NYSCL 2018 PRO CUP
SPONSORED BY: NYSCL
Royal Canadian Masters create history, first Canadian team to
capture softball title
By Frederick Halley
July 8, 2018
THE Royal Canadian Masters (RCM) became the first team from the land of the Maple Leaf to capture a softball title in or out of Canada when they roared to a convincing six-wicket victory over the New York President’s XI in the final of the Pro Cup (Over-50) tournament, played last Sunday at the Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, New York.
Backed by a contingent of supporters from across the border, who braved the sweltering heat, and playing a brand of cricket that belies their age, the triumph was more rewarding as it came on the day the nation was celebrating its 151st Independence anniversary.
Even more significant was the fact it was only RCM’s second participation in a tournament of this magnitude, having reached the semi-finals in the Orlando version, played in that city in March this year.
Despite being a magnificent team effort, it was also personal gratification for Ganesh Ramraj who smashed a masterful unbeaten 67, at the end of which the heat took its toll on him as he trudged slowly off the field, nevertheless a satisfied individual.
Needing to reach a challenging 149 for victory, after New York President’s XI had reached 148 for four in their allotted 20 overs, RCM achieved the target in 19.3 overs, losing four wickets in the process, with Ramraj slamming four fours and three sixes in his brilliant knock.
Opener Augustus Gordon had earlier set the stage with a quick-fire 31 (three fours), dominating a 37-run opening stand with Roy Brittania.
Earlier, Assad Razack and T. Mohamed had given the President’s X1 an excellent start of 64 in the first 10 overs with the former going on to hit a fine 63 (five fours) while Mohamed contributed 27. Dennis Mangru shored up the middle-order with 35 (four fours and one six) as Narpaul Singh ended with two for 20 and Brittania one for 20.
Meanwhile, Gordon, with a top score of 86, was the hero in a high-scoring semi-final as RCM chased down 204 made by their Canadian counterparts, Ontario Masters Softball International (OMSI), featuring the likes of Shivnauth Seeram, Jaimini Singh and Terry Mathura.
At the presentation ceremony, RCM’s Narpaul Singh was voted the Pro Cup’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his tally of 137 runs and seven wickets; Ramraj earned the man-of-the-match award while Gordon took the prize for the highest individual score.
Other awards went to President’s XI players, Rafeek Mohamed for scoring the most runs (209) and Mukesh Mohamed for taking the most wickets (nine) while Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association’s (GFSCA) Dharam Persaud had the best bowling figures in a match (five for seven versus Williamsburg Legends).
An elated Shanta Persaud, RCM’s president, was “over the moon” with the performance of her charges, pointing out that “we had an incredibly talented roster, who played with passion, dedication, great strength, perseverance, character, and love. We are proud to share and celebrate the championship with Canadian and New York families.
What an exuberant feeling it is for Royal Canadian Masters Cricket Club, to be the first Canadian cricket team ever to win a championship.”
Persaud was also loud in praise for the sponsorship received from Nigel Bijulisingh of Tropical Nights Restaurant and Lounge. “On behalf of RCM, I thank you for your generous sponsorship, advice and contribution to our team.
“To each and every member of the Royal Canadian Masters Cricket Club, I thank you all for taking up the challenge to compete despite all the odds. We have proven that we are truly a tough team to beat when we brought home the Eagle of success! I personally believe passion drives achievement.
“To our newest RCM superstars, Gus Gordon (Most Runs) and Narpaul Singh (Man of the Series), thank you both for giving of your time, efforts, outstanding skills and tremendous performances.”