Metropolitan Cricket Cricket
By Dervon Wallace
Despite a glittering chanceless century from Barrington “Tippa” Bartley, Villagers CC led by match-winning performances from Steve Massiah, Melroy Kingston and George Adams recorded their first finals win over Westbury CC and second lid on the trophy with victory in the New York Metropolitan Cricket League (NYMCL) 2013 Clement “Busta” Lawrence Round Robin championship game, following a 54 runs win at the beautiful Idlewide Cricket Field in Queens, New York on Sunday August 4, 2013.

Standing Left to right: V. Wallace manager, R. Staple, A. Hooper, S. Massiah, R. Ricketts, R. Marshall, M. Simpson, R. Mowatt, Dervon Wallace (PRO), G. Adams vice captain, R. Woody, Rubbie asst General Manager.Sitting left to right: C. Mendonca, T. Gordon, C. Walker, C. Roye captain, E. Gayle, M. Kingston.

On a glorious day tailor-made for cricket at the cricket friendly “lords” looking Idlewide Park, Westbury’s hall of fame captain Ballister McLeish won the toss and surprised many in the ground when he inserted his opposition to bat in conditions seem conducive for batting. Villager’s openers Richard Staple and Kingston stroll to the middle to loud cheers from their teammates and vibrant supporters. The veteran and arguably NYMCL most successful captain McLeish sprang another surprise when he opted to start proceedings with the dreadlocks pair of Linden St. Louis from the Airport end and Cheddie Gayle from the players Pavilion end instead of speedsters Jermaine Lawson and Callitos Lopez. It was a ply seems justifiable when Villagers found runs hard to come by, St. Louis in the process starting off with 3 consecutive maiden to Staple before the latter on 8 from 25 balls tried to break the shackles and lobbed a St. Louis half valley to McLeish at mid-off with the score on 30 with the first ball of ninth over.

Melroy Kingston was named MVP of the final for his knock of 41 and taking 3 for 34 off 5 overs.

In came Massiah and he immediately showed how good a batter he is delighting the ever growing crowd with an array of majestic stroke play yielding 18 runs off the over to go with 7 wides forcing St. Louis into hiding. By now Kingston who has been on the receiving end of a few thumping in the past by Westbury was growing in increasing confident and together him and the aesthetic  Massiah improved a run rate that was at a staggering 3.75 in the ninth over to 6.8 at the end of 15 overs. When Lawson and Lopez was belatedly introduced into the attacked they were greeted with the same treatment as both Guyanese native proved that fast bowling doesn’t scared them and the song of reggae legend Jimmy Cliff “harder they come harder they fall” could be easily remix to “faster they come faster they go” as balls continued to be dispatched in a more distain manner as both shared in a 99 runs second wicket partnership from 65 balls.

The partnership was broken when Kingston 41 (51 balls 5×4 1×6) eyes lithe up when presented with a McLeish long-hop that he miscued to long-off where Bartley took the catch at 129 in the nineteenth over.  Massiah was joined by the hard hitting Rashard Marshall who hit a few lusty blows  before he was caught behind by Kevin Baugh off McLeish bowling for 19 (17 balls 2×6) to make it 165 for 3 at the end of the twenty third over. When Massiah 69 (52 balls 12×4) was bowled by McLeish 3 runs later the joy on the Westbury players face was evident as the thought of restricting the Villagers middle and lower order must have crossed their mind. Cliff Roye and Marvin Simpson who are short on batting time all season showed that they are no flumps and battled hard as McLeish and Bartley in tendon bowled unchanged as Westbury enjoyed their best spell with the ball. Roye fell to Bartley for 17 (19 balls 1×4 1×6) and Lopez return to rattle the mid stump of Simpson for a well played 34 (25 balls 1×4 3×6) at 226 for 6 in 33.2 overs. It was now up to Raldo Mowatt, Talisman Gordon and George Adams who are better known for their bowling to get as many runs. Gordon sensible played watchful, Mowatt came in and face 3 balls for his 8 with one of his scoring shot been a tremendous hit over extra-cover. Adams who has been working on his batting with former Jamaican opening batsman Odelmo Peters (who continues to prove his worth getting the best out of players each summer when he vacation here in New York) went brazier.

Rashard_Marshall (left), Keith Sang and Steve Massiah (right) pose with winning trophy.

Adams in militant like manner dazzled the spectators to some splendid power hitting completing a slash bustling even half century from 25 balls laced with 5×4 and 4×6. The highlight of Adams inning was the last over when he took Lopez to the cleaners sticking   him for 3 Hugh 6’s and one 4 in the over that cost some 31 runs with Lopez on 2 occasion over stepping and sending one down the leg side. At the end of 40 overs it was a NYMCL finals record 303 for 8 with Westbury contributing a healthy 44 extras (34wd 7nb and 3lb).

