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By John L. Aaron
Atlantis vs. Big Apple Cricket Club - August 18, 2012
Atlantis Cricket Club – NY met Big Apple Cricket Club last Saturday afternoon in The Cage at Baisley Pond Park, in Queens, NY, and Richmond Hill the following day at the same venue, in back-to-back matches against two of the EACA’s Division 1 Powerzone40 clubs.
On Saturday, it was expected to be a rage in the cage, but it turned out to be a cakewalk in the park for Atlantis, defeating Big Apple by seven wickets. That victory of eating through the core of the Big Apple certainly whetted the appetite and energized Atlantis to climb over Richmond Hill on Sunday. With two of the league’s best umpires Steve Kalloo and Joel Dookie officiating, it was expected to be a first-class match between two of the EACA’s best squads.
Winning the toss and inviting Big Apple to take first strike on a bit of a “sticky wicket” following overnight rain at the inner city cricket locale in South Jamaica, Queens, Atlantis would strike in the eight over dismissing Rhett Ramotar for 10 and the score at 34. Fellow opener Francis Mendonca would follow 21 runs later with a contribution of 22. Big Apple would lose the next three wickets while limping along to 104 off 22.2 overs. That state of affairs included Zaheer Saffie, 26, Narindra Balram, 9, and Clain Williams, 4. The only batsmen after that making any significant contributions were Shawn Thompson, 34 (1x6, 1x4) and Kumar Nandalall, 16 (1x6, 1x4). Big Apple with a deep batting line-up that failed to ignite would eventually fold at 170 all out off 34.1 overs.
The Big Apple wickets fell at: 34-1 (R. Ramotar 7.2 overs), 55-2 (F. Mendoza 11.5 overs), 85-3 (Z. Saffie* 19.1 overs), 85-4 ( N. Balram 19.3 overs ), 104-5 (C. Williams 22.2 overs), 104-6 (S. Raghubar 22.5 overs), 134-7 (M. Gomes 29.1 overs), 159-8 (K. Nandalall 32.3 overs), 168-9 (T. Johnson 33.2 overs), 170-10 (S. Thompson 34.1 overs). Bowling for Atlantis: Jason Greaves with figures of 6.1-1-41-4, followed by Alex Amsterdam 6-0-25-2, Dwayne Hurley 7-1-32-2, and Jermaine Horatio 4-0-28-2, was all that was needed as the Atlantis bowlers enjoyed its season’s share of a Big Apple pie.
In response, Atlantis posted an opening stand of 66 with contributions from Henderson Blades, 23, c. S. Thompson b. N. Balram, and Alex Amsterdam, 79 off 54 balls with 5x6s and 6x4s, c. S. Raghubar b. M. Gomes. Acting Skipper Nicholas Standford contributed 29, Jason Greaves, 17 n.o. and Kavishwar Bridgepaul, 2 n.o. wrapped up the Atlantis victory in 21.4 overs at 171 for 3. Mark Gomes, Narindra Balram and Sean Thompson each snared one wicket apiece for Big Apple.
The Atlantis wickets fell at 66-1 (H. Blades 9.5 overs), 136-2 (N. Standford* 17.1 overs) and 156-3 (A. Amsterdam 20.1 overs). The batting analysis shows Atlantis power-hitting Big Apple nine 6s to five and eleven 4s to Big Apple’s seven. Big Apple was forced to play a defensive game by not troubling 152 dot balls, while striking 170 runs off 193 deliveries in the 31.1 overs faced. Atlantis left 84 dot balls alone and scored 171 runs off of 125 deliveries. Extras recorded were 24 and 14 respectively.
Atlantis vs. Richmond Hill - August 19, 2012
The question was, would Atlantis in back-to-back matches in two days, be able to climb over Richmond Hill, another power-hitting EACA team with the likes of the veteran Sankar brothers Debo and Royo, along with cricketers like Bactowar, Best, Ward, Sadloo and the troublesome Deryck McDonald?
