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By Sam Sooppersaud
The New York Masters 2012 Tournament is over. The Bronx Crusaders accomplished the "helmet-trick" of championships when, for the fourth year in a row they ended the season on top of the heap. They convincinly defeated The Everest Masters in the Final played on Saturday, September 29th at Idlewild Cricket Complex, Rosedale, Queens, New York. It was a "threepeat" for them over Everest as they have now conquered those opponents for the third year in a row.
The power-hitting batsmen of the Crusaders could not be harnessed by the six bowlers used by Everest. Only veteran Z. Amin commanded a semblance of respectability. Their running between the wicket was exceptionally good and this may have accounted forseveral errors on the fieldsmen part: in actually fielding the ball and in the throws to the wicket. Adding to their woes Everest grassed vital possible catches. The Not Out batsman Garfield Wildman, a power hitter, when on only 5, gave a straight forward flier to C. Choi at mid-on. The fielder settled under the ball, waited for it to descend into his hands, but failed to hold on.
One over later he edged a skier in the fine leg position. Sohan Dass in the deep fine leg, well within catching proximity of the ball, ran in to take the offering. Simultaneously, wicketkeeper Debo Sankar, ran back towards to skied cricket ball. They both looked at each other and stopped. Neither of them made any effort to catch the ball. Wildman celebrated these lapses by Everest by regrouping and hitting 30 runs Not Out thereby prolonging the innings allowing the later batsment to score additional runs to the detriment of Everest.
The Crusaders also gifted the Everest batsmen as many as four possible catches. Joe Allen, fielding at backward point, let two such balls kiss the grass. Whereas Crusaders, when they batted dealth in 4's and 6's , Everest appeared contented to deal in 1's and 2's. The Crusaders captain, realizing the intention of the Everest, strategically positioned his fieldsmen whereby no extra runs were allowed. Only towards the end of their innings did Everest hit a couple of 4's and a maximum, with the exception of Choi reaching the boundary during the third wicket partnership.
The Day started with the uncertainty of the game being played due to a forecast of inclement weather; it was predicted, since thursday, that there was a likely chance that rain would fall on the day of the final. Credit to the administrators of the Masters League, they did not cancel the game. It was a cool day with the temperature in the lower 60's. Some cricketrs consider this type of weather ideal while others feel that bright sunshine is the ideal condition. The rain did not intercede and the game went on uninterrupted.
An appreciably number of cricket fans showed up to watch the game. It is unfortunate that team members from the non-competing clubs did not show up to watch the game. Many brought along their "invigorating" beverages to keep them warm and at the sam e time to increase their enjoyment of the game. Dada and his group sitting next to me in the north stands were having a "grand old time". Blair, the father of Saeed and Zamin Amin, brought his ever-present container with hot steaming cookup rice and delicious "chaser", the aromatic curried chicken.
Skipper Amin of Everest won the coin toss and immediately acceed the first knock to Crusaders, his mindset being that his bowlers would get some help from the overcast conditions and the fact that the wicket was a bit damp with the overnight showers. His decision paid dividend immediately as in the second over Crusaders lost a wicket. From there on they resorted to damage control and scored the bulk of their runs in three useful partnerships. A 2nd wicket partnership between A. James(38) and M. Pusey(17) produced 49 runs. P.Peter(23) and N. Campbell(22) then got together for a 4th wicket partnership of 45 invaluable runs. In the final 10 overs of their innings G. Wildman(30 N.O) and D. Blades((22) combined for an attack and bludgeoned the Everest bowlers for 47 more runs. The innings closed at 182 for 7.
In the bowling department for Everest: S. Amin 2 for 27 in 7 overs; T. Walke 0 for 35 in 7 overs; Z.Amin 0 for 22 in 5 overs; S. Dass 1 for 24 in 3 overs; L. Deonarine 2 for 40 in 7 overs; and C. Thompson 2 for 32 in 6 overs.
In reply Everest lost D. Sankar in the first over bowled by a yorker from J. Allen. He then removed G. Ramsingh. The 3rd wicket pair of C. Choi (28) and R. Sankar (19) put on 38 runs. Wickets fell at regular interval with Crusaders employing six bowlers to route out the Everest batsmen. The only hope Everest had for victory, a slight hope, mind you, was during a 7th partnership between S. Dass (20) and S. Ali(18) when they needed less that a run a ball to overcome the Crusaders total and with the batsmen taking cheaty singles and doubles. But Dass lost his cool and slogged a simple catch to wide mid-on. From then on it was only a matter of time that Everest before Everest succumed: gave up the ghost. They ended their inning at 139 for 10.
Bowling for Crusaders C. Garrison was the most successful returning figures of 3 for 23 in 6.5 overs. Joe Allen 2 for 12 in 5 overs; and N. Campbell 2 for 27 in 5 overs supported him well. E. James bowled 6 overs for 20 runs while claiming a sole wicket.
Once again The Bronx Crusaders are the New York Masters Champions. So far they have won four Masters Championships;. Jolly Eleven have won twice while Everest have won once.
On Sunday, September 30th, Everest have another hurdle to negotiate when they (Everest/ACS) take on Richmond Hill Cricket Club in the Eastern American Cricket Association T20 Blitz. It will be a Cage Match (like in wresling term), played at the cricket park located at Foch Boulevard and Long Street, Jamaica, New York.