Knights' youth brigade triumphs over the experienced Challengers
Oct 08, 2008
NY Knights Vs Global Challengers - Weston 1 - 10/5/2008 - 10 am
The match between these two NY-based teams was going to be an interesting match-up in what has emerged as the "Group of Death". After the one-sided games from Day 1, this match was definitely going to be different based on the fact that the two teams have a good understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses.
New York Knights batting
The Challengers won the toss and put the Knights into bat. The Knights sent in Sukhdeo and Evans and Deryk McDonald opened the bowling for the Challengers. The intentions of the Knights team were very clear right from the first ball as the Knights openers attempted to launch every ball in the first over. Sensing the opportunity, Challengers captain, former international Neil McGarell brought on spinner Rudy Naraine at the other end. The move immediately paid dividends as Evans was out caught at long off, while attempting to launch Rudy. Sukhdeo was the next to depart - caught at mid-wicket of a mishit, off McDonald. The loss of the 2 quick wickets put the new Knights bastmen - Karan Ganesh and Kalimotoo under pressure right away. But to their credit, they played sensibly, eschewing the big hits and running the ones and twos hard to keep the scoreboard ticking.
New York Knights batting
Sean Stanislaus then took out Karan when he was on 12. Knights’ captain Nicholas Stanford’s poor batting run in the tournament continued when he was out lbw to Stanislaus for duck. That brought Romero Dean to the crease and there were a lot of expectations based on his heroics in the previous outing. However, Dean got out cheaply as well - falling to a trap set in the deep by Stanislaus’ intelligent spin bowling while Neil McGarell was applying pressure on the other end. As this procession of batsmen continued, Kalimotoo held his side up - compiling runs with a good mix of aggression and defense and all he needed was a good partner to play the perfect foil. Dwayne Smith with a well-compiled 17 and Ron Andrews with an aggressive 30 (inclusive of 2 fours and six) played that role to perfection. Keon Lake chipped in with 13 runs including a massive six off the first ball that he faced. Neil McGarell then came back to have Kalimotoo stumped for a team-high 33 of 40 balls and mopped up the tail to end the Knights innings at 133 off 19.4 overs. Sean Stanislaus (3-32 off 4 overs) and Neil McGarell (3-22 off 4 overs) were the most successful bowlers for the Challengers.
The Challengers response depended on the tone that they would set at the beginning of the chase and the intentions were clear when the batsmen attempted to have a go at opening bowler Kirk Higgins in the very first over. Taking a leaf out of the Challengers’ book, Knights captain held fast bowler Fahad Mughal back and instead introduced spinner Karan Ganesh. The move immediately paid dividends as Karan had opener Sean Stanislaus caught in the deep. Higgins repeated the act when he had Rohan Williams caught in the deep as well. Melroy Kingston and Deryk McDonald restored sanity to the proceedings with sensible batting. As these two batsmen settled in, the intensity in the Knights fielding began to wear off - 3 catches were dropped including two by Kalimotoo in the same position. At the 10 over stage, the Challengers were well placed at 75 for the loss of 2 wickets. Desperately seeking a breakthrough, Stanford rotated his spin trio - Dwayne Smith, Keon Lake and Doug Evans - around. The breakthrough was to arrive thanks to Knights’ electric fielding - in the form of a run-out when Melroy Kingston was out short of the crease. The disciplined bowling combined with the tight fielding applied pressure to the new batsmen Salman Sheikh and he could not break free despite his best attempts. Keon Lake bowled the other established batsman - Melroy Kingston. The match outcome hung in balance at this stage and the one who blinked first was going to be in trouble. It was the Knights bowler Dwayne Smith who delivered the decisive blow when he bowled a maiden in the 16th over. Almost on cue, Nicholas Stanford introduced his ace Fahad Mughal and the Knights batsmen finally cracked under pressure when Neil McGarell was caught by Stanford off Mughal. Fahad went on to have Santosh Dani caught and Doug Evans bowled Derrick Kallicharan to effectively end the Challengers resistance. The Challengers eventually ended up with 109 off the allocated 20 overs.
In the final analysis, it turned out the experienced Challengers were the ones who buckled under pressure and the young Knights rode high on their talent and intensity on the field to overcome the Challengers. Kalimotoo was awarded the man of the match for his batting heroics and he was more than relieved that his two dropped catches did not end up costing them. With 6 points from 4 games (with 2 games washed out), the Knights are clearly on the top of the group and look set to grab one of the two semi-final slots from the group. The Challengers on the other hand have 3 more games to go, including one against the Argonauts to make it to the next round.