By Sam Sooppersaud
New York T20 Big Bash
The New York T20 Big Bash Cricket Tournament got underway on Friday, May 2nd, at various cricket parks in Brooklyn and Queens under sunny skies. Mother Nature gave us her best smile, considering the deluge of rain we had in the last twenty-four hours causing wide flooding around the New York City areas. By game time the fields had dried out reasonably well enabling the games to start as scheduled.
I was designated the Match Referee for the games played at Baisley Park, Queens. Opening the tournament was the contest between the St. Lucia Masters and the Pakistan First. The Islanders won the toss and elected to take first strike.
St. Lucia never got on top of the Pakistani bowling attack. Only Paul Francis (26) and Glen Fontenella (28) managed to offer any kind of a resistance to the pace and wily spin of the bowlers. They were bundled out for a meager 92 runs. Zafar Khan 3 wickets for 27 runs and Wahab Munir 3 wickets for 9 runs.
Pak First knocked off the required runs in 11 overs. Asad Munawar (40) and Abdullah Syed (35) were the chief architects of their team’s victory. Paul Francis again performed well for his team capturing 3 wickets for 3 runs.
In the second game Pak First was able to wrestle the advantage away from the Bangladesh Tigers in the final 3 overs to claim the victory. It was a thrilling finish, the required runs scored with only 4 balls to spare.
Because of a late start, the match was reduced to 18 over contest.
Bangladesh won the coin toss and took first strike. They were able to muster only 119 runs in their allotted overs; A. Islam (32) and T. Ahmed (22). Bowling for Pak First Wahab Munir 2 for 25.
Set to score 120 for victory Pak First batted aggressively earlier in their innings. The runs rate in the middle fell, picking up-tempo only when it appeared that they would end up short of the required runs. Yet, they needed 30 runs in the last 3 overs. They got 10 in over number 16; 20 to get in 12 balls. With some lusty hitting in the penultimate over (2-6’s and a boundary) only 4 runs were needed in the last 6 overs. A hit for 4 took care of it all. Pak First won with 4 balls to spare. Asad Munawar 51 Not Out and Nousherwan 23, and Waseem Aktar 17, saw to it that their team came out on top.
Pak First having won their 2 games they played leads the tournament with 4 points.