Commonwealth Cricket League
Schenectady, NY – Melbourne benefitted from some less than stellar fielding and went on to beat Tri-City by 59 runs in a close, hard fought Commonwealth Premier League playoff game Sunday August 25th, 2013.
Under an absolutely stunning, crystal clear blue sky, the visitors arrived on time to find Grout Park all groomed and close clipped, with a hard fast wicket and a cool breeze to offset some of the warmth of the late summer sunshine.
After winning the toss, Melbourne elected to bat and sent Dhillon Ber Singh and Junel Ahmed to the middle to test the Tri-City pacer duo of John Florent and Theron Blair. Neither Melbournian was able to make headway at first, but gradually, as they got their eye in, began to get used to the blistering pace from both ends.
Florent was the first to break through with an LBW with just 35 runs on the board in the fifth over, and Blair picked up a wicket of his own not long after with a brilliant catch by the youngster Joshua Persaud. With both openers gone for Melbourne in the first six overs, Tri-City were feeling pretty good about themselves.
Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last too long. In a critical and ultimately pivotal third wicket partnership, #3 Raynan Rumman and #4 Thanvir Ranin batted long and luckily to a 169 combination that proved to be Tri-City’s undoing. Both men were the beneficiaries of some uncharacteristically sloppy fielding, giving truth to the old maxim “catches win matches”. In fact, Ranin proved himself to be luckier than a busload of leprechauns as he proceeded to get dropped SIX TIMES on his way to a 100 run knock, which included 13 fours and two sixes. Rumman added 78 of his own, with 11 boundaries to his credit. In between the dropped catches, both men batted and ran well between the wickets and certainly deserved the accolades from their teammates and the spectators who watched them.
Their stand was the turning point of the game. Rumman fell with the score on 212, and Ranin headed to the pavilion with 256 on the board. The rest was just a slogfest, as Melbourne were confident they could defend 250. Wickets fell at regular intervals as each succeeding batsman simply lashed everything to pad their lead, ending on 277/9 at the end of their innings. Lost in all the wreckage was the bowling of Theron Blair, who took 3/48, Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman 2/44 and John Florent with 2/45.
Despite the daunting total, Tri-City were never ones to back down from a fight. Just as they had done against Seven Star a few weeks ago, the hometown boys simply set their noses to the grindstone, and got to work after the break.
Melbourne had some quick openers, but nothing Richie and Mike Persaud couldn’t handle at first. Both men batted patiently, waiting out the shine on the ball and the early aggression of the visitor’s pacemen. A quick wicket fell in the fourth after Supra bowled the younger Persaud, but that set the stage for the second centurion of the day: Anil “the Hammer” Sahaman. With the sound of Melbourne’s celebration still ringing through the ground, Sahaman stepped to the crease and quickly silenced the jubilant bowlers by dispatching the fourth delivery he faced right to the boundary. He proceeded to put on a batting clinic, punishing each and every errant ball to all corners of the spacious Grout Park, much to the delight of the numerous spectators in attendance.
After a nice 55 runs partnership with Mike Persaud ended on a controversial caught behind, Raymond Cecil announced his entry to the contest by drilling THREE boundaries on three consecutive deliveries! He and Sahaman kept the run rate rolling with a nifty 29 run third wicket partnership which ended with an ill chosen run attempt that left Cecil stranded at one end.
Enter Fizel “G” Husain, one of Tri-City’s biggest hitters. He and Sahaman quickly went to work punishing Melbourne’s bowling corps, who struggled to find a combination that could keep the two from scoring prodigiously. For a long while, they were unable to do so. Both Sahaman and Husain were brilliant, blocking every good delivery and attacking every loose one with surgical precision. The tide quickly turned, and suddenly, Tri-City found themselves pulling ahead in the run rate by a significant margin.
Ironically, it was a brilliant catch on the boundary by Melbourne’s Junel Ahmed that finally put an end to the Sahaman-Husain 57 run partnership. Ironic, because it was just such a catch that could have turned the tide in Melbourne’s innings had the Tri-City fielders been up to the task. In this case, it would prove to be a critical and game changing catch.
