Everest/ACS vs. Meten-Meer-Zorg
As the lack-luster Atlantis performance receded into the early afternoon, the anticipation rose with the second match of the semi-finals series featuring the veteran Everest/ACS XI vs. a rising young powerhouse Meten-Meer-Zorg, with the latter hungry to etch its name into the annals of EACA records.
With US national player Azurdeen “Andy” Mohamed missing from its line up Meten-Meer-Zorg must have felt as though it was entering the match against Everest/ACS wearing only a one-side sock. However, batting first, the troublesome but productive Meten-Meer-Zorg would be up to the challenge, even if the opponent is one as experienced as Everest/ACS. Last Sunday was no different, Andy Mohamed or no Andy Mohamed.
Meten-Meer-Zorg, led by Ajaz Asgarally would lose its first wicket with the score at 13, with wickets falling regularly at two and four over intervals thereafter. Meten-Meer-Zorg struggled to put together quality partnerships and surely missed Andy Mohamed. Some questioned why the experienced club mentor and the day’s skipper Ajaz Asgarally did not bat up in the order. Nonetheless responsible knocks did come off the bats of USA national Under-19 batsman Amarnauth Persaud, 26 (1×6, 2x4s), with Saud Hussain, 25 not out and Hemendra Ramdihall, also with 25 (2x6s, 2x4s). Meten-Meer-Zorg posted 152 for 7 in their 20 overs at an asking rate of 7.60 per over.
The Meten-Meer-Zorg wickets fell at 13-1 (R. Islam 0.4 overs), 34-2 (D. Baksh 4.3 overs), 44-3 (K. Nandkumar 6.2 overs), 77-4 (G. Meyer 10.6 0vers), 82-5 (A. Persaud 12.2 overs), 119-6 (T. Ross 17.3 overs), 152-7 (H. Ramdihall 19.6 overs). Bowling for Everest/ACS: Saheed Amin with 3 for 25 was the pick of the bowlers with Zamin Amin and Terry Hastoo each grabbing two wickets apiece at a cost of 23 and 33 runs respectively.
Would Everest/ACS be able to overhaul the asking rate of 7.60 an over? That was the question on the other side of The Cage, as the gathered pundits wagered the chances of a brash young Meten-Meer-Zorg going forward to meet Richmond Hill in the T20 Blitz finals.
Everest/ACS led by the youthful Karan Ganesh and mentored by the veteran Zamin Amin started their quest to another championship final on a similar note, losing their first wicket that of Steve Nowrangilall, 8, with the score on 14. They would lose their second wicket 37 runs later in the sixth over, and a very valuable one in Tamesh Balwant, 22 off 16 deliveries (1×4, 1×6), but still one wicket ahead of their opponent at the same stage. Opener Aun Merchant with 26 off 30 balls (2x4s, 1×6) was intent on staying at the middle while stroking the ball around for the ones and twos. Joined by Gregory Sewdial, 22 off 21 balls, they contributed to building a pathway to an Everest/ACS victory, with Zamin Amin’s contribution of 18 off 12 balls (3x4s) contributing significantly. However, it was the inning of another veteran Terry Hastoo, 36 off 13 deliveries (4x6s, 1×4) and batting at number eight that electrified the crowd. The batsman took the Meten-Meer-Zorg bowling to task, punishing anything short and wide. He was particularly disdainful on young Amarnauth Persaud, hitting the bowler for three sixes on his way to the match-winning performance and his team’s tally of 153 for 6 in 18.3 overs.
The Everest/ACS wickets fell at 14-1 (S. Nowrangilall 1.6 overs). 51-2 (T. Balwant 6.5 overs), 79-3 (A. Merchant 11.3 overs), 88-4 (G. Sewdial 12.6 overs), 115-5 (Z. Amin 15.4 overs), 115-6 (K. Ganesh* 15.5 overs). Bowling for Meten-Meer-Zorg: Young Trevis Ross with figures of 4-0-26-3 was the pick, as Z. Majeed and H. Ramdihall each snared one wicket apiece.
So, with a per over response of 8.27, Everest/ACS had convincingly thwarted the efforts of the up and coming legends Meten-Meer-Zorg in a nail-biting finish, that in retrospect does not appear quite that way because of the flourishes of sixes executed by Terry Hastoo in the waning moments of the match. With a cameo appearance as a substitute fieldsman Andy Mohamed would feature in one catch, but some diving efforts to stem the flow of runs from the willows of the Everest/ACS batsmen. It would not be enough, as the young US player saw his team’s season come to a halt without him making a more creditable contribution.
Coming to a Cage near you soon…
Everest/ACS vs. Richmond Hill, two of the EACA’s best will lock horns to the delight of those on the other side of the one-block fenced battleground, this Sunday, September 30th.
Everest/ACS is no stranger to the winners’ roll and this Sunday should be no different, or would it? With a core group of veterans; Trevor Walke, Saheed Amin, Terry Hastoo and Zamin Amin, the squad is a mix of youth and experience with guys like Tamesh Balwant and Amjad Khan somewhere in the middle. It’s a mix that has served them well over the past 2-3 seasons. Richmond Hill on the other hand also has experienced players in the Sankar and Sadloo brothers, Deryck McDonald, the prolific Imran Ali, and skipper Ramphal Bactowar. Will experience overcome the indelible mix of Everest/ACS? It’s left to be seen.
One thing is sure, both teams will play competitive cricket and the split group of fans will be entertained on Sunday. Which team will win? The team that plays the harder cricket will emerge victorious, because although not matched man-for-man, the two squads have warriors with different skill-sets. There is no doubt that Everest/ACS would open with their money-ballers Trevor Walke and Saheed Amin who will swing the ball with a mixture of flight, deception and guile, however players like Debo Sankar and Tamesh “Cambio” Balwant are comfortable enough to play through. Last weekend Everest/ACS’ batsmen showed some kinks in their armor and a propensity to go over the top. If the Richmond Hill bowlers can exploit such flaws, the momentum will swing in Richmond Hill’s favor.
On paper, the better-balanced team nod should go to Everest/ACS; however, if a Richmond Hill XI shows up with the same determination like last Sunday against Atlantis, then the pendulum swings definitely in favor of the Bactowar-led XI. What does Everest/ACS need to do to emerge victorious and champions for the umpteenth time? Everest/ACS’ middle order will have to stand up and bat and not depend upon stalwarts like Terry Hastoo and Zamin Amin to pull them out of any holes. Everest/ACS has the better all-round side and youth on paper, but victory will only be theirs depending upon which Richmond Hill XI shows up.
May the best team win!