By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 40th Anniversary – Match #1087):- It was another good day for Cosmos boys when they took the field for the fifth consecutive time this season against Queens United. A formidable opponent whose appetite for runs would have increased when they saw a youthful Cosmos outfit, however, it was not that easy. Despite the lack of experience, and as much as this Cosmos team may not measure up to their opponents with ball and bat, as yet, they just kept getting better.
Ronaldo Sookhoo struck an early blow when he got one to seer into F. Mendonca’s to trap him plumb in the fifth over. Cosmos then missed a crucial opportunity to run out Richard Staple in a mixed-up when A. Robinson sends a wild throw to the wicketkeeper. Another couple of opportunities went begging when new batsman Jon Campbell drove Alex Chunilall to deep mid-off and Devindra Balgobin ran off the boundary and made a mess of an easy catch which fell over his head. Staple was kept rather quiet against a more disciplined attack in this match; however, Cosmos missed crucial opportunities to make further inroads into this match when another two offers at extra cover and short mid-wicket went begging. The pair relished the let-offs as they settled in to produce a 124-runs 2nd wicket partnership before Thohiduzzaman Rana held on to a good one-handed catch at point to remove Campbell for 67 off D. Chunilall in the 21st over.
The fall of the next wicket was met with an absolutely distasteful display when the batsman chose to abuse the umpire after he was adjudged lbw playing across the line. He remained standing at crease for a while, we were not sure of the reasons, if he wanted to pick up the matting and roll the wicket or cut the grass or patch the hole in the bat. Whatever the reasons, the profanities which emanated thereafter may be acceptable in-a-street-corner-thuggish-environment, but never on the cricket field in the MCL and especially at the umpire. That behavior simply took Queens United outstanding performances in the match and destroyed it with a series of indefensible fowled mouth profanities. The umpires Roan McFarlane and Herbert Newton kept their focus and dealt with the situation in a very professional manner. It was a sad sight, though, for a top-notch team which may have their eyes on the championship to have a player behaving like that. Stepping onto the cricket and engaging the opposition in battle, exercise respect and discipline is a strand of a civility and is what sports should be, not that which we saw at Idlewild last Sunday. Cosmos has seen some of this before, but always elevated on the day but recognized the asymmetry human behavior.
Cosmos kept themselves in the game despite a few blunders on the field. Khamraj Conyers showed good promise as a right hand off spinner bowling a nagging length while getting the occasional ball to bounce and turn. He was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 32 off his 8 overs, while S. Ali went wicketless with 0 for 29 off his 8 overs. D. Chunilall and T. Rana were expensive with 2 for 62 and 1 for 69 respectively. Queens United inning closed on a reasonable 269 for 8 off their allotted 40 overs.
And as it has been thus far in the season Cosmos batting line-up has been sketchy and struggled for consistency. However, in this match Shane Grant and Aldien Robinson buckled down against a relatively good opening bowling attack from Queens United and gave Cosmos a solid start to their inning in a 45 runs partnership in 15 overs. Grant appeared more subdued while the left-handed Robinson was looking solid especially when he punched one nonchalantly over mid-on for a maximum. It was by any measure an encouraging performance, but it wasn’t enough, and with Cosmos middle order as technically tangled as it is, and as brittle as a nutcrush, but not as tasty, they needed to stick around for a little longer. The middle order then went into a free-fall and crumbled again to 89 all out.
Cosmos will play Spice Island next Sunday at Marine Park.