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By Peter Della Penna in Brooklyn, NY (on Twitter)
Randall Wilson and Sajib Salam combined with the bat and ball to lead the Dragons over the Lycons by eight wickets on Tuesday afternoon to win the championship match of the 2012 NYPD T20 youth cricket tournament at Gateway Park in Brooklyn, New York. Salam, who was also a part of the NY PSAL champion Long Island City High School team this spring, was named MVP of the NYPD T20 final after taking 4 for 4 in two overs of off-spin to wipe out the Lycons for 93 in 17 overs while USA U-18 player Wilson guided the chase to finish 40 not out.
Image (right) - Randall Wilson drives through the covers in his knock of 40 not out for the Dragons in the championship match of the 2012 NYPD T20 tournament. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Lycons won the toss and elected to bat first on a sunny afternoon in New York. The final was pushed back from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. after heavy overnight and morning rains in the New York metro area. Lycons produced a first wicket partnership of 26, but from then on it was a rough showing with wickets falling in clumps as Dragons asserted control over the match.
Opener Faisal Ahmed was one of only two players to reach double figures, notching 18 before being the second player dismissed when off-spinner Hassan Hussain bowled him at the start of the seventh over to take the first of his three wickets in the match. Saed Haider’s confident batting at the number three position for Lycons guided them to 51 for 2 before wickets started tumbling at the other end. The third wicket partnership ended at 25 when Mohaminul Islam was caught off the bowling of Hussain for 3.
Haider carried on at the other end, striking four boundaries and three sixes in a top score of 41 to serve as the backbone for the Lycons innings as he struggled to get any support. He was later named the Best Batsman of the tournament at the post-match awards ceremony.
Haider put on 30 runs for the seventh wicket with Mohamed Tanim before Tanim was dismissed off a spectacular return catch by Salam to make it 89 for 7. Haider hung around for three more balls before he was well caught on the boundary at deep midwicket by Trinson Carmichael for Salam’s second of four wickets to make the score 90 for 8 at the end of 15 overs. Two overs later the innings had wrapped up for just three more runs thanks to Salam. Hussain finished with 3 for 20 while Wilson took 1 for 18 and Zafaar Yusuf took 1 for 24.
Dragons took a methodical approach to the chase after suffering an early setback when Rafeek Nazeer was caught behind off the bowling of Faisal Mohammed for 4 on the second ball of the innings. Wilson joined Carmichael and the pair went on cruise control until Carmichael was runout for 24 to make the score 73 for 2. Salam joined Wilson to see Dragons to the target in 16.2 overs. Sajib hit the winning runs, a six over midwicket to end on 15 not out while Wilson finished with two fours and a six in his unbeaten 40. The performance by Dragons was so dominant the 2012 NY PSAL leading run-scorer Troy Mars didn’t have to bat.
Image (above) - The Dragons accept the 2012 NYPD T20 championship trophy from NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
At the post-match presentation, New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly presented medals to each player from the two sides before presenting the championship trophy to the winning Dragons side. He also commended both sides for the contributions they have made to the fabric of the cricket and sports community by raising awareness for the game in New York.
“The fact that you are here today for the final is a testimony to your hard work and the work of the coaches as well,” Kelly said. “You have really raised the public’s consciousness about cricket in New York. It’s not where baseball or football is but believe me there’s a lot more interest in it and you’ve played no small part in that.”
For more photos from the day, visit the NYPD Facebook page.