NYSCL 2016 INDEPENDENCE CUP & LEGENDS CUP
Regal All-Stars, Masters Sweep NYSCL Cups
By Frederick Halley
July 5, 2016
GYRATING to the strains of D.J Bravo’s Champion and celebrating in true Guyanese style, Regal All Stars and Masters softball players transformed the picturesque Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, New York into a festival atmosphere after both teams emerged as undisputed champions when the New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) 12th annual Independence and Legends Cups climaxed before a bumper Sunday afternoon crowd here. The winnings included an eagle each along with US$4000 for copping the Independence Cup and US$3000 for the Legends Cup.
Regal All Stars defeated NYSCL All Stars by two wickets while their counterparts Regal Masters turned back the challenge of defending champions and
archrivals Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) by six wickets, to achieve an unprecedented double, the first by overseas teams in international tournaments.
It also marked a repeat of a similar performance in last year’s Guyana Softball Cup when both teams came out top.
Seemingly “dead and buried” at 84 for seven in the 14th over and staring defeat in quest of a challenging198 for victory, Regal All Stars staged a dramatic recovery to reach the target in 23.4 overs in the 25-over affair final.
The recovery was engineered by a magnificent match-winning eighth-wicket partnership of 111 between opener Richard Latiff (74) and Safraz Esau (44 not out).
Two run-outs at the start of the chase, coupled with some fine bowling by Bobby Pahalad, saw Regal All Stars slip precariously to 84 for seven and the New York supporters already in a celebratory mood, anticipating a crushing win. However, Latiff who stood like a beacon while wickets tumbled at the other end, found a useful and reliable ally in Esau as the game turned dramatically.
The feature of the partnership was the brilliant running between the wickets.
By that time Pahalad returned to end Latiff’s match-winning knock, Regal All Stars needed a mere three runs from 11 balls and duly achieved same with eight remaining. Latiff’s innings included five fours and a solitary six while Esau struck three sixes and a four. Pahalad finished three for 24 from 4.4 overs.
Earlier, NYSCL All Stars were indebted to an even half-century from former Guyana Under-19 batsman Kaleem Bux who struck five fours before he was
run-out in the closing stages of the innings.
Another former Under-19 player, skipper Andrew Gonsalves (25) and Prashad Mahadeo (22) were also among the runs while Delroy Perreira claimed two for 30.
While the Regal All Stars had to pull out all the stops to win the Independence Cup, the Masters registered a more comfortable win against GFSCA who were seeking to make it two in a row.
Preferring to chase, like their younger stars, Regal Masters were set 150 for victory after restricting GFSCA to what seemed an inadequate 149 for three in their allotted 20 overs.
Victory was achieved in 18.2 overs with opener Anil Hardyal anchoring the innings with a solid 52 which contained nine fours while Eric Thomas smashed four sixes and two fours in a quick-fire undefeated 43.
GFSCA‘s innings started disastrously after they lost Unis Usuff to the first delivery of the match bowled by Parsram ‘Bimbley’ Persaud. They, however, recovered somewhat through a second-wicket stand of 59 between opener Ramo Malone and Jagdesh Persaud (23) while Malone, who batted the entire innings for his undefeated 62, shared an unbeaten 68-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Wayne Jones, who sparkled with 39 not out with two sixes and two fours.
At the lavish presentation ceremony, which followed, Latiff was voted Most Valuable Player in the Independence Cup (US$500) and also got the nod for man-of-the-match in the final as well as the batsman with the highest aggregate (175).
Bux received his accolade for the fastest 50 in the final; Dharanpaul Singh of New York Enforcers for best bowling figures (six for 28) in the tournament; Azumadeen Mohamed of Queens All Stars for highest individual score (93). Cash incentives were also handed over to Esau for his brilliant knock.
In the Legends Cup, Hardyal was voted man-of-the-match and for scoring the fastest fifty while the MVP award (US$300) went to GFSCA’s Jagdesh
Persaud for scoring 224 runs and taking four wickets.
He also received another award for scoring a century. Gordial Mattai, who represented the GFSCA’s Legends got a prize for his 122 while Saheed Adam of Orlando was another centurion. Regal Masters captain Troy Kippins collected trophies for the most wickets (11) and best figures of six for 11.
