Atlantis Cricket Club – NY was on a flight path headed for this weekend’s final in the NY Metropolitan District Cricket League’s 40-overs final. However, that flight was terminated at Idlewild Cricket Ground named after the original Queens, New York airport of the same name, and now known as the John F. Kennedy International Airport.
With a 9-3 record in the 2017 Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier League, Atlantis faced off against 10-2 Queens United Sports Club at the home ground of the latter, and looking for a “W” to advance to this weekend’s final after returning to the league following a 28-year hiatus. However, the league leading Queens United had other plans and did not allow Atlantis to land in the 2017 final.
Having won the toss, Queens United cleared Atlantis to take off batting first, while opening with Jason Smith and Charlton Senior. The duo did not bother Atlantis’ opening pair of USA national Nicholas Standford and young hopeful Randall Wilson. The Atlantis pair batted with caution against the pacers, carefully selecting scoring shots and putting on a deliberate opening partnership of 40 in the first seven overs.
Nicholas Standford was the first to go after contributing 22 off 27 deliveries. Randall Wilson sought to anchor Atlantis’ effort with a painstaking 51 off 82 balls (2x4s, 1×6). His knock would become the top score of Atlantis’ 170-run inning, as wickets fell at the other end of Wilson’s effort. Reasonable contributions came off the willows of USA nationals Nosthusha Kenjige, 24, and Prashanth Nair, 19. Wicketkeeper Francis Mendonca chipped in with 15, as the other Atlantis batsmen turned in disappointing knocks, with all exiting to the Ray Charles tune of “Hit the Road Jack” blared from the turntable of the Queens United DJ. None of the other six batsmen scored above 10 runs. The Atlantis inning finally ended at 170 all out at the 38 overs mark. Atlantis had left 12 deliveries on the table, and about 20 runs that would no doubt come back to haunt them in a match-up with the batting line-up of Queens United.
The Atlantis wickets fell at 40, 47, 50, 84, 94, 146, 150, 152, 156 and 170. Bowling for Queens United: Nkrumah Bonner, a former West Indies leggie, enjoyed figures of 5-0-17-3, David Morgan 2 for 38 and Jason Smith, Charlton Senior and Gavin Wallace each with one wicket apiece, added to the other two Atlantis wickets via run-outs.
QUEENS UNITED RESPONDS
Queens United Sports Club matched Atlantis’ output for the first seven overs, scoring 37 before skipper Richard Staple was trapped lbw by Nosthusha Kenjige for 12 off 14 deliveries, with Andrew Davis at the other end looking to make inroads into the Atlantis total. However, 19 runs later he would follow Staple, bowled by the aforementioned Nosthusha Kenjige for 21. Davis’ departure made way for Nkrumah Bonner’s entry, and Bonner confidently went after the Atlantis bowlers, but was short getting back on a run, and wicketkeeper Francis Mendonca and Keon Lake ensured he kept on running towards the Queens United camp. Queens United at 96 for 3 in the eighteenth over was in control of their destiny. However, the next two wickets of Gavin Wallace, 24, and Marinaro Dixon, 0, would both fall at the 125-run mark and in the 25th over. That would temporarily set back the ambitious Queens United, but would in no way prevent them from going on to reach the target at 171 for the loss of only six wickets at the 36 overs mark. David Morgan, 39 off 57 balls (1×6, 2x4s) was as much responsible for the Queens United victory, as was Nkrumah Bonner’s knock. Dean Sooden contributed 19 (2x6s) in an emphatic statement on Queens United’s way to victory in the 35th over.
The Queens United wickets fell at 37, 56, 96, 125, 125, and 150. Bowling for Atlantis: Keon Lake 8-0-21-2 and Nosthusha Kenjige 8-0-32-2 were the picks of the litter of seven bowlers used by Atlantis. However, it is worthy to note the performances turned in by Kevin Darlington 7-0-21-0 and Greg Robinson of 5-1-21-0, as the two bowlers kept the Queens United batsmen in check for a while, despite not capturing any wickets.
Thus the runaway Atlantis jet had skidded to a halt on the 40-overs runway at Idlewild; but the team hopes to become airborne again when the league’s Roy Sweeney Twenty20 Challenge tournament resumes on September 24.
The four-wicket win by Queens United Sports Club guaranteed them a place in the final this Sunday against Westbury Cricket Club who enjoyed an 8-wicket win over Suburbia Sports Club in the other semi-final encounter of last Sunday.