Liberty Sports Club (LSC) dethroned two time defending champions, Big Apple Cricket Club (BACC), to capture its maiden Eastern American Cricket Association 40-Overs title on Sunday, September 13th at the Baisley Cricket Cage. Andre Kirton turned in a magnificent batting performance, blasting 87 off 36 balls, which was supported by an all-round bowling and fielding display, led by Terrence Madramootoo’s 4 wickets for 18 runs, to route BACC by 139 runs to claim the championship.
BACC who has been the powerhouse of the league over the last two years came into the final looking for third title having captured the title in 2013, defeating the rampant Richmond Hill Cricket Club, and 2014 when there was no match for their dominance. Their 2015 season, they were boosted by the addition of some big guns added to an already heavy weight roster which includes Adam Sanford, Zaheer Saffie, Kevin Darlington, Donwell Hector, Deonauth Baksh, Dominique Rikki, Richard Ramdeen, Eon Katchay among others, all of whom played at some level of national, international or even Test cricket.
LSC entered the 2015 season also with a strengthened roster after being defeated by BACC in the competition’s semi-final in 2014. LSC finished on top of the A Division with a 13 and 1 record, their only loss coming against the same opposition. BACC lost some momentum at the back end of the tournament but still managed to finish 2nd in the points table. LSC defeated Richmond Hill CC while BACC knocked over Atlantis CC-NY to secure their spots in the final.
Overnight rain delayed the match by 30 minutes from the scheduled 11:00 AM start. Saffie won the coin toss and with the intention to take advantage of the damp conditions opted to insert LSC to bat first. Early success of removing Romeno Deane (1) proved the decision at the toss worthwhile. Trevor Henry joined Francis Mendonca and added 41 for the 2nd wicket before Mendonca departed for 12. Henry who began the inning in a typical aggressive manner then stood helplessly to watch 3 more wickets fall. Sudesh Dhaniram (2), Trinson Carmichael (5) and Terrence Madramootoo (0) left the score at 80 for 5 in the 22nd over.
Skipper Danesh Deonarain joined Henry and the pair added 11 before Mark Gomes claimed the prize wicket of Henry, bowled for 44. This left LSC in very deep trouble at 91 for 6. With the inning mostly wrapped up and BACC fancying their choice to bowl first Andre Kirton, a former BACC player, marched to the crease.
Kirton, one of the valuable additions to the 2015 LSC roster immediately announced his presence in the middle. Mark Gomes had previously had figures of 5.1 overs, 1 maiden, 3 wickets for 8 runs. Gomes 3rd wicket came from the 1st ball of his 6th over. Kirton started his account hitting Gomes for 4 followed by a pair of maximums to take 17 off his 6th over. It would be Gome’s last over in the match.
Kirton raced to his half century, depositing four 4’s and launching 5 maximums out of the cage. He found good support from his captain who rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard ticking over. The BACC attack found no answer for Kirton as he continued to plunder the bowling to all parts of the cage. Deonarain and Kirton would put on 115 runs for the 7th wicket to take LSC to 206 before Kirton mistimed a pull to short third man. By then Kirton had raced to 87 off just 36 balls and turned the game around single handedly.
Deonarain departed in the next over for 33, Hemendra Ramdihal (7), Vijendra Singh (9) and Leon Mohabir (1*) rounded out the scorecard when LSC was bowled out for 225 in the 39th over.
Mark Gomes 3 for 24, Dominique Rikki 2 for 31 and Telston Johnson, Adam Sanford, Zaheer Saffie and Kevin Darlington with one each accounted for the wickets for BACC.
Two hundred and twenty five on the board is about 35 runs under par for The Cage. However, being placed at 91 for 6 and looking at the prospect of folding for less than 150 #TheBlueNation boys were more than happy with the posted total. Richard Ramdeen and Dominique Rikki opened the chase for BACC. Rikki, the leading runs scorer in the League before the final, lasted only three balls before the man of the day, Kirton, knocked over his stumps.
The aggressive Ramdeen raced to 23 hitting 2 sixes and a four before Ramdihal had him caught at backward point by Carmichael. Tarrel Datt, batting at number 3 for BACC struggled to get the ball off the pitch only managing 1 run off 19 balls before he was bowled by Ramdihal. Skipper, Saffie, and Travis Ross looked to patch things up with a 30 runs partnership before a rain interruption forced the players off the field. The rain delayed the game enough to reduce the total required and overs to 219 runs off 37 overs using the Duckworth Lewis calculations.
The resumption brought the key wicket of Saffie for LSC. Madramootoo, who was introduced to speed up the over rate with the impending rain delay, had Saffie mistime a pull shot to Ramdihal at short mid-wicket. Madramootoo would take control of the game from this point. BACC at 57 for 3 before Saffie departed lost 6 wickets for 10 runs as the rampant men in blue suffocated the BACC batting. Madramootoo bowled Ross and Sanford for 12 and 0 respectively and hand Hector stumped for 7 to take out the heart of the middle order. Trinson Carmichael kept the other end locked tight. Bowling Johnson for 1 while Leon Mohabir was sharp at point to run out Gomes.
With the last pair of Shiv Ragubar (1*) and Kevin Darlington (1*) blocking out the bowling to prevent the inevitable the rain returned again to wash out the remainder of play. The final result, LSC victorious by Duckworth-Lewis calculated 139 runs to claim the 2015 title.
Bowling for LSC Madramootoo finished with 4 for 18, Ramdihal 2 for 8, Andre Kirton 1 for 11 and Trinson Carmichael 1 for 14.
Following the game LSC’s sponsor Hafeeze ‘Rockaway’ Ali of the Rockaway Group of Companies invited the audience back to his Royal Empress Banquet Hall for a presentation ceremony. All the members of the LSC squad were honored for their contribution to the team’s 15 and 1 season. Andre Kirton was honored as the best batsman for the final while Terrence Madramootoo took away the best bowler. Kirton also took away the prize as the most valuable player of the final. Trevor Henry was honored for his gutsy inning in the final and finishing as the leading runs scorer in the league.
Liberty Sports Club would like to thank both of our sponsors, GMA Enterprise and the Rockaway group of companies for their continued support throughout the 2015 season. LSC would also like to thank all the well-wishers and supporters who have been behind us throughout the year and at the final. #TheBlueNation also takes this opportunity to congratulate BACC for competing in the final while also acknowledging the efforts of the EACA executive in staging another successful competition. Finally LSC would like to congratulate its players on a job well done.
The club now moved on to the EACA T20 Competition which begins on September 20th.
The 2015 Liberty Sports Club is sponsored by GMA Enterprise Real Estate & Tax Services, located on 122nd St & Liberty Ave and Royal Empress Catering Hall, located on 122nd St & Rockaway Blvd. Please visit their website www.gmaenterprise.com & www.rockawaycarny.com to support our sponsor. Follow the progress of Liberty Sports Club and join #TheBlueNation via Facebook (facebook.com/LibertyCricketClubb), Twitter (@LibertySportsC) & Instagram (@LibertySportsC)