They arrived like tournament beaters but left with their tails between the legs.
The much vaunted Enforcers team crashed of the Sam’s Foods Twenty20 competition but New York Destroyers stayed on course for another title winning performance on Saturday at Whitestone Park in the Bronx.
Prince cricket club of New Jersey stole the spotlight with an almost flawless display that caught the all Jamaican Enforcers by surprise to set up a potential mouth- watering semi-final against the fast improving NY Destroyers.
Enforcers who were expected to give Destroyers headaches, took the field with an array of big name players only to be embarrassed by an unheralded team that played hard from the start and squeezed the life out of the more accomplished side the rest of the way.
In the end Prince triumphed by five wickets to fix a semi-finals date with Destroyers on Sunday.
Pak America also letdown New York by losing to Bolling of Chicago who will play Strikers in the other semifinal after they defeated Punjab cricket club.
Boasting the likes of Glen Hall, O’Neil Powell, Rohan Alexander and Anthony Baugh, Enforcers simply did not score enough runs and Jermaine Lawson could not produce any miracles with the ball.
Hall, the most prolific New York batsman in 2009 seemed set to continue his productive streak but was undone by a beauty from seamer Raheel Salim that bowled him all ends up as Enforcers crumbled for 123 all out in 17.3 overs. And in the 20/20 format such a total was never enough as Prince duly replied with 125-9 in 18 overs.
Powell stayed around to eventually post 39 but he had no one to stick around as Hall fell for 14 and Alexander 18.
Chaudry Junaid put in a solid allround display that won him the Man of the Match award as he bagged two wickets with medium pace after setting the tone for victory with a workmanlike 33. Rakeel was the lead performer with the ball, capturing three wickets as they troubled Enforcers all afternoon.
Ariff Waseem chipped in with 25 for Prince as Lawson went wicket less from three overs that cost 25 runs. The former West Indies paceman did not display the type of pace he made his name with, but was fast enough to concede most of his runs from edges that raced for boundaries behind the wicket.
Destroyers though, was in no mood for alarms as they swept by Sams All Stars by five wickets in the first pair of matches in chilly conditions.
Captain Barrington Bartley led by example for a match high score of 60 as Destroyers easily posted 126-5 replying to 125-9. Bartley slammed four fours and an identical number of sixes from a 45-ball innings that laid the foundation for victory. Zaheer Saffie shared a solid third wicket partnership with Bartley, notching three fours and a six in 24 before a slew of wickets towards the end gave Sams All Stars some measure of consolation. Akeem Dodson looked out of touch in his innings of 12 while Andrew Gonsalves was run out for two.
Earlier Dwayne Smith, (not the West Indies player), wrecked Sam’s All Stars by bagging 4-30 with his leg spin which along with 2-12 from Tain Walters and 2-15 by Khaleem Bux stifled the innings that went for only 17.2 overs.
Bolling Brook Cricket Club justified driving all the way down from Chicago by producing a dashing batting display to take out Pak America by six wickets.
Young Fahad Barba showed he could a force to be reckoned with in the future as he blasted an impressive half century to set up the win.
The 18-year-old right-handed opener has had two years of national Under-19 competition exposure under his belt for Chicago Region, showed he should be in the national Under-19 team by year’s end, hitting four fours and two sixes in 59 as Bolling rattled up 177-6 chasing Pak America’s 176-8.
Syed Kamran supported well with 39 that also included four fours and two sixes and towards the end Manama Patel struck a swashbuckling 31 that had two fours and two sixes to seal the win.
Akil Khan Pathan, the former New York junior player took two wickets with his medium pace for Pak America and although he paired up with another ex Big Apple youth paceman Wasir Munir, they could not tame the hard hitting Chicago team.
A first round high score of 66 from Mohammed Asif that was laced with eight sixes and 40 from M. Razzaq lifted Pak America to a total that would’ve been a winning one in normal circumstances.
The easiest victory of the day was recorded by Strikers which put away Punjab despite the presence of former West Indies fast bowler Adam Stanford. They triumphed by six wickets after Punjab was routed for 110. The weakness of Punjab’s batting was demonstrated by the topscore of 26 made by Stanford.
Adil Ali led the carnage with 4-19 and V. Seonarine supported with 2-2 following which Strikers replied with 111-4. Waheed Akhtar topscored with 33 and Ali contributed 21.
The action will start Sunday at 10 am with Destroyers taking on Prince in the feature semifinal with the other encounter between Bolling and Strikers being played simultaneously.