Bowling for Westbury; Louis 5 overs 3 maidens 33 runs 1 wicket, Gayle 4 overs 1 maiden 23 runs 0 wicket, Lawson 7 overs 0 maidens 69 runs 0 wicket, Lopez 6 overs 1 maidens 65 runs 1 wickets, McLeish 8 overs 0 maidens 54 runs 3 wickets, Bartley 8 overs 1 maiden35 runs 1 wicket, Dennison Thomas 1 overs 13 runs 0 wicket and Javien Thomas 1 over 8 runs 2 wickets.

Needing to score at 7.6 runs an over to retain the trophy Westbury’s reply was dealt a blow when hard hitting opener Derron Ferguson was force to retire hurt in the second over with what appeared to be a hamstring strain. In came Bartley still fresh from his semi final exploit where he score 157, Bartley and former Villagers wicket keeper batsman Kevin Baugh shared in a 59 runs partnership taking the score to 63 in 11.3 overs before Kingston pulled off a brilliant low catch moving forward and diving low to his left at backward point to dismiss Baugh for 29 (34 balls 4×4) off the bowling of Marshall.

Bartley was joined by Dennison Thomas and Villagers well knew that this is the pair a lot would depend on if Westbury was to overhaul the target, it was pure delight when a moment of brilliance by Kingston running in from extra-cover with one stump to aim at picked up and riffle a throw at the none-striker end hitting from 20 yards with Thomas short of his ground trying to complete a quick single and Kingston in his celebration could be seen running up and down the park with his teammates trying to catch up with him. Bartley and the talented Javien Thomas added 55 for the third wicket with Bartley taking the fight to the Villagers bowlers before Thomas 15 (18 balls)  slash at one outside the off-stump from veteran leggie Ewart Gayle that found the edge and Charles Walker made no mistake to make it 121 for 3 from 19 overs. With the run rate increasing to almost 9 runs an over Bartley and Devon Campbell decided to attacked the Villagers spinners and it worked for 6 overs before the man who couldn’t do no wrong got one to skid that took the outside edge of Campbell 27 (22 balls 3×4 1×6) bat and 60 year old Walker took a sharp catch. Lawson, Lopez and McLeish all followed soon after and Westbury’s only hope was rest on the broad shoulders of Bartley and how well a visible shaken returning Ferguson could comply.

Captain Cliff Roye and an elated manager Venedal Wallace all simile.

Bartley continued to show why he is a well sort after batsmen across the country fittingly bringing up a well deserved century with a pushed down the ground and celebrated by kissing the Westbury crest on his cap demonstrating his love for club he has served for over 10 years. When he was bowled by Massiah for 109 (97 balls 9×4 2×6 177mins) he was greeted by   all the Villagers players and walked off to a standing ovation from cricket loving fans who all knew they have just witness a majestic knock. Ferguson dispatched Adams for 3 consecutive boundaries before presenting Walker with his third catch of the inning and by now the fat lady was getting ready to hit the mike and thus did so when St. Louis was run out by substitute fielder Cuthbert Mendonca to send the Villagers players and supporters led by former swing man Lloyd “Waqar” Lewis into frenzy.  Villagers in completing this win has made in 13 wins in 13 matches played and look set to go a long way in the upcoming Challenge Cup and Twenty20  competitions.

Bowling for Villagers; Adams 1 for 35 from 6 overs, Gordon 0 for 23 from 4 overs, Marshall 1 for 55 from 8 overs, Staple 0 for 28 from 3 overs, Gayle 1 for 36 from 5 overs, Kingston 3 for 34 from 5 overs and Massiah 2 for 35 from 5.1 overs.

After the game there was a brief ceremony hosted by Carl Bennett who along with Leonard Achaibar provided expert analyst and commentary throughout the day. In congratulating Villagers, Westbury’s captain McLeish noted his team was outplayed by Villagers in all 3 disciplines and of such was wordy winners. Cliff Roye while accepting the winning trophy from USA Cricket Umpires Association President Fitzroy Hayles sang praises to his manager nominated hall of fame inductee Venelda Wallace which was echoed by the Villagers players and Bennett lauded Wallace as one of the hardest working cricket administrator in the region.

An ecstatic young Villagers fan Chloe with the winning trophy.

They were MVP awards for a player from each team and rightly so it was Bartley from Westbury and Kingston from Villagers. Kingston after accepting his MVP trophy from former test umpire Mohammed Baksh state his delight of finally had been able to get one over Westbury after being on the receiving end from as early as a 17 year old kid. Also on hand during the presentation was the league’s executive led by president Trevor Walfall and treasurer Orval Crawford, Carl Patrick and the ever present Nathan Henderson supported by Maurice Cole carried out duties throughout the day.

Special thanks must be made to members of the Queens United Sports Club and their facilities staff who did a great job in preparing the venue before, during and after the game.

Final scores Villagers CC 303 for 8 from 40 overs and Westbury 249 all out in 36.1 overs, Villagers winning by 54 runs.