By Sam Sooppersaud | Scorecard
The Everest/ACS cricket organization added yet another piece of hardware to their trophy cabinet when they crushed the Atlantis Cricket Organization in the 2012 Eastern American Cricket Association Power 40 Division “A” Final on Sunday, September, 2, in The Cage at the Baisley Park Cricket Field, in Jamaica, New York. After E/ACS batted and posted a mammoth score of 281 in their inning the Atlantis batsmen were literally caged as the Everest/ACS bowlers exercised total domination. No one I spoke to around the cricket ground was able to suggest a plausible reason for the failure of the Atlantis batting machine. After all they boasted having several centurions on the club as well as a double-centurion.
On paper the Atlantis club fielded a better side than their rival, double centurion Nicholas Standford, the hard-hitting Henderson Blades, Alex Amsterdam, who once played for the Guyana National (Rest) XI, the destructive Kavishwar Bridgepaul, the wily left arm spinner, Skipper Prashanth Nair, menacing pacer, Dwayne Hurley, to name a few of the Atlantis stars. Everest/ACS combined older and younger players. Senior players like a former USA National captain, Zamin Amin, Terry Hastoo, Saeed Amin, Trevor Walke, playing alongside youngsters Greg Sewdial, a USA Under-19 player, Skipper Karan Ganesh, Shafeek Shaw. Player for player Atlantis appeared to have the edge but a cricket game is won on the field and not on the potential to perform. In this game Atlantis did not perform. Speaking to Atlantis Executive John Aaron, when asked to sum up the game, this is what he said: ” Everest/ACS deserved to win. They batted and bowled well. We just didn’t perform.”
An unusually large crowd was on hand to witness the clash of the two most notable and well-organized clubs in the EACA. Both clubs have been around for decades and have won their share of championships during those years. I had jokingly encouraged cricket fans, in my comments on newyorkcricket.com, to come out to the park with their “meat and drinks” and enjoy them at the park and at the same time take in a good day of entertaining cricket. I was pleased to see the large turnout. (Fans tomorrow, Labor Day, you can stay home and enjoy a B-B-Q with the family). One group that followed my advice was the Telston Johnson group. They were camped under their tent on the southeastern part of the ground. I visited them during the break in action. Telston and his fellow revelers were having a “blast of a time”. There were trays of deliciously cooked food: curried goat, peas and rice, salads, and many more delectable dishes on the long table. His van was backed up to the tent and several brands of “invigorating” beverages were in abundance. Smaller groups were scattered around the perimeter of the playing area with their own picnic baskets, their pots of cook-up and meats, and of course, the ever-present “cool one”. It all made for a day of revelry and enjoyment.
Among the fans were EACA’s long reigning president, Rudy Persaud, the workhorse of the EACA, Krish Prasad, the Regional Representative to USACA; NY Regional Director, Lester Hooper, who is an executive with the Atlantis club. Milton Pydanna, a former West Indies ODI batsman/wicketkeeper took in the game while having a spirited conversation with several fans sitting within his proximity. Of course, the unofficial cook of the Everest/ACS, ‘Blair’ Amin, the father of Zamin and Saeed Amin, as usual, was their giving loud vocal support to the members of his favorite team. As mentioned above, John Aaron, the distinguished former Executive Secretary of USACA, was there. Players from numerous clubs in the EACA turned out in large numbers along with their club supporters. All came out to watch the “Clash of the Titans”. Did this occur! You be the judge.
So much for hype, now a report on the game itself. Everest/ACS took first knock. Steve Nowrangilall and Shafeek Shaw opened the account for their team. By the end of the 5th over both were back in the showers, courtesy of medium pacer, Nicholas Standford. The score 29 for 2. Then Greg Sewdial and Tamesh Balwant solidified the innings with a 3rd wicket partnership worth 99 runs. Balwant played the supporting role relegating the main role to the destructively hard-hitting Sewdial. How destructive he was! Judge for yourselves. In his first 35 runs Sewdial hit 6-4’s and 1-6 while facing only 15 balls. Balwant (34) was then caught attempting a needless slog to long on; the score then read 128 for 3. Skipper Karan Ganesh walked out to the crease. He had some anxious moments initially. In fact he should have been out before he had scored in the double figures. A misjudged skier dropped harmlessly to the turf.
Gregory Sewdial and Karan Ganesh appeared to turn up their assault on the hapless bowlers a few notches. Runs came freely. Greg was hitting 4’s while his skipper preferred to hit the ball over the fence for 6’s. With the fall of Sewdial’s wicket the score was 168 for 4. He made a crushing 91 runs, hitting 15-4’s and a lone 6. Karan Ganesh continued to plunder the bowling attack; his favorite shot, hitting the ball over the fence. Zamin Amin “added salt to the wound” by hitting 22 runs in 19 balls. Ganesh finally was caught attempting yet another big hit. His 88 runs included 7-4’s and 6-6’s. The Everest/ACS innings closed at 281 for 8.
At one stage of the Everest/ACS innings it appeared that the Atlantis players were experiencing some frustration judging from their body language. The batsmen were toying with their bowlers while their fielders were grassing possible catches and mishandling grounders. Bowling for Atlantis Alex Amsterdam bagged 5 wickets for 58 runs in his 8 overs. Nick Standford (2 for 53) and Prashanth Nair (1 for 51) accounted for the other wickets to have fallen.
Having to score 282 runs for victory in 40 overs (a run rate of over 7 runs per over) is indeed a daunting task considering the slow outfield. But Atlantis started on a positive note. The first ball Henderson Blades faced from medium pacer Trevor Walke was dispatched over the long-on boundary for a massive 6. The ball had to be retrieved from nearly a block away from the boundary fence. Then in the 3rd over Shawn Mason was caught playing a tentative stroke. He appeared to have changed his mind mid way through the shot and offered a diving catch to Greg Sewdial on the long-on boundary.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals at one end while Nick Stanford offered some belligerent resistance at the other end. He clubbed three massive 6’s and one 4 during his time in the crease scoring 33 runs. Henderson Blades made 23 runs while Atlantis’ number 8th batsman, Ryan Sukhdeo hit 22. The Atlantis innings closed at 128 for 10 in 24.2 overs, and so diminished their hopes for the 2012 Championship. Everest/ACS who for the second straight year took home the Eastern American Cricket Association championship outplayed them.
The bowling honors for Everest/ACS were shared by Zamin Amin (4 for 20 in 4.2 overs), Saeed Amin (2 for 49 in 8 overs), Trevor Walke (2 for 42 in 8 overs). Skipper Karan Ganesh (2 for 17 in 4 overs) while scoring 88 runs surely deserved the Man of the Match award.