Commonwealth Cricket League
Grout Park ,Schenectady, NY- Tri-City CC continued their winning ways this weekend with an 8 wicket victory in a limited, 30 over cricket match vs. Vipers CC on Sunday, Sept. 9th.
It was a spectacularly beautiful early fall day, with leaden grey clouds scattering briskly across the sky amidst abundant sunshine and a cool, following breeze. The visitors from NYC arrived early, and headed off to dine on some of Schenectady’s local cuisine before returning to find Tri-City busy preparing the pitch for play.
After spinning the toss and winning, Tri-City elected to field, preferring to see how this new wicket played after the heavy rains of the previous evening. It would prove to be a good strategy in the end.
Vipers sent in opening batsmen Jeetoo and Sunil “Big Skin” Narine to begin their innings. They had the misfortune of having to face Tri-City’s John “Executioner” Florent and Sunny “the No-Hit Man” Choudry, who proceeded to shut down any hopes of a big innings from either batsman. The run rate was positively glacial for the first ten overs, hovering just a tick above four. It was clear that Vipers were getting concerned at this point, as they tried to hit out, and wound up losing two wickets in the tenth over. Jeetoo was the first to fall off the tight bowling of Choudry, who also managed to clip the wings of big hitter Ryan, bowling him for a duck after a terrific catch by Ray Cecil at backward square.
To his credit, Sunil batted on stubbornly before John Persaud enticed him into a bad shot attempt that left him bowled on 26 runs, with two boundaries in his knock. At this point, it was clear Vipers were in trouble. No one seemed able to sustain a solid partnership, and wickets began to fall as Tri-City continued to smother the visitor’s batting with the tandem of Anil “the Hammer” Sahaman and skipper John Persaud.
It was not until Gopi entered the fray that Viper began to show some life. In a thrilling 41 run knock, the Viper captain tried to single handedly drive and cut his team to victory by punishing the middle order bowling. As it turns out, his was an act of desperation as the visitors simply didn’t have enough batting to put on a defendable total. Gopi finished with an impressive 7 boundaries and a six, but it simply wasn’t enough. After his 7th wicket dismissal on a terrific catch by Ajai Ishmael off the excellent bowling of Theron Blair, Vipers were only able to muster an additional 13 runs for the last three wickets, finishing on 175 all out.
Of course, this was not an indictment of the tail end batsmen, but more of a testament to the guile and deception of Tri-City’s Maurice Persaud. Coming on in the last few overs opposite the pace and aggression of Blair, the spinner’s mastery of the art of bowling was clear to all in attendance. With the artistry borne of years of experience, Tri-City’s elder statesman utterly baffled the Viper’s batsmen, who could not connect on most all of his deliveries. Persaud bowled just 2.4 overs, and in that short timespan, managed to take THREE wickets for just 8 runs. His last over was brilliant: wicket, wicket, dot wicket…game over. It simply doesn’t get much better than that! Vipers were all out for 175 runs in 29.4 overs.
After a brief water break, umpire Zoeb Zavery cracked the whip and ordered both sides onto the field to begin Tri-City’s chase. The home town side responded with and uncle and nephew tandem: Mike and Ritchie Persaud. Things looked promising to start, with the younger Persaud getting after the bowling early on, while Uncle Mike seemed content with getting his eye in first.
Unfortunately for Tri-City, his eye was off a bit this day as he edged a nicely flighted delivery from Gopi right onto his stumps. The visitors were understandably happy to snag the prized wicket of one of Tri-City’s best batsmen. When Ritchie Persaud fell moments later, Vipers began to feel confident that their opening tandem of Ryan and Gopi would be able to restrict the Schenectady boys from reaching their goal.
Well, that was nice in theory, but Tri-City were having none of that nonsense. With a calm, cool collected air of a team with batting to spare, skipper John Persaud sent John Florent and Fizal “G-Unit” Husain to “de-fang” the Viper’s bite. And “defang” them , they did. Both batsmen seemed to be trying to outdo the other as they proceeded to dismantle the opposition’s bowlers with ruthless efficiency. Quickly, the run rate began to climb as both batsmen played marvelous shots to all parts of the Grout Park facility. It was a joy to see, as deliveries were dispatched to every corner of the wonderfully spacious, expertly manicured ground (special thanks to Jim Cullen and Moonlight Horticultural Services who put in many hours getting the field ready!)
When the dust finally settled, Florent finished on 57, not out, including two fours and five sixes. Husain, playing his own version of “let’s top this”, ended on 85, also not out, with seven boundaries and a half dozen sixes of his own. And they managed to do it in just 20.1 overs. Truly a remarkable achievement, and one that promises to be commemorated in some fashion with a trophy of some sort (according to league president Lesley Lowe) at the Commonwealth League’s annual award’s presentation at the end of the season. Husain is also on tap to receive some personal recognition for his prior batting exploits earlier in the season.
Finally, it was nice to see so many familiar faces amongst the Viper side. Many of their players have ties to Schenectady, either with family or friends, some even some who hail from the same locale’s in Guyana that many Tri-City folks do. It made for a very amiable and camaraderie filled post-match gathering, and the Viper boys were gracious in defeat. It was a hard fought contest, and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in upstate NY.
Stay tuned to all the latest at https://www.tricitycricket.com or on the Tri-City Cricket Club’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tri-City-Cricket-Club/109251374494.
Tri-City Cruise to Victory Over Pioneer
Grout Park ,Schenectady, NY- Not enough information in the scorebook to make a decent match report, but from what information that is there, Tri-City fared well in this one. Abhijit Indulkar and Mike Persaud were in good form on the batting side. Indulkar made 63 runs, with 7 boundaries and a six, while Mike Persaud chipped in with 60 runs, of which 9 were boundaries.
For the visitors, it looks like James was the best bowler, taking 3/46, and Naresh with 2/44.
In Pioneers innings, Narish and Insaff both led the way with 36 runs apiece. Narish had 6 boundaries to show for his efforts, while Insaff picked up two fours and a six.
John Persaud led the wicket haul for Tri-City, taking 2/37, but Ray Cecil and Maurice Persaud were very effective with their 1/13 and 1/18 spells respectively.