Cosmos Opening Thriller Against Whim
By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 44th Anniversary – (Match #1219):- Cosmos scripted a thriller in the opening match of their 2023 season against Whim at Randalls Island last Sunday in the New York National Cricket League competition. It was a thriller of their own creation, some may believe, after Cosmos were in good control of inning throughout. However, a few easy chances that went begging would have kept the opposition in check, instead it came down to three runs needed with nine wickets down in the final over.
That the inning should have never gotten to that stage is something that Cosmos boys will need to ponder on, after they were in an excellent position at 100 for 2 in the 20th over having won the toss a elected to bat. Shane Singh, Cosmos leading run scorer in 2022, picked up from where he left off from last season. A dismissive six over mid-off was followed by a few crispy square cuts as he posted a solid 48 runs to give the Cosmos inning a solid foundation before he nicked one behind. Devon McCarthy appeared self-absorbed in occupying the crease with a defensive display even at the 25th over, perhaps hoping to be there on ‘day five of the test match’ as he remained on a 78-ball 48 runs not out. Akash Rahim (28-ball 20 runs) and Kemar Cox (19-ball 28 runs), and Devindra Balgobin attempted to give the inning a much needed spark. However, Cosmos’s lack of intent in the last ten overs gave Whim an opening and they ceased the opportunity to keep the total within par as the Cosmos inning closed on 162 for 5 in the allotted 30 overs.
In their reply, Whim suffered a setback when Ryan Ganesh struck with his first ball of the second over to give Cosmos an early breakthrough. Azeemuddin Khan and Ryan Manickhan led the recovery with a steady 41-run partnership before Sham Ali trapped Manickhan (26) in the final over of his spell. Sohan Dass, the former Guyana National player, then accounted for Azeemuddin Khan (11) when Sham Ali picked off a blinder(no pun intended) when he dove to his left at short extra-cover and held on to a catch inches off the ground (one for the ages). In the next ball, Kemar Cox grassed a chest-high catch when Mahindra Ramotar drove to short mid-wicket, and Cosmos missed a crucial opportunity to penetrate the opposition’s top order. Another 31-run partnership between Ramotar and Hardeo Sattur kept the match evenly poised, Dass then removed Sattur (19) and Cox had some reprieve when he bowled Ramotar (24).
At 90 for 5 in the 18th over, Cosmos had fought themselves back into the match, but then a chance to grab a firm grip on the match went begging with two easy blunders on the boundary, and that resulted in a 6th wicket 41-run partnership. Towgeshwar Thakoordeen then pierced the partnership when he held on to a return skier from Hemraj Seepersaud (20). He then disrupted the woodwork of Randy Narianasami to give Cosmos a whiff of hope. Cox them snared another two wickets to leave the opposition on 154 for 9 at the end of the 18th over. The umpires had kept a good control of the match and must be commended.
Thakoordeen had bowled exceptionally well thus far and he sent down another excellent over in the penultimate over that yielded only three runs which kept Cosmos hopes alive. Whim needed five runs for a hard fought victory, and Cosmos needed one wicket for a hard fought victory. The final over was tasked to the veteran Sohan Dass. Leg side Wide, 2 runs, dot, legbye, legside wide. Runs are tied. The 4th ball brushed off the batsman pads. Commotion erupted, non-striker raced down the wicket for the winning run, the ball was thrown at striker end, wicked is broken, he stood his ground so as not to be run out. The non striker is almost there, ball lodged on the ground. Shouting from all around. Non-striker turn and slipped, then scrambled to his feet and took off. The throw is wide, Dass gathered well, huge dive for the crease, dust flying, wickets flying, hands flying, all eleven pairs in the field plus another six pairs in the pavilion from Donesh, Alex, Jaden, Antanio, Aditya and Mikhail. Huge appeal, everyone is appealing. The umpire finger is raised. Pandemonium! Match tied! Good game! Fantastic start for the season.
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