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By Peter Della Penna
Muhammad Ghous top-scored with 49 playing for a Garden State Cricket
League XI as the GSCL defeated a Millennium Cricket League XI by seven
wickets in a Twenty20 interleague event on Sunday afternoon at
Watsessing Park in Bloomfield, NJ. MCL posted 140 for 7 in their 20
overs before GSCL passed the target in 15.4 overs. Ghous continued a
good run of batting form after scoring his maiden club century a week
earlier for Guyanese West Indian Association CC in the GSCL.
“With my little brother, I just play in my back yard,” said Ghous after
the match when asked what he’s been doing recently to help improve his
batting. “I have a big long driveway so to improve my batting, he just
tapes up the tennis balls and just throws at me for like half an hour
or an hour.”
Pic (Left): File photo of Asad Ghous from last year's U-19 tournament.
MCL won the toss and batted first on an extremely hot Independence Day
in northern New Jersey. Chintan Modi from Indians CC top scored with 39
for MCL opening the innings, but wickets fell at regular intervals as
MCL struggled to put on any good partnerships.
Sean Stanislaus of GWIA CC opened the bowling for GSCL and took 1 for
13 in four overs. He was well supported by the young Suhas Ravish of
Sayreville Gladiators, who took 3 for 17 in an impressive four over
spell of leg-spin bowling. His figures would have been even better had
a chance offered by Modi been taken on the midwicket boundary instead
of being parried over the line for a six. Ravish later exacted revenge
when he clean bowled Modi on the first ball after the drinks break to
regain control for GSCL and they never let up.
MCL had a brief glimpse of hope shortly after taking the field when
Ahmer Iqbal of Jersey Cavaliers clean bowled Eugene Hudson on the
second ball of GSCL’s chase. However, Stanislaus was then joined by
Ghous and the two put on 77 runs for the second wicket in 7.4 overs.
Stanislaus capped a solid all-round display with 39 before he finally
departed to the off-spin of MCL captain Kashif Syed Ahmed from East
Coast Titans. Ahmed had the best figures for any MCL bowler with 1 for
27 in four overs. MCL’s bowlers struggled for accuracy as they conceded
21 wides in the match.
“Our bowlers didn’t do well and they played very well in the beginning
so I gotta give it to Garden State,” said Ahmed after the match.
“Overall, we’re very happy with our performance. We’re all very happy
to be a part of this. We all actually have learned something, have
learned how to play together because none of us really played together
before so that was a very good experience, a lot of good talented
players and hopefully they’ll keep working hard and getting better.”
GSCL captain Roy Bryan of Wanderers CC joined Ghous after the dismissal
of Stanislaus and the two added 66 for the third wicket as GSCL
continued to cruise. Ghous scored his 49 in 37 balls with three fours
and a majestic six over extra cover that was the shot of the day. Ghous
was cruelly denied a half-century when he was clean bowled on a slower
ball on the last delivery of the 15th over by Noman Iftikhar, regarded
by his teammates as one of the fastest bowlers in New Jersey. GSCL
passed the target in the next over to finish the match.
“It was a good game,” said Bryan. “When they made 140 I know it was a good position because I know we had the batting.”
Earlier in the day, MCL defeated a New Jersey Cricket Association XI by
55 runs. MCL posted 188 for 1 batting first as Modi scored 50 not out
with seven fours while Ahmed blasted his way to 78 with six boundaries
and five sixes. Ahmed then took 3 for 13 in two overs as NJCA never
threatened. Moneshwar Rajaram of Tropical CC top-scored for NJCA with
41 but got no support from the rest of the lineup as NJCA finished 133
for 8 at the end of their 20 overs.