Atlantis Cricket Club – NY following up on a second-place finish in the New York Metropolitan District Cricket Association’s (Metropolitan League) annual six-a-side season launching event the previous weekend at Roy Sweeney Oval in Brooklyn, turned in a near-perfect season opener win against Queens United Cricket Club (QUCC) in the 2017 Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier League, at Idlewild Cricket ground last Sunday.
Returning to the Metropolitan League after a 28-year hiatus, Atlantis entered the league’s 2017 season with a tremendous amount of confidence, backed up by a youthful squad of players; some of whom have national experience, having been drafted to represent the USA. No doubt the previous week’s event showcasing 10 of the league’s 14 registered teams, were each playing with only six men. However, it did provide Atlantis with a glimpse of the core set of players participating in the league, despite rumors abounding about the “importation“ of national players from throughout the Caribbean to populate the rosters of teams in the league, during the season.
Nonetheless, Atlantis had its first look as a guest of QUCC on the beautiful Idlewild square tucked in behind JFK International Airport. Winning the toss and offering first strike to their host, Atlantis took to the field with Treon Forde, as its captain for the day, with regular skipper Alex Amsterdam away doing national duty for the USA.
QUEENS UNITED INNING
Queens United was off to an inauspicious start losing its first five wickets for exactly 50 runs. The top scorer in that quintuplet was former USA skipper Richard Staple with 15. It was a bit of a struggle for the Jamaican-born all-rounder, facing 18 dot balls, before getting off the mark with a double. As wickets fell around him, he was joined by Courtney Elliott who brought some stability to the inning adding 37 in a fifth-wicket partnership with Cyril Choy (18). With the exception of Lebert Williamson adding 13, including 2x6s, the Atlantis bowlers quickly wrapped up the inning at 122 all out.
The QUCC wickets fell at 4; 5; 22; 28; 50; 81; 96; 114; 117; and 122. Bowling for Atlantis: Prashanth Nair 6.4-0-24-3, Greg Robinson 5-0-8-2, Randall Wilson 8-2-34-2, Keon Lake 8-0-35-2 and Dwayne Hurley 2-0-21-1. There were 16 wides delivered.
Atlantis responded to the very modest Queens United total with applied patience, and nowhere near the approach of a team in a hurry to avoid the threatening dark clouds building up to the southwest of Idlewild.
Henderson Blades and Francis Mendonca opened for Atlantis. The latter was making his debut for Atlantis, having joined the club in the off-season and while participating in a number of ICC Americas skills training camps and combines. Mendonca is one of the fittest players on the Atlantis squad, and is the nephew of Ivor Mendonca, a former Guyana and West Indies Test cricketer of the 60s. Like the older Mendonca, Francis is also a wicketkeeper batsman with an athletic gait.
Henderson Blades was the first and only Atlantis batsman with a defeated return to the player’s pavilion, scoring just three runs off 17 deliveries and departing with the team score on 27. Randall Wilson, another player who’s knocking on the USA national XI’s door, joined Mendonca, and the scoring rate picked up. Wilson played some classic cover drives and leg-side shots outscoring Mendonca, who was content to play an anchor role at the other end, while occasionally executing his own array of drives. The pair saw Atlantis home comfortably at 123 for the loss of one wicket.
Wilson reached 57 off 69 deliveries, including 4x4s, while Mendonca missed out on a season opening 50, falling short by eight ticks. His very patient 42 included 2x4s and was a knock in character and stoicism.
Bowling for QUCC: Charlton Senior 3-0-12-0, Garry Edwards 3-0-13-0, David Morgan 8-0-36-1, Lebert Williamson 5-0-19-0, Richard Staple 5-0-19-0 and Courtney Elliott 2.5-0-22-0. There were 16 wides in the Extras tally of 20, as Atlantis wrapped up its first match of the 2017 season in the Metropolitan League with a nine-wicket victory.
Coming off a 40-overs championship season in the Eastern American Cricket Association league, the Atlantis squad without skipper Amsterdam and Nicholas Standford looked well-oiled, extremely confident, and ready to tackle its next opponent Cosmos Cricket Club, this Sunday, May 14 (Mother’s Day) at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY. Match time is 12:30pm.
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