Pictured above (left to right), Abdool Rahim, Jamal Hickson, Deonauth Baksh, Cohen Ismond and Saumil Gandhi.
On a day that was filled with lots of sunshine and a crisp breeze blowing across Bay Park, ACS won the toss by default and decided to take first strike. An emergency situation caused Big Apple’s captain Ejaz Asgarally to be late. Unfortunately, he had the stumps with him, causing a late start to the match. After a lengthy discussion, it was agreed that Everest/ACS will bat 40 overs and Big Apple 30 overs.
The stage was all set for start of play at 1:40 pm, with Prashad Mahadeo and D. Rampersaud opening the batting for Everest/ACS. For Big Apple, the youngster Rahanul Islam started off from the river end and the magic fingers of Zaaid Majeed from the opposite end. It was tough going for the batsmen with some deliveries keeping low, and a few kicking off a good length, making batting difficult for Everest/ACS.
After bowling four overs Islam was replaced by former Guyana youth player Rafeek Mohammed, who immediately created havoc for the batsmen. He removed both openers Mahadeo and Rampersaud; rattling their furniture for 14 and 23 respectively. It was the skipper Karan Ganesh and Wasim Haslim who put on a vital partnership for Everest/ACS. Majeed removed Haslim for a well-played 45, and the golden arm of Saumil Gandhi came on the attack and removed the skipper Karan Ganesh, who was smartly stumped by the stand-in keeper Mark Gomes for 36. Zamin Amin and Prasad were also mesmerized by Gandhi. Keith Edie with his economical figures cleaned up the tail, and with a few run outs late in the innings, ACS slumped to 168 for 9 off 40 overs.
With the cool breeze blowing across the outfield and with Big Apple with only 30 overs available to them to reach their target of 169, and a run rate of 5.63, it wasn’t going to be an easy task on such a heavy outfield. Andy Mohammed and Mark Gomes walked out to face the veteran Trevor Walke and the young left-arm pacer Prashad. The batsmen were finding it difficult to get the ball away with both bowlers maintaining a good line, and Prasad generating some pace. Gomes was first to go caught off the bowling of Prasad, Mohammed played a few good shots until he got one that kept low and was bowled also by Prasad. The youngster Abdool Rahim and Deonauth Baksh rebuilt the Big Apple inning, with Rahim the aggressor hitting some lofty blows around the park. Rahim playing his first season in New York, looked very solid and comfortable to all the bowlers. His partner, the former Guyana youth player Deonauth Baksh looked his normal self, dependable and very compact at the crease.
With the score on 88 for 2 in 20 overs, Baksh got a good delivery and was out caught for 25. Fresh off Caribbean Airlines flight BW 524, the night before was the hard-hitting and aggressive Jamal Hickson, playing his first game for Big Apple. He joined Rahim at the crease, with the run rate climbing to over seven an over. It had to take a special inning from someone. Rahim and Hickson played sensibly to take the score pass the 100 mark. Hickson played some glorious shots around the field, hitting Zamim Amin out the Park a couple of times, and a few into the river from Haslim. Rahim also got into the act, hitting a few huge sixes. He was eventually out trying to dab one to third man and was caught for a well-played 45. It was all DCC after that with Cohen Ismond joining his club mate. The two had no mercy for the bowlers giving Big Apple a comfortable win in the end. Big Apple reached its target with 1.4 overs to spare. Hickson was left not-out on a well-played 38, and Ismond 14.
Summary of the match: Everest/ACS 168 for 9 off 40 overs, W. Haslim 45, Karan Ganesh 36. Bowling for Big Apple, Saumil Gandhi 4 for 29 off 7 overs, Rafeek Mohammed 2 for 29 off 8 overs, Kieth Edie 1 for 17 off 8 overs, Zaaid Majeed I for 27 off 8 overs.
Big Apple 169 for 4 off 28.2 overs, Abdool Rahim 45, Jamal Hickson 38, Deonauth Baksh 25. Bowling for Everest/ACS Prasad 2 for 26 off 8 overs.
Big Apple travels to the picturesque Heckscher State Park this Sunday, where they will be hosted by Atlantis Cricket Club – NY.