With the exception of a defiant 45 run 6th wicket partnership between the indomitable Sahaman and # 7 John Florent, Tri-City were unable to muster any significant offense in the face of seven different Melbourne bowlers. By the end of the 34th over, Tri-City were bundled out for 218, 59 runs short of the target. Sahaman finished on a brilliant 101, with 14 boundaries and a six. Husain finished on 25 in support, with one four and two sixes in his knock. Florent’s 20 included a four and six, but it was all too little, too late.
For their part, Melbourne did an excellent job using their bowling corps. Seven bowlers entered the fray, and all but one took a wicket for the visitors. Pranay Subra led the way with a tidy 2/37, with Sojib Azad helping out with a 2/51 spell. Jamil Islam cleaned up the tail with a 2/6 performance in just one over. Despite some dropped catches, Melbourne was able to hold the ones that counted the most. While there were several terrific batting performances to mention, this was clearly a match that was won by the fielding. Melbourne held more catches, and the end result speaks for itself. The match was played with great sportsmanship all around, and both teams should be commended for playing hard and fair. The league showed itself off well to a large group of spectators on a beautiful day for cricket in upstate New York. This should bode well for the future of cricket here in the great Northeast.
Sadly, this brings to an end Tri-City’s first full season as a member of the Premier Division of the Commonwealth League. It was a season of ups and downs, and the competition was fierce, and it was quite a challenging transition from years of playing friendly cricket exclusively. Now that most every team in the league has seen our beautiful ground, next season’s schedule will run a bit more smoothly.
Until then, good luck, Melbourne, as you move on to face Seven Star in the league final in two weeks!
Tri-City vs. Melbourne
Type: 35 Overs
Ground: Grout Park
Umpires: Alton Brisport and Kamal Hussain
INNINGS OF Melbourne
|Dhillon Ber Singh||Caught||Josh Persaud||Theron Blair||24||x||x||4||0|
|Junel Ahmed||LBW||n/a||John Florent||13||x||x||1||0|
|Raynan Rumman||Bowled||n/a||Raymond Cecil||78||x||x||11||0|
|Thanvir Ranin||Caught||Josh Persaud||Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman||100||x||x||13||2|
|Rudhir Ahsan||Caught and bowled||n/a||John Florent||5||x||x||1||0|
|Jamil Islam||Bowled||n/a||Theron Blair||9||x||x||1||0|
|Zahir Azad||Caught||John Florent||Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman||6||x||x||0||1|
|Rohit Khan||Caught behind||Richie Persaud||Theron Blair||5||x||x||1||0|
|Anindo Das||Not out||Not out||Not out||0||x||x||0||0|
Extras 33 (22 wd, 4nb, 6b, 1lb)
TOTAL: 277/9 in 35 overs
Fall Of Wickets (Wkt/Score): 1/35; 2/43; 3/212; 4/225; 5/256; 6/263; 7/271; 8/277; 9/277
|Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman||5||0||44||2||2||0|
INNINGS OF Tri-City
|Richie Persaud||Bowled||n/a||Pranay Subra||6||x||x||0||0|
|Mike Persaud||Caught behind||Not recorded||Jamil Islam||18||x||x||1||0|
|Doodnauth (Anil) Sahaman||Caught||Not recorded||Jamil Islam||101||x||x||14||1|
|Fizel Husain||Caught||Junel Ahmed||Sojib Azad||25||x||x||1||2|
|Mahindra Prasad||Bowled||n/a||Pranay Subra||0||x||x||0||0|
|John Florent||Caught||Junel Ahmed||Sojib Azad||20||x||x||1||1|
|Ashok Adikoppula||Bowled||n/a||Anindo Das||0||x||x||0||0|
|Theron Blair||LBW||n/a||Jamil Islam||0||x||x||0||0|
|Joshua Persaud||Not out||Not out||Not out||0||x||x||0||0|
Extras 25 (20 wd, 3nb, 1b, 1lb)
TOTAL: 218/all out in 34 overs
Fall Of Wickets (Wkt/Score): 1/12; 2/67; 3/96; 4/153; 5/154; 6/199; 7/207; 8/208; 9;208; 10/218
|Dhillon Ber Singh||6||0||38||1||3||0|