By Clifford Hinds
The New York Youth Cricket Club continued its quest for credibility when it took on a strong Somerset Cricket Club XI led by former USA national player Alvin Howard, in the American Cricket League fixture at Baisley Pond Park, Queens, NY last Saturday. The day’s thermometer bore witness to the sweltering heat as NYYCC refused to claim overs offered, as a result of winning the toss because Somerset was not ready to play at the scheduled 1:00pm start time.
In the absence of its captain Trevor Singh and regular opener Rafeek Nazeer suffering a sprained ankle, USA Under-18 players Randall Wilson and Zaheb Tariq opened the inning for NYYCC. A blistering cover drive by Wilson off Alvin Howard had the fans pushing forward at the ropes, in anticipation of a big start. However, not long after Tariq was run out for 9, scampering for a single that was not there.
Captain Trinson Carmichael confidently walked to the wicket, and he and Wilson took the score to 48 before the latter was stumped for the second time in as many innings, this time for 18. The injured Nazeeer batted sensibly in a supporting role as the duo took the score to 105 before Nazeer was stumped off Linton. Despite only making 11 runs, he played a vital role for his team, and when he exited, NYYCC was in a good position. Chris Singh joined Carmichael, with Carmichael going full blast, and the spectators running out of superlatives to describe his fantastic inning.
Singh was out caught on the boundary off Linton for 9, but not before the score had climbed to 170 for 4. Enter former New York Region Under-19 player Syed Hussain, and for the first time Carmichael could relax while Hussain hammered the bowling to every part of the field. Carmichael brought up his hundred with a straight 6 over the long-off boundary. The young batsman was batting as though he had invented the game.
During his remarkable inning of over two hours, Carmichael did not allow one ball to hit his pads. When he was out, caught for 122, he had hit 7 sixes and 7 fours. Syed Hussain scored a brilliant 62 with 5 fours and 3 sixes before he was needlessly run out. Chetram “Mario” Persaud and Andre Koulen were the not out batsmen, as NYYCC reached 282 for 6 after 40 overs. Somerset used eight bowlers, with Linton emerging the best bowler, taking 2 for 47; White had 1 for 31, and Evelyn 1 for 42.
Facing a huge deficit, Linton and Spencer opened the inning for Somerset facing right arm medium fast bowler Chris Singh, and Trinson Carmichael bowling left arm leg-spin. Spencer was the first to go bowled by Singh for 0. White came next to the wicket but with the score on 15, Singh got Linton to play uppishly and Zaheb Tariq did the rest. Clarke walked in, hit a 4 and then drove straight to Wilson at long-on off Singh without adding to his tally. The score was then 27 for 3. Evelyn joined White, and for the first time NYYCC had to go on the defensive. White played a supporting role, while Evelyn played the role of assassin. In the meantime, 15 year-old Keiffer Phills, bowling medium pace had been introduced into the attack.
Evelyn was the first to go after having made 42 with 4 fours and 2 sixes when he was caught by Zaheb Tariq off leg-spinner Syed Hussain. With the score at 95 for 4, two more wickets fell as White was caught Nazeer off Hussain for 20, and Hope became Keiffer Phills’ only victim, offering a catch to Wilson without scoring. Somerset was in trouble at 95 for 6 facing a NYYCC XI bent on advancing to 9-1 for the season.
Just when it looked as though NYYCC had Somerset on the ropes with an inevitable knock-out lurking, Howard and Larrier emerged showing their dissent. Howard, especially, took the bowlers to task as the pair added 100 runs for the seventh-wicket. Larrier was eventually bowled by Syed Hussain for 35. Braithwaite was prepared to stay with Howard but Chris Singh had been brought back to bowl, and he took the prized wicket of Howard, caught by Phills at short third-man for a well played 68, including 9 fours and 2 sixes. V. Small was out for 3 to a brilliant caught and bowled effort by Chris Singh for 3, and P. Small was out to an unbelievable catch at deep square-leg by Syed Hussain off the bowling of Zaheb Tariq, to end the Somerset inning at 247 after 37.3 overs.
The NYYCC’s Chris Singh continued his phenomenal season with the ball, grabbing 5 for 29 in 8 overs; Syed Hussain had 3 for 57 in 8 overs, Keiffer Phills bowled well taking 1 for 24 in 7 overs, and Zahed Tariq 1 for 30 in 5.3 overs.
This Sunday, July 8, the NYYCC begins in earnest, its quest for the Mark Clarke 40-overs Knock-Out Trophy, when they take on a Queens United XI at Idlewild Park at 223rd Street in Rosedale, Queens, NY.
Despite the absence of Randall Wilson and Zaheb Tariq who will be on duty with the USA national Under-18 training squad, the NYYCC is expected to give a good account of themselves having lost only one match so far, for the season.