By Saif Yasin
On a gloomy Sunday afternoon in Brentwood, Big Apple Cricket Club won the toss and elected to field first. With the imminent threat of rain, Big Apple skipper Zaheer Saffie didn’t want to risk batting first and not scoring at a high enough run rate in case the match was shorten due to the weather.
Never the less Long Island United Cricket Club sent out openers Omer Ali and Asim Mehmood while in a strange turn of events Charlton Senior shared the new ball with spinner Mark A. Gomes. The first over conceded 11 runs as Senior continued to show difficulty bowling the new ball. At the other end Gomes opened up his spell with a maiden. Senior did get some redemption in the 7th over when Mehmood fell caught behind to him for 7. From there we saw some decent contributions from Omar Ali for 35, Selwyn Mohan for 28 and Sajiid Khan for 27. The LIUCC batsmen trudged on slowly but steady and at the end of the 30th over were at 126 for 5.
The last ten overs however were probably the most exciting of the match. With Ashon Qadeer at the crease Ishtiaq Gul came in at the beginning of the 31st over, and the two provided LIUCC with a lift they desperately needed. Gul hammered the ball to all parts of the ground while Qadeer rotated the strike. In the end Gul was bowled going for a big shot off the bowling of Zaheer Saffie, but damage had been. Gul left with a blistering 53 which included six sixes. In ten overs LIUCC recovered from 126 for 5 to the more decent total of 216 for 8.
LIUCC: 216 for 8 (Ishtiaq Gul 53/ Omar Ali 35/ Selwyn Mohan 28)
B.A.C.C.: Shiv Raghubar 8-1-23-3/ Zaheer Saffie 7-0-30-2/ Charlton Senior 7-0-41-2
At the start of the second inning the weather would no longer seem to play any part in the match as most of the rain clouds disappeared and the sun peaked through the remaining ones. Just as with the opening bowling pair, there was a change with the opening batsmen for Big Apple. The usual pair of Mark Gomes was split up with Rhett Ramathur batting in the number 2 spot. The team didn’t get to see how the pair would work out because in the first ball of the second innings Mark Gomes was caught behind off the bowling Ashon Qadeer .Clain Williams was the next batsmen and along with Ramathur put on a 50 run partnership. Ramathur fell soon after but Williams continued to trudge on with usual opener Mark A. Gomes.
On the cusp of his second 50 of the season Williams fell victim to what seemed like a questionable LBW call off the bowling Ishtiaq Gul for 44. Gomes continued to bat on with Zaheer Saffie, he would fall for a well played 30. Saffie took control of the Big Apple batting from there on playing the ball to all parts of the ground. He would fall for a well played 58. The action intensified in the 33rd over when Big Apple required 17runs to win but with only two wickets remaining. With bottom order Telston Johnson and Narindra Balram at the crease the Big Apple camp seemed a little uneasy but after a monstrous six by Johnson over midwicket those feelings were erased. Johnson would see Big Apple home at the start of the 36th over.
B.A.C.C.: 217 for 8 ( Zaheer Saffie 58/ Clain Williams 44/ Mark A. Gomes 30)
LIUCC: Salaam Khan 4-0-30-3/ A. Khan 3-0-14-1/ Harris Ali 7-0-33-1
Saif Yasin is a 16 year-old student at Scholars Academy and a member of Big Apple Cricket Club.