By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 44th Anniversary – (Match #1225):-
Antanio Rooplall stood firm with an unflappable sense of defiance that gave his team some respite as Cosmos walked all over BellHills at Ferry Point Park last Sunday, amidst the raucousness of an opposition that is in dire need of some serious schooling in the spirit of the game of cricket among other things.

On a warm Father’s Day ideal for batting, Alex Chunilall gave himself a much-needed promotion when he walked out to toss and a minute later he looked somewhat dejected when he called the wrong side of the coin. Nonetheless, the apparent wrong side of the coin paid early dividends as Cosmos began to make inroads in the third over when Ryan Ganesh scalped two quick wickets. Thereafter, the opposition batsmen didn’t offer any meaningful challenge to the Cosmos attack as wickets began to tumble at regular intervals.

Antanio Rooplall
Antanio Rooplall struck an elegant and unbeaten 60 as Cosmos beat Bellhills. Photos by Sham Ali

Chunilall toyed a little with this opposition in a tidy spell of 2 for 22. Gohan Gourdeen missed his length on a few occasions, but returned in the end with 2 for 10. Kemar Cox was a bit wayward but still managed to bag 3 for 35 that included an excellent catch by wicketkeeper Jaden Ramlakhan who ran back and dove full length to hold on to a skier from M. Mohamed for 37. Doneshwar Dayanand – the man with the symbolic orange cap – got into the act when he threw his hands high up in the air and cupped a skier. He held on for dear life as he tumbled over and got up to a rousing applause for his acrobatic show– good catch young man. The combined efforts of Jaden and Doneshwar summed up a good Cosmos performance in the field. A few hacks here and there pushed the opposition’s total to a 163 runs all out.

Cosmos in their reply got off to a shaky start when they lost the early wicket of Chunilall as he chased after a ranked first ball wide and edged behind. A solid 25-run partnership between Antanio Rooplall and Yudesh Shivpersaud began to take shape when the unthinkable happened. Last ball of the 3rd over, Rooplall pushed to cover, attempted to run, sent back, the throw hits him and deflected to gully area as he made his ground and ended up running past the wicketkeeper. Rooplall turned and walked back to his crease and then proceeded to walk down the wicket to chat with Shivpersaud (non striker) who had grounded his bat before leaving his crease. As he walked to meet Rooplall halfway as is customary at the end of an over. The fielder at gully area passed the ball to the man a point, then to short extra-cover who began to walk towards the non-striker’s end.

As Yudesh and Rooplall meet in the middle of the pitch. A fielder from mid on walked up to the wicket at the