Eastern American Cricket Association Power-40 Division 1
By Royo P. Sankar | Photo Gallery
The long awaited duel between leaders Richmond Hill Cricket Club (RHCC), and second placed Big Apple Cricket Club (BACC) in the Eastern American Cricket Association (EACA) division 1 competition played on a neutral venue (Lido Beach), could not have been more exiting and tense. The two powerhouse lineup with the players involved—came up with their best performance to date.
RHCC’s Debo Sankar led from top of the order with a fluent and well-crafted half-century (66), while Deryck McDonald provided the late charge with a belligerent and unbeaten 41 off just 25 balls—Skipper Shameer Sadloo then convinced the sizeable crowd watching that the total was enough, and beyond the reach of BACC with 4 for 31 off just 3.4 over. It was a tense and see-saw battle with RHCC holding the upper hand from start to finish—in the process remained unbeaten, and take an unassailable lead in the competition.
Batting first, RHCC amassed f 248 for 7 wickets in their 40 overs. A somewhat modest target given their potential for amassing 300+ runs totals this season. Nevertheless, RHCC would depend upon its bowlers to defend the 6.2 asking run rate. Debo Sankar and Zaheer Sadloo laid the foundation for the others to build on with an opening stand of 59. Before Zaheer departed for 24 off 29 balls. Sudesh Dhaniram joined Debo at the wicket and the pair took the score to 95. However, the introduction of Narindra Balram would see the back of the prolific Dhaniram (24) as got a first ball beauty of an opening spell that clip the bail and silenced the RHCC camp. Debo Sankar played some crisp shots, especially off the pads before departing with the score on 95, his top score of 66 (9x4s and 1×6) would be the back bone for RHCC.
Prashad Mahadeo was next in and struck a patient 33 off 37 balls. The Hard hitting Imran Ali lasted only 9 deliveries and struck a solitary six, and with the scorecard reading 176 for 5 in 32 overs. They needed someone to up the ante in the final 8 overs. Deryck McDonald and Shameer Sadloo took the challenge with sensible and aggressive batting—a 6th wicket partnership of 66 of just 44 balls saw the total move quickly from 176 to 242 ,before Shameer departed for a run-a-ball 21 in the 40th over. Kevin Darlington faced the final 2 deliveries and struck a six, before being bowled by A. Kirton with the final delivery. McDonald was unbeaten with 41 (7×2, 2×6).
Andre “Rusty” Kirton had the most success with 3 for 53 off his 8 overs which include a maiden; Zaheer Saffie scalped 2, while Shawn Thompson and Narindra Balram had one each. RHCC wickets fell at: 1- 59 (Z. Sadloo), 2- 95 (S. Dhaniram), 3-156 (D. Sankar), 4-169 (P. Mahadeo), 5-176 (I. Ali), 6-242 (S. Sadloo), and 7-248 (K. Darlington).
Big Apple confidently opened their inning with Francis Mendonca and Richard Ramdeen. However, Ramdeen would be the first to exit, caught off the bowling of Deryck McDonald, having contributed only eight runs with the score at 24. Skipper Zaheer Saffie with a brief knock of 17 off 21 balls would depart next caught at the mid-wicket boundary by Imran Ali, however opener Francis Mendonca with an even more patient knock of 39 ( 4x4s) off 61 deliveries would hold the big Apple innings together before driving straight to Royo Sankar fielding at Cover-point. Clain Williams (21) was run out attempting a suicidal run. However, with the scorecard reading 95 for 4 in 23 overs — Romeno Deane then stole the spotlight with a quick-fire 40 of just 19 that included 4x4s and 2x6s to set-up a Big Apple charge in the finals overs, and with the score on 140 for 5 in 28 overs.
Telston Johnson strode to the wicket with the equation reading 108 required off 72 balls and wasted no time— was very ferocious, smashing an even more fiery knock of 41 from 16 balls that included 4x2s, 4x4s and 1×6, a gallant, but futile effort towards the end—giving out caught at the wicket, he walked dejected, unhappy and slowly back to pavilion—nodding his head. Score card 194 for 6 in 33 overs and with a further 54 required from 36 balls, Skipper Shameer Sadloo then took the ball and cleaned-up the final four batsmen (A. Kirton 22, S. Thompson 2, M. Gomes 9 and R. Balram 0) giving RHCC victory by 27 runs.
His bowling figures 3.4-0-25-4, K. Nandall bagged 2 and there was one each for D. McDonald, R. Bactowar and S. Dhaniram. BACC wickets fell at: 24 (R. Ramdin), 62 (Z. Saffie), 93 (C. Williams), 95 (F. Mendonca), 140 (R. Deane), 194 (T. Johnson), 200 (A. Kirton), 200 (S. Thompson), 222 (M. Gomes), and 222 (R. Balram).