By Royo P. Sankar
Eastern American Cricket League Power-40 competition
Sudesh Dhaniram struck a brilliant 78-ball century that crushed American Cricket Society (ACS) last Sunday at Baisley Park (The Cage) in the Eastern American Cricket League Power-40 competition.
It was a match-up that had ACS, as the favorite, in this encounter. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a one-sided affair. Coming in at number 3 with Zaheer Sadloo retiring with muscle-cramp— the former Guyana and USA National Player took his time to settle in before unleashing a flurry of well executed strokes all around the ground. He at times had the spectators at Flag staff (north-end) of the park scattering for cover while having their father’s Day Celebration, but still cheering. The hard hitting Imran Ali provided the late flourish to the Richmond hill innings with a swashbuckling 51 (3×4,5×6) off 23 balls. He battered and bludgeoned the ACS bowlers—showing no respect, or mercy.
Feeling the brunt of the willow, was the veteran swing bowler Terry Hastoo, his first over went for 23 – 4, 6, 4, 2, 6 and 1. At times he had the spectators living at the housing complex (157 street) enjoying the Father’s Day B-B-Q, rearranging their grill and ducking behind trees for cover. Former USA national players Kumar Nandalal and Kevin Darlington then ensure the total was a winning one with 5 for 35 and 3 for 16 respectively. As Richmond Hill remained unbeaten and topped the points table in Zone 2.
Inserted to bat first, for some alien reason, under bright sunshine by ACS— the Richmond Hill Batsmen wasted no time compiling a huge 261 for 7 off their allotted 40 overs on a heavy Baisley Park outfield. Opening veteran bowlers Saheed Amin and Trevor Walke, as usual had the Richmond Hill batsmen cautiously negotiating the good deliveries while thumping the odd bad balls to the fence. Also among the runs was Debo Sankar with a workman like 31 and Deryck McDonald with an unbeaten 24. Among the wicket for ACS was former USA captain Zamin Amin with 2 wickets, while Karan Ganesh, Terry Hastoo and Dwayne Smith with 1 wicket each. The Richmond Hill wickets fell at: 1-85, 2-122, 3-196, 4-215, 5-231, 6-247 and 7-250.
Needing to score just under 7-runs per over for victory the ACS openers, former USA national player and Richmond Hill nemesis in the T-20 final last year, Amjad Khan (1) was back in the pavilion bowled by a slower ball from Kevin Darlington, who at the time was beginning to extract some life from the wicket with a fiery opening spell, going for one of his favorite big hits. Soon his partner Steve Nowrangilal (6) followed caught behind by Debo Sankar off the same bowler.
However, Tamesh Balwant (36) and Karan Ganesh (53) came together and injected some life into the ACS response with a 3-wicket partnership worth 88 runs. Kumar Nandalal then broke the partnership, when he had Tamesh caught and bowled, while Ramphal Bactowar accounted for Karan, ACS 106 for 4. From then on the rest of the ACS batsmen had no answer to the spin-wizard Kumar Nandalal. As the ball would gripe, bounce and at times— turn square off the wicket. ACS last 6-wickets fell for just 45 runs. D. Smith (16), Z. Amin (7), T. Hastoo (0), R, Doyle (2), S. Shaw (0) and T. Walke (10). They looked more of a beaten under-dog than a Championship team. A real disappointment to many of the cage fans, as they begun to gobble-up their drinks and quickly leave the park. Kumar Nandalal was the chief wicket-taker with 5 victims, while Kevin Darlington scalped 3. Bactowar and Dhaniram had 1 wicket each. The American Cricket Society wickets fell at: 1-7, 2-8, 3-103, 4-106, 5-113, 6-113, 7-127, 8-128, 9-133 and 10-151.