By Peter Della Penna
New York Region demolished the undefeated Atlantic Region by 9
wickets, their second 9 wicket victory in a row, to become the USACA
Eastern Conference tournament champions. South East Region finished
second after defeating Director’s XI by 2 wickets in what was an
extraordinary string of events on the final day’s play.
“Our main objective today was to win and win big,” said New York
captain Steve Massiah. “I thought the guys rose to the occasion.
Darlington was brilliant up front and was ably supported by everyone
else. It was a total team effort. I must thank my teammates for the
wonderful support over the last three days because we basically came
from third place to number one and that’s a great accomplishment.”
The Atlantic Region won the toss against New York and elected to bat
first at Chillum Park on a bright and sunny Sunday morning. However,
things turned dark and gloomy immediately as Gowkaran Roopnarine played
on to Kevin Darlington four balls into the match to make it 1/1.
Darlington and Massiah Post Match Interview vs. Atlantic from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
From there, the downward spiral was fast and furious. Siddharth
Mehta came in next and was run out trying to pinch a single to square
leg. Barrington Bartley threw down the stumps at the non-striker’s end
to see Mehta gone for 9 making it 15/2.
The score reached 23 when four more wickets fell for seven runs. Aditya
Mishra was caught behind by Akeem Dodson off Darlington while Charan
Singh lasted seven balls before driving Dennison Thomas to Glen Hall at
cover for a duck. Claine Williams was Darlington’s third wicket, once
again caught behind by Dodson for 6.
“My mindset was to bowl that good line and length, try to hit the top
of off stump and let the ball do the rest,” said Darlington. “This
wicket is a pretty placid one and there’s not much room for error. So I
just tried to keep the ball close to the top of off stump and that did
it for me today.”
Two balls later, Muhammad Yousuf tried to get off the mark with a quick
single but was run out by Hall, swooping in from midwicket and firing a
direct hit to the non-striker’s end for another bagel in the Atlantic
Kiran Patel was next as he was caught behind by Dodson off George Adams
for 6 to make it 42/7. Atlantic then put on 24 runs for the eighth
wicket, their biggest partnership of the innings, as Muhammad Asad
Ghous and Durale Forest tried to breathe life into the innings. But New
York continued to suffocate Atlantic and eventually Forest was bowled
by the spin of Bartley for 22. Imran Awan struck back to back fours
before being out next ball to Adams for 8 as he edged one to Dodson for
the keeper’s fourth dismissal.
Adrian Gordon came in and hit a four to get off the mark, but the
innings ended when Ghous chipped Bartley to Lennox Cush at midwicket
for 12 as Atlantic was bowled out for 82 in 27.3 overs. Ghous and
Forest were the only two to cross double figures but even Forest got
help as he was bowled off a Thomas no-ball on eight, then bowled again
on the free hit which followed.
New York made short work of the target. Glen Hall came out and smashed
two fours and a six to get to 15 off six balls. On ball number seven,
he received a neck high full toss that he tried pulling but dragged
onto his stumps. However, neither umpire signaled no-ball and Hall had
to go to make it 18/1.
Massiah then joined Dennis Evans and the two set about putting on a
batting exhibition with some elegant strokeplay. The covers and fine
leg were the favored areas, especially as Atlantic captain Awan refused
to put a fine leg in place despite bowling a consistently wayward line
into the legs of the New York batsmen with eight men on the off side.
New York reached the target in 9.1 overs as Evans finished not out on
22 and Massiah remained unbeaten on 38. Darlington was named Man of the
Match for his three wicket burst at the start of play.
Over at William Wirt Field, the youthful mix in Director’s XI put up a
lionhearted effort against South East posting 199 in 44 overs. However,
experience proved too much in the end as Anand Tummala and Timroy
Allen’s 88 run eighth wicket stand helped win the match for South East
by 2 wickets. The winning runs were awarded when the umpires signaled
five penalty runs. The two officials, Nelson Hutchinson and George
Richards, gave the five penalty runs claiming that Director’s XI
wicketkeeper Carl Monroe “used obscene language.”
