Celebration Time: SVC All-Stars in celebratory mood after the victory

Gonsalves brilliance ensures SVC All-Stars topple NYSCL All-Stars

By Frederick Halley

July 4, 2018
A WELL-OILED SVC All Stars team proved their undoubted superiority with a hard-fought 12-run victory over the New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL) XI when the curtain came down on the open category of the annual Independence softball tournament, played at the Roy Wilkins Park last Sunday.

In an entertaining encounter, played in hot and humid conditions, the hundreds of spectators who graced the picturesque venue were treated to a spectacle as the two New York sides battled for supremacy.

In the end, it was SVC who prevailed with their skipper, Bobby Prahalad, using all his experience in the final over to ensure NYSCL did not score the required 16 runs needed to overhaul his team’s 218 for five, a total that seemed insurmountable when NYSCL started their reply.

SVC’s innings was engineered by a superb knock of 77 from former Guyana batsman, Andrew Gonsalves, who reportedly was playing his first competitive game of the 2018 season, and the consistent Sarfraz Esau who supported with a gallant and courageous 44.
Asked to take first strike, the star-studded SVC All Stars side lost the usually reliable and dependable Richard Latiff (eight) with just 10 runs on the board.

Gonsalves, who started very cautiously, joined the more attacking Navin Singh as the pair added 52 for the second wicket before the latter departed for 33, which included three fours and a six.

It was soon 85 for three following the dismissal of Safraz Karim (four) but this set the stage for Gonsalves and Esau to take command of proceedings. The left-right combination changed the entire complexion of the game as Esau and a rejuvenated Gonsalves tore into the hapless NYSCL attack, adding 110 for the fourth wicket in just over eight overs; the feature of the partnership being the running between the wickets.

The experienced Gonsalves reached a richly-deserved half-century with a mighty six over mid-wicket and celebrated the milestone with a majestic four through mid-on, much to the delight of the SVC All Stars supporters.

Esau, not to be outdone, was also treating the bowling with disdain and by the time he was dismissed in the 18th over, his fine knock had included six fours and two sixes.
Gonsalves succumbed off the final delivery of the last over for a splendid 77, an innings that contained six fours and two sixes, easily earning him the man-of-the-match award. Towards the end, Anil Beharry hammered a quick-fire 20. Dane Glasgow was NYSCL best bowler with two for 42 from his four overs.

Undaunted by the task of scoring over 11 runs per over to achieve victory, NYSCL set about the task in blazing fashion as openers Amar Singh and Prashad Mahadeo added 46 in five overs before Singh was brilliantly run out by Beharry, attempting a second run.
Mahadeo (24) was comprehensively bowled by Ramesh Barron at 61 for two in the seventh over and it was soon 68 for three with the departure of Brian Manniram.

With the tension building, the game took a dramatic turn with skipper Eon Ellis joining former Guyana under-19 player, Zamal Khan, in a counter-attacking performance which seemed to have caught SVC off-guard and seemingly without answers.

While Ellis was playing more conventional strokes, Khan swept, reverse swept, and log swept to great perfection as the two added 109 for the fourth wicket. Both were, however, dismissed in the 18th over; Khan for 48 and Ellis for 49, virtually ending NYSCL’s fight. Khan struck five fours and a six while Ellis’s knock contained four fours and two sixes. Siddiq Kayoon took two for 32.

Apart from copping the man-of-the-match award, Gonsalves also received a prize for the highest individual score in the tournament. Regal’s Sewchand Budhu took the most wickets (seven for 33). Ontario Softball Cricket League’s (OSCL) Aftab Shamshudeen had the best bowling figure in an innings (five for two in four overs, two of which were maidens) and Beria was voted Most Valuable Player for scoring 146 runs and taking six wickets.


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