NYSCL 2014 Twenty20
SPONSORED BY: MIKE BANSI
INTRIGUING NYSCL T20 PLAYOFFS MATCHUPS, ASSASSINS LEAD FROM THE TOP
By James Persaud
October 9, 2014
The NYSCL 2014 Twenty20 competition sponsored by Mike Bansi, playoffs get underway this Sunday. The qualifying teams will be making a last effort to solidify their chances to becoming champions. Assassins, Uprising, United and Buccaneers have all topped their respective divisions.
In no other division is it more significant than in the Premier division, so far in the 2014 season. Untouchable has dominated and will be looking to continue their winning streak and a possible Triple Crown.
While Assassins has topped the playoffs standing in all three formats this season, they have failed to win a final thus far. The same can be said about West Dem, since they are the only other team to matchup against Untouchable in the Premier division finals this season. But could a short lived history repeat itself, many teams have made several changes to their player’s roster coming into the T20.
The changes have helped some teams, while a few just played poor cricket or are missing that link to making a winning connection. A team that has played with an unchanged roster all throughout are Shattaz. They have to be given kudos for being the most improved team in the Premier division this season.
Shattaz reached the semi-final in the last competition and this time they will kick off their campaign against Untouchable. Untouchable will be looking forward to playing for the next three weeks, but Shattaz is in top form at present and this game can go all the way to the wire.
Another team who has played very good cricket for the past three weeks is Attackers, they started the T20 losing but then just was able to turn things around and took the sixth spot in the playoffs. They will play West Dem and will be looking for a repeat performance from last Sunday when they defeated Assassins. But this would not be easy, West Dem has a good team with plenty of talented players. This will be an even matchup with both teams having good batting and bowlers with good pace.
Flasherz will take on United Stars, Flasherz won the first competition in a different division and moved up to premier and has played decent cricket. Flasherz batting has let them down this season, their first five batsmen is not given them the lead off that is needed. Rocco Dindayal has carried a cold bat all season and never got the runs he is capable off.
While Flasherz will be looking for runs from Randy, Mark, Vikash and Rocco. United Stars will be coming into the game with a full delegation of pace bowling and a very good batting lineup, this will be a very good matchup should Flasherz pacers, the Singh brothers strike form you can end up with a big upset.
Liberty Knight moved up, qualified and moved right into the division leading Assassins, Liberty Knight will be hard pressed to generate a huge upset over Assassins. While Assassins will be looking to get to the final one more time. If Assassins bats first, they will look to set Liberty Knight a huge total, if Liberty Knight can keep Assassins within a score of about 6 to 7 runs an over it will be a very interesting game.
It is an old saying, you came, you saw and you conquered- this much can be said about Uprising. Uprising is a new team coming from another league and moved right into Division IB and have dominated by winning all their qualifying games to lead the division. I had a chance to watch this team playing in two games, they are young and has five fast bowlers. They depend on pace and with a very good batting lineup they will create some problems for Airwaves.
Airwaves is another team who has not played their best cricket lately, but this is the playoffs and this sometimes brings out the best of your players. The team batting first can set the pace of this game and bring it to an exciting end.
Sheffield will get a rematch with Horizon, and I would imagine both teams could never believe it would have happened this soon. These two teams reached in the qualifying round and it was a grueling match with Horizon coming out on top. On that day Horizon set Sheffield a target of well over one hundred and eighty runs. Horizon bowlers was in fine form and kept the game close and in the end Sheffield succumbed to defeat by thirty odd runs and only losing four wickets.
While Horizon went to the semifinal before this season and took a crushing defeat, they will be looking to advance this time again. Sheffield will be in the same frame of mind trying to keeping their 2014 season alive after just clambering to securing a playoffs slot.
Sunrise advanced after winning big last Sunday, Sunrise needed to win big in the last qualifying game. West Dem XI also needed to win to advance, but if they stood any chance it was taken away very early by Sunrise. West Dem XI bat first and set Sunrise a total of ninety odd runs.
Sunrise knew exactly what was needed and their batsman attacked from ball one and West Dem XI bowlers had no answer and took a crushing defeat in about ten overs. Sunrise will matchup with Survival this Sunday, Survival is coming off a very bad loss from last Sunday.
Survival came into last Sunday game undefeated after four rounds, and played a very poor fifth game and Essequibo took advantage to win big and secured a playoff spot. Survival bowlers never got it right and their batting never put up a challenge, getting out on poor shot selections. Not to take anything from Essequibo, they played their best when it was needed the most.
Sunrise and Survival will be a very good matchup, both teams has very good batting and bowling. The team that makes the lease mistakes and take advantage of any given opportunity could well be the winner.
