The victorious Bronx Crusaders pose for a photo after defeating Everest Masters.

2012 New York Cricket Masters Final

By Sam Sooppersaud | Scorecard | Photo Gallery
The New York Masters 2012 Tournament is over. The Bronx Crusaders accomplished the “helmet-trick” of championships when, for the fourth year in a row they ended the season on top of the heap. The Crusaders convincingly defeated The Everest Masters in the Final played on Saturday, September 29th at Idlewild Cricket Complex in Rosedale, Queens, NY. It was a “three-peat” for the Crusaders having now conquered Everest for the third year in a row.

Opener Eznard James top scored with 38. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

The six bowlers used by Everest could not be harness the power-hitting batsmen of Crusaders. Only veteran Zamin Amin commanded a semblance of respectability. Crusaders’ running between the wickets was exceptionally good and this may have accounted for several errors on the part of the Everest fieldsmen, in actually fielding the ball and in the throws to the wicket. Adding to their woes Everest failed to grab some vital catches. The not out batsman Garfield Wildman, a power hitter, when on only five, gave a straightforward flier to C. Choi at mid-on. The fielder settled under the ball, waited for it to descend into his hands, but failed to hold on.

One over later he edged a skier to the fine leg position. Sohan Dass at deep fine leg and well within catching proximity of the ball ran in to take the offering. Simultaneously, wicketkeeper Debo Sankar, ran back towards the skied cricket ball, when they both looked at each other and stopped. Neither of them made any effort to catch the ball. Wildman celebrated these lapses by regrouping and hitting 30 runs not out, thereby prolonging the innings and allowing the later batsmen to score additional runs to the detriment of Everest.

The Crusaders also gifted the Everest batsmen as many as four possible catches. Joe Allen, fielding at backward point, let two such balls kiss the grass. Whereas Crusaders, when they batted dealt in 4’s and 6’s, Everest appeared content to deal in 1’s and 2’s. The Crusaders captain, realizing the intention of the Everest, strategically positioned his fieldsmen whereby no extra runs were allowed. Only towards the end of their innings did Everest hit a couple of 4’s and a maximum, with the exception of Choi reaching the boundary during the third wicket partnership.

The Day started with some uncertainty of the game being played due to a forecast of inclement weather, predicted for the day of the final as early as the previous Thursday. However, credit to the administrators of the Masters League, as they did not cancel the game. It was a cool day with the temperature in the lower 60’s. Some cricketers consider this type of weather ideal while others feel that bright sunshine is the ideal condition. The rain did not intercede and the game went uninterrupted.

Garfield Wildman cuts during his knock of 30 not out.

An appreciable number of cricket fans showed up to watch the game. It is unfortunate that team members from the non-competing clubs did not show up to watch the final game. Many brought along their “invigorating” beverages to keep them warm and at the same time to increase their enjoyment of the game. Dada and his group sitting next to me in the north stands were having a “grand old time”. Blair, the father of Saheed and Zamin Amin, brought his ever-present container with hot steaming cook-up rice and delicious “chaser”, the aromatic curried chicken.

Skipper Zamin Amin of Everest won the coin toss and immediately acceded the first knock to Crusaders, his mindset being that his bowlers would get some help from the overcast conditions and the fact that the wicket was a bit damp from the overnight showers.  His decision paid dividend immediately as in the second over Crusaders lost a wicket. From there on they resorted to damage control and scored the bulk of their runs in three useful partnerships.  A second-wicket partnership between A. James (38) and M. Pusey (17) produced 49 runs. Puppeteer (23) and N. Campbell (22) then got together for a fourth-wicket partnership of 45 invaluable runs.  In the final 10 overs of their innings G. Wildman (30 no.) and D. Blades (22) combined for an attack and bludgeoned the Everest bowlers for 47 more runs. The innings closed at 182 for 7.

Bowling for Everest: S. Amin 2 for 27 in 7 overs; T. Walke 0 for 35 in 7 overs; Z. Amin 0 for 22 in 5 overs; S. Dass 1 for 24 in 3 overs; L. Deonarine 2 for 40 in 7 overs; and C. Thompson 2 for 32 in 6 overs.

In reply Everest lost D. Sankar in the first over bowled by a yorker from J. Allen.  He then removed G. Ramsingh. The 3rd wicket pair of C. Choi (28) and R. Sankar (19) put on 38 runs. Wickets fell at regular interval with Crusaders employing six bowlers to rout the Everest batsmen. The only hope Everest had for victory, a slight hope, mind you, was during a seventh-wicket partnership between S. Dass (20) and S. Ali (18) when they needed less that a run a ball to overcome the Crusaders total and with the batsmen taking cheeky singles and doubles. But Dass lost his cool and slogged a simple catch to wide mid-on. From then on it was only a matter of time before Everest would succumb and give up the ghost. They ended their inning at 139 for all out.

Bowling for Crusaders C. Garrison was the most successful returning figures of 3 for 23 in 6.5 overs. Joe Allen 2 for 12 in 5 overs; N. Campbell 2 for 27 in 5 overs supported him well. E. James bowled 6 overs for 20 runs while claiming a sole wicket.

Once again The Bronx Crusaders are the New York Masters Champions. So far they have won four Masters Championships; Jolly Eleven have won twice, while Everest has won the golden ring only once.

On Sunday, September 30th, Everest successfully negotiated another hurdle, playing under the more youthful banner of Everest/ACS, and handsomely defeating Richmond Hill Cricket Club in the Eastern American Cricket Association’s T20 Blitz final in The Cage at Bailey Pond Park, in Jamaica, NY.