Sunday, August 16, 2015 – If the EACA 2015 league leading Liberty Sports Club followed Patrick Henry’s famous 1775 quote “Give me liberty or give me death,” it would be safe to say they chose to give Atlantis Cricket Club – NY death rather than liberty, in a significantly rain affected match-up at Belmont State Park.
Atlantis looking to up its points-standing in the race for the number two slot among the four teams heading into the 2015 EACA Cricket Zone 40-Overs championship, ran into a very confident Liberty Sports Club XI, on what was supposed to be a perfect day for cricket with not a drop of rain forecasted. However, that was not to be later, despite Liberty winning the toss and electing to bat under a sky with not one cloud in sight, at the time.
After a decent 48-run opening start between Francis Mendonca (12) and Romeno Deane, the latter would go on to plunder the Atlantis bowlers; in particular, its skipper Alex Amsterdam for 24 in one over, for a well-made 63 (8x4s, 4x6s) while teaming up with Trevor Henry, 51 (10x4s, 1×6) for a 64-run third-wicket partnership. With Deane’s exit at the 112 for 2 mark, Atlantis was able to restrict the liberties of their opponents through some crafty bowling by Michael Noble (8-1-29-4) and Keon Lake (8-0-50-2), with support from Prashanth Nair (1 for 5 off 2 overs and Greg Robinson (1 for 30 off 5 overs).
The rapid fall of the Liberty wickets from 112 for 3 to 179 for 8, preceded the Babylon skies opening up with a deluge from practically nowhere. The Liberty inning was halted at 186 for 8 at the conclusion of the 29th over, and a little before 4:00pm, with Andre Kirton contributing 24 (1×6, 3x4s) and Taknauth Khilawan, 13 (2x4s), the only other batsmen to reach double figures. The Liberty wickets fell at 48, 112, 137, 140, 140, 146, 176 and 179.
Host team Liberty provided no covers for the wicket as the rain continued, forcing players and supporters of both teams to scamper for cover under trees and a sole tent in the Atlantis camp. The resumption of play very doubtful, and was all but a forgone conclusion, or at least that’s what many thought; as the matting and out field continued to collect water like a reservoir.
As some of the Liberty players frolicked shirtless in an impromptu pick-up soccer game on the wet outfield, the officiating Umpires huddled in a somewhat clueless state, trying to determine what should be the ruling and/or outcome of the match. It is clearly something the EACA must look into.
If not for the friendly nature and camaraderie of the two teams involved, it could have easily become an ugly adventure. The Umpires and players waited out the rain and elected to resume play. A very dangerous decision as more than one batsman kept slipping on the still wet matting, while trying to regain his ground or negotiate a second run at the crease.
The decision to resume play at just after 5:00pm was ironically based on a non-conclusive ruling that Atlantis be allowed to bat 29 overs in the remaining period of play and score 187 for victory. One would have thought that the runs would have been prorated on a reduction of overs or the net run-rate of Liberty’s 186 based on 40 overs, since it was Liberty’s fault of not providing cover for the matting. Had Liberty provided the required cover for the matting the match would have resumed with Liberty batting, and in the case of the daylight match time remaining, Atlantis would have been required to bat the prorated number of overs at a calculated run rate, as obtained in the Duckworth/Lewis calculation method.
However, with both teams agreeing to the impromptu ruling; the match was back on. Immediately, Atlantis was off to a disastrous start; forcing the argument that the lengthy rain interruption, the matting being wet, and the absence of any available EACA regulation covering such circumstances, Atlantis was put at a significant disadvantage. Such an argument may be reflected in Atlantis losing their first four wickets for just 22 runs, as Shawn Mason, Michael Noble, Nicholas Standford and Alex Amsterdam, all headed back to the soggy Atlantis camp.
Atlantis’ middle order of Jamal Hinckson, 32, Dwayne Smith, 29, and Treon Ford, 30, put on partnerships of 28 and 52 for the fifth and sixth-wickets respectively, with the score teetering at the 100 run mark. It was a total collapse of the Atlantis batting line-up from there on, as the team limped to 110 all out in 19.1 overs, ending at a rate of 5.789 chasing a target of 6.41 under some of the most unplayable conditions.
Bowling for Liberty: Terrance Madramootoo with figures of 2.1-0-5-3 was the pick of the litter, followed by Andre Kirton 4-0-7-3, Trinson Carmichael 6-0-30-3 and Trevor Henry 4-0-29-1. The Atlantis wickets fell at 0, 1, 2, 22, 50, 102, 102, 104, 104 and 110.
Credit must be given to the league-leading Liberty Sports Club for the tenacity displayed, and Atlantis for the sportsman-like bravado exhibited under less than favorable conditions, but wanting to squeeze out a win anyway. The outcome of the match would not have affected Liberty’s number one pole position, however, a victory may have catapulted Atlantis into the number two position of the 2015 EACA Cricket Zone Championship standings, and heading into this weekend’s encounter against Big Apple Sports Club.