By Dyon Ravello
The Eastern America Cricket Association resumed on July 8th with a real oven top fixture between Atlantis and Meten-Meer-Zorg (MMZ). Visitors Atlantis won the toss and took first strike at Flushing. MMZ were immediately rewarded when pacer Rocky Kowchai had Henderson Blade caught at gully by Travis Ross off the very first ball of the innings. New batsman, the in-form Nicholas Stanford, dished out three boundaries before the end of the first over. Kowchai was not swayed by Stanford’s disdain as Alex Amsterdam was bowled leaving alone.
Steven Jacobs, Guyanese National all-rounder, joined Stanford and they continued to take apart Kowchai’s Bowling. At the other end Rahynul Islam kept it tight, bowling wicket to wicket. Islam was rewarded when he had Stanford (33) caught at mid on by Captain Azurdeen Mohammed. Islam persevered on roundabout off to Jacobs, as he utilized the element of surprise with a sharp bouncer inducing a false stroke as Jacobs lobbed a simple catch to cover, Altantis reeling at 57 for 4.
Mohammed replaced Kowchai as Islam bowled eight overs unchanged. Kaveshwar Bridgepaul (27) took a liking to the quick left arm orthodox of Mohammed dispatching him for 16 in one over. Islam was not done as his bowled Ron Andrews who looked to be bugged down by the consistency and accuracy of the medium pacer. Zaeed Majeed struck with his first ball Bridgepaul caught and bowled off a low full toss. Keon Lake played his shots as he tried to consolidate with wicketkeeper batsman Clifford Hamilton. But left arm orthodox H. Ramdhial disturbed Hamilton’s leg stump to continue the procession.
Hugh Craig looked solid against Ramdhial but is was Majeed with another low full toss struck to cover, where Deonath Baksh held on after three attempts. Lake got into stride with consecutive boundaries of Ramdhial. With Skipper Prashant Nair at the other spurring him on, Lake (33) played one shot too many as he looped Majeed straight up for long off to take a simple catch. Greg Robinson looked uncomfortable at the crease as Ramdhial put him out of his misery with another one through the gates. Altantis with a meager 141 to defend in 40 overs. Bowling for MMZ Majeed among wickets no strange thing there 5/1/15/3, Islam striking the breathe out the Atlantis middle order with 8/0/31/3, Ramdhail 2/20 at the end and Kowchai with the openers 2/27.
MMZ looked confident of getting over the seemingly small total but like two weeks prior against Falcons they were made to work hard. Jacobs had Mohammed caught by Blades at cover holding on to a stinger. Baksh and Jacobs got into some good old sledging as Jacobs even used a Forward Short Leg fielder as he attacked. Baksh held his nervous amid the exchange and even came out on top as he took three boundaries to see Jacobs out of the attack after just three overs. Opener Ken Nandkumar had his own battles to deal with as pacer Greg Robinson’s leg cutters yield two maidens.
Nair replaced Jacobs as it brought immediate success as Baksh letting his guard down pulling, caught at mid wicket for a top score of 23. Robinson changed his strategy to Travis Ross as he employed the short deliveries. Ross capitalized with two boundaries, a pull to mid wicket and a hook to long leg. Ross’ whetted appetite proved his demise as he pulled Robinson to Hugh Craig running round for the square leg boundary to take complete the dismissal. Nair continued the plight as Nandkumar was caught at point four down and Altantis still in with a chance.
Veteran Ajaz Asgarally and Rawle Hoyte came to the crease with their team needing a partnership. Keon Lake had other ideas as he bowled Hoyte to avoid a repeat of the Hoyte heroics from a fortnight ago. Saud Hussain too was devoid of a repeat as he played on to Nair, bringing Majeed to the wicket. Lake sent back Asgarally to bring Kowchai to the crease. Majeed played sensibly respecting the good deliveries and pouncing on the loose one. Lake’s off break were as miser as a miser can be, as he rocked Rocky’s off stump. Islam joined Majeed and played in the same vein at his partner, but it was Majeed who lost the plight against Lake with in excess of 20 runs still needed.
With Nair’s spell completed, and Atlantis needing to use a fifth bowled, Hugh Craig was entrusted with the responsibility. Ramdhial seized the opportunity to target a cold bowler as he went for the jugular. First a maximum over mid wicket then a pull to the backward square boundary. Ramdhial heaved another one to the mid wicket boundary, where substitute fielder Jermaine Horatio held on as his motion took him over the ropes before he could release the ball. As if that did n0t serve as ample warning Ramdhial repeated the stroke but with less effect as Jacobs held on running back to give his team a narrow nine run victory. Nair pried 3/37 but is was Lake’s 8-4-6-4 that won it for Atlantis.
In other EACA results:
Big Apple ended Everest/ACS’ unbeaten run as ACS with routed for 114. Big Apple completed the victory with four wickets in hand. Long Island United CC scored 172 as Michael Noble and R. Jagnarine had four wickets each. Liberty 154 fell 18 runs short as only Andy Harricharran (53) resisted LIUCC. Hillside got to 251 as they restricted Richmond to 202 to win by 49 runs. All Stars 244 won their second game by 61 runs as Enmore could only muster 183.