In glorious sunshine with heavy winds transcending from the ocean across the picturesque Bay Park, Meten-Meer-Zorg Cricket Club won the toss and elected to bat playing without the aggressive Trevis Ross who was in Canada representing the US Under -17 team as their captain. Skipper Azurdeen Mohammed and Ken Nadkumar opening the batting for the MMZ boys as Syed Allie and Altaf Habibulla took the attack for Hillside. Mohammed was cautious at first sighting very good bowling from Allie who was taking full advantage of the strong winds to help is out swing bowling. The US batsman Mohammed was batting well alongside his faithful partner Nandkumar as the pair put on a solid 75 run stand before Nandkumar was caught on the long off boundary by Awaz Hasildar for a well played 35 which includes six fours and one six, his dismissal brought “MR DEPENDABLE” Deonauth Baksh to the crease to take up strike with his skipper.
Mohammed looks set for a big inning, hitting the bad balls to the boundary and picking up the singles and doubles as MMZ hundred came up in the 14 overs. Mohammed looking to carry on, swept at a wide delivery from Colin Sandy that pitched wide outside the leg stump, and was adjudged LBW for a well played 41 which included four fours and a huge six. In came the USA Under-19 batsman Amarnath Persaud who made an impressive 96 against the Atlantic Region in an Under-18 game the day before to joined Baksh. Persaud and Baksh were batting very well when Baksh got a wide ball down the leg side, flicked with brilliantly caught by wicket keeper Ogle diving to his left. Persaud was joined by Saud Hussain and the pair batted well to bring up 150/3 in the 23rd over, Persaud displayed some glorious stroke play that sparked the MMZ spectators off their feet in jubilation. Persaud brought up his outstanding half century with a spanking cover drive for four which was deemed “the shot of the day”. It was the 19 year old Wazim Shaw who was introduced to the attack in the 30th over to put a check on the MMZ scoring, picking up 4 for 24 in 5 overs. Amarnauth was caught on the boundary for a well played 72, Hussain was bowled by Shaw for 10. It was some good batting by all rounders Rocky Kowchai and Himendra Ramdihall at the bottom saw MMZ to a decent score of 246 at the end of their 40 overs.
Hillside started off their innings with the aggressive pair of Aleem Khan and Harry Heeralall coupled with MMZ ‘s Rocky Kowchai and Rayhanul Islam as usual new ball pair for MMZ. Islam bowling against the wind snatched the wicket of Heeralall caught by wicketkeeper Ajaz Asgarally for 6. Kowchai bowling with aggression with the gusty wind behind him got a delivery to lift off a good length and unfortunately struck Khan on the nose sadly causing the batsman to retire hurt with the score on 45. R.Ogle was batting well hitting some lofty blows with his score marching on to 66, in his urgency to hit Amarnauth Persaud for another six, but was brilliantly caught by Saud Hussain on the long on boundary that sent him walking back to the benches. In the flowing momentum of the game Persaud struck yet again in the same over as he had Syed Allie caught by Majeed at deep backward square for 14. The next ball had Shameer Rahim caught at short mid wicket for a duck, to leave Hillside reeling.
Hillside trying to secure a spot in the semi final of the Division 1 needed a vital win in this match to give their team a good chance to remain in contention for the semi finals. At the Fall of Rahim’s wicket they decided to send Aleem Khan to the crease in order to give them some hope in securing some valuable points. Khan in his aggressive manner batted well even though facing some discomfort, playing some fantastic shots all over the Park. With the scorecard reading 175 Khan flicked Persaud to short mid wicket into the eager hands of Kieth Mungalsingh who grasped the chance. At that juncture it was the continuation of another sad moment for both teams being faced with an untimely mishap. Khan drove a well pitched up delivery from Persaud and the ball bounced off a nail from the matting and struck Persaud in the head causing him to leave the field and be rushed to Nassau Community Hospital in agony. The entire hillside team showed remarkable compassion rushed out to the middle to lend their support for Persaud who was in severe pain. After the undue delay play resumed with skipper Mohammed and Ramdihall bowling well, as the pair tighten the screws on the Hilliside’s batsmen to see them finishing on 210 for 9 off their 40 overs. MMZ drawing level on points with leaders Everest. Bowling for MMZ , R.Islam 8-0-32-1, R.Kowchai 7-1-28-1, A.Persaud 3-0-10-3, Z.Majeed 4-0-30-1, H.Ramdihall 8-0-44-3, A.Mohammed 8-0-25-0 .
Final score in the match: MMZ 246 all out off 40 overs. Hillside 210 for 9 off 40 overs.
Meten-Meer-Zorg now on 50 points having won 10 and lost 2 games. They take on the strong Richmond Hill Cricket Club at Baisley Cage this Sunday. Richmond Hill having strengthened up their team with former West Indies fast bowler Brandon Bess and a few other Guyana First Class players is hoping to make it in the final four, with the competition well alive with five teams vying for the top four spots. This game will no doubt be an interesting contest, Richmond Hill is on 43 points with two games remaining.
The MMZ team would like to thank Mr Juman and the entire Hillside cricket team and the President of the EACA Mr. Rudy Persaud for their support and best wishes for Amarnauth Persaud prevailing against all odds. Update on Amarnath Persaud is that all test came back negative thankfully, and remains fit to play this weekend against Richmond Hill.