Metropolitan Cricket League
By Dervon Wallace
Westbury Cricket Club claim the double in the New York Metropolitan Cricket League (NYMCL) by winning the Roy Sweeney Challenge Cup when they defeated rivals Villagers Cricket Club in a trilling and exciting final, on Sunday September 16, 2012 at Floyd Bennett cricket Field in Southeast Brooklyn.

Barrington Bartley struck 43 and returned with the ball to take 2 for 27. Photo by Sham Ali.

Villagers CC was looking to exacted a measure of revenge; after they were beaten by Westbury CC in the Round Robin semi-final who went on to dethrone them as champions. With the win Westbury CC claim their fifth hold on the trophy and their fourteenth championships in NYMCL competitions (8 round robin, 5 challenge cup and 1 twenty20) while Villagers are still yet to get a hand on this silverware and their trophy cabinet will remain with 3 (1 round robin and 2 twenty20).

On a day tailor made for some lovely cricket, spectators got their monies worth after Westbury’s captain Ballister McLeish won the toss and decided to take first strike on a wicket that turned out to be conducive for batting. Westbury CC opened their batting with former West Indies youth all-rounder Dennison Thomas and the hard hitting Deron Ferguson.

George Adams opened the bowling from the commentary box end and with regular new ball partner Talisman Gordon yet to arrive at the ground it was semi-final hero Cuthbert Mendonca to partner him from the Belt Parkway end and after having his first ball cram though backward-point for 4 by Ferguson, Mendonca was unlucky when off the very next ball, when Ferguson on 6 and the score on 13 in trying to repeat the shot was put down by the experience and arguably Villagers best fielder Rashard Marshall at backward-point.

It was to be a costly missed as Ferguson went on to make 48 from 50 balls and shared in an open stand of 87 from 13.4 overs with Thomas. After surviving another chance been put down by Captain Cliff Roye on 38 off Marshall Ferguson was first to go; ironically caught by Marshall at backward-point off the bowling of Gordon who was by now on the field for the time allotted before he was able to be introduce into the attack. Ferguson hit 7 fours and took a liking to the expensive Mendonca hitting him clean and elegantly over extra-cover for his only six much to the delight of his team mates in the players pavilion.

The prolific Barrington Bartley batting at number 3 continued from where Ferguson left off in stroking an attacking 43 from 36 balls with 4 fours and 1 six while sharing in a 76 second wicket stand with the now set Thomas. Bartley who got a life on 27 dropped by Marvin Simpson at long-on off Ewart Gayle delighted the crowd with some lovely shot, in one over he hit Marshall for 3 consecutive boundaries all elegantly stroke between point and cover where Adams was a mere spectator and could only retreat the ball after it hit the ropes. It was the veteran Gayle who got the break though in the very next over when he had Bartley caught by Roye with the score on 163 in the 25th over. Thomas who by now had brought up his half century was next to go clean bowled by Adams who return for a second spell for a well played 60 from 73 ball with 4 fours. It was up to Kevin Baugh along with the middle and lower order to build an the foundation laid by the top order but a pumped up Adams wanted none of it as he had Jermaine Lawson and Horace Porter both falling for first ball ducks to be on a hat trick with the former LBW and the latter caught by Richard Staple off a short rising delivery. Before this Javein Thomas fell for 12 bowled by Staple, Devon Campbell batting at number 8 played a cameo to be left not out on 15 from 7 balls with 1 four and a maximum off Gordon that sailed like a bullet from a high powered rifle far and high over wide long-on, Baugh was left not out on 34 from 33 balls which included 2 sixes as the inning closed on 241 for 6 from the allotted 35 overs.

Bowling for Villagers CC: Adams 3 for 33 from 7 overs, Mendonca 0 for 32 from 3 overs, Staple 1 for 49 from 7 overs, Marshall 0 for 42 from 5 overs, Gordon 1 for 41 from 6 and Gayle 1 for 37 from 7 overs.

Needing 242 for victory at 6.91 runs an over and their first lien on the coveted trophy, Villagers CC was off to a good start with openers Donald Bennett and Melroy Kingston laying the foundation in an open stand of 90 in 16.2 overs. Bennett who was the first to go made 48 from 53 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes before he was caught off a long-hop by Campbell off the bowling of Bartley.  Kingston who was joined by former USA senior team captain Staple was next to go for 39 from 50 balls but not before he delighted the crowd with 4 boundaries one of which was a Gordon Greenidge type square cut off West Indies pacer Jermaine Lawson that race to the boundary like a chase of lighten to which Lawson like West Indian quickies of the past responded with a barrage of quick short balls one of which took the top edge of Kingston’s bat and went on hit the grill of his helmet around the chin area to which he responded to by picking up the ball and relay it to Lawson telling him and I quote “pace I’m up for it today” much to the delight of the fans who likes to see fast bowlers running in and bowling at great pace.

After Kingston’s departure it was the pair of Staple and current USA representative Marshall that Villagers CC were hoping to consolidated and see them to the target or as close as possible but Westbury and the superb Bartley had other ideas as he had Staple caught by Lawson at short mid-off for 7 and Villagers slump to 107 for 3 in 19 overs and the run rate climbing to over 8 runs an over. Marshall was joined by Simpson who he shared a 250 runs partnership with earlier in the season and the pair added 48 from 45 balls to keep Villagers in touching distance, Simpson who was having a nightmare against the orthodox left arm spin of Bartley manage to score 22 from 28 balls before he was fourth man out bowled by McLeish after playing one too many cross batted shots. Former USA wicket keeper batsman Garfield Wildman came to do battle with Marshall, Marshall after a few big blows fell to a long hop for McLeish that he could have hit anywhere but somehow choose to lob it straight to Campbell at square leg who took the simplest of catches, he made 37 from 25 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes. Adams was promoted to try and up the temper but it was Wildman who kept Villagers in the hunt with an array of attacking strokes in making 41 from mare 18 balls with 3 fours and 3 sixes before he was caught by J. Thomas off Lawson who has returned for a second spell.

Captain Roye came to the crease and a captains knock was require but after facing only 1 balls was carelessly run out attempting  a second run that was clearing on hadn’t it been for Adams who had made his mind up he needed to be an strike. Gordon came to join his bowling partner this time to do some batting but didn’t last long as he was caught by Ferguson of J. Thomas for 4 from the penultimate ball of the penultimate over with Villagers still needing 15 runs. Amazingly for the second time in as many matches against these teams it was down to Adams to see his team over the line and just like he did in the round robin semi-final he failed again. Needing 15 to win and 14 to tie from the final over been bowled by Linden St. Louis he failed miserable as after 3 dot balls he was stumped off the fourth and with St. Louis only needing to bowl 2 legal deliveries, he did just that as number 11 batsman Mendonca defended his last 2 deliveries to leave Villagers on 227 for 9 from the allotted 35 overs giving Westbury victory by 14 runs.

Bowling for Westbury CC; Lawson 1 for 40 from 7 overs, St. Louis 1 for 20 from 3 overs, Clinton Lewis 0 for 39 from 7 overs, Bartley 2 for 27 from 7 overs, Mc Leash 3 for 47 from 7 overs, D. Thomas 0 for 34 from 2 overs and J. Thomas 1 for 17 from 2 overs.