Metropolitan Cricket League
By D A Wallace
Action continued in the Metropolitan Cricket League Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier League on Sunday June 1st at the Gateway Cricket Field in Brooklyn NY when unbeaten defending invincible champions Villagers Pacesetters played host to Staten Island Cricket Club and defeated them by 73 runs, Scores in the match Villagers 310 for 4 from 35 overs and Staten Island 237 all out in 30.5 overs.

Veteran Kingston walking off after reaching his hundred.

Villagers won the toss and elected to take first strike on a hot summery like spring afternoon. After sharing in a century opening stand in week one, Villagers openers Richard Staple and Melroy Kingston went out to do battle and after weathering the storm facing a steady set of early overs went on to post 172 in the 24th over for the first wicket. Staple who was put down at extra cover in the second over and Kingston who survived a confident LBW shout delighted the crowd with a ray of stroke play. Both right-handers were quick to pounce on anything loose on either sides of the wicket. Staple was first to go when he was caught by Ravi Ramachandran off the bowling of Ibrahim Zahoor for a well-played 73 (77 balls 7×4 3×6).

It was a debut in Villagers colors for 19 year old Jamaica and West Indies under-19 top-order batsman Tristann Coleman who joined Kingston and immediately showed that his selection on the West Indies team to the 2014 under-19 cricket world cup was no flumps as he showed he’s a young talented batsman. Kingston who’s timing was off early in his inning has by now got his timing right and was connecting as clean as it gets, he was so confident in his shots that on occasions he could be heard telling his partner “don’t move, this one is going far” much to the fans loving.

Kingston who is now a qualified masters cricketer found out that being a masters can come with a few niggles  and from mid-way his inning suffered from what appeared to be cramps and when he stroke down the ground for four to bring up his century from 76 balls in 152 minutes, he celebrated by kissing the ground and acknowledged the applauses from his team dugout and from his fans enjoying themselves in the “mound” he immediately retired hurt for a brilliant 104 (77 balls  10×4 5×6) with a strike rate of 135.06. Coleman wasn’t to be left out as he hit a few lusty blows introducing himself to the vocal Villagers supporters in no uncertain way. He fell for well played 54 (23 balls 6×4 4×6). Marvin Simpson was unbeaten on 32 (17 balls 4×4 2×6) as Villagers inning was closed at 310 for 4 from the allotted 35 overs.

There was a wicket apiece for Majid Arab (1 for 53 from 7) Zahoor (1 for 51 from 7) and Shaffikul Sackroolar (1 for 66 from 6).

In reply Staten Island openers Arrab and Zahoor started the chase with intent as Villagers opening bowlers George Adams who is their strike bowler and Simpson struggle for consistency early. Adams who is Villagers ace strike bowler seams to get carried away with the pace of the wicket and opted to bang the ball in the pitch giving 61 year old wicket keeper the diminutive Charles Walker a work out gathering the ball above his head. It took the veteran left arm orthodox Ewart Gayle who was called up out of retirement to get the breakthrough when he outfox the dangerous looking Zahoor for 32  (24balls 5×4 1×6)  bowled in the 7th over with the score on 53.

Adams who was by now settle produce a beauty that found the edge of Salam Shah bat and Walker made no mistake and took a fine catch. Gayle who was now feeling got one to pop up on Prasharth Nanavanan who offered him a return catch which he accepted gracefully  to make it 55 for 3 in the 10th over. Arrab was joined Habib Rehman and they both tried to rebuild the inning adding 40 in 6 overs before Rehman 23 (18balls 3×4 1×6) was beautifully taken by Leeberth Williamson at short mid-wicket off the bowling of young leggie Romoy Rickets who look likes with the right guidance and game time can be good bowler with his Shane Warne like approach.

Fahad Mughal came in and made 22 (22balls 4×4 1×6) but the highlight of Staten Island inning was the knock from Arab who played every shot in the book and even some you won’t find in any coaching manual. He took his game to a Villagers attack that at times looks ordinary using 8 bowlers. In searching for options captain Cliff Roye brought himself on but Arab was having none of it and took 23 runs from his only over and had the Villagers camp a bit worried that the possibility of overhauling their target still exist.

Staple who was unable to bowl because of a shoulder injury sense the danger and forced himself to bowl but could only bowl 1 ball which got him a wicket, Simpson was called upon to finish the over and after having his first ball deposited out the park returned next ball to grab the price scalp of Arrab who made a brilliant 108 (82balls 15×4 3×6) in 180 minutes of batting to be 9th man out and the inning was ended 2 balls later when Simpson picked up his second wicket, Staten Island all out for 237 in 30.5 overs.

Gayle finished with 3 for 39 from 6 overs, Ricketts 3 for 57 from 7 overs, Simpson 2 for 21 from2.4 overs, Adams 1 for 29 from 6 overs and Staple 1 for 0 from .1