That question would be answered some 60 overs later, as Atlantis batting first racked up 214 all out in 32 overs. Atlantis opened with wicketkeeper Ryan Sukhdeo and Shawn Mason, Sukhdeo would be the first to go stmpd. D. Sankar b. D. McDonald for 5, with just 24 on the board, however Kavishwar Bridgepaul joined Mason and the pair added 86, before Bridgepaul exited caught off the bowling of D. Seepersaud for a quick 27 (2x6s, 3x4s). Ron Andrew would be the next to desert Mason, exiting lbw b. W. Ward for 13. Clifford Hamilton, 0, Jermaine Horatio, 3, Jason Greaves, 0, Alex Amsterdam and Nicholas Standford, 15 each, Ryan Hurley, 1, and Casper Davis, Jr., not out 1. Did I mention that while these batsmen were all coming and going at the other end, Shawn Mason was on his way to his first ton in Atlantis colors? The right-hand batsman was piling on 9x6s and 6x4s on his way to 116 off 84 balls. An elated Mason had finally gotten the monkey off of his back, having started the season off with back-to-back ducks and a knock of only 40 against Everest/ACS.
Atlantis behind Mason’s ton would post 214 all out in 32 overs, with the wickets falling at 24-1 (R. Sukhduo 4.1 overs), 91-2 (K. Bridgepaul 12.1 overs), 123-3 (R. Andrews 17.3 overs), 134-4 (C. Hamilton 18.5 overs), 142-5 (J. Horatio 21.4 overs), 160-6 (J. Greaves 23.6 overs), 184-7 (S. Mason 26.2 overs), 203-8 (A. Amsterdam 29.6 overs), 213-9 (D Hurley 31.4 overs), 214-10 (N. Standford* 31.6 overs).
Bowling for Richmond Hill: W. Ward and D. Seepersaud each captured three wickets from their spells of eight overs each, for 48 and 67 respectively. Skipper Ramphal Bactowar snared two wickets for 36 off 7 overs and D. McDonald and Z. Sadloo each grabbed one wicket apiece for 49 and 11 respectfully.
Chasing 6.69 per over, Richmond Hill certainly had the ammunition to shoot down such a target, however losing their first 5 wickets for 66 was not exactly the response they had anticipated. Atlantis’ opening pair of bowlers turned in a combined responsible performance of 16 overs for 48 runs and grabbing three wickets along the way. Casper Davis, Jr., with probably his best bowling performance of the season thus far, had figures of 8-2-28-2. Dwayne Hurley enjoyed a spell of 8-0-20-1. However, it was Jermaine Horatio; an almost secret weapon of Atlantis who enjoyed a spell of 6-1-17-5 who created havoc drilling away at the Hill with some very accurate bowling. The other two wickets were snatched up by Jason Greaves with figures of 6.1-1-24-2.
With the exception of Wahid Ward, 24 (3x4s) lbw b. J. Horatio, Debo Sankar, 16 (2x4s) c. S. Mason b. C. Davis, Jr., Royo Sankar, 11 (1x4) C. Davis b. D. Hurley and D. Seepersaud 10, (1x4), all the other batsmen had an accumulative score of 16 runs, followed by Mr. Extras with 14, for a total of 91 for 10 in 28.1 overs. Umpires Sam Soopersaud and Steve Kalloo officiated the match while the national umpires association president Fitzroy Hayles observed the action from the press box.
Atlantis faced 122 dot balls and Richmond Hill 132, so despite facing only 10 dot balls less than Richmond Hill, Atlantis had 13x6s and 10 boundaries compared to Richmond Hill’s 1x6 and 7x4s. For the second day in a row, Atlantis behind power hitting from its batsmen was able to out muscle their way over the weekend and come away with two important and convincing wins which catapulted them to the number one position in the EACA’s Powerzone40 Division 1 standings.
Semi-final Anticipation - August 26, 2012
Atlantis puts it all on the line this Sunday when they meet Big Apple for the second time in one week. This time, unlike The Cage, the two animals have been turned loose on a wider playing surface at Heckscher State Park. It is the semi-finals of the EACA Powerzone 40 Division 1. As one non-playing spectator-type was overheard saying, “Boy, dis cricket sweet, eh?” It’s one of those questions/statements that both teams will seek to respond to this Sunday in the park.
Big Apple earned the right to face off against Atlantis, because Atlantis was declared the number one seed and Big Apple dropped to the number four spot. Atlantis will host Big Apple this Sunday at Heckscher State Park starting at 12 Noon. Will fortune favor the brave once more? The other semi-final will feature Everest/ACS and Meten-Meer-Zorg, the number two and three seeded teams. That match will be staged in The Cage at Baisley Pond Park. Newyorkcricket.com is expected to carry live scoring of both semi-finals.