By Orin Davidson | Photo Gallery
Metropolitan shone, but New York League excelled when the MAQ T20 New York Inter League series got underway Saturday on a day of scorching heat where Brooklyn and Commonwealth also advanced.

Dennison Thomas of Metropolitan Cricket League during his knock of 67. Photos by Shiek Mohamed.

Shajad Sahid  lit up the first round’s action with a smashing century to lead Commonwealth to a solid victory over  Bangladeshi League  and became the first team to reach the semi-finals, at Idlewild Park in Queens.

Opening the innings, Shahid stroked 110 not out as Commonwealth amassed 176 runs for five wickets then restricted Bangladeshi League to 161-7 in their allotted 20 overs.

Shahid slammed three sixes and five fours and only needed token assistance of 38 from Salman Khan and 25 from Hunain Wahab to pull off one of the more impressive wins in the competition so far.

In their turn at the crease Bangladeshi League put up a valiant fight but the target was too steep as paceman Wahab Munir grabbed two wickets while Sammer Khan also bagged two. They teammate, ex West Indies Test speed merchant Jermaine Lawson was flayed for 40 runs off his 4 overs.

Commonwealth will play  Brooklyn in the semifinals Sunday morning  while Metropolitan will oppose New York , to complete the matchups in the last four.

Metropolitan which has the strongest team on paper, got the ball rolling by outplaying American League by  59 runs in the first game Saturday at 80th Street Canarsie Park.

They batted first and rattled up 159-5 in their allotted 20 overs and then ran through New York’s batting for an even 100.

Dennison Thomas, the former West Indies first class player led a revival of Metropolitan’s innings with a workmanlike 67 after they lost three early wickets.   Glen Hall provided useful support with 26.   For New York Dwayne Hurley  had  2-26 and T. Hinds also took 2-26. New York’s best bowler Dwayne Smith  shockingly did not deliver a single  ball, of his leg spin.

In reply American was undone by the gentle off spin of ex United States captain Richard Staple who  captured 3-16.   Javon Greaves also came good, bagging 3-10  while M. Kingston  took 2-16. Keon Lake topscored for American with 24.

Metropolitan will be hoping to have an even stronger lineup for today’s key semi-final with the expected inclusion of top batsman Donald Bennett who reportedly showed up late,  and also United States  middle order batsman Rashard Marshall who did not appear at all.

New York League put on a commanding performance to dispose of Nassau by eight wickets  due mainly to a brilliant unbeaten half century by L. Searries.   He hit an attractive 82 as New York  struck 166-2 after Nassau  made a seemingly challenging 163-6. J. Tarrallon supported Searries with a valuable 52 as they flayed a weak Nassau attack of  which one bowler  was called for chucking.

Foster Lewis of Brooklyn Cricket League struck an unbeaten 65 against Eastern Amerincan Cricket Association.

Richard Sieuchan, the former Trinidad seam bowler was Nassau’s leading batsman with 30 while ex Guyana wicketkeeper Vishal Nagamootoo also contributed 30. United States captain Steve Massiah made 22. D. Parnell and G. Gooden were New York’s best bowlers, taking 2-27 and 2-38 respectively.

In the other game, Brooklyn kept its composure to beat Eastern American by 16 runs at Idlewild Park.

Led by an unbeaten 65 by Foster Lewis, Brooklyn compiled 153-8 in their 20 overs and then bowled out Eastern American  for 137 in the final over.

Mark Audian made a good supporting knock of 26 for Brooklyn as Zamin Amin captured 2-26 and Telston Johnson 2-32 for Eastern American,  which  lost wickets took frequently after  their batsmen failed to  apply themselves.  Keddy Lespores topscored with 30 while Nicholas Stanford supported with 28.

Former West Indies Test fast bowler Adam Standford  sealed the deal for Brooklyn as he took two late wickets including the scalp of the promising teenager Andy Mohamed.   Standford  ended with 2-22 while Andre Kirton came good with 2-15 and Kester Sylvester 2-31.

Brooklyn will clash with Commonwealth from 11 am at Idlewild Park  and Metropolitan and New York will face off at 80th Street Canarsie Park  from the same time  in the two semis.

The competition is sponsored by T20 Energy Drink, Sam’s Foods and Daibes Enterprises and organized by Cricket Council of America of Florida.