By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 29th Anniversary):- Cosmos has secured a spot in the final in the Rana T20 competition when they defeated Strikers in the semi final last Saturday at Brooklyn Floyd Bennett field. Clearly the underdog in this competition, a youthful and inexperienced cosmos sprung one surprise after another as they stuck to plan.
Strikers got off to a good start after Cosmos won the toss and inserted them too bat, however, left arm orthodox Shaun George and Barrington Bartley combined with the and right arm off spin of Karan Ganesh delivered the crucial combination of overs at the change to restrict the opposition batsmen. However, Strikers fought back with two explosive 18th and 19th overs that yielded some 35 runs, while Terrance Madramootoo was the pick of the bowlers though as he kept the opposition late surge in check with 3 for 20. Strikers finished with a good total of 148 for 6 off their allotted 20 overs. Sudesh Dhaniram offered some resistance with a composed 31, while Shabaz Ahmad lashed 32 and Vijay Seenarine got 37.
Cosmos would face their biggest challenge so far in this tournament and responded with a determined effort. They raced down their target in a workmanlike manner with Michael Noble (56) and Tamesh Balwant provided a good opening partnership before Balwant went for 18. Cosmos then stroked their way into a commanding position with Bartley leading the charge, picking the gaps on the oversized Floyd Bennett field converting ones into twos with some aggressive running between the wickets, before he went for 24 in a crucial partnership. When Ganesh was out for an aggressive 18, he had positioned Cosmos in a commanding position at 115 for 3 in the 14th over.
Meanwhile, Noble had set up tent at the other end enjoying the show and calling for water ever so often without the realization that a T20 required some aggressive batting. He finally opened the doors and launched a series if drives and pulls in the 15th and 16th overs as he and Amin chipped away at the target. With Cosmos needed 8 runs off 7-balls, Amin responded with a thumping six over mid on and with that blow Cosmos again defy the odds and are headed to the final.