NYSCL 2014 PRESIDENT CUP
SPONSORED BY: PK SINGH REALTY & MORTGAGE SERVICES
West Dem Move To Stop Untouchable, Liberty Knight Try For Top Prize, Gunners Recharge, Invaders And Saturn Get To Move Up
By James Persaud
August 21, 2014
The West Dem softball cricket team supporters are maybe asking what have you done for me lately? Well this time around West Dem will have no excuse, and is poised to give Untouchable a run or at least try to stop them from getting closer to the 2014 Triple Crown.
Ever since Cavaliers merged with Bravehearts and became West Dem, they have played decent cricket to at least get to the playoffs. After reaching the playoffs on a few tries they only managed to reach the first round. Given the way this team has played so far in the 2014 season, this has to be their best chance to bringing home the top prize.
Once again in the semifinal game last Sunday, Amar Singh showed what a classy, stylish and determined batsman he is to get runs. Last Sunday West Dem took on Shattaz at Roy Wilkins Park, West Dem took the crease first with Amar Singh and Chris Ramlall. Ramlall was the first to go with a very poor shot, West Dem skipper Pooran Beria came to the crease and looked very troubled and was never given a chance to find form. He got a few singles and played back one too many times and lost his middle stump in the process.
Amar Singh was at the other end, and watched as two of his teammates made their way back to the seats. It was five overs gone, two wickets down and only 30 runs in the book, Amar knew he had to stay if West Dem stood any chance of reaching the finals and he played every ball by its merit. He was very attacking whenever the ball was short, and he even reversed sweep for two early boundaries.
Shattaz was trying their best, or maybe they were trying too hard and made a few fielding mistakes and moved many times too slow to get into catching position. Shattaz knew they were a long shot to even reach this far in the Premier division. But they deserved every bit of their success in the 2014 season, this team could only get better if they stay and play together. There is a need for a bowler or two with pace and another two batsmen who could hit with power.
Amar made the Shattaz bowlers toil and by the end of the twenty fifth over the score was 241, and Amar on 90. With a required run rate of almost 10 runs an over, Shattaz had plenty of work to do, while West Dem was almost certain to book a spot in the final. If West Dem was certain of going to the final, their next uncertainty was who they will play, Assassins and Untouchable was doing battle in the other semifinal.
Untouchable won the toss and bat on a pitch that was in bad condition, looked more like a bowlers paradise with many rough spots. Well if it was suited for bowling Prashad Mahadeo and Andrew Gonsalves made sure they give the bowlers no chance and bat with determination to give their team a good start.
Untouchable ended their innings with a total of 167 all out, Gonsalves 52 and Mahadeo 48. This looked by no means a winning total, with a required run rate of less than 7 runs an over. The Assassins batsmen was in very good form, scoring well over two hundred runs in their last two games, with Ellis getting a hundred, Bux, Amit and Manniram amongst the runs.
Both teams between the innings had long team’s meetings, the players all working on their game plans. Both of these teams have played many times before, they are players who knew of everyone's strengths and weaknesses. Gonsalves knew he could count on his guys to get the job done, while Bux on the other hand was asking his guys to give it their best effort.
The Untouchable bowlers used the pitch and their medium pacers and spin was too much for the Assassins. Assassins reached 105 all out, with skipper Kaleem Bux top scoring with 27, Javid Ali grabbed 4 for 17 and he was well supported by Asif Ally who claimed 3 for 17.
In the Premier division final this Sunday Untouchable will do battle with West Dem, West Dem will be looking to get a big start if they bat first. Their runs will come from Amar Singh, Pooran Beria, Sunil Panday, Michael Persaud and their bowling will be spearheaded by Omesh Ganesh.
Untouchable will be looking for runs from Wasim Aslim, Wasim a new kid playing in New York. In the NYSCL 2014 Independence Cup competition Wasim played for New York Cricket Doctors, he was the leading runs scorer for his team taking them into the semifinal. Since then he has not score any big runs, he is getting his twenty’s and thirty’s. His style of batting, is that he likes to get down early and reverse sweep, with very quick bowlers. He is unable to catch up, as was the case with Bux and Shawn last Sunday. Could this be his time for runs, I believe he is due and should he get going it will be a crowd delight.
The rest of Untouchable batting will come from Gonsalves, Mahadeo, Asif Ally, Sudesh Persaud, Asif Adam, and Javid Alli and Moe Khan will be spearheading the bowling attack. This will be a very good matchup, with both teams at present playing very good cricket, you can expect plenty of excitement.
Liberty Knight once again in the final, this team is playing very good cricket at present and got past Sheffield easily last Sunday. Liberty Knight batting first posted a total of 173 and Sheffield replied with 142 all out. While Renegade got past Horizon in the other semifinal, Horizon only reached 152 replying to Renegade 186 for 6 wickets.
Renegade has an equal amount of batting and bowling and this team is playing their best cricket at present, they will give Liberty Knight plenty of trouble this Sunday. The team that bat first could set the tone for this game, whatever the score is, their bowlers will be hard pressed to defend it.
Liberty Knight will have to do better with their wicket keeping, cut out some of the extras. While Renegade will be counting on their frontline batsmen to lead the way, set a huge total if batting first and this would give their bowlers a very good chance.
I always or never like to create a competition format where the team topping the division’s playoffs getting a bye week. I believe in magic or miracle, and Gunners is having a magical President Cup competition. This Gunners team had a net run rate that gave them the last playoff spot in Division IIA, and in the quarter final they came up big to beat the division favorite Rocket.
In last Sunday semifinal Gunners destroyed Knight Riders, all out for 64 runs. In the other semifinal Crown XI beat Golden Stars at Seaview to take on Gunners. You could call this matchup the “Royal Battle of the Bronx” both Gunners and Crown XI are Bronx based teams.
These two reached in the qualifying round and Crown XI got the better of Gunners, but it is hard to believe they can do this twice in the same competition. Another team that was pick to go far in this division-Nationals beat Crown XI. Crown XI protest that Nationals played unqualified players and won the protest.
I had a chance to watch both Gunners and Crown XI in the last few weeks, Gunners is firing on all cylinders at present and Crown XI with very good spin bowling, I feel that they would not be able to stop Gunners. But this is cricket and it is about the condition and the team temperament at the time, anything can happen on game day.
Gunners have pace bowling and Crown XI has plenty of spin, both teams have very good batting. I will take my chances and pick a winner, I am sure that this division championship is going to the Bronx.
Invaders in the final again for the second straight year, the Invaders team is a bunch of friends who is not looking to make changes to their roster every year, they stick together. After a long losing spell they won a competition last season and last Sunday they beat a powerful Wildfire team to reach the finals.
Invaders will do battle with Saturn, Saturn has dominated this division so far. This Saturn team is over matched, they should be playing in a higher division. The Saturn bowling is very good and a batting lineup that stretches all the way to number nine. While Invaders has a very good all round team with batting and bowling, but they are not consistent.
If their bowlers can get it right as in the semifinal, when they skittle out Wildfire for 69, this will keep them in the game. On the other hand Saturn will be difficult to beat, very good batting lineup and this could be a high scoring game if they bat first and Invaders does not get it right.
All softball cricket fans and supporters come out early for the best seat in the park and support your team to the end. The weather forecast is for a very nice day for cricket, this NYSCL President Cup competition is sponsored by PK Singh Realty and Mortgage Services. Come out and support cricket and support your local community business.