EACA 2012 Division A Power40
By Saif Yasin
After suffering two heartbreaking losses at the hands of MMZ and Richmond Hill, Big Apple Cricket Club got back into winning ways after completing a 35 run win against Liberty Sports Club.  On a hot and humid day at Brentwood.

Francis Mendonca struck his an unbeaten 100 for Big Apple.

Big Apple skipper Zaheer Saffie won the toss and elected to bat first on what appeared to be a decent pitch for batting with a fast outfield. For Big Apple it was newcomer Francis Mendonca, who was playing in only his second match as a member of Big Apple, alongside seasoned Big Apple player Rhett Ramotar to open the batting while Thakur Singh was given the new ball with Imtiaz Hassan at the other end for Liberty.

The Big Apple batsmen started out cautiously against Singh’s spin and Hassan’s medium pace until the fourth over when Ramotar exploded taking Hassan for ten of the first two balls amidst getting off the mark.  He would get his revenge two balls later when Ramotar forced a shot towards mid-on and was caught for 10. This brought Zaheer Saffie to the crease who took a conservative approach towards sculpting the innings allowing Mendonca to be the aggressor of the two.

Mendonca played well bringing up his 50 while Saffie who had now gotten his eyes in started to add to the fireworks. Saffie’s patience earlier in his innings would pay dividends now as he was able to dispatch the ball to the boundary at will. Along with Mendonca, the two made it a difficult time in the field for Liberty Sports Club.  Saffie was particularly strong in the long on/off region of field as well as the midwicket and extra cover, while Mendonca was flamboyant in playing the ball to backward square, fine leg and midwicket.

The two accounted for a 260 run partnership that resulted in Saffie scoring a brilliant 125 and Mendonca an equally attractive 100 not out. The pair made Big Apple history as they yielded the largest ever partnership for the club, and Saffie registering the highest individual score. The duo’s partnership would end when Saffie was run out trying to stretch one run into two. Nevertheless the two had done a phenomenal job for the club as Big Apple closed out their innings on 284.

Big Apple skipper Zaheer Saffie produced a fine knock of 125 against Liberty Sports Club. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

Inning’s Summary
BACC: 284 for 3 (Zaheer Saffie 125 9x4s & 6x6s/ Francis Mendonca 100 not out. 10x4s & 1x6s/ Rhett Ramotar 10 1×4 & 1×6)
LSC: Imtiaz Hassan 8-0-59-1 and Terrence Madramootoo 6-0-47-1

With 285 set as the target, Liberty Sports Club had quite a job set out for them.  They sent out Bose Persaud and Dilly Khilawan to counter attack the Big Apple pace duo Charlton Senior and Telston Johnson. The opening batsmen batted well to see the end of the pacers first spell putting on a 54 run partnership, but it wouldn’t last long as first change bowler Ryan Balram removed Persaud for 19. Batting at number three LSC skipper Danesh Deonarain help Khilawan put on a 44 run partnership before Khilawan fell victim to Kumar Nandalall for 38.

From there on it was a rather ordinary performance from the LSC batsmen, they were unable to get any substantial partnerships going on as the Big Apple bowlers subdued any threat of big partnership. Imtiaz Hassan and Thakur Singh played their hand with 25 a piece while Deonarain made a patient 68. The club would eventually make 249 for 8 in their allotted 40 overs 47 of which were extras conceded by the Big Apple bowlers.

From skipper Zaheer Saffie’s standpoint it was a great win for the club after losing two in  a row, but he would like to see an improvement in the batting and bowling department as dropped catches and extras won’t help the club’s chances to make the playoffs down the stretch. For now though the club will bask in their win and prepare for the encounter next week against Hillside CC.

Inning’s Summary
LSC: 247 for 8 (Danesh Deonarain 68 7x4s & 2x6s/ Dilly Khilawan 5x4s/ Thakur Singh & Imtiaz Hassan 2x4s & 1x6s
BACC:  Charlton Senior 8-0-44-2/ Kumar Nandalall 7-0-27-2/ Telston Johnson 8-1-33-1