Schenectady, NY – After a week of rain and stormy weather, Grout Park was awash in sunshine and a warm, dry early summer air on Sunday, June 9th, as Tri-City (ironically!) stormed their way to victory over Strikers CC in a limited, 35 over Commonwealth Premier League cricket match.
A little over half of the visitors arrived on time to spin the toss, and after winning, Tri-City offered Strikers the batting, in anticipation of the arrival of the rest of their team. They accepted, and the game managed to get off relatively on time, with no loss of overs. Unfortunately, only 10 of their players elected to travel, so Strikers were at a decided disadvantage later in the day as they fielded.
Still, they were good sports and worked hard to overcome this adversity with their openers Shahid Shazad and Shabaz Ahmed. Both men batted patiently and with good form early on, staking their way to a healthy 14 run total in the first four overs against the bowling tandem of Tri-City’s Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman and Ashok Addikopula. Truth be told, many of those runs were extras, as both Tri-City bowlers took some time to settle in, but the batsmen seemed content to get their eye in and not take many chances.
However, by the 5th over, it seemed patience started to wear thin, as Shazad made an ill-advised decision to run a single without first checking with his partner. After an accurate throw from Tri-City’s Manesh Jagmohan, Shazad found himself making the long walk from the field, run-out for just three runs.
Ahmed proved to be more difficult to dislodge, as he continued to bat stubbornly with new partner Nazmul Siddique. The two had a nice 35 run partnership for the second wicket, but it was really the fourth wicket stand that made this a game. Ahmed continued to grind away with several partners, then with Asad Ali to really stake Strikers to a solid total. By the time he was finally bowled by Raymond Cecil, Ahmed had amassed 74 runs, including eight boundaries and two blistering sixes. Ali did it the hard way in support, running his way to 25 before being run out (ironically) off the bowling of Mike Persaud.
Strikers amassed 183 runs in 33.5 overs, which is a pretty good showing on a wicket that was still drying out from the previous week’s monsoon rains. It should be noted, however, that Tri-City contributed quite a bit to this total, racking up 36 runs in extras. That being said, bowling performances of note were John Persaud with 2/27, and his brother Mike Persaud who finished with 2/21. Tri-City were also the beneficiaries of two run outs and two stumpings, which helped mitigate some of the damage from extras.
The hometown boys were confident that they would be able to make the 184 runs to win. After all, Tri-City bats deep, and even without the services of regulars John Florent and Kiran Vishnu, there were plenty of big sticks in the line-up today. Enter Richie Persaud and his uncle Mike. Both have opened in the past, and both seemed eager to get the job done. They seemed well on their way to doing that when the elder Persaud was caught unceremoniously after just 8 runs. After another quick wicket, Richie found himself at the crease with Mahindra (Karma) Prasad, a new member of Tri-City just this year. “Karma”’s calming presence seemed to rattle the younger Persaud as he tried to play a cover drive off the devious bowling of Farouk Lakhi and wound up pooching a catch in close to an alert Striker fieldsman, and suddenly Tri-City found themselves down three wickets for just 37 runs in the 8th over.
But Prasad doesn’t come by his nickname “Karma” for nothing. Like the cool breezes that blew through Grout Park early in the day, Prasad batted with precision and confidence, never getting rattled. Partnering with Ajai Ishmael, who played a magnificent innings of his own, the two put on a 75 run fourth wicket partnership that sealed Striker’s fate. By the time “Killer Karma” was clean bowled by Mohammed Suleman, he had put on 49 runs with SEVEN boundaries to his credit. Simply a fantastic and critical batting performance.
Not to be outdone, Ajai “Fresh Oil”(because he’s so slick!) Ishmael put on a critical batting performance of his own in another stunning partnership with Anil “the Hammer” Sahaman. With 70 runs to get in the last 15 overs, both Tri-City batsmen batted smart and long. Knowing that they need less than five runs an over to win, there was little talk of going for the big shot and hitting over the top. Sure, there were boundaries from both, and even a TOWERING six by Ishmael, but this partnership was one of singles and doubles, and keeping the pressure on the Striker fielders. It was clinical the way both Sahaman and Ishmael dissected the field and frustrated the bowlers. And it was a joy to watch.