NYSCL president Eric Ferrier was loud in his praise for the many sponsors who had come on board for the tournament which also served as part of Guyana’s Golden Jubilee Independence celebrations. He also congratulated all the teams who participated and reserved special accolades for the winners.
Regal All Stars and Masters also expressed sincere thanks to Guyana’s Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramrattan, Director of Sport Christopher Jones and the United States Embassy in Guyana for their various roles in making the tour a reality.
Mercenaries’ Fazal Rafiek 5 wickets Haul too much for New York Enforcers
By James Persaud
July 10, 2015
Fazal Rafiek was the fifth bowler used by Mercenaries, in his first and second over he gave up four runs each. In his next three overs he was unstoppable, he grabbed one wicket in his third, three in the fourth and one in the fifth to end with match figures of 5 wickets for 11 runs. Earlier in the afternoon, Mercenaries skipper Navin Narine won the toss and send New York Enforcers to bat.
Krishna Singh and Avi Woarti start the batting and Martin Ductchin open the bowling from the top end. Ductchin a young strong lad, who bowled very quick, a little off line but got very good support from Fazal Rafiek, the wicketkeeper who made some very good stop behind the stumps. His first over would allow one run, Navin Narine shared the new ball. This was a big surprise, since Narine had not bowl thus far in the competition, he was out for a few games due to illness and Amir Khan Captain in his absent.
Narine bowled fast but was a little off line and Krishna Singh knocked his fourth delivery to the ropes for the first boundary of the game. Ductchin continue to bowl well and the batsmen had trouble getting the ball away, Narine strikes in his second over. After Woarti cover drive him for a boundary off the third ball, he came back and had Krishna Singh caught for 11 off the last ball of the over.
Kawal Prashad came in and he had some difficulty against the pacers, especially Ductchin, he would score three singles before Narine strikes again in the sixth over. Prashad was bowled by Narine with the score on 32 for 2, the magnificent Vicky Subkaran made his way to the crease to a loud applause from the large crowd. Subkaran is a super star of softball cricket in New York, he is a super all-rounder. The crowd knew if anyone can bring excitement to the game, it was him and his team needed him to stay long at the crease.
Vicky Subkaran pushed the first ball to cover point and the fielder juggle the ball and the batsmen cross for a double. Narine was bowling well and he continue and bowled five over straight, a bowling change was made and Ameer Nizamudin was given the ball. Nizamudin was on target and bowled with good pace but had some difficulty with his line and length and the batsmen would get singles.
After Narine was done, the spinner was introduce, Ramesh Persaud and he strikes in his second over he had Woarti pushing forward and losing his stumps in the process. Woarti batted well for his 13 runs and the score was 47 for 3 after 11 overs. The New York Enforcers skipper Khemraj Narine (Buns) made his way to the crease and he knew his team was well behind the run rate, scoring at just over 4 runs an over.
Narine a very nifty batsman, who likes to go after the bowling and would try anything, he likes to reserve sweep, but today it would not be an easy task. Persaud strikes again in his third over, after Narine drive him for a boundary, the next ball he pop up and the fielder took an easy catch. Narine made his way to the pavilion and with only 55 runs on the board and half of the over almost gone, he knew his team was not in a good position. But Subkaran was still at the crease and looking good, but he would need someone to stay with him.
The new batsman was Vicky Sugrim and the drinks was taken after 13 overs. Both teams went back to their tent and the Mercenaries skipper had to be feeling quite pleased with his team performance thus far. While New York Enforcers would think that they are about 30 runs behind where they would have like to be.
When play resumed Fazal Rafiek was replaced behind the stumps by Ravi Persaud and Martin Ductchin continue the bowling. At this point of the game it became even more difficult to score runs and the batsmen would settle for singles. Fazal Rafiek was given the ball and his first and second over cost four runs each, while Nizamudin had the batsmen in trouble when he was on the stumps. He just had plenty of trouble controlling his line and was called for wides at least seven times.
Amir Kahn was given one over and give up two runs, but seemed not to like the surface and did not bowl again in the game. But it was all Rafiek’s game in the nineteenth over, he had Subkaran caught for 24 and finish the over for a maiden. With a score of 97 for 5, Shashi Wilfred came to the crease and he struck Ductchin for back to back boundary to bring back some live to the crowd.
