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By Dervon Wallace
A Metropolitan Cricket League (MCL) final doesn’t need any subtext to lift the occasion; even so, the 2016 edition will present one. The showpiece event will see eight times champion Westbury Cricket Club face off with arch rival, three times champion Villagers Pacesetters Social Athletic Club, in the final match of the Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier League at the cricket friendly Idlewild Park in Rosedale, Queens, NY on Sunday, September 11th, first ball set to bowl off at 11am.

Glen Hall (left) has 3 centuries to his name.Xavier Marshall has so far amassed 830 runs at an average of 83.00 including 4 centuries.

Glen Hall (left) has 3 centuries to his name. Xavier Marshall (right) has so far amassed 830 runs at an average of 83.00 including 4 centuries.

This will be the sixth meeting between these two MCL giants at this stage of the competition. To date Westbury holds the upper hand with three victories in 2001, 2002 and 2007 to the Pacesetters two triumphs in 2013 and 2014. Both teams got to the final in convincing fashion making light work of their semifinal opponents. Westbury brushed aside former champion Progressive C.C. by 9 wickets having embarrassed them for a portray 129 and getting to their target in 17.2 overs. Villagers had an easy day at the park brushing aside first time semifinalist Island Wide C.C. by 197 runs having made a mammoth 355 for 2, of which Xavier Marshall made 186.

Cricket fans are labeling Villagers as the favorite, after they finished the preliminary on top and handed Westbury their only defeat of the season to date. It’s a tag that the Villagers management and players are quick to denounce and state there is no favorite in finals and that Westbury has proven over the years they know how to win championships and it’s no fluke they are the most successful team in the history of the competition.

Fans should be in for a treat as both teams have a number of top quality players on their roaster.

Joseph Brown (left) lead all bowlers with 24 wickets at 17.21 apiece.  Tristan Coleman (right) leading run getter with 937 runs at an average of 93.70 including 4 centuries.

Joseph Brown (left) lead all bowlers with 24 wickets at 17.21 apiece. Tristan Coleman (right) leading run getter with 937 runs at an average of 93.70 including 4 centuries.

Villagers will be led by USA representative Seam bowling all-rounder, George Adams who will be able to choose from discarded West Indies test player Xavier Marshall, former USA captain Richard Staple, former Jamaica wicket-keeper batsman Keith Hibbert, USA batsmen Rashard Marshall, Dennis Evans and Glen Hall. Also available for selection: Sashane Anderson, Dino Chow, Bjorn Brown, Romoy Ricketts, USA under-19 player Keifer Phil and the veteran trio of Melroy Kingston, Talisman Gordon and Trevor Whitick.

Westbury will be led by USA middle order batsman Barrington Bartley, who has a strong contingent to choose from. At his disposal are former West Indies under-19 batsman Tristan Coleman, former Windward Island all-rounder Dennison Thomas, former Jamaica batsman Wayne Cuff, Javien Thomas, Devon Campbell, Linden St Louis, Horace Porter, Chedie Gayle, Breston Reid, Darren Ferguson, Joseph Brown, Juanoy Drysdale and Clinton Lewis. Also available for selection: arguably the league’s most successful captain and Hall of Famer, Ballister McLeish.

To add to all the excitement, this game will see the most cap test umpire, Steve Bucknor as one of the umpire in the middle.

Fact File: Metropolitan Cricket League 40 overs competition winners’ since 1980.

Years       CHAMPIONS                 RUNNERS UP

2015        Lucas                                Westbury

2014        Villagers                           Westbury

2013        Villagers                           Westbury

2012        Westbury                          Progressive

2011        Villagers                           Progressive

2010        Progressive                       Westbury

2009        Cosmos                            Progressive

2008        Cosmos                            Progressive

2007        Westbury                          Villagers

2006        Cosmos                            Mid Island

2005        Westbury                          Cosmos

2004        Westbury                          Progressive

2003        Westbury                          Spice Island

2002        Westbury                          Villagers A

2001        Westbury                          Villagers A

2000        Progressive                       Pakistan

1999        Cosmos                            Progressive

1998        Mid Island                       Cosmos

1997        JSAC                                Mid Island

1996        Sportsman                        Excelsior

1995        Sims New York               Sportsman

1994        Sportsman                        Westbury

1993        Sims New York               Mid Island

1992        Westbury                          Sims New York

1991        Sims New York               unknown

1990        Sims New York               unknown

1989        Sims New York               unknown

1988        Sims New York               ACS

1987        ACS                                 unknown

1986        ACS                                 unknown

1985        ACS                                 unknown

1984        ACS                                 unknown

1983        ACS                                 unknown

1982        JSAC                                ACS

1981        JSAC                                unknown

1980        JSAC                                unknown

ACS: American Cricket Society
JSAC: Jamaica Social Athletic Club