By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1206):- Cosmos opening batsman Shane Singh delivered a superb counterattack in a match-winning inning in the semi-finals against Intruders last Sunday at Baisley 150th Street in the New York National Cricket League T20 series.
It took a little time for Cosmos boys to be fully awake for a 9am start, but after restricting the opposition to 166 runs in their allotted 20 overs, Cosmos got off to a slow start of 30 runs in the powerplay overs. But once the wakeup call came from a nervy Cosmos camp. Singh shifted gears and burn some tires with a cracking six over cover, and another two dismissive maximums over mid-off and mid-wicket boundary to get the adrenalin pumping as he and Yudesh Shivpersaud up-the-tempo in the chase.
However, the asking rate was climbing, but then came one of those fairytale overs that yielded 36 runs and seized the initiative from the opposition and dramatically shifted the momentum as Cosmos breathe some sigh of relief with the run rate on par. The match was slowly slipping away from Intruders after they had posted a challenging 166 in their allotted 20 overs on a difficult pitch with a quickfire 13-ball 28 runs from R. Green, while young Kyle Kowlessar was a bit more watchful for his 29-ball 29 runs, and K. Roopnarine, who posed some worry in the Cosmos attack kept the Intruders inning ticking with an excellent 53-ball 78 runs not out to pose a real challenge for the Cosmos batsmen.
Shane Singh had a few good starts during the season, but never really converted his innings to big scores, perhaps he was saving his best for this semifinals, and he did. He was given good support from Cosmos top order, Yudesh Shivpersaud and Surendra Ramcharitar, as they showcased a glimpse into their ability to be a competitive team.
When Singh finally went for a commanding half century (36-ball 59 runs 6-4’s; 3-6’s), that combined belligerence and poise in exactly the right dose, he had steered Cosmos to what ended up being a stroll of a chase. The inning was now poised with a-run-ball in the next seven overs, and the target was well within Cosmos’s grasp. Shivpersaud ensured that there will be no hiccups and steadied the inning with a composed 39 runs as he and Akash Rahim took Cosmos to a comfortable 7-wicket victory and the team headed to Baisley Cage to play Richmond Hill in the final.