NYSCL 2016 25 OVER CHAMPIONSHIP
SPONSORED BY: JOHNNY’S RESTAURANT & BAR
Game On, Assassins, Dynasty and Mafia Unbeaten
By James Persaud
May 11, 2016
The real question is, Mafia this good? Regardless of what your answer will be, you have to give kudos to Mafia. This team is young and playing exciting cricket, while having a lot of fun winning. After five games in the qualifying rounds of the NYSCL 25 Over Championship sponsored by Johnny’s Restaurant and Bar, Assassins, Dynasty and Mafia are unbeaten.
Last season Mafia returned to NYSCL and played very good cricket, but for some reason they never could get past the semi-final in all three of the major competitions. Thus far this season they are looking much better and they have made some changes to their roster. Last season their batting failed in the playoffs. Many of the new faces on the team are all-rounders, so this will give them, a much needed batting depth in the playoffs this time. Mafia has seven fast bowlers and they all can score runs in the lower order.
But while Mafia has made changes, so are the other teams. With one qualifying round remaining in the competition, all the teams still have a chance to make the playoffs. Many teams will have to get huge victory this Sunday to advance. You have to give credit to Mafia new captain Anil Beharry, this young man cricket has improved over the years and become one of the leading all-rounder in softball cricket. He is bowling faster and getting valuable runs in the middle order, while leading his team both on and off the field.
If Mafia is to continue winning, especially in the playoffs they will have to get runs from their first five batsmen, something they were not able to do last season. But they have added quality batting in Raja Parasram, Nyal Singh, Martin Dutchin, and Avi Worthi. So far Dutchin has not achieved the big scores he is capable of, he has only one score over fifty. This young man tries to hit the ball too hard at times, instead of playing every ball by its merit and finding the gaps. Watching Dutchin at the batting crease you have to believe that he would bust loose one day and the bowlers would be on the receiving end.
Another team that is having fun, is the Assassins. While they have played very exciting cricket and has the batting to destroy any bowling attack, their bowling has some weaknesses. But when it comes to the playoffs, Assassins most of the times will get it right. Their batting is spearheaded by Zamal Khan, Brian Manniram, Ravi Persaud, Eon Ellis, Kris Sobhai, Kaleem Bux, and Anand Singh (106 not out) who scored a century last Sunday against Titans.
Watching Assassins during the season, you have to believe that this team has players who can take them all the way to the final. Their batting is very strong and if batting first they are capable of setting a target of well over two hundred runs. With good quality bowling a score in this range would be well within their defending. The quarter final could be a little breeze; the real test will come in the semi-final rounds.
Well they are finally playing cricket like they are capable of, Dynasty is in the top four. Dynasty has never been able to get it right before in NYSCL, in the 2016 season things have been going their way. They have won a few close games and is able to stay unbeaten. They have made many changes for 2016 and picked up a few players from the Corriverton team. This team is not playing very aggressive cricket and they will depend a lot on all-rounder Vicky Subkaran to get runs and wickets to keep them in the playoffs. Their other leading batsmen, Balkarran, Jumadeen, Manipal, and Khemraj Narine will have to be amongst the runs.
The Dynasty bowling will be spearheaded by Trevor Ramoutar, Ricky Narine, Ravi Latchman, and Vicky. Dynasty will play Cavaliers in the last qualifying round, Cavaliers has a very good batting line up and is looking to stay in the top eight for the playoffs. Regardless of what happens in the last round Dynasty should be happy with their effort thus far and their playoffs spot.
After five rounds the other teams in the top eight are, United Stars, Survival, Untouchables, Cavaliers, and Liberty Knights. It is a most unusual spot to find United Stars, not in the top three? Well looking at the United Stars team and you will find your answer, this team has many missing parts. In the past United Stars has struggled to keep the team together. Yet they have played very good cricket and reached the playoffs only to go out easily, this time around will be different. If United Stars wants to stay in playoffs contentions, they will have to get it done with what every player they have.
Over the years they have depended on their bowling, so far this season they have not score over 160 runs in any innings. Bobby Pahalad will have to get amongst the runs and he will be looking for help from Krishna Singh, Kenny Narinedat, Feiaz Samad, and Dinesh Pooran. Their bowling is very reliable and once the batting can get them a reasonable score to defend, you can count on seeing a close game.
While Survival has played very good cricket to hold on to the number five slot, their chance of stay in the top five will be for a huge win in the last round. Survival has a very good batting line up, but their bowling has some weaknesses. However, they are able to score a lot of runs and always give their bowlers a chance to keep them in the game.
Survival runs will come from, Dwarka, Afraz Alli, Asgar Alli, Ralph Ogle, Mahendra Hariraj, and Videsh Kolanandwel. Their bowling will be spearheaded by the skipper Paul Virappen, who is one of the leading wicket taker in the division and will get assistance from Ryan Taharjit, Mohamed Nazir, and Videsh.
Well Untouchables are in a most unusual spot, looking up from the bottom half. While Untouchables has won games, they have not played exciting cricket so far. Will this be the week when they change gears? I had a chance to watch two of their games, and it was boring, it was as if they did not want to get out and bat slow chasing scores in the one twenty’s and batting almost all their overs.
Untouchables has the players who can change tempo in a hurry when it come to the playoffs, but you have to play well to put your team in the best position and ready for the playoffs. Their opening pair has runs, but consume too many overs. Amar Singh has scored a century against Liberty Knights and has never out so far in the season.
Erapalli Sahadeo scored a 29 ball 82 runs last Sunday and Andrew Gonsalves is yet to get a big score. Untouchables pace bowling will come from Asif Adam and Gomel Mattai, Adam has had some very good success with the ball. Then there is the spin attack of Gonsalves, Erapalli, Imitaz Alli and Rudy Baichulall.
Cavaliers and Liberty Knights will bring up the last two slots, but will it stay this way for the playoffs the following Sunday? That is depending on what happens this coming Sunday, Cavaliers will take on Dynasty and Liberty Knights will battle Assassins.
Cavaliers has very good batting, but they will need a very good outing from their bowlers. Dynasty and Cavaliers matchup will be good, both teams do not have that over powering bowling and this could be high scoring game. Liberty Knights is a more balanced team with very good batting and bowling. Liberty Knights won against Untouchables chasing down over two hundred runs. If Liberty Knights has a full squad this will be a very good game.
If the teams keep winning as in the past week, then the second eight in this division will almost place themselves. The pack is led by Bravehearts, but all the teams still has a chance to make the playoffs. Bravehearts has a very good batting team and a little weak in the bowling. In most of their games, they were able to put up huge score when batting first and giving their bowlers a chance to bowl for a win.
The season leading scorer after four rounds is Ray Boodhai from Bravehearts, with a highest score of 129. Bravehearts will depend on their pacers Omesh Ganesh, Bisham Baldawan, Ramesh Ganesh, Steve Deodat to get wickets and with help from the spinners Ray, Steve and Aleem. The playoffs are expected to be very exciting and as the weather warms up, you can except some heated playoffs. Stay tuned next week as I will bring an update on division two.