By Saif Yasin
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As the regular season of the EACA 40 over tournament winds down, some teams are jockeying to make it into the post season while others are looking to cement their place amongst the EACA elite. It was a tale of both last Sunday, at Jacob Riis Park, as Big Apple Cricket Club squared off against Victory Cricket Club. In hot and steamy conditions Big Apple won the toss and elected to bat first sending out the duo of Mark Gomes and Mark A. Gomes.

An estatic Mark Gomes as he complete his century. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

For Victory C.C. Pradeep Shetty was given the responsibility of bowling the new ball along with Gary Cheema. In the first couple of overs the two openers seemed a little hesitant as they pushed the ball around the ground not looking for big shots. Being hesistant early in matches can lay down a successful foundation to a competitive total, but it can also lead to trouble. This was the case in the 4th over when Mark A. Gomes was trapped LBW by Cheema for 5.

With the score on 13, Shawn Thompson walked to the crease and along with Gomes set the foundation for a massive total.  Gomes smacked the ball to all parts of the ground and would eventually bring up his 50 while Thompson rotated the strikes with 1s and 2s. Thompson would eventually bring up his 50 en route to him and Gomes putting up a massive 163 run second wicket partnership. It would come to an end in the 32nd over when a mix up lead to Thompson being run out for a well played 53.

Victory would strike again in the next over as Zaheer Saffie was caught on the boundary for 1. Gomes would trudge on with new batsmen Kumar Nandalall toward Big Apples set target of 250 plus runs. The two lit up the ground with boundary after boundary and would lead to Gomes bring up his well-deserved hundred. Gomes would be stumped the next ball off the bowling of Gary Cheema for a brilliant 101, which included seven 4s and  three 6s. Nandalall continued to dominate from there on as he launched bowler after bowler for boundaries. He too would reach his 50 in a span of 8 overs. Big Apple would exceed their set target by getting to 277 in their allotted 40 overs.

Kumar Nandalall during his knock of 67.

Inning Summary
B.A.C.C 277 for 6 (Mark Gomes 101  7×4  & 3×6 / Kumar Nandalall 67  5×4 & 5×6/ Shawn Thompson 53  5×4)
Victory : Gary Cheema 8-0-30-2/ Pradeep Shetty 8-0-41-1.

In reply to Big Apple’s total in form Rohit Kwatara opened the batting with Sambhav Jain while senior pacer Telston Johnson was given the new ball sharing it with Theron Blair.  Johnson started things with a maiden but at the other end Blair seemed to be having difficulty finding a length that would torture the Victory batsmen. Both pacers settled quickly into their roles, but in the fourth over there was quite a scare when Kwatara was struck into the stomach by one of Johnson’s deliveries. He would leave the game at that point but would eventually return.

To add to Victory’s woes new batsmen D. Chandrasekhan was bowled the very next ball. Johnson’s next over caused even more trouble as he got Sambhav Jain caught for 8. Ryan Balram and Charlton Senior came into the attack for Big Apple and both bowled tidy spells claiming one wicket each. Sloppy running contributed to Victory losing more wickets which brought Big Apple closer to a win. Rohit Kwatara returned to the crease and who along with Charon Singh put on a decent partnership but a loss was inevitable at this point. Navjot Singh also chipped in with a well played 32 bringing Victory past 150. Victory would eventually fold for 171 all out in 36.4 overs.

Victory 171 all out (Charon Singh 47 5×4/ Navjot Singh 32  5×4/  Rohit Kwatara 25  2×4 1×6)
B.A.C.C Telston Jonson 5-2-10-2/ Kumar Nandalall 8-1-18-1/  Charlton Senior 7-1-21-1