By Orin Davidson
The Lynx is a species of the wild cat, but there was nothing uncontrollable about the performance of Tri-State Lynx which swept aside all opposition to cart off the inaugural US Open Women’s T20 cricket title last weekend in Florida.
Invoking the speed, athleticism and hunger of the animal of the same name, Tri State Lynx produced a wonderful exhibition of all-round cricket ability that left spectators in awe at the Broward County Stadium.
Lynx, which comprised all but four players which won the inaugural national women’s title representing Connecticut this past summer in Los Angeles, ground out New York Warriors, Silicone Valley Firebirds and Hollywood Rebels with such ease it seemed they were facing the might of male opposition.
New York Warriors thought they were on a revenge trip, after failing in Los Angeles, but their expectations evaporated faster any player could utter win as Lynx pasted them by 10 wickets in the final after dumping them in the preliminary round, that precipitated a two-game sweep.
In their first ever exposure at the one and only cricket specific facility in the United States, Lynx reveled on a super fast outfield and a pitch that produced pace and bounce, unheard of previously by the third day of action.
New York were at sea to the ferocity of Tri State’s attack in the final and were reduced to 56-5 in their allotted 20 overs, as a result. Tri State Lynx then added salt to the wounds by speeding to victory in 8.1 overs without loss. Fast bowler Triholder Marshall spearheaded the Lynx squeeze, picking up two wickets for 10 runs. Star all-rounder Indomattie Goordial-John later turned the screws with her off spin, taking 1-12 even as Joyce Jones scored more than half of New York’s runs with 27. Tri State’s opening batter Monique Mathee crowned the display by hammering 35 with six fours in a total of 57-0.
In their preliminary round clash, Mathee was also the star, cracking 49 off 35 balls with seven fours as Lynx rattled up 150-5 in their 20 overs. Melissa Sandy supported with 32. Doris Francis was expensive in taking 2 wickets for 30 runs for New York Warriors who could only manage 119-7. Francis scored 30 and Joan Alexander 33, but the other batters could not cope with Sandy’s bowling which produced 2-24. Candacy Atkins had 1-14.
In their first match, Lynx tamed Hollywood Rebels by 99 runs, helped by a bizarre tally of eight run outs which exemplified the former team’s agility in the field. Goordial-John had blasted 77 not out off only 45 balls as Tri State Lynx raced to 166-4 in their allotment. She crashed eight fours and one six. Atkins also joined in the runs fest, stroking 42 in 31 balls, laced by five fours. Sahar Asmat managed to claim 2-31 for Hollywood who had nothing to be jolly about as they found an unusual way to lose, with the eight run outs, falling for for 67 in 18.4 overs, despite Gul Imran scoring 22.
Silicon Valley Firebirds, were anything but hot when they faced Lynx, suffering an 80-run hiding as Sharda Saroop and Goordial-John dominated Lynx’s total of 150. Saroop stroked 60 not out and Goordial-John 33. R. Ashatha took three wickets but conceded 32 runs and D. Sanujo had 2-22 for Firebirds who were shot out for 70. Sanujo top scored with 23 as Marshall and Sandy ended with identical figures of 1-10.
The ladies’ performance placed another feather in the cap of team coach Linden Fraser who expertly guided another team to title honors in the first ever T20 competition for women in the United States.
He said the players, despite playing for three straight days, never were found wanting for fitness and are already enquiring about their next assignment. “I think Candacy Atkins did a great job captaining the side and proved why she is the person to lead the U.S. team,” added the coach.
New York Warriors edged Hollywood Rebels and hammered Silicon Firebirds to qualify for the final. Rebels ended with a one win while Firebirds went home winless to California.
The victorious Tri-State Lynx squad highlights the glass facade of the Broward County Stadium pavilion, flanked by coach Linden Fraser (right) and trainer Basil Butcher (left)