Allen and Tummala Post Match Interview vs. Director's XI from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
Director’s XI had their chances though. After Vaibhav “Ricky” Nayar
fell to make it 96/6 in the 21st over, Director’s looked to be in the
driver’s seat. However, a costly missed stumping chance came back to
haunt Director’s XI in the final result.
Akhil Sehgal was bowling to Anand Tummala on the last ball of the 25th
over with the score on 110/6. Tummala danced down the track and tried
to hit him through the off side but was beaten in flight. Monroe
collected the ball cleanly, but he fanned the stumps while swinging his
arms around to break the bails. By the time his second effort
connected, Tummala had his bat back in the crease. Tummala was on 9 at
Rasheed had Ken Singh out clean bowled for 10 three balls later to
bring Allen to the crease. Allen was on 2 in the 29th over with the
score 116/7 when he sent a half volley from Kavishwar Bridgepaul in the
air straight to mid off at chest height. It went right through the
fielder’s hands and all the way to the boundary.
Allen and Tummala then settled down and took the match away from
Director’s XI by playing smart cricket and rotating the strike against
the spin of Rasheed, Keon Lake and Andy Mohammed.
Tummala was finally out for 50 with the score at 198/8 after he top
edged a pull shot off Sehgal and Monroe waited for the ball to come
down behind the stumps. Tummala had just crossed the boundary walking
off the field when all of a sudden the entire Director’s XI squad
followed him off with Allen, who finished not out on 39.
“They didn’t say anything as such when we were batting,” said Tummala.
“But when we heard that we got five penalty runs I was relieved because
I was intending to be there until the last run was scored and come out
Rasheed Post Match Interview vs. South East from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
After the match, Director’s XI coach Mahadeo Ajodhi implied that
Monroe swore at himself in frustration for missing the stumping chance
that led to an extra 41 runs for Tummala and that is where the “obscene
language” was heard by the umpires.
“Well the players were talking to themselves,” said Director’s XI coach
Mahadeo Ajodhi. “I was outside, I don’t know what happened inside, but
it still had no outcome on the game. I think the game should be played.
The kid was saying that he didn’t say the bad word to anybody. He was
mad between himself. He did not direct it at anybody and the umpire
overheard that and that’s what the penalty was he said.”
Coach Mahadeo Ajodhi Post Match Interview vs. South East from Peter Della Penna on Vimeo.
The day’s results saw a three-way tie for first place created at 2-1
between Atlantic, New York and South East. New York was announced
tournament champion with a superior net run rate and South East named
runner-up. Atlantic, who came into the day undefeated, was placed third
and as a result will be left out of the USACA National Championships in
Houston this October. Director’s XI failed to win a match despite some
superb individual performances over the weekend.
USACA Eastern Conference Tournament Unofficial Scorecard
New York vs. Atlantic
New York won by 9 wickets
Atlantic won the toss and batted
Man of the Match: Kevin Darlington
Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s Dismissal
G Roopnarine 0 3 0 0 bowled Darlington
A Mishra 8 10 2 0 ct Dodson+ bowled Darlington
S Mehta 9 8 2 0 run out (Bartley)
C Williams 6 13 1 0 ct Dodson+ bowled Darlington
C Singh 0 7 0 0 ct Hall bowled Thomas
D Forest 22 49 2 0 bowled Bartley
M Yousuf 0 2 0 0 run out (Hall)
K Patel 4 15 0 0 ct Dodson+ bowled Adams
MA Ghous 12 46 0 0 ct Cush bowled Bartley
I Awan 8 5 2 0 ct Dodson+ bowled Adams
A Gordon 4 6 1 0 not out
Total Extras 9
Team Total 82 all out in 27.3 overs
New York Bowling Overs-Maidens-Runs-Wickets
K Darlington 7-1-16-3
G Adams 9-1-38-2
D Thomas 8-0-21-1
B Bartley 3.3-1-5-2
New York Batting
Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s Dismissal
D Evans 22 20 3 0 not out
G Hall 15 7 2 1 bowled Gordon
S Massiah 38 29 6 0 not out
Total Extras 8
Team Total 83/1 in 9.1 overs