NYSCL 2013 Twenty20
SPONSORED BY: Mike Bansi
Who Will Bring Home The Championship? And Who’s Making The Grade For Cricketer Of The Year?
By James Persaud
November 1, 2013
It was exactly thirty weeks ago the 2013 NYSCL softball cricket season started, the enthusiasm and the desire to be champions was on all the players mind. Well as we get ready to play the finals of the last competition of the season this Sunday. Most of the enthusiasm is gone but the desire and excitement is still there as the last eight teams will be vying for the championship in the four divisions of the Twenty20 competition.
The 2013 season has being a great success and one thing for sure there will be no Triple Crown winners this season. Entering the Twenty20 competition, only one team had a chance to Triple Crown, Lions after winning the divisions IIB and IIA championships and they failed to qualify for the playoffs which end their bid. In the Premier division, the big four have so far split the winnings; Assassins took the first and East Coast cart off the second.
This Sunday will bring United Stars and Untouchable together in a last effort to bring home a championship. Both teams went to the finals before this season only to run second to East Coast and Assassins respectively.
Last Sunday in the semi finals round Untouchable steel victory from Assassins in an exciting end, Untouchable batting first set Assassins a total of 119 to win. Untouchable total was very much built on a tenth wicket partnership of 30 runs, after reeling on 88 for 9 wickets. With four overs remaining, four wickets in hand and still needing 23 runs, Assassins looked well on their way to their second final.
But Untouchable rise to the pressure, good field placing, tight bowling, superb fielding and Assassins fell short by 17 runs. The last four wickets went via two run outs, one caught at short square by the keeper and one bowled by Javid Alli. Across the field United Stars got past West Dem after West Dem posted a total of 130 and United Stars reached the required runs with 9 balls to spare and only losing the wicket of Amar Singh. United Stars Captain Ravin Ivan finish with 50 and Kenrick 39, both not out.
These two teams Untouchable and United Stars reached in the qualifying round and Untouchable loss in a close game. Untouchable will be looking to turn things around this time, and will need to post a good score if they bat first and give their bowlers a chance. United Stars on the other hand is a more balance team with bowling being their strength and has depth in their batting order.
United Stars is sure to bring out the stars as they have some overseas players, this is good for the game since a good game, and plenty of runs will keep the crowd warm and on edge. Now that Halloween is gone will United Stars finally get that ghost of their shoulders and show up and play a big final. Too many times this team has not lived up to its potential in the big game. Untouchable will need to get runs from their top five batsmen and if they go early we could be in for a cold Sunday.
Sheffield advance to the final with a meager score against Flasherz last Sunday. Sheffield batting first scored 110 and after a poor batting display by Flasherz, Sheffield will enter the final after a long wait. After Sheffield bat first, their bowlers did good work defending their score and they were well supported by their fielders on the huge 150 Rockaway Park outfield. Flasherz played in the Premier division last season and moved down this season and made the playoffs but could never get the job done.
Sheffield is a team with few big name players but has always played very challenging cricket, but are they ready to take the championship? Well Liberty Knight will not hand it to them; Liberty Knight beat Titans easily in the semi final. Titans played very good cricket in the Twenty20 competition, but came up short when it counted the most.
Liberty Knight will be looking to add a championship to their name and end the season in a big way, this team has the players to get the job done. But would they have their game on, if not Sheffield with decent bowling could be heading to Disney World. Liberty Knight has both batting and bowling depth, but they will need speed in the early batting order.
Survival put up a very good score (168) against Knight Riders in the semi final, and bowled very bad to defend. The bowlers just seemed to try to bowl too fast and made many mistakes, you cannot bowl full toss in every over unless you come from Sri Lanka. This game was played in a slow motion too many field placings; you cannot defend a full pitch that is over the boundary.
Knight Riders will face Nationals in the final, Knight Riders reaching the final for the first time this season and will be hoping for a big game. They have some very talented young players, plenty of speed but they need to just chill a little and play the game for what it is. They will depend on their hard hitting opening batsmen to set the pace of the game and should they get going early you could be looking at a huge score. Their bowling is decent and could make mistakes thus giving up the runs.
Nationals got past Soldier Boys and will be looking to be champions after moving down in divisions. Nationals have plenty of pace bowling and if they cannot get it right the runs can come easily. Their batting will come from their top order, and with plenty of big hitting in the lower order this game can be high scoring.
Invaders will go to the final after eight seasons, Invaders, a team that is not looking to rebuild with most of the members being long standing members. Speaking to their Manager, he said they play for the outing and keeping friends together. They have done well in this Twenty20 competition and will be looking for a big game from the Drickpaul and Valladares brothers for both batting and bowling.
Falcons have rebuilt and played well in this competition to reach the final; they had a somewhat soft draw and have cruised so far in the playoffs. But do they have what it takes to get you to the end and the championship. So far in the competition they are able to put up a huge total when they bat first, will their batsmen have that last big swing.
NYSCL 2013 COTY
It is about this time of the year that I feel good and apprehensive to know who will take the most coveted prize in softball cricket, the NYSCL Cricketer of the Year award. I believed it is much easier to win a game since you are only playing against eleven players. Unlike the Cricketer of the Year award you are competing amongst the whole league.
The Cricketer of the Year award is for a player who has excel in his game throughout the season, either in batting, or bowling, or both as an all-rounder. Looking at the stats for the first two competitions a few names just grabbed my attention and I will mention them. In division one the leaders in runs are Raja Parsram, Ravin Ivan, Pooran Beria and Brian Manniram, leading with wickets are the Pahalad brothers Bobby and Bhola, followed by S. Kayoon.
In division two leading the runs chase, N. Ramdin, R. Narainsami, Daniel Peters, Ravi Sahadeo and Asgar Khan, and top wicket takers are Johnny Sookraj and B. Bhadrasain. Bear in mind the names are not placed in order as top to bottom.
Bobby Pahalad is by far the leading bowler by numbers, he has won this award before, but for whatever reasons he not among the runs lately. Maybe he just needs a new set of bats, Ravin Ivan have being knocking for a long time. He will be playing on Sunday while many of the other guys will be watching, is this the year that he knock loud enough so that the judges hear. Great batsman stay at the crease and put runs on the board, while great bowlers, bowl their team to victory.
This bring me to one of the great innings or the best batting I have seen this season, in the 2013 Indy Cup final. When the NYSCL All Stars found themselves in trouble Andrew Gonsalves and Kaleem Bux display great batting skill and bat to the end, they both show character and authority in their batting. Another great innings this season was in the President Cup final, East Coast versus United Stars.
After East Coast loss two quick wickets Kris Sobhai stayed at the crease and played an unselfish innings, he batted like a champ. When the Pahalad brothers were firing on all cylinders he kept his partner away from the fire and he faced the bulk of the bowling, he took no chance, played no careless shot. After pasting his fifty (52) in the seventeenth over he then played a hook shot to a short rising ball and was out, by this time East Coast were on their way to the championship. Kris Sobhai is still one of the best batsman in softball cricket, stay at the crease the runs will come.