By Sam Sooppersaud
The battle lines have been drawn. John Adams High School will clash with Richmond Hill High School in the 10th edition of the New York City Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) Cricket Championship Final. Both teams earned a finalist berth by defeating their respective semi-final opponents, on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at the Roy Sweeney Oval, Brooklyn, NY.
In the first semi-final, it was a “walk in the park” victory for John Adams, as they steam rolled over Springfield High School. Adams batted first and posted a mammoth 245 run total for the loss of only two wickets. Alix Hussain scored 107 not out, his second ton in this year’s tournament. The scoreboard pressure was too much for Springfield to handle. They were bundled out for 87 runs in 16.3overs.
In the second semi-final of the day, Brooklyn International High School took on Richmond Hill High School. Although it was a relatively low scoring game, it was not short of “nail-biting” finish moments. Brooklyn occupied the crease first and scored 135 runs. A seemingly, easily target to attain, at least from the viewpoint of the Richmond Hill camp.
Richmond Hill commenced their chase. Fast forward to the 15th over. The score, 125 runs for 4 wickets. Needing 11 runs to win in 30 balls and 6 wickets in hand, was definitely a winning proposition for the Richmond Hill team and their supporters. Then, five wickets fell with the addition of only five runs. With the last man in, and not an accomplished one with the bat, the silence in the Richmond Hill camp was deafening. Scratching out a single here and a single there, Richmond Hill eventually surpassed the required score. I watched the game along with a friend, David Morse. He once was the coach of Martin Van Buren High School cricket team in the PSAL program. After the game, David’s remark to me was this, “Richmond Hill nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.” Richmond Hill had the game in their hand, but due to irresponsible shot selections, their batsmen threw their wickets away almost resulting in defeat.
The Championship Finals between John Adams and Richmond Hill will be played on Saturday, June 17, 2017, with the first ball to be bowled at 1:00 PM, at the Baisley Pond Park Cricket Field, Rockaway Avenue and Baisley Boulevard, Queens, NY.
Let us look at some performance comparisons of the two opponents, in the batting department.
During the preliminary rounds John Adams scored 1485 runs in 10 games, an average of 148.5 runs per game. They allowed 847 runs in these games at an average of 84.7 runs per game. Thus they outscored their opponents by an average of 63.8 runs per game. Richmond Hill scored 1335 runs in their 11 preliminary rounds, at an average of 121.4 runs per game. They allowed 946 runs at an average of 86.0 runs per game. Richmond Hill outscored their opponents by an average of 35.4 runs per game. Richmond Hill scored an average of 27.1 runs fewer per game than John Adams.
In three playoff games so far, John Adams scored a total of 488 runs at an average of 162.7 runs per inning. They allowed 198 runs, at an average of 66.0 runs per game. Thus, they outscored their playoff opponents by an average of 96.7 runs per game. Richmond Hill on the other hand scored a total of 407 runs, an average of 135.7 runs per game. They allowed 289 runs at an average of 96.3 runs per game. They outscored their playoff opponents by an average of 39.4 runs per game.
Analyzing the above data we see that in the playoffs so far, John Adams has scored an average of 27 runs more per innings than Richmond Hill has scored. John Adams has allowed their opponents an average of 30.3 runs fewer than Richmond Hill has allowed their opponents. Reads and sounds so complicated, but a cricket connoisseur would find the aforementioned numbers fascinating, in trying to figure out which of the two teams have a better chance of coming out on top, I must caution that we are playing Twenty/20 cricket. In this format anything is possible, and past performances do not necessarily determine future results.
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