By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 33rd Anniversary – Match #1027):- Scorecard: Cosmos 199 for 6 off 20 overs ( Sookdeo 79, Mohamed 41, Levy 26 ) beat Suburbia by 104 runs. Suburbia 95 for 8 off 20 overs. (R. Burrell 27, S. Taylor 19. F. Taj 2 for 19, T. Rana 2 for 4, R. Levy 1 for 9)
Jetendra Sookdeo stroked a composed half century as Cosmos romped to a massive 104 runs victory over Suburbia at Idlewyle Park last Sunday. It was an early 10:30am start and Cosmos was hardly awake to find themselves in some early trouble after Suburbia won the toss and asked Cosmos to bat. Faisal Tal again looked technically tangled when he chased at four wide deliveries and nicked the fifth one delivery to the wicketkeeper in the first over, and in the third Amjad Khan’s golden run of form deserted him when his eyes lit up at a half-tracker and pulled it into the hands of the man at square-leg.
And as the usual the twist and turns of T20 cricket unfolded. Despite the early loss Sookdeo and D. Mohamed, two specialist batsmen, kept the scoreboard ticking at a healthy rate of nine runs an over as Cosmos moved to 56 for 2 at the end of the sixth over power play. Sookdeo, the former Guyana youth player, appeared bristled with intent on this occasion as he began his innings albeit with a steady head. He was keen not to miss out on the opportunities to juice anything that was either too full or had some width.
The inning had momentum and was beginning to take shape with an aggressive third wicket partnership that yielded 86 runs in only eight overs. The partnership brought a sense of calm to the Cosmos camp after an unusual late arrival from Cosmos. When Mohamed (41) played over a fullish delivery in the eleventh over Cosmos had recovered healthily from 24 for 2 to 110 for 3, but not so for the overslept Rasheem James. As a result, Thohidhuzzaman Rana walked to the wicket earlier than usual but left after facing just two deliveries when he deflected a leg side delivery onto his stumps. Rasheem James (9) arrived and got suited up; he came late and left the crease early to an ambitious heave.
Sookdeo though remained unfazed by the happenings around him and soldiered on as he kept the Cosmos inning in fifth gear. His intent was evident from the beginning when he cracked his first ball through the cover point region, and throughout his inning he kept piercing the arc between point and extra-cover with authority, and on occasion he boldly danced down the wicket to the medium pacer to clear the sides-screen for two maximum. He pushed passed his half century with a dismissive pull to the mid-wicket boundary as he and Ralston Levy took the total to 177 by the 18th over. His inning simply added a coating to his confidence after a few lbw decisions went against him in his last three outings before he holed out at mid-off for a classy 78 runs that included six fours and three sixes. Levy (26) has a preference for late over heroics and he shifted into his usual aggressive running as he and Sham Ali took Cosmos to 199 for 7 in the allotted 20 overs.
The decision by Suburbia to put Cosmos in to bat was a brave one, and they paid the price. Their response with the bat was average; one that made more noise away from the wicket as Cosmos made light work of the line-up. Only R. Burrell (27) showed some fight before he was foxed by Levy who turned in a excellent all-round performance when he also held on to two brilliant catches on the mid-on boundary on either of the wicket; a rocket tracer on the edge of the boundary off Taj, and then a running one just below his knees off Sookdeo, and he did it with such fleetness that made it look like it was part of the plan. Cosmos kept their heels on the jugular of this opposition and proceeded to squeeze through the defense that was as porous as a fisherman’s net. Taj couldn’t be left out of the show as he completed his spell with 2 for 19. T. Rana was lively and impressive as he bagged 2 for 4 to leave Suburbia on 95 for 8 off the allotted 20 overs as Cosmos completed a convincing 104 runs victory.