But the crowd would soon retake their seats and sweat in the 84 degree weather, depending which side you were backing. If you were on the blue team side, you had to be loving it. Rafiek strikes three time in his fourth over, he had Wilfred caught for 10, Sugrim bowled for 8 and Feroz Khan caught for a golden duck. He complete the over with figures of 3 wickets for one run, and this brought the red and black camp to a silence.
The score after twenty one overs was 110 for 8, two new batsmen at the crease, Anil Beharry and Dharmpaul Singh. They would stay and try to consolidate the innings, a long talk in the middle and they stay long enough to add 10 runs for the ninth wicket. The batsmen going for a quick single and Dharmpaul was run out for 5. The last pair of Anil Beharry and Vickash Singh would stay around and add 4 runs for the last wicket before Vikash was bowled by Rafiek without scoring.
New York Enforcers end their inning in the twenty third over with a total of 129 all out, Fazal Rafiek claimed 5 wickets for 11 runs, Navin Narine and Ramesh Persaud each took two wickets. If NY Enforcers was not pleased with their batting performance, there was still plenty of hope, they are a very good bowling team and if they can get an early breakthrough anything can happen.
Mercenaries begin their reply with Chanderpaul Hemraj and Ravi Persaud, NY Enforcers skipper Narine (Buns) sets a very defensive field, they knew they need a quick wicket. Anil Beharry marks his run up from the top end and allow 3 runs in the first over. Vicky Subkaran bowled the second over and he was very fast, good line and the batsmen played very cautiously and only got a single.
Beharry strikes in his second over, he had Persaud caught for one and six runs on the board. The NY Enforcers had the momentum going in their favor, they got a quick wicket. Fazal Rafiek coming at number three played watched full, while Hemraj enjoy his batting. Hemraj was on a path of destruction he hit 4 consecutive fours and when Rafiek had his turn at strike, he stroked Dharmpaul Singh for a six and a four. Singh was the third bowler used, but came back and got the valuable wicket of Hemraj caught for 26, including five fours.
The new batsman was Gajanand Singh, the Mercenaries team had an all-stars flavor, plenty of hard ball cricketer. The crowd enjoy this since they was getting a change to see how well these hard ball cricketers adjusted to the softball cricket version of the game. Singh played himself in and settled for the singles and doubles, he did not take any risky chances. Vickash Singh came into the attack and he got a fierce welcome from the batsmen and ten runs came of his first over and he was taken off and did not bowl again in the game.
Rafiek and Singh would take the score to 66 in the eleventh over before Rafiek was out caught of Feroz Kahn for 18. Amir Khan and together with Gajanand Singh they would bat to the drinks break without any forward damage and a total of 80 for 3 after 13 overs. During the break supporters from both teams had their say about the outcome of the game. Some feel that with Mercenaries still needing 50 runs from twelve overs and seven wickets in hand, they had the upper hand. While many argue that the Mercenaries did not have the batting depth and once Enforcers can get two quick wickets it will be all over.
When play resumed Enforcers kept rotating their bowlers in search of a wicket. But the next wicket would not fall until in the sixteenth over and 16 runs added. Gajanand Singh was bowled by Dharmpaul Singh for a quiet inning of 27, including 3 fours. Kris Patadin joined Khan at the crease and they would add just 3 runs before Khan was caught of Subkaran for 17 and the total on 99 for 5.
Kevin Budhna coming out of South Florida and many was surprise to see him bat this late, when he plays for Florida he would open the batting. But this was a different game, Budhna who like to run between the wickets was run out for 6 and the score on 106 for 6 after 18 overs. Ameer Nizamudin made his way to the crease and together with Patadin would add a valuable 16 runs seventh wicket partnership.
Vicky Subkaran came back into the attack, he still had two over to bowl, Subkaran was very quick, he gave it his best, and this had to be one of the time Vicky was at his fastest. But his line was bad he strayed too much down the leg and was only saved by some very good wicket keeping from his skipper Narine (Buns). Feroz Kahn got Patadin to go for a big swing and he was out caught for 5. In Subkaran next over he got the wicket of Ameer Nizamudin who was bowled from a ball that ripped back from outside the off stumps, and he was gone for 4 and the total on 127 for 8.
