Eastern American Cricket Association Power-40 Elite -10 Semi-Final
By Royo P. Sankar
This semi-final duel between two of the top four in the Eastern American Cricket Association Elite-10 competition; leader’s Richmond Hill Cricket Club (RHCC) and 4th placed Atlantis Cricket Club–NY (ACC ) was a prediction forecasted that lived up to expectation. Filled with glorious and tense entertainment from start to finish—in front of a packed Baisley Park (Cage). Atlantis, energized and confident  that their total looked beyond the reach of RHCC and with their tall bowling line up—led by the fiery Casper Davis jr.,  and included Greg Robinson, Prashant Nair, Alex Amsterdam and their latest star Ryan Girdhary to name a few—would pose a challenge to the star-studded veterans of RHCC.

Sudesh Dhaniram produce a classy 113 in Richmond Hill win over Atlantis. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

However, that foretell would be answered in the 33rd over of an intriguing and perceptible days play—A Richmond Hill Cricket Club victory by six wickets  with seven overs to spare and storms into the Elite-10 final.

A strong opening stand of 98 between Debo Sankar and Zaheer Sadloo off just 15 overs was the bedrock in their chase of 254 with Debo dominating that partnership with some thrilling shots before batting maestro and the leading run scorer in the competition—Sudesh Dhaniram, scripted the final rites to Atlantis Cricket Club season with another splendid and stroke-filled century, his 4th of the season.

Earlier, Atlantis notched up 254 for 8 wickets off their allotted 40 overs at A required rate at 6.35 run per over, Henderson Blades and Ryan Sookdeo crafted an opening stand of 96 in 19 overs, after they had won the toss and elected to bat first on a gorgeous day made for cricket lovely cricket.

Ryan innings had a high percentage of dots balls before he finally unleashed a series of boundaries in his 65 off 66 balls (8x4s and 3x6s), he struck Deryck McDonald for three sweetly timed Boundaries in his 7th over before swinging wildly and was bowled by K. Nandalall while Blades was dismissed for an unusual and patient 35 off 49 balls. Ron Andrews was brilliantly run out by W. Ward and P. Mahadeo for a quick 19 from 15 balls and with the scoreboard reading 140 for 3 in 26 overs  they needed to rebuild in the middle—Alex Amsterdam (38) and Kavishwar Bridgepaul (16) put together a brief 4th wicket partnership of 32. Shameer Sadloo then rattles Bridgepaul stumps and Ramphal Bactowar accounted for Amsterdam—lbw candidate, playing down the wrong line.

Ryan Girdhary coming in at number six provided the late charge in the final overs with a quick-fire and unbeaten 44 off 21 balls (2x4s, 3x6s) along with Jason Greaves 20 from 14 balls before K. Darlington uprooted his stumps. Keon Lake (0) and Prashant Nair(1) fell cheaply without troubling the scorecard, while Greg Robinson was unbeaten with 6 as the innings closed at 254 for 8 from 40 overs. Atlantis wickets fell at: 96 (R. Sukhdeo), 108 (H. Blades), 140 (R. Andrews), 172 (K. Bridgepaul), 183 (A. Amsterdam), 219 (J. Greaves), 219 (K. Lake) and 228 (P. Nair). Ramphal Bactowar had the most success with 3 wickets while Kevin Darlington had 2, and there was one each to K. Nandalall and S. Sadloo.

In their chase of 255 for victory at just under 7 run per over , RHCC ‘s Debo Sankar 45 (8x4s, 1×6) and Zaheer Sadloo 31 (2x4s) provided the early tempo with a brilliant opening stand of 98 from 15 overs with Debo latching on to Casper Davis jr in his third over—clubbing him for 4,4,.,4,4—the final boundary, A fierce pull shot that went flying of his willow to the mid-wicket fence like a bullet and had all of the RHCC players and spectators on their feet cheering was the highlight of his innings. However, Prashant Nair introduced himself and immediately had success, dismissing Both Debo and Zaheer in quick succession.

Ramphal Bactowar was the most successful Richmond Hill bowler, picking up 3 wickets. Photo by Shiek Mohamed.

Wahid Ward lasted only 2 deliveries, caught at the long-on boundary off K. Lake and with the scorecard at 100 for 3 wickets in the 17 over—Sudesh Dhaniram coming in at number 3 wasted no time and began to mow down the target at almost 7 runs an over, at times 8 and 9—in his own unique fashion; glorious cover drives, effortless flicks off the pads and exquisite square cuts. He bought-up his century with his favorite shot; A spanking square-cut on his knees that rocketed over the fence for six that had the crowd cheering wildly.

Prashad Mahadeo coming in at number 5 quickly settled in and joined the run feast as the pair continues to taunt the Atlantis bowlers that lacked penetration. they used 7 bowlers with Casper Davis Jr conceding a whopping 81runs off his 8. Mahadeo fell for 33 off 26 balls (6x4s) with the score on 221. Shameer Sadloo came in at number 6 and along with Dhaniram hit off the required 33 for victory. Sudesh Dhaniram flair Casper final over for 4,4,4,4 and remained unbeaten with 113 not out (14x4s, 6x6s) while Shameer Sadloo had 8 not out. RHCC wickets fell at: 98 (D. Sankar), 99 (Z. Sadloo), 100 (W. Ward) and 221 (P. Mahadeo). Prashant Nair and Keon Lake was the only bowlers that had wickets, with 2 each.