By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1201) :- HOLD ON! WHAT DA… The batsman has to fan. Wait! Now the bowler and wicketkeeper have to take time to fan away these vampires. It is often said that some teams will go anywhere to play cricket, but last Sunday match between Cosmos and Yakusari at Beach 58 may be a stretch too far.
The park is called Edgemere Community Park. That name needs to be changed to Edgemere Mosquito Coast with a large warning sign that says “Beware! Blood suckers on the hunt for humans.’ It is an abomination that the New York City Parks Department will issue a permit for the recreational use of a facility that clearly endangered the health and well-being of individuals (Perhaps the fine print in the permit says you play at your own risks).
The place is infested with Mosquitoes! Large Mosquitoes, and that is not an exaggeration. They attack you like an army, and that is in midday heat. They may suck you dry by sundown, and singing in your ear and to their friends while they do it. And thereafter, you are itching for the next day or two with red marks on your body from Mosquito stings. THAT IS NOT A PARK TO PLAY CRICKET, OR FOR ANY OTHER ACTIVITIES, PERIOD!!!
And for some small regard for the stage of the competition, the game got underway with the match reduced to 25 overs with the hope that an early finish will minimize the amount of mosquito bites and an all out attack before sundown.
Brandon Pydana played a mature knock after Yakusari won the toss and elected to bat. A breezy opening partnership of 123 runs in 15 overs between Pydana and N. Khan gave their team a solid start. It took an excellent piece of fielding from Yogeshwar Ramgobin at extra-cover to effect a direct hit to run out N. Khan (61) at the non-striker’s end.
The breakthrough came at a crucial stage of the match, just as the opposition was eying to up the tempo. Cosmos fought back and managed to keep the runs from flowing over and kept inning in a balance by picking up a few quick wickets. The spin trio of Alex Chunilall, Shane Singh and Devindra Balgobin kept things tidy in the last ten overs on an outfield that is fast and bone dry.
Pydana was still there and was looked ominous. He unleashed two disdainful pull over mid-wicket and executed a sumptuous drive through the cover region as he held the inning together. He went for a composed 75 runs (7-4’s, 3-6’s) when he moved down the wicket and was deceived by a flighted delivery from Chunilall and Shivpersaud took the bails. Balgobin got into the act with two wickets in two deliveries but couldn’t hold on to a low stinging return catch to complete a hat-trick as Cosmos conceded just 25 runs in the last five overs when the Yakusari inning closed on 204 for 7 in their allotted 25 overs. A. Chunilall took 3 for 26, D. Balgobin 2 for 10, and S. Singh 1 for 47.
Throughout the season the Cosmos batting line-up performed below par and batted in patches with only Yudesh Shivpersaud managed to get a half-century in the last match against Bronx CC. And on a good batting wicket and fast outfield, the opposition’s total was not beyond them, however it would require a disciplined batting from Cosmos top order to challenge the opposition total.
Yogeshwar Ramgobin and Alex Chunilall provided the platform needed with a good 47-run opening partnership in 5 overs. However, the Cosmos middle-order has proven to be as brittle as a nutcrush throughout this season, and they did not disappoint in this match. When Chunilall sent a full-toss into the hands of extra-cover, and spin was introduced, the flood gates opened. And for the umpteen time this middle-order middle-order appeared technically tangled and low on confidence with a series of poor shot selection via the airal route when there were plenty of rewards for stroking the ball on the ground.
Shivpersaud sent a short ball down the throat of Pydana at deep mid-wicket and Ramgobin followed suit as Pydana held on to both catches with such alacrity that made it look like it was part of the plan. Akash Rahim cannot find a suitable wood and was reckless again when he picked out the man at deep mid-off. Shane Singh had his furniture dismantled, while Balgobin appeared to be batting for form in late July, as Cosmos inning shifted gears from 47 without loss in the 5th over to a free-fall 99 for 6 in the 20th over. Alvin Gobin had an entertaining three deliveries in which he hook, drove, and pull but missed on every attempt as Cosmos inning closed on 125 for 7 off their allotted 25 overs as Yakusari sealed a convincing 79-run victory. M. Parshram took 2 for 22, S. Mangroo 2 for 12, with T. Persaud and V. Chatram took one wicket each. Good luck to Yakusari as they headed to the playoffs.
And at the conclusion of an eventful day, the sun was still out, the blood suckers were probably regrouping and planning their attack since the bottle of Off spray was finished. So we hurriedly packed up, and before the fat lady sings and puwah had a chance to wine-and-swing-she-waist we blazed out of the place.
And now we had made good our escape from the vampires at Mosquito Coast. Nope, not so fast. You see while we were being attacked on the field, they sent some of their foot soldiers on a mission. They hide out in the vehicle and launched another attack as soon as we took off. What Da …!!!
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