Essequibo will take on Titans, both teams coming off big wins from last Sunday game and will be looking to continue to dominate if they are to advance to the next round. Titans, a team with plenty of hard hitting batsmen, but some time never plays to their ability. If the Titans batting get it right early you could be in for a huge score and this will give their bowlers a chance to defend.
The same can be said about Essequibo, hard hitting batsmen with plenty of speed running between the wickets, with a good line up of pace bowlers. This could be a high scoring game and the team that plays the best on this day will be the winner.
United and Nationals dominate this division thus far, you could count on these two teams to go far in the playoffs. United stepped down from a higher division and still have a very good team and should have played in one division higher. United will play Rocket, Rocket loss a few players in this competition but still have a decent team and can give United a very good challenge.
Rocket will have to take the game, one game at a time, bring a good sportsmanship attitude and play cricket. While United strength is their batting, Rocket has the bowling attack that could restrict them to a reasonable score, if this can be accomplished then this will be a close game.
Nationals will come against Knight Riders, in the last competition this was the same matchup and Nationals crushed Knight Riders. While Knight Riders will be looking to turn things around this time, it will never be easy against Nationals who has a very good batting lineup.
Knight Riders will depend on their spinners to get the task done, Knight Riders is coming off very big wins in the last two weeks. This is a very good matchup and this game can have a big blow out early depending on which team bats first. Both teams have very good bowling, one with pace and the other with spinners.
Saturn will do battle with Golden Stars, Saturn went to the finals of the last competition and took a crushing loss to Invaders. While Golden Stars has played very good cricket went to the playoffs before only to go down in the first round. They will be looking to change this a round this time, they made some players changes for this competition and is playing very good at present.
On the other hand Saturn will be looking to get it right and get to the next round, but it would not be easy against Golden Stars. Golden Stars has the batting, but have not gotten the runs in the big game. Both teams equal batting and bowling and you can expect a big game.
The fourth game in this division will be between the Satianand brothers, Suresh and Sudesh who manage Port Mourtant Youths and Playerz respectively. I had a chance to watch these two teams played in the qualifying round of the last competition, and it was full of excitement, it was a little Port Mourtant reunion.
This will be a close game, PM Youths is coming into this game after a big loss last week and Playerz had a big win against Soldier Boys. This is the only game I will bet on, I will bet that the winner of this match will have at least two players with the last name Satianand.
Buccaneers made the playoffs again and will play Caribbean Boys, the last time these two teams met Buccaneers demolished the Boys in a one sided affair. In the last competition Buccaneers loss in the quarter final in a high scoring game. It was not a blow out, they loss by nine runs.
Last Sunday Apollo XI bowled out Buccaneers for 108 and Apollo XI had their eyes set on a playoffs slot. But Buccaneers bowlers had other plans and restricted them to a perfect hundred. Caribbean Boys is playing very good cricket at present and Buccaneers should not count on their laurels of the past to get them to the next round. This will be a close game, should Caribbean Boys bowlers get it right.
Wildfire get to the playoffs again and will be taking on Unpredictable, while Unpredictable has struggled, Wildfire has dominate so far. The same can be said about Wildfire in the last playoffs until the number eight team Invaders crushed them in the semifinal.
Both Unpredictable and Wildfire have very good batting and bowling and this will be a very good matchup and can come down to a duel between the managers, JP Singh of Wildfire and Clement Sookram representing Unpredictable. While JP Singh has a third place finish from the last competition, Sookram will be looking to add another trophy to his collection.
Magnum will do battle with Better Hope, Better Hope came in number three in the ranking, but never had a real challenge in the qualifying round. They will be put to the test Sunday, should they advance, and you can count them to go far in the playoffs. Magnum lost a few of their young players for this competition and Better Hope will be counting on their more mature stalwarts to get the job done.
Kudos must be given to Joseph Mahabir for all the efforts he put into keeping his team together and it will be a big boost if he can reach victory lane.
The matchup between One Love and Level All-Stars will complete the playoffs in the first round. One Love is a new team with many experienced players from the Ranchers organization. While Level All-Stars is a bunch of guys coming into a new form of softball cricket. Level made the switch from the Trinidad over hand tape ball competition and they have defiantly made adjustment very fast.
I had a chance to watch Level game last Sunday, the batsman approach at the crease is more like baseball, they are always making big swing and if they make contact, the ball is out of there. While their bowling is decent, they get a lot of swing, but sometime a little too slow and this has created too many problem for their opponents. One Love on the other hand has players who can dominate if they get the chance. This will be a great game and anyone of the team can win.