By Royo P. Sankar
Eastern American Cricket Association’s Power40 competition | Scorecard
It was a gallant effort by Liberty Sports Club (LSC) bowlers that had front runners in Zone 2 Richmond Hill Cricket Club batsmen early into defensive mode, as Imtiaz Hassan and Vijendra Singh produced a riveting opening spell of gentle medium-fast bowling and then later backed-up by Andy Harricharran, Marlon Persaud and Altaf Habibulla.

Ramphal Bactowar produced a spell of 5 for 30 to ensure a win for Richmond Hill over Liberty Sports Club. Photo by Shiek Mohamed.

However, veteran off-spinner Ramphal Bactowar (5 for 30) and Sudesh Dhaniram (3 for 22) opening the new ball from a short run-up sent them packing for 110 all out in 30.4 overs—chasing a modest 206 for victory.

Marlon Persaud led the boys in Blue with his third 4-wicket haul for the season, but it was a lackluster fielding performance from LSC—spilling some six straight forward catches that let Richmond Hill off the hook. From all indication early in the game, it looks like the LSC has done their homework, but forgot to imply the main motto for beating a star studded team “catches win matches.”

Richmond Hill won the toss and did not hesitate in electing to bat first on a well-manicured Baisley Park. Vijendra Singh struck the first blow for LSC when he dismissed the experienced Debo Sankar for 16. The prolific Sudesh Dhaniram coming in at number 3 was kept at bay—padding –up most of the deliveries sent down by Imtiaz Hassan and Andy Harricharran. The pair did not allow the veteran right-hander to free his arm.

However, looking to up the tempo after a slow start, Dhaniram got a leading edged from a pull shot and was out caught for 16. Zaheer Sadloo soon followed and RHCC found themselves tottering at 92 for 4 in the 21st over.

In-form Shameer Sadloo (38) and  Deryck McDonald (30) methodically repaired the  RHCC inning, crafting an 80 runs partnership before Marlon Persaud removed both of them in his 4th  over—an impressive bowling spell, he scalped 2 more victims in his 5th  over and along with Terrence Madramootoo  2 for 8 from 2.4 overs cleaned-up RHCC’s inning for 205.

A pumped-up LSC got their chase to a disastrous start with 12 runs on the board after 2 overs. Marlon Persaud was the first heading for the pavilion—lbw candidate to Dhaniram. LSC prolific batsman, Dilly Khilawan (8) trying to get adventurous early, only succeeded in lobbing a simple catch to Dhaniram—diving forward off Deryck McDonald. The ever reliable skipper Danesh Deonarian (33) and in-form Andy Harricharran (16) came together and put some respectability to the scorecard with a 51 runs 4th wicket partnership. Danesh was very fluent in his knock—an elegant straight drive went flying past McDonald to the fence before Deoram Puran took a well-judged catch at deep square-leg to remove him.

Bactowar, bowling from the Foch Boulevard end, spun webs around the LSC batsmen as they suffered a middle-order collapsed. The only batsman to offer any resistance was Altaaf Habibulla—who once again displayed some fine cricket shots, coming in at number 7. The all-rounder batted with aplomb, hitting 5 boundaries in an unbeaten 33. Eventually, LSC were skittle-out for 110. Kumar Nandalall was once again very economical with figures of 8-2-19-1.