By Sam Sooppersaud
(Reporting from Lauderhill Cricket Stadium Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
The New York Chargers became the 2010 US Open Twenty/20 Champions when they convincingly defeated the Pakistan Magic in the finals of the Cricket Council USA sponsored tournament, on Sunday, December 5th, 2010 at the beautiful Lauderhill Cricket Stadium, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Chargers played undefeated during the three days of intense competition – Friday, December 3rd through Sunday, December 5th.
They had to go through some tough opposition on the way to their first US Open Championship. In the first game played at the Stadium the Chargers was victorious over the Virginia Warriors. The Chargers batted first and scored 145 runs in their 20 overs. The Warriors were able to muster only 99 runs before they were rooted out in the 18th over. It was a bad day for the Warriors as they are reputedly known for their very high scoring. But they seemed lost trying to negotiate the wily spin of former Guyana and West Indies spinner, Mahendra Nagamootoo, ably supported by former Trinidad national player, David Mohamed, Rashad Marshall, and USA and the Chargers skipper, Steve Massiah.
In the second game, played on the same day, under floodlights, the Chargers were again victorious, this time at the expense of the NY Dodgers. The Dodgers are a young squad of college students, who have been together for a year now. They took first knock in a game reduced to 16 overs and scored 89 runs in their at bat. To the United Chargers, this was seemingly an easy task to overcome.After a few scary moments, Skipper Steve Massiah was able to steer his team to victory. Chargers were able to knock off the runs required for victory with an over to spare, 93 runs in 15 overs.
On Saturday, December 4th, United Chargers were slated to face the Sixer Daredevils. The opponents were a no-show thereby handing Chargers their third victory in the preliminaries. The boys stayed around for a while to watch the other contests. They then left to do some sightseeing and visit with friends and relatives.
Sunday, December 5th, was the big day for the United Chargers. They had qualified for the Semi-Finals along with the Miami Thunder, Pakistan Magic, and The Florida Destroyers. These four teams having emerged on top of their division in the preliminary rounds would now do battle to see which two teams will move to the final.
United Chargers took on Florida Destroyers, in the Stadium, while the Magic fought it out against the Miami Thunder, in the neighboring field.
The Destroyers occupied the crease first. Because of the overnight dew, there was still some lingering moisture on the wicket. Coupled with a grass surface on the turf, it was ideal for the slower bowlers. Skipper Steve Massiah thought he’ll take full advantage of the situation. He immediately called upon his spinners, to open the ball, from each end. However, the Destroyers opening pair of Ken Wright (33) and Akeem Dodson (10) were very watchful and were able to negotiate the offerings of the spinners. The first wicket fell with the score on 46 when Dodson, attempting an ondrive, got a thick outside edge and offered an easy catch. Donald Bennet (19 N.O.) joined Ken Wright in the middle. With the score on 58 Wright lost his wicket, LBW to Steve Massiah. From then we witnessed a procession: batsmen walking to the wicket, playing a few balls, and then walking back to the pavilion. The remaining eight wickets fell for the addition of 44 runs. The final 6 wickets fell for a meager 4 runs. Three wickets fell on 98 and three on 102. Destroyers all out in 19 overs. The United Chargers were able to get the required runs for victory with any serious problem
In the adjoining field the Pakistan Magic was slugging it out with the Miami Thunder. Then word came in to the Stadium that the Magic had defeated the powerhouse Miami Thunder. This was good news to the United Chargers’ camp, as they felt that the Thunder would be a more formidable opponent than the Magic. The Pakistan Magic, with no big name players played as a unit, and was thus able to come out on top of the Thunder.
The Finals of the US Open commenced almost immediately after the conclusion of the semi-finals. United Chargers vs Pakistan Magic. The Magic batted first. Openers Ken Singh (29) and Hussain Haider (33) were the only two Magic batsmen who seemed to know how to handle the Chargers’ five- prong spin attack. With the fall of Haider at 35, and Singh at 48, the Magic were unable to do any significant recovery. They were all out for 113 runs.
The Chargers’ regular opening pair of Carl Wright and Glenn Hall confidently strode to the wicket. In fact so much was their eagerness to overcome the Magic’s total that they were at the crease even before the fielders has taken the field. Wright immediately set upon the hapless Magic bowling while Hall played a more supporting role, rotating the stride .By the end of the 15th over Chargers had acquired the runs need for victory and the championship. Wright hit the winning shot; a four muscled over the extra cover fieldsman. He was 47 not out and Steve Massiah 23 not out. The two batsmen gleefully raised both hands above their heads celebration their win.
The remaining United Chargers ran out onto the field and there were handshakes and hugs all around.
Following the game the presentation ceremony was held with various awards, for the tournament, given:
Most Promising Player – Steven Taylor (Miami Thunder)
Most Catches – Rashad Marshall (United Chargers)
Most Wickets – Masood Mohammed (Magic)
Most Runs – Steven Taylor (Miami Thunder)
MVP of Finals – Carl Wright (United Chargers)
Tournament MVP – Steven Taylor (Miami Thunder)
Congratulations go out to the folks at Cricket Council USA, Jeff Miller and the entire staff, for staging ax exciting tournament.