By John L. Aaron
On a beautiful day made for cricket and several cricket fans at the ground, two former USA national players, Akeem Dodson and Prashanth Nair, faced off. They were part of the Sheffield Cricket Club vs. Atlantis Cricket Club – NY match-up last Sunday at 80th Street in Canarsie, Brooklyn. It was the third-round fixture of the New York Metropolitan Cricket League’s Clement ‘Busta’ Lawrence Premier 40-overs 2022 season.
After a late start due to equipment difficulties experienced by host Sheffield Cricket Club at the ground, it was agreed that the match be reduced to 32-overs. The former USA national wicket-keeper batsman, Akeem Dodson’s Sheffield Cricket Club, came out on top with a “W” in a somewhat low-scoring game. Atlantis opting to bat first could only muster 120 all-out in 28.1 overs, as the team’s top-order failed to post a total worthy of the young batting lineup.
Given a questionable decision at the top of the batting lineup, the departure of Atlantis’ vice-captain Randall Wilson signaled a lousy day at the office for the boys in green and gold. Atlantis’ leftie Emmanuel Seecharran failed to bother the scorers as he was caught by wicket-keeper Dodson off the bowling of Jason Dawes without scoring. A procession of Atlantis batters who failed to defend their wickets followed. Opener Akeel Hoyte was the next to go caught off the bowling of Muhammad Baja for 6 off 17 balls. It was that kind of a day for Atlantis. Giovanni Letren, 10, showed some determination in the middle but did not stick around long enough. Only when overseas players Ronaldo Ali Muhammad, 36, and Kellon Carmichael, 20, partnered to add some respectability to the team’s total there was a glimmer of hope in possibly posting 150-160. Soon after the two all-rounders departed, the rest of the tail quickly wagged.
It was some keen and crafty bowling by the Sheffield bowlers that ensured Atlantis would be kept in check. The effort was supported by Muhammad Baja 6-0- 45-3, Abdur Rehman 2.1-0-11-2, Jason Dawes 6-1-13-2, and Nabeel Tariq 1-0-2-1. The Atlantis wickets fell at 11, 14, 14, 23, 62, 80, 99, 109, 119, and 120 at the 28.1 over mark.
Asked to score at just under four per over, Sheffield came out in an attacking mode in what appeared to be a hurry-up and strategic modus operandi. However, Atlantis’ skipper Gregory Robinson was having none of that, quickly sending Nabeel Tariq back LBW for 2 in the third over with the score at 17. The next wicket, Sheffield’s skipper Dodson would fall three runs later, as overseas player Kellon Carmichael had him trapped LBW for 2. The third Sheffield wicket would fall 58 runs later as Darius Gopaul, 33, and Ali Nawaz Shaw, also contributing 33, staged a reconstructive inning. The remaining Sheffield wickets fell at 92, 93, and 106, as Sheffield reached the targeted 121 five overs later. The best of the Atlantis bowlers was Kellon Carmichael, with figures of 7-2-24-2. Sheffield’s other losses were caused by Seth Maughn 3-1-11-1, Gregory Robinson 3-0-20-1, and Ronaldo Ali Muhammad 7-0-38-1.
Although the day’s match was part of a Metro League’s 2022 season fixture, the two teams were competing for the annual Andrew “Monster” Lyght Memorial Trophy. The annual side-action match-up is in memory of one of Guyana’s most promising cricketers, who represented the Demerara Cricket Club before dying at a much too young age. Sheffield has now won the cup twice, while Atlantis has won it just once.
Atlantis 2-1 takes on Lucas 2-1 this Sunday at Idlewild Cricket Ground, while Sheffield takes on Queens United Sports Club at the Roy Sweeney Cricket Oval in Brooklyn. Both matches kick-off at noon.
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