EACA T20 Final
By Royo P. Sankar
Richmond Hill Cricket Club (RHCC) defeated American Cricket Society (ACS) by seven-wickets in a nerve-racking battle last Sunday at the famous Baisley Park (Cage), in the final of the T20 competition. As the Eastern American Cricket Association (EACA) draws the curtain for the 2013 season.

Ramphal Bactowar bowled a champion spell in which he picked up 4 wickets for 11 runs off 4 overs. Photos by Shiek Mohamed.

Everything went topsy-turvy in this final—both sides panicked in front of a huge crowd; ACS was off to a great start, but their middle order failed to capitalize—destroyed by the veteran off-spinner Ramphal Bactowar; an opening stand of 85 off 13.1 overs that included 44 dot balls—between Sudesh Dhaniram and Wahid Ward, chasing a somewhat modest target at a required rate of just over a run a ball and kept everyone pondering what’s going to happen next, in the process—setting up the game for an exciting finish.

However, RHCC’s, Debo ‘Sachin’ Sankar providing resolute support role in the last couple of games and continuing his coherent form, ensure that RHCC prevailed as he and Deryck McDonald hit-off the required 28 needed from the last 20 balls for victory.

Sent in to bat after losing the toss, openers Tamesh Balwant (43) 24 balls and Steve Nowrangilall (39) 20 balls—sent ACS off to a flying start,  the pair bludgeoned 62 from 31 balls as RHCC opening bowlers Kevin Darlington and Deryck McDonald were clobbered around the park. Their four overs combined leaked 53 with Nowrangilall hammering McDonald 2nd over for two fours and a six and Balwant taking 7 off Darlington, then smoking Shameer Sadloo for 17 in his first 5 balls, but mistimed a low full-toss, bowled from behind the popping crease, straight into the waiting bucket of Ronald Evelyn fielding at long-off.

Ramphal Bactowar, bowling from the basketball court end then became the bowling demon for RHCC sending chaos into the ACS camp.

He first flattened Steve Nowrangilall stumps then had Karan Ganesh (6) lbw, playing down the wrong line, Amjad Khan (2) swept straight to Darlington fielding at deep backward square, who didn’t had to move an inch and Treon Forde (9) trapped lbw right in front, as ACS slumped to 112 for six in the 14th over.

However, the veteran Zamin Amin coming in at number 7, stuck around and was the only other ACS batsman to record double-digit (19) from 17 balls as S. Sadloo, Dhaniram and Nandalall cleaned up the tail—Terry Hastoo (0), Aun Merchant (9) and Ralph Ogle (0) were all back in their comfy chair watching Saheed Amin unbeaten on 0, in their final total of 144 all out in 19.3 overs.

Debo Sankar struck 34 from 19 deliveries in Richmond Hill win.

ACS wickets fell at: 62 (S. Nowrangilall), 73 (K. Ganesh), 93 (T. Balwant), 93 (A. Khan), 103 (T. Forde), 112 (D. Smith), 113 (T. Hastoo), 130 (A. Merchant), 133 (R. Ogle) and 144 (Z. Amin). Bowling for RHCC: K. Darlington 2-0-22-0, McDonald 2-0-31-0, S. Dhaniram 4-0-29-2, R. Bactowar 4-0-11-4, S. Sadloo 4-0-36-2 and K. Nandalall 3-1-9-2.

With just over a run a ball for victory, It appeared the game would be finished in, around the 15th over with RHCC powerhouse lineup led by Sudesh Dhaniram and Wahid Ward.

However, it wasn’t what the huge crowd expected, with Wahid Ward coming off a blazing unbeaten century the previous week and Dhaniram known for his exuberant batting display, the duo would milk the bowling and looking for the wayward or bad delivery to hammer, which they did. The first 4 overs yielded 33 runs with Dhaniran mowing Karan Ganesh 2nd over for 12 that include 3x4s.

Zamin Amin was introduced from the Foch Boulevard end and immediately began to extract some turn and bound, sending both openers into defensive mode. His four overs would yield just 8 runs with a maiden—an outstanding bowling performance defending 144, as RHCC panicked, shortly with the run rate climbing and their scorecard reading 57 without loss in 11 overs. With a further 87 required from 48 balls. Wahid Ward then smoked 2 sixes off Anu Merchant in the 13th over, while Dhaniram stroke 7 in the 14th, bowled by Ganesh, with Ward thumping the final delivery into the crowd.

Treon Forde was introduced and immediately dismissed Sudesh Dhaniram for 47 (7x4s, 1×6) 41 balls and Wahid Ward 42 (5x6s) 45 balls. With 33 required form 24 balls, Debo Sankar then strode to the wicket and immediately began to mow-down the required target with every ball he faced, Shameer Sadloo(1) was run out going for a double—sent back by Debo. However, with a further 31 required from 18 balls they needed a big over to bring back the game within their reach. That over would be the 18th, which was bludgeoned for 25, Debo, deposit the first ball into the crowd—then followed up that with a glorious cover drive that rocketed to the fence, McDonald then get into the act with two scorching boundaries through mid-off that raced towards the boundary–that over which went 6, 4, 1, 4, 4, 2 was the turning point for RHCC.

Karan Ganesh took the ball with 7 to get from 12, it was all over for ACS as the duo nudged around singles with Debo handing the final rites to ACS with a double through backward-point as the RHCC players and supporters invaded the field—celebrating wildly with high-fives. Debo Sankar 34 (3×4, 1×6) from 19 balls and Deryck McDonald 12 (2×4) from 7 balls were unbeaten towards the end of victory. RHCC wickets fell at: 85 (S. Dhaniram), 109 (W. Ward) and 115 (S. Sadloo). Bowling for ACS: S. Amin 2-0-27-0, K. Ganesh 4-0-33-0, Z. Amin 4-1-8-0, A. Merchant 4-0-31-0, T. Forde 3-0-38-2 and R. Ogle 1-0-6-0.

RHCC had won a thrilling final of what has been a good tournament, carting off the regular season and the T20 Trophies.

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