By Royo P. Sankar | Scorecard
It was a tense battle between two of the league top contenders; Richmond Hill Cricket Club and Atlantis Cricket Club—from the first ball to the last delivery bowled by Prashant Nair that went flying one-bounce into the long-on boundary off captain Shameer Sadloo’s willow. As the Richmond Hill players and supporter begun to cheer wildly. It was 19 runs required from 42 deliveries with last pair Shameer Sadloo and Ramphal Bactowar at the wicket. The two Stalwarts batted superbly seeing Richmond Hill home in the 33 over and in the process remained unbeaten in Zone 2.
Earlier, Atlantis having won the toss and without any hesitation elected to bat first under brilliant sunshine on a typical fast Hecksher State Park. Hendenson Blades and Ryan Sukhdeo opened the innings, with Blades going early into turbo-gear, when he straight drove Deryck McDonald first ball into the long-on boundary, then followed-up that with a straight six over the bowler head and another four into the mid-wicket fence. McDonald was immediately removed from the attack—never to hold the ball again for the duration of the Atlantis innings.
His opening new ball partner Wahid Ward inflicted the early break-through when he trapped Ryan Sukhdeo lbw for 8. However, he too was dealt severely by Jason Greaves and Hendenson Blades—his 3 overs would cost 28 runs. It was left to the spin trio of Ramphal Bactowar, Kumar Nandalall and Shameer Sadloo to restrict the run flow. They had Blades quickly switching from turbo-gear to defensive mode as they spun webs around the Atlantis players. He later fell for 46, lbw candidate to Dhaniram. Kumar Nandalall was once again impressive with the ball with his 7 overs cost a paltry 13 runs with 3 maidens and a wicket.
Kavishwar Bridgepaul (5) labored for 31 balls before being smartly stumped by Prashad Mahadeo of Sudesh Dhaniram. Atlantis 84 for 3 in 19 overs. Shameer Sadloo took the ball from the pavilion-end and had Atlantis reeling at 121 for 8, his victims: Ron Andrews (1), Shawn Mason (12), Prashant Nair (2) and Dwayne Hurley (1).
However, last wicket pair of Greg Robinson and Casper Davis Jr. took Atlantis to a challenging total of 183 with a brilliant partnership worth 55 valuable runs. Greg remained unbeaten on 44 that included 6 fours and 2 towering sixes.
Atlantis wickets fell at: 1-34, 2- 56, 3-84,4-91, 5-96, 6-108, 7-121, 8- 121, 9-128, 10- 183.
Richmond Hill, needing to score just under 5 an over for victory—it appears an easy home run with their tall batting line-up.
However, that was easier said than done as Atlantis opening bowlers Casper Davis Jr and Jason Greaves sent shock waves through the Richmond Hill camp sending back Debo Sankar (0), Imran Ali (4), Sudesh Dhaniram (4) and Zaheer Sadloo (12), Richmond Hill score card 33 for 4 in 5 overs.
With Richmond Hill reeling Wahid Ward and Prashad Mahadeo came together and crafted a valuable fifth wicket partnership worth 94 runs with Ward being the more dominant, executing some fine cricket strokes in his 55. Prashad was unfortunately run out for a well composed 39 the ball ricocheting off the bowler hand unto the stumps. Richmond Hill 134 for 6 of 24 overs. Needing a further 49 from 96 deliveries—it was left on skipper Shameer Sadloo (39 not out) to see his team home and did so superbly, showing the full face of the willow to the Atlantis consistence bowling.
However, Richmond Hill slumped into deeper trouble with the fall of a 3 quick wickets; that of Deryck McDonald (6), Dhaniram Seepersaud (0) and Kumar Nandlall (5), scorecard 164 for 9 from 32 overs.
Needing 19 for victory last wicket pair of Shameer and Bactowar did so confidently leaving 6 overs to spare. Richmond Hill wicket fell at: 1-3, 2-7, 3-29, 4-33, 5-127, 6-134, 7-140, 8-140 and 9-164.