Commonwealth Cricket League
Schenectady, NY – Perhaps once a season, a team can have a game where everything seems to go their way. For Tri-City, Sunday was that day as they rocketed to a massive 234 run victory over Pioneer in a 30 over Commonwealth League match on Saturday Aug. 10th.
The playing conditions foreshadowed what was to come for the Schenectadians, with picture perfect blue skies, low humidity and abundant sunshine. The sort of day that comes along once or twice in a summer. The sort of day when anything seems possible and nothing can go wrong. The sort of day when winning big is inevitable.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Tri-City opened with youth and experience; the youth being supplied by the 23 year old Richie Persaud, the experience by his uncle Mike. Richie has grown up playing cricket in Schenectady under the watchful eye of his dad, Tri-City skipper John Persaud, and his two uncles Mike and Maurice. The younger Persaud learned well and has already established himself as a rising star in the Commonwealth league with several terrific batting performances this season, averaging almost 64 runs a game.
He and his uncle make a formidable opening duo, and they immediately set to work challenging the Pioneer bowlers Insaaf and James. Without the more typical pyrotechnics of his previous early innings batting performances at the start of this season, Richie Persaud seemed to follow his uncle’s lead, running hard between the wickets and stealing runs by continually pressuring the fielders while playing cautiously and getting his eye in. Of course, when the ball was there to hit, Persaud hit it hard, but he batted in a more controlled, calculated fashion than usual.
Slowly and steadily, the run rate began to creep upward to just about 8.5 per over. At this point, Pioneer opted to try a different strategy, bringing on Darmin and Naresh to try and break through the Persaud’s stalwart defenses. The new bowlers were unable to staunch the hemorrhaging, and Tri-City’s openers batted on with remarkable consistency.
It wasn’t until the 16th over that Naresh finally broke through, snagging Richie Persaud’s wicket with an agile, cat like stumping by his wicket keeping teammate. As Persaud headed to the pavilion, however, it was with his head held high as he had just made his century on the previous delivery. Richie reached his 100 with thirteen fours, and two sixes enroute to a devastating opening partnership of 146 runs with his uncle Mike. It was a masterful performance and set the table for more heroics to come.
With so much batting left in Tri-City’s arsenal, the talk on the sidelines of a monster innings began in earnest. However, Pioneer must have felt that the tide may have been turning for them after Naresh struck again, taking out Mike Persaud, who finished on 42 with 3 boundaries, and then scalping the always dangerous Nyeem Baskh for just an additional 10 runs on a beautiful catch by Insaff at point.
But this only served to set the stage for another spectacular Tri-City batting partnership between Fizal Husain and Ryan Girdhary. With a solid base of 165 runs to build on and eleven overs left to play, Husain proceeded to put on a power batting clinic worthy of an ESPN highlight reel. Girdhary, a terrific batsman in his own right, showed terrific teamsmanship and quickly shifted into the support role, running hard and rotating the strike to keep Husain’s hot bat humming. Fizal or G-Unit as he is known by the Tri-City faithful, simply destroyed the Pioneer bowling with fours and sixes that shattered the quite, peaceful grounds of Grout Park with their sheer awesomeness. Clearing trees and fences with alarming regularity, Husain blasted through his 50 with remarkable ease and was well on his way to a century by the 26th over when Pioneer’s Terrence enticed him into a one handed slap that skied a catch to Dalip stationed at deep mid-wicket. His 4th wicket partnership with Girdhary was an impressive 102, and he finished on 93, with TEN (that’s right…TEN!) sixes, and six boundaries. Clearly G’s nickname must stand for “Godzilla”, because this was a truly monstrous performance!
With just four overs left, and 272 runs already on the board, Tri-City’s Anil “the Hammer” Sahaman entered the fray looking to extract his pound of flesh from the beleaguered Pioneer bowling corps. And extract it he did. From the first delivery, Sahaman lashed a boundary, and then proceeded to partner with Girdhary and Raymond Cecil for another 61 quick runs. It was brilliant to watch, as he pounded his way to a not out total of 40, with 3 fours and two screaming sixes, one of which left scorch marks on the trees as it passed through to the school parking lot adjacent to the Grout Park field. On the strength of these incredible batting feats, Tri-City tallied up a massive 337 run total in their 30 innings, their highest of the season. Girdhary finished on 30, with a boundary and two sixes to his credit.
