By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1209):- Cosmos has had a number of sparks throughout the season, perhaps enough to start a fire, but on every occasion it petered out to just a ray of hope, and that was evident again last Sunday against Yakusari at Rockaway 150th Street in the New York National Cricket League T20 competition.
Yakusari won the toss and posted a competitive 150 off their allotted 20 overs. A composed 53 runs from Nirshaw Khan after he managed to survive confident a first ball lbw decision J. Mingo pushed Yakusari to a 68-run opening partnership before Cyril Choy affected a neat stumping off Akash Rahim to remove M. Pydana (27), and another 41-run 2nd wicket partnership with M. Parshram. Khan has given Cosmos headaches since the two teams met in the first match in the season when he sparked a brilliant century, and was looking threatening again, but Cosmos managed to keep him quiet and the run rate in check despite late comers T. Thakoordeen were not being able to bowl in the first half and Chunilall not at all.
At 109 for 2 in 14 overs, Yakusari was in a good position for the late overs explosion, but Cosmos managed to keep the match in a balance, however, they missed the opportunity to peg back the opposition to a lesser total with four crucial blunders in the last five overs when N. Persaud made a total mess of a simple catch at mid-off while Rahim, Mingo and R. Ganesh committed the same on the boundary that resulted in costly boundaries. It was the unwritten rhythm of T. Thakoordeen, despite not being able to complete his spell that held a grip on the opposition middle-order with 3 for 19 off 3 overs and part-timer D. McCarthy 3 for 29 off 3 overs, before the inning closed on 150 for 8 off their allotted 20 overs.
Cosmos had done well to restrict the opposition to a below par total. Alex Chunilall and Yogeshwar Ramgobin then got off to a good start with a 78-run opening partnership in 9 overs. With 72 runs needed in 11 over, and both openers in good command, the match had tilted and Cosmos was sitting quite comfortably.
Notably, Cosmos has been in this position on a number of occasions during the season, but the lack of experience in the middle, and the inability to employ some of the basics of batting had been their undoing. And again, this match showcased another one of those comical batting display from the middle-order, and they let the match slipped through their fingers once both openers were back in the pavilion. It was another one of those disappointing encounters as they slumped from a commanding position of 98 for 2 in 12 overs to 137 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs. S. Mangroo took 3 for 10, N. Khan 2 for 29, and B. Pydana 2 for 17.