Metropolitan Cricket League
By Dervon Wallace
Former champions Villagers CC secured a place in the 2013 New York Metropolitan Cricket League (NYMCL) Clement “Busta” Lawrence round robin final in the process keeping a 11 game winning streak in tack with a convincing 8 wickets win over Progressive CC in semi final action at the Gateway Cricket Field in Brooklyn NY on Sunday July 28, 2013.

With a 60% predicted chance of late afternoon showers, Villagers captain Cliff Roye won the toss and in overcast condition inserted the opponents. The visitors opened their inning with two former Villagers players, Dave Hart and Maurice Powell. With the score on 17 in the firth over former Leeward Island under-19 opener Dave Hart 13 (19 balls 2×4) was first to go after surviving 2 confident shout for LBW off George Adams bowling when he cut a wide full ball from the same bowler straight to Rashard Marshall who positioned himself at backward-point ironically after telling Hart all week he’s going to catch him at backward-point.

Melroy Kingston had 3 for 18. Photo by Dillon Bourne

Powell 2 was next to go 11 runs later in eighth over when he poked at a Talisman Gordon deliver that found the edge and 60 years old wicket keeper Charles Walker made no mistake. Captain Kevil George was soon to follow for 10 (23 balls 1×6) when he was bowled with the second ball from former teammate Richard Staple’s first over to make it 36 for 3 in the eleventh over.  Kadeem Rowe and Dervin Morand shared in a 41 runs fourth wicket partnership before the latter was bowled by Staple for 9 (23 balls 1×4). It took the umpire to give the verdict as Morand stand his ground claiming the stumps were disturbed by the wicket keeper, a claim that was quickly brushed aside.  Rowe looked a fine player before he fell to Staple for a top score of 29 (56 balls 3×4 1×6) at 80 for 5 and it was left to the veteran Maurice Cole who continue to demonstrate a great IQ for the game rallying the tail to see out the 40 overs and score as many runs as possible. Cole who bats at number 10 batted for 55 minutes facing 43 balls finishing unbeaten on 14 the second highest score of a rather subdued innings.

Bowing for Villagers were Adams 1 for 24 from 8 overs, Gordon 1 for 30 from 6 overs, Staple 3 for 19 from  8 overs, Andre Hooper 0 for 10 from 2 overs, Steve Massiah  0 for 13 from 2 overs, Melroy Kingston 3 for 18 from 7 overs and Marshall 0 for 13 from 7 overs with 2 maidens.

Needing to score 130 at 3.25 runs on over for victory and a place in the final Villagers ramp to their target for the loss of 2 wickets with 16.4 overs to spare. Regular openers Staple and Kingston started the chase and added 31 in 7 overs before Kingston 19 (19 balls 2×4 1×6) who looks in good knick chased a very wide delivery from the impressive Rowe and spooned a simple catch to George at extra cover. Staple was joined by Massiah and the two played watchful on a slow track and tick outfield not wanting to take any chances. With Villagers just slightly above the run rate at the water break and the rain threatening in the back both batsmen broke from their shackles and gave their team some breeding space should the heaven opened.

Richard Staple hit an unbeaten 45 and took 3 for 19. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

After again delighting the home crowd with his delightful stroke plays Massiah 34 (41 balls 3×4 2×6) was caught by Powell off George in the twenty first over at 95 for 2. With 35 runs needed to complete the formalities Marshall came in and seems in a hurry to get it done and dusted. He  had the appreciative crowd cheering as he light up the gloomy looking park with his power hitting taking a liking to George second over blasting three 6’s and one 4 before the bowler pulled his hamstring and couldn’t complete the over. The victory was completed when Marshall hit the second ball of the twenty-fourth over an estimated 90 meters over wide long-on to finish on an unbeaten 30 (10 balls 1×4 4×6). Staple who was unbeaten on 45 (70 balls 1×4 4×6) made sure he spend some time at the crease as he geared up for the finals. There was 1 wicket each for Rowe and George finishing 1 for 26 from 7 overs with 3 maidens and 1 for 24 from 1.5 overs respectively.

Final score in the match: Progressive CC 129 for 9 from 40 overs and Villagers CC 134 for 2 from 23.2 overs.

Villagers CC will face off with defending champion Westbury CC in the grand final on Sunday August 4, 2013 at the Idlewide cricket field in Rosedale Queens.