By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1200):- Yudesh Shivpersaud produced a rearguard inning of pure quality in sweltering heat and humidity but couldn’t manage to get his team over the target, while young Alvin Gobin debuted for Cosmos against Bronx CC last Sunday at Ferry Point Park.
On a parched outfield, and as the thermometer spiked to 97 degrees and the humidity at 90% which combined for a real-feel of 105 in a seven days heat wave was enough to test anyone’s endurance. But try telling that to ‘ball-oil’ cricketers and you will get, cricket don’t play in rain, and that’s that skites, so get with it, and we did.
And on this day when we needed our performance on the field to be on par, we were quickly reminded that it was not to be when in the second over, H. Karim pushed the first ball from Ryan Ganesh to Towgeshwar Thakoordeen’s chest high at point and he grassed it. Ganesh then bowled N. Ahmed in his next over, and when T. Kazi was let off at square leg on 2 off yours truly, Cosmos missed two crucial opportunities to penetrate the opposition’s top order and they paid dearly. The pair posted a blazing 2nd wicket partnership of 99 in 7 overs. Both Karim and Kazi rode their luck in the hunt for runs and survived another five chances before Karim went for a 39-ball 86 runs with the score on 142 for 2 in the 12th over.
Kazi stuck around a little longer before he went for a 40-ball 73. At 246 for 5 in the 20th over, the opposition was looking at a huge total, but Cosmos fought back and ceased some control of match as the Bronx inning closed on an imposing 300 for 9 off their allotted 30 overs. S. Singh took 2 for 49, A. Rahim 2 for 51, with R. Ganesh and T. Thakoordeen taking 1 for 57 and 44 respectively.
Cosmos, in their reply, got off to a good opening partnership of 42 before Shane Singh succumbed to the heat. Yudesh Shivpersaud then joined Yogeshwar Ramgobin and the partnership swelled to 100 for 1 in the 10th over, but then the umpire called for a break as the heat got the better of Ramgobin. On resumption, Ramgobin was clearly in some discomfort and fell to a weak lobbed to mid-on. Shivpersaud dug in and fought through the conditions after performing his wicket-keeping duties for 30 overs, as he and Rahim, Cosmos two best batsmen, looked to take the challenge to the opposition.
Rahim was beginning to look like his usual self and began to stroke the ball quite comfortably, and in the process executed a blistering cover drive, perhaps the shot of the day, eyes opened wide as he can be destructive, but his inning was short and when Rahim departed to a good catch on the mid-on boundary, the partnership had progressed to just 38 runs. It wasn’t enough of a platform, and the inning decelerated with the Cosmos middle order as brittle as a nutcrush, but not as tasty. Rahim needed to stick around for a little longer if Cosmos had any hope of a posing a serious challenge to the total, and to compliment Shivpersaud who was growing in confidence and in his element. Shivpersaud then up the tempo in a 57 runs partnership with D. Balgobin before Balgobin sent a full-toss into the waiting hands of the man on the mid-wicket boundary, and the opposition took control of match.
Shivpersaud though appeared to be a lone fighter in this battle. He played beautifully with such maturity and rallied on like a determined soldier with his team on his shoulders. He took on the short ball and dispatched them with uncomplicated relish through the mid-wicket region, and unfurled a cover drive that would make the sunset jealous with its beauty. He deserved a century, and we felt for him when with two overs left, he lost his head and his wicket via an injudicious swipe at a full delivery and went for a determined 87 runs (13-4’s, 2-6’s), and with that Cosmos hopes went as well.
Ryan Ganesh made a bold statement when he unleashed two thumping blows over the mid-on boundary and then, in a grand act of sportsmanship, he retired for Cosmos youngest player, Alvin Gobin, to make his way to the wicket to join Doneshwar Dayanand for the final over.
It is always refreshing to see a young player like Alvin among the big boys and total admiration for his courage as he walked briskly and confidently to the wicket. He immediately captured the eyes of everyone at the ground as he took his guard. You cannot help but feel the kinship with him, and sensed his moment of maturity, and him being on show with his heroes only on a different stage. What will his future be? How much of a role will cricket play in framing his identity and will days like today etched in his memory or affect his everyday mood the way it can when you’re that young. Alvin looked ready for the challenge between boy and men. He drove at his first two deliveries but couldn’t find the gap, and in the next delivery, he moved down the wicket, front-foot outstretched and drove crispy through the covers; a clear sign of a cricketer in the making, albeit a brief appearance, as the Cosmos inning closed on 231 for 7 off their allotted 30 overs as Bronx cc completed a comfortable 69 runs victory.
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