadeo came to the crease and made his intentions clear, he was looking to end the game quick and in an exciting manner.

He played a fine innings, hitting the longest boundary of the day, a six towering over to 150 street at Rockaway Park. With a good size crowd on hand, they all went wild in expectation for more. While Gonsalves was in his usual batting style stroking the ball to all park of the ground. The West Dem fielding was very good for most part of the game. But they made a big mistake when Gonsalves struck one over to deep mid-wicket and Ray Boodai moving to his left got under the ball and spill it to the turf.

Untouchable reached the required score in the nineteenth over, 141 for 4 Gonsalves and Erapalli Sahadeo was left unbeaten on 24 and 22 respectively. Bowling for West Dem, Omesh Ganesh, Ramesh Ganesh, and Steve Deodat took 1 wicket each. Andrew Gonsalves won the man of the match prize for his hat-trick. Mr. Doodnauth of Vishnu Construction Company made a special donation of two trophies to the West Dem team, one for batting and one for bowling. Pooran Beria won for batting and Ramesh Ganesh won the bowling prize.

Mr. Doodnauth was present and he presented these trophies to the winners. Also the day’s games had the privilege of having the Guyana Cricket Board President Mr. Dru Bhadur present as a spectator. The NYSCL President Mr. Eric Ferrier introduced Mr. Bhadur to the crowd and he spoke about the wonderful opportunity he had looking on to the day’s events and praised the league organizers for the wonderful work they are doing in continuing to promote softball cricket. He was then asked by Mr. Ferrier to present a few trophies to the winners.

In the other three divisions of the NYSCL 2014 President Cup, in division IB Liberty Knight beat Renegade and Walker Hemdas took the man of the match prize. In division IIA Gunners got pass Crown XI and Invaders had a huge upset over Saturn for the championship. Kennedy Ramsahoye took the man of the match prize for Gunner and Winston Valladares won for Invaders. In the NYSCL Summer 15 Over Knockout, division IIA- Soldier Boys won and Port Mourtant Youths took the division IIB.