By James Persaud
The last time any batsmen in softball cricket came close to scoring a double century in North American softball competition was 2006, but time has changed. That was 11 years ago, a long time ago, the same was the case with Brian Lara breaking Sir Garfield Sober’s 365 highest Test score in cricket. In 1994 Lara broke the long-standing record after 36 years, scoring 375 against England in Antigua, and six months later Mathew Hayden broke Lara’s record. But Lara was not done, 10 years later he set a new record with a score of 400 not out. It is said that records are made to be broken, and softball cricket has its share of records. Regardless, if you believe in statistics in whatever form of accomplishment, it was achieved, it takes someone with dedication and commitment. It’s challenging yourself at doing your best, to be the best at what you like doing.
Brian Manniram, a left-handed all-rounder who plays for Assassins has done well over the years and has played softball cricket at the highest levels, representing New York Softball Cricket League (NYSCL). He is a very prolific scorer and has his share of runs including centuries. Last Sunday against Titans, Manniram was in immaculate form and stroked the second highest score in softball cricket, scoring 180 not out in a 20 overs match.
Manniram and Anand Singh opened the Assassins innings and batted together for 15 overs putting on a partnership of 186 runs. This could well the highest opening stand in softball cricket. After Singh was out caught of Imtiaz Alli for 65, and Manniram was on 115. Singh’s 65 runs included six fours and one six. He was replaced by the Assassins captain Eon Ellis. Ellis sensing the form that Manniram was in, decided to give most of the strike to Manniram as he watched from the non-strikers end, as the ball crossed the boundary ropes at all parts of the park.
Manniram faced 71 balls for his 180 not out and structured it with 10 fours and 14 sixes. The Titans used seven bowlers in the game and only leg spinner Imtiaz Alli was past the worst by Manniram. Alli completed his spell of four overs for 30 runs and took the only wicket to fall in the innings. This was a twenty overs game and the match ended before Manniram had a chance to get a double century. The Assassins captain Eon Ellis batted very smart and played a real leader’s role, he only faced five balls off the last 27 deliveries as he wanted Manniram to get as many runs as possible.
Manniram has represented NYSCL at the highest level in the Independence Cup. While he has not had many big scores in the Indy Cup, he could not have found a better time to find form since the 2017 Independence Cup is only eight weeks away. Assassins is leading the Division I chart in points after four weeks in the current President Cup competition. The Assassins team and softball cricket followers will be looking forward to Manniram staying in form and picking up the big scores.
The highest individual score in local softball cricket is 222 runs, and this was scored by Parsaram Ramkissoon in 2003 while playing for Ecstatic at the time. Ramkissoon record was accomplished while playing in a 30 overs game, and he hit 8 fours and 23 sixes. Two years later in 2005, Erapalli Sahadeo playing for CI Volcano scored 177 in a 25 overs game against Country Boys. The following year 2006, Bisal Hiralall playing for Ecstatic broke Sahadeo record for the second highest score when he struck 179 in a 30 overs game against Long Beach.
It is ironic that the record holder Parsaram Ramkissoon was playing for Titans last Sunday and watched as Manniram was closing in on his record. I spoke to him after the game and asked how it felt to see a batsman in such destructive form. His reply was that he was not concerned about the record, he was more concerned about getting the 20 overs match to end. The aforementioned statistics are based on North America softball cricket, and based on records kept from as far back as 1989.