With such a huge target ahead of them, Pioneer must have been demoralized. But like the great sportsman that they are, after the water break they resolved to do their best and try and make a game of it. To that end, the aforementioned Naresh and Darmin headed out to the middle to begin the daunting task of facing Tri-City’s ground and pound squad of Anil Sahaman and Ryan Girdhary.
Despite some early wildness by both amped up pacemen, the two managed to stifle the batsmen early, holding them well below the needed 11.4 runs/over necessary to match the hometown boy’s impressive total. Sahaman broke through first in the fourth over, dismissing Darmin for 15 runs, including three boundaries. He then snagged two more in the sixth to leave Pioneer on 49/3. Not to be outdone, Girdhary got his first wicket just one over later. The visitors were reeling on 50/4 and things were looking bleak.
However, a solid fifth wicket partnership by Naresh and James Sangsaster gave a flicker of hope to Pioneer. The two accumulated 39 belligerent runs in an attempt to claw their way back into the game, but it was way too little, way too late.
That’s because Tri-City had a secret weapon in store for the big city boys. Munesh Jagmohan entered the fray in the 13th over, which very appropriately proved to be unlucky for Pioneer. His first victim was Naresh who had lasted longest at the crease for the visitors. He left with 33, including four boundaries and a six. Without Naresh holding down one end, Pioneer’s middle order proved to be as fragile as a Middle East peace treaty.
With Jagmohan bowling out of his mind, he tore through the Pioneer batsmen with reckless abandon. In just his second over, Munesh “the Mauler” ripped the heart out of the visitors with three quick wickets for just two runs! It was a brilliant performance and turned the game into a rout. Jagmohan took full advantage of the attacking field, and the sure handed John Persaud and Anil Sahaman did the rest, holding catches at first and second slip respectively to help him to his best bowling performance in recent history. Talk about teamwork. It doesn’t get any better than that!
As the dust settled, Pioneer were bundled out for a meager 103 in just 17.5 overs. In addition to Jagmohan’s heroic 5/17 performance, Sahaman snagged 3/40 to help seal the win. All around, from batting, to bowling, to fielding, this was a tremendous Tri-City performance on the eve of the Commonwealth League playoffs.
Thanks go out to the boys from Pioneer for making the trek to Schenectady, and for playing with good sportsmanship and heart despite what must have been a long and difficult day. We wish them luck for the rest of the season.
Tri-City vs. Pioneer CC
Type: 30 Overs
Ground: Grout Park
INNINGS OF Tri-City
Duration in Minutes:
|Richie Persaud||Stumped||Not recorded||Naresh||100||x||x||13||2|
|Anil Sahaman||Not out||Not out||Not out||40||x||x||3||2|
|Raymond Cecil||Not out||Not out||Not out||5||x||x||0||0|
Extras 19 (13 wd, 0nb, 2b, 4lb)
TOTAL 337/5 in 30 overs
Fall Of Wickets (Wkt/Score): 1/146; 2/155; 3/165; 4/272; 5/302
INNINGS OF Pioneer
Duration in Minutes:
|Naresh||Caught||Raymond Cecil||Munesh Jagmohan||33||x||x||4||1|
|Darman||Caught||Richie Persaud||Anil Sahaman||15||x||x||3||0|
|Terrence||Caught behind||Mohindra Prasad||Anil Sahaman||4||x||x||0||0|
|Khali||Caught||Ryan Girdhary||Anil Sahaman||0||x||x||0||0|
|James Sangsaster||Caught||John Persaud||Munesh Jagmohan||13||x||x||2||0|
|Vado||Caught||John Persaud||Raymond Cecil||4||x||x||2||0|
|Roy||Caught||Anil Sahaman||Munesh Jagmohan||0||x||x||0||0|
|Jahno||Not out||Not out||Not out||0||x||x||0||0|
Extras 29 (23 wd, 1nb, 4b, 2lb)
TOTAL: 103/all out in 17.5 overs
Fall Of Wickets (Wkt/Score): 1/22; 2/47; 3/49; 4/50; 5/89; 6/93; 7/93; 8/93; 9/98; 10/103