Playing smart cricket, both batsmen flicked and cut, drove and ran their way to victory in the 31st over. Ishmael finished not out for 45, with two boundaries and that thundering six, and Sahaman added 36 with three fours and a six of his own, also not out. But this performance was more about finesse and skill than power, and both men exhibited both traits in abundance. For Ishmael, this was one of his finest batting performances as a member of Tri-City, and to watch both men at work was a privilege. Tri-City finished on 184/4 with four overs to spare.
For Strikers, the deck was stacked against them from the start with just 10 fielders, but to their credit, they came to play. Farouk Lakhi tried to keep things close with his 2/31 bowling performance, and the fielders did their part with several well taken catches, but in the end, the lack of an 11th man left too many holes in the field for the Tri-City batsmen to take advantage of. Strikers fought hard, and were good sportsmen, and our hats go off to them for making the long drive and for never giving up despite the uphill battle. Well played, sirs!
Tri-City vs. Strikers
Type: 35 Overs
Ground: Grout Park
Umpire: Zoeb Zavery
INNINGS OF Strikers
Duration in Minutes:
Batting (Strikers only brought 10 players):
|Shahid Shahzad||Run out||Manesh Jagmohan||Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman||3||x||x||0||0|
|Shabaz Ahmed||Bowled||n/a||Raymond Cecil||74||x||x||8||2|
|Nazimul Siddique||Caught||Richie Persaud||Ashok Addikopula||10||x||x||4||0|
|Fahad Sultan||Caught||Mahindra Prasad||Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman||7||x||x||0||0|
|Shammas Rahman||Caught||Not recorded||John Persaud||01||x||x||4||1|
|Asad Ali||Run out||Not recorded||Mike Persaud||25||x||x||0||0|
|Mohammed Suleman||Stumped||Mahindra Prasad||Mike Persaud||18||x||x||1||1|
|Farouk Lakhi||Stumped||Mahindra Prasad||Mike Persaud||5||x||x||0||0|
|Mohammed Arslan||No tout||Not out||Not out||1||x||x||0||0|
|Irfan Mohammed||Caught||Not recorded||John Persaud||0||x||x||0||0|
Extras 35 (23 wd, 7nb, 6b, 0lb)
TOTAL: 183/9 (all out) in 33.5 Overs
Fall Of Wickets (Wkt/Score): 1/15; 2/46; 3/66; 4/70; 5/136; 6/162; 7/182; 8/?; 9/184
|Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman||7||1||25||1||2||0|
|Raymond Cecil||7||0||21||1||Not recorded||0|
|Mike Persaud||4||0||21||2||Not recorded||0|
|John Persaud||5||0||27||2||Not recorded||0|
INNINGS OF Tri-City
Duration in Minutes:
|Richie Persaud||Caught||Not recorded||Farouk Lakhi||23||x||x||0||1|
|Mike Persaud||Caught||Not recorded||Farouk Lakhi||8||x||x||0||0|
|Fizel Husain||Caught behind||Not recorded||Irfan Mohammed||0||x||x||0||0|
|Mahendra Prasad||Bowled||n/a||Mohammed Suleman||49||x||x||7||0|
|Ajai Ishmael||Not out||Not out||Not out||45||x||x||2||6|
|Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman||Not out||Not out||Not out||36||x||x||3||0|
Extras 23 (16 wd, 3nb, 3b, 1lb)
TOTAL: 184/4 in 31 Overs
Fall Of Wickets (Wkt/Score): 1/23; 2/31; 3/34; 4/109
|Irfan Mohammed||7||0||29||1||Not recorded||1|
|Fahad Sultan||7||0||35||0||Not recorded||Not recorded|
|Farouk Lakhi||3||0||31||2||Not recorded||Not recorded|
|Mohammed Arslan||3||0||24||0||Not recorded||Not recorded|
|Mohammed Suleman||7||0||38||1||Not recorded||Not recorded|
|Shahid Shazad||3||0||24||0||Not recorded||Not recorded|