Metropolitan Cricket League

Battle for Leaderboard Spots Intensifies

John AaronNew YorkNews August 5, 2023 admin

By John L. Aaron
The Metropolitan Cricket League’s Clement “Busta” Lawrence 40-Overs Premier League’s 2023 season has intensified now that the semi-finals and championship final are in sight.

With fantastic weather and supportive crowds of fans, last weekend’s fixtures saw a reversal of fortunes for two teams while Westbury Cricket Club continued dominating the leaderboards.

Richard Allen
Richard Allen chalked up another ton of the 2023 season, hitting 119 from 62 deliveries against Lucas Sports Club.

Westbury won by ten wickets.

Lucas won the toss and elected to bat first. It is often said that fortune favors the brave, and it would have been a heroic effort either way on the part of Lucas – to bat or bowl first.

Lucas was off to what could be described as a medium-paced start, posting a 57-run opening partnership off the first 6.5 overs before Orval Crawford was dismissed for 26 off 23 balls with 1×6 and 3x4s. It was a decent start for Team Lucas; however, they lost wickets in the 11th, 13th, 14th, and 15th overs, failing to build upon the opening half-century partnership of Crawford and fellow opener Kiran Sitaram, 39, who fell lbw to Romaine Johnson.

The middle-order collapse led to a spirited knock off the bat of Malcom Gray, 52 (1×6, 5x4s). He was supported briefly in the middle by Julien George, 17, as the rest of Team Lucas failed to spark an ignition beyond a Lucas total of 166, all out in 33.3 overs.

The Lucas wickets fell at 57, 80, 83, 83, 84, 150, 153, 166, 166, and 166.

Brandon English was the most economical of the Westbury bowlers with figures of 4.3-1-11-3 at 2.44 per. Romaine Johnson enjoyed 3 for 33 of his seven overs, while Ryan Bennett had 2 for 19, with Joseph Brown and Michael Meggs rounding out the scalp hunt with one wicket apiece.

Westbury’s skipper Richard Allen with a magnificent knock of 119 off 62 balls (6x6s, 13x4s) appeared anxious to emerge from the brief slum he had over the past few matches where he failed to dominate the opposition bowlers by posting his usual three-figure contributions with the bat. It is rumored that he had briefly stopped using a willow gifted to him by the Universe Boss, Christopher Henry Gayle, OD. Not last Sunday, with or without the Boss’ piece of lumber, Allen once again dominated the bowlers and outscored his opening partner Joss Northover, 35 not out, by more than 3-1, as the duo romped home to a 10-wicket win over Lucas in just 15.5 overs.

Lucas skipper Wayne Amsterdam was the least expensive of the six bowlers used by his team. His average of 7.33 per over topped the rest of the bowlers, who averaged between 8.00 and 19.09 per over, with nothing to show for their efforts. And so, Westbury remains at the top with an unbeaten record of 9-0 with two no-result matches and 49 points in the eleven fixtures played so far in the Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier 40-overs season.

The player of the Match was Richard Allen.

George Adams
George Adams picked up 3 for 20 as Villagers beat Atlantis. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

Villagers won by 76 runs.

Over at Roy Sweeney Cricket Oval in Brooklyn, Villagers, and Atlantis played peek-a-boo and swapped out the number 2 and 3 slots on the points table, despite having the same number of wins and losses tied at 42 points. The two teams will likely meet in the semi-final, with number two playing number three, as will Westbury at number 1, playing Lucas, the number four seed. It all depends on the results of the upcoming fixtures this weekend.

Is last Sunday’s fixture a precursor to this year’s championship finalists? Oh, what a game of glorious uncertainty is the sport of cricket.

Now, back to the game being covered here. Atlantis won the toss and opted to bowl first. With a batting lineup of one through eight, Villagers took to the middle with Tristan Coleman and Lorenzo McDonald. However, after blasting successive sixes with a missed chance in between, Coleman, 15, was back in the shade c. Wktpr Marvan Prashad b. Dillon Bourne with the Villagers score at 25 in the fourth over. McDonald, 9, soon followed four runs later, c. Randall Wilson b. Kellon Carmichael.

Villagers would post another 20 runs before losing the wicket of Andre McCarty, c. Darius Gopaul b. Jayden Higgins. The latter would rearrange the furniture of Michael Frew, 36 (4x6s, 3x4s), and Dorrell Evelyn would capture the wicket of Villagers’ skipper George Adams, 18 (2x6s) brilliantly caught by Steve Roopnarine.

The sea-saw inning of Villagers ended on the last delivery of the 37th over at 180 all out. It was less than a par score for the Villagers at the Roy Sweeney Oval. However, would it be a defendable total against Atlantis, who had fared far better with a convincing “W” against Villagers earlier in the season?

The Villagers wickets fell at 25, 29, 49, 97, 125, 131, 150, 156, 175, and 180. The 10 Villagers wickets were distributed among the six bowlers used by Atlantis with Dorrell Evelyn with 2-0-17-2 emerging atop the heap, with Kellon Carmichael 2/26, Isiah Gomex 2/27, Jayden Higgins 2/33 off five overs, Steve Roopnarine 2/33 off eight over and Dillon Bourne 1/51 off his eight overs.

Atlantis was dealt a severe blow when two of its players, Darius Gopaul and Antonio Handy, collided, going for a catch. Both men were shaken up badly, with Gopaul being taken to the hospital with a suspected concussion. He would be discharged later that evening from the hospital and, as a result, had not played any further part in the day’s match.

With an asking rate of 4.5 runs per over, Atlantis appeared ready for the task ahead when Freddy Pestano and Marvan Prashad took to the middle. However, the very confident duo would only post 22 runs before George Adams dismissed Prashad for 14 (1×6, 1×4) in the fourth over. Five runs later, skipper Randall Wilson made a U-turn without scoring in what appeared to be a questionable call for lbw. The disappointed skipper had faced just three balls.

The earlier on-field collision of the two Atlantis players had evidently shaken up the team’s lineup, however; despite a deep bench, Atlantis did not manage the over rate intelligently. As a result, they lost wickets steadily, ending up 77 runs shy of the target and losing to the Village men in 19.3 overs.

The Atlantis wickets fell at 22, 27, 42, 52, 88, 88, 88, 91, and 104 in 19.3 overs—George Adams with 3-0-20-3, followed by Ryan (Max) Burnett 3.3-0-12-3 were the top-line finishers. Andre McCarty had 2 for 16, and Mikey Alexis had 1 for 20 off four overs. Gregory Robinson had a stingy spell of 3-0-11-0 at 3.67 per.

Spice Island won by ten wickets.

In the third fixture played last Sunday at Marine Park in Brooklyn, Island Wide won the toss and opted to have a bat on a day made for cricket in the parks.

Island Wide posted 91 runs off 23.4 overs, and Spice Island responded with a winning tally of 92 runs off 30 overs.

Unfortunately, as of this posting, no individual scores were available.

This Sunday, August 6, 2023, fixtures include a competitive match-up featuring top-seeded Westbury against second-place Villagers at Roy Sweeney Oval in Brooklyn. Lucas hosts Island Wide at Marine Park, also in Brooklyn. Spice Island visits Suburbia at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, and Atlantis will pick up five points through the absence of Pioneer Cricket Club.

All matches begin at 12:00 PM.