The crowd was on its feet, can Vicky Subkaran get the job done, 3 runs needed and two wickets remaining and plenty of balls to bowl. Martin Ductchin and Navin Narine was at the crease and almost half the park was rooting for Vicky. This was not new for the day, because earlier in the day the same crowd saw Guyana Floodlight come from behind and upset GSCL Masters in the Legends Cup final. The hero of that game was local boy Gordial Mattai who stroked two late boundaries to bring the game even and then hit the winning runs.
So many in the park was hoping for the same ending, and can history repeat itself twice in one day? This time it was Subkaran on show, but this did not happen. Navin Narine and Martin Ductchin would safely see their team home to victory lane without any forward damage. Both team’s players reached in the middle and congratulate each other for a wonderful game.
Fazal Rafiek won the man of the match prize for his 5 wickets for 11 and score of 18 runs. Feroz Kahn and Dharmpaul Singh had two wickets each, Anil Beharry and Vicky Subkaran bagged one each. Anil Beharry won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) prize for the tournament with figures of 14 wickets total and 57 runs. Navin Narine collect a huge Eagle for winning the championship and some cash incentives, while Khemraj Narine gets the second place trophy.
NYSCL All Stars and Legends Proud Winners of Independence Cup and Legends Cup 2014
By Desiree Kissoon
July 11, 2014
QUEENS, NY-On a picture perfect day in front of a large crowd, the New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) All Stars trumped the New York Enforcers Cricket Club winning the 2014 Independence Cup at Roy Wilkins Park on Sunday, July 6.
NY Enforcers won the toss and elected to bat first in beautiful weather and a carnival-like atmosphere at the Roy Wilkins Park. Enforcers started off a bit slowly with openers Avi Woarti and Krishna Singh facing Dharampaul Singh and Javid Ali. Singh was the first to go bowled by Ali for 8 runs.
Woarti was then joined by Vicky Sugrim who played some fine shot including the first 6 of the game. However, he lifted one too many and was out caught by Amit Moonsammy for 21 which including one 6 and a 4.
Woarti playing patient cricket, was joined by Kawall Persaud. He was finally out with the score on 72 for a patient 26. In came Vicky Subkaran and like the just celebrated Fourth of July holiday, fireworks began.
The ball flew off Subkaran’s bat to several part of the ground for four 6’s and two 4’s. H should have had several more fours except for the rule that says should the ball go under the large tent erected at Roy Wilkins Park, only a double would be credited to the batsman. Subkaran brought to life with his many fine shots.
Persaud was the wicket to fall. He was bowled by Gomel Mattai for 9 with the score on 76. Vishal Singh joined Subkaran at the crease, but he didn’t last long, he was bowled by Ali for 1 in the 16th over. Things got interesting and exciting when Anil Beharry walked to the middle to join the belligerent Subkaran. With fine batting from both end of the crease New York Enforcers quickly passed the projected 166 runs, which at one time looked out of reach.
Beharry hammered the ball for a quickfire 36 which including 3 sixes and 2 fours. He was bowled by Dharampaul Singh with the score on 164. The hard-hitting Subkaran was the next to go with the score on 176 of which he had scored 52, he was out caught off the bowling of Moonsammy in the 25th overs.
Bowling for NYSCL All Stars D. Singh took 2 wickets for 26 runs and J. Ali 2 for 34, with G. Mattai, A. Moonsammy and Andrew Gonsalves taking 1 each.
If the crowd thought they had seen hard hitting from Subkaran, their minds was quickly changed when NYSCL All Stars opening batsman Amar Singh walked to the middle and immediately dispatched the first ball he faced for a 4.
He pulverized the Enforcers’ bowlers who had no answer for his batting prowess. Ironically, he pounded the Enforcer top scorer Subkaran for 30 runs off 3 overs. Singh was named Man of The Match, scored an unbeaten 104 and Andrew Gonsalves 41 not out as the NYSCL All Stars made light work of the Enforcers score knocking off the runs in 18 overs. Subkaran was named the Most Valuable Player for the Independence Cup.
Meanwhile, NYSCL Legends won the Legends Cup when they beat Better Hope in the finals which was also played on Sunday.
Better Hope won the toss and elected to bat first, scoring 125 for 7 in their allotted overs. NYSCL Legends in reply made light work of the score winning in the 16th over. Tony Fernandez scored 50 not out and Randy Narayan made 26.
Ontario Masters batsman, Jaimani Singh won the Most Valuable Player award and Asif Ahamad of NYSCL Legends took the bowler with the most wicket prize.