As the most recent addition to the NY District Metropolitan Cricket League’s roster, Atlantis Cricket Club – NY finds itself among some of the best talent and competition in the New York area. Thus, lessons learned can only help to raise the profile of a newcomer, although not that readily accomplished.
Atlantis’ performance so far in the league has been a growth centered and rewarding one that brings new meaning to the old adage – sink or swim. Atlantis chose to swim and although it is still early in the playoffs to realize ultimate success, there is no doubt that the 2017 season has been rewarding to the Atlantis players and management personnel.
True champions are born of two traits – skill and will. To compete one needs to have the requisite skills at the level of one’s competitors, however, to win, one must possess the will to do so. As Yogi Berra might have said, skill is 50%, the other 90% is the will to do what’s necessary to achieve the goal.
This past Sunday (August 27, 2017) Atlantis demonstrated first and foremost the will to win, and secondly the skills needed to execute, albeit a heart-thumping down to the wire victory over Villagers Social and Athletic Club at Floyd Bennett Field.
Villagers has been a part of the small indomitable group of clubs that have ruled the league’s landscape during the past decade. Therefore, there was no doubt that despite the respect shown by Villagers for Atlantis, having previously lost to the latter; that Villagers would run over Atlantis on their way to this year’s semi-final of the Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier League 40-overs competition. Those who bet against Atlantis surely lost, as Atlantis won by two wickets.
Champions are borne at the crossroads of the two characteristics noted above – skill and will, and no doubt Atlantis will look to extend their success pass the semi-final, but for now the spirited and enthusiastic bunch is reveling in the fact that they have entered the league and made an emphatic statement about their willingness to compete with the best.
Atlantis vs. Villagers
Atlantis won the toss and offered first strike to the star-studded Villagers. Xavier Marshall opened the inning with former USA captain Steve Massiah. Marshall was the first to go c. R. Wilson b. D. Bourne for 7 off 24 deliveries. The batsman had trouble converting dot balls to run balls. However, the tempo was upped by Barrington Bartley, 64 (2x6s, 8x4s) off 55 balls and heading for a ton, but was c. wktpr. F. Mendonca b. K. Lake. Bartley’s departure after a 118-run partnership. His departure did not dampen the spirit of Steve Massiah who continued the pace, and connecting with the ropes frequently on his way to 92 (1×6, 9x4s) off 114 balls. He was c N. Standford b. A. Amsterdam.
Former Jamaica national captain Tamar Lambert, 44 (3x6s, 2x4s) off 32 balls, enjoyed an aggressive partnership with Massiah, before being stumped off the bowling of USA player Nosthush Kenjige. Rashard Marshall, 16, not out (2x4s) off seven deliveries finished just behind 25 Extras in the Villagers scoring column, as the total climbed to 256 for 6 at the end of 40 overs.
Villagers FOW: 33 (X. Marshall), 151 (B. Bartley), 224 (T. Lambert), 226 (M. Alexis), 231 (S. Massiah), 256 (G. Adams). Bowling for Atlantis: Nosthush Kenjige 2 for 53. Alex Amsterdam, Dillon Bourne and Keon Lake each snared one wicket each for 9, 37 and 55 respectively.
With an asking rate of 6.4 per over, Atlantis set about the task in a deliberate manner; as the two openers Nicholas Standford and Randall Wilson tucked the ball around trying to build an opening partnership while keeping pace with the asking rate. The two did an excellent job of posting a 71-run partnership, until Standford, 55 (11x4s) off 39 balls, popped one up and into the safe hands of Tamar Lambert. He was followed five ticks later by Treon Forde, 4, caught off the bowling of Melroy Kingston.
No significant partnerships were established, but all the batsmen following Forde contributed double-figures and dug in as much as they could, with patience and will-power. Atlantis’ skipper Alex Amsterdam provided 25 before being trapped LBW off Xavier Marshall and Francis Mendonca batting at number five, posted 10 before departing caught off Ewart Gayle. However, it was the stand-up knock of 53 (2x6s, 6x4s) off 39 deliveries from the bat of Keon Lake that may have turned the tide in Atlantis’ favor. It was an aggressive inning sprinkled with patience as Lake navigated the roller coaster run rate with darkness threatening.
Following Lake’s departure in the 31st over and the score at an even 200, the will of the remaining Atlantis batsmen was really tested. By this time the more than 150 spectators had begun to ring the boundary shouting words of encouragement to batsmen and bowlers alike. One team was going to win and one team was going to lose. It was still a toss-up with Atlantis needing 57 runs from 59 deliveries. With Lake back in the twilight shade, it was up to Prashanth Nair and Nosthush Kenjige to steer Atlantis pass this year’s Quarter Finals. Nair was the first of the pair to depart having forged a 25-run partnership, contributing 15 off 21 balls. Veteran Kevin Darlington then joined Kenjige, as the latter took the wheel and posted 26 off 22 (1×6, 1×4) before being trapped LBW by Steve Massiah.
With Atlantis at 242 for 8 in the 38th over, the task of victory was placed firmly in the laps of Darlington and Greg Robinson. The spectators were now bracing the boundary, some yelling, some screaming, some shouting, some praying, some panting for air, some cursing their losses away, while others may have been making appointments with their cardiologists.
At the start of the 39th over Atlantis needed 13 runs from 12 balls for a win. Marshall executed a dot ball, then Robinson hit a boundary, followed by a dot ball, then a single, putting Darlington on strike. The batsman struck a boundary through extra cover, followed by a deuce off the last delivery. Rashard Marshall conceded 11 runs in the penultimate over, before Steve Massiah was given the ball in the last over with Atlantis requiring just two runs. Could it be accomplished, was the question on the lips of both teams and spectators alike.
The bowler delivered a dot ball before Darlington driving and driving well on the leg-side may have been credited with a boundary, were it not for the batsmen crossing for the second run and victory, and the Atlantis bench clearing the ropes to congratulate the two in the middle. Atlantis had demonstrated the skills and the will to win. Final scores Villagers 256 for 8 in 40 overs. Atlantis 257 for 8 in 39.2 overs.
Atlantis FOW: 71 (N. Standford), 76 (T. Forde), 97 (R. Wilson), 128 (A. Amsterdam), 165 (F. Mendonca), 200 (K. Lake), 225 (P. Nair), 242 (N. Kenjige). Bowling for Villagers: seven of the nine bowlers used each grabbed one wicket apiece at a price of nine (S. Massiah 2.1-0-9-1) to 43 runs (R. Marshall 6-0-43-1). The remaining two bowlers G. Adams and M. Alexis had figures of 4-0-27-0 and 5-0-43-0 respectively. Melroy Kingston bowled 8 overs for 40 runs, but conceded 12 wides.
SEMI FINAL MATCH-UPS
Atlantis Cricket Club – NY plays Queens United Cricket Club at Idlewild Cricket Ground, while Westbury Cricket Club faces off against Suburbia Cricket Club at Westbury High School. Both matches are scheduled for Sunday, September 10 and have an 11:30am start.