By Saif Yasin
Eastern American Cricket Association’s Power40 competition | Scorecard
On the first Sunday of the summer, Big Apple Cricket Club squared off against Long Island United Cricket Club in Brentwood New York. It was a match that promised to be as hot as the weather itself with Big Apple, soaring with confidence after defeating Zone 1 powerhouse Hillside Sports Club, going up against the fiery young speedster Anwer Kamal.

Zaheer Saffie hit a composed 107 in Big Apple win against Long Island United. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

Winning the toss Big Apple skipper Zaheer Saffie elected to bat first sending in Francis Mendonca and former West Indies U-19 player Richard Ramdeen.  For LUICC, Babruk Jalal and Tahir Khan took the new pieces of leather hoping to get the early breakthrough for their club.

Mendonca and Ramdeen began by playing sensible cricket stroking the ball around picking up singles, but Jalal got one through Ramdeen’s defense bowling him for 9. The early wicket was exactly what LIUCC needed to suppress the explosive Big Apple batting lineup. In walked Zaheer Saffie early on in the innings with the task of rebuilding from the early wicket. Mendonca and he began to put on a decent partnership with both players playing responsibly. Mendonca was the aggressor of the two early on scoring 26 of his eventual 35 runs in boundaries. His aggressive play eventually got the better of him as he hit the ball right down the throat of the fielder at long on off the bowling of Sajeed Khan.

In walked Clain Williams in his first match of season but he wouldn’t trouble LIUCC too much as he was dismissed for 5 off the bowling of Anwer Kamal. Narindra Balram fell early on in his innings as he was also dismissed for 4 off Kamal’s bowling. Romeno Deane came in and played a few shots for 19 before being dismissed by Babruk Jalal, but the innings thus far belonged to Zaheer Saffie. With the score at 168 with half the side dismissed in the 23rd over, Big Apple needed a decent partnership to post an above par total.

In walked Andre Kirton and along with Saffie, the two did just that. Both players played attackingly, sparing no mercy on the LIUCC bowlers. They added 92 for the fifth wicket partnership with Kirton bringing up his second fifty in three matches and Saffie his first ton of the season. Saffie was out in 30th over for a well played 107, caught behind off the bowling Tahir Khan. Kirton continued to torment the bowling attack before being dismissed by Khan for 54. Some late innings hitting by Shawn Thompson, 31, and Shiv Raghubar, 24, helped Big Apple reach 359 for 9 in their 40 overs.

Andre Kirton struck 54 and took 2 for 42.

Inning’s Summary
BACC: 359 for 9 (Zaheer Saffie 107 10×4’s & 6×6’s,  Andre Kirton 54 2×4’s & 6×6’s and Francis Mendonca 5×4’s & 1×6)
LIUCC: Babruk Jalal 8-0-58-3, Anwer Kamal 8-0-54-2 and Tahir Khan 8-0-71-2

With a monumental task ahead of them, LIUCC’s inning got off to a horrible start as Andre Kirton removed Babar Zia for a duck while Telston Johnson at the other end removed number three batsman Ali Alvi for a duck as well. Opener Asim Mehmood and Waqas Ashiq looked to rebuild the innings with both batsmen playing patiently. The two looked ready to establish a big partnership before Kirton struck again removing Mehmood for 25 adjudged LBW and Shawn Thompson removing Ashiq for 31. Sajeed Khan and Anwer Kamal prolonged LIUCC’s innings as they both struck half centuries in there stay.

Both batsmen batted with class and look to be a serious threat to Big Apple’s total. Under the humid conditions they had the Big Apple fielder toiling in the summer sun. Eventually relief came as Shiv Raghubar had Khan removed for a well played 52 while in an unexpected move Francis Mendonca got the ball and removed Kamal for 51. Mendonca would continue his heroics with the ball cleaning up tail of the lineup claiming two more wickets with Clain Williams scalping one. In the end LIUCC was dismissed for 213 in 39.4 overs.

Inning’s Summary
LIUCC: 213 A.O. in 39.4 overs (Sajeed Khan 52 6×4’s & 1×6, Anwer Kamal 51 5×4’s & 2×6’s and Waqas Ashiq 31 4x4s)
BACC: Francis Mendonca 5-0-13-3, Andre Kirton 7-0-42-2 and Shiv Raghubar 7-0-26-1

Big Apple Cricket Club will be playing against Falcons Cricket Club at Flushing 1 match start at 1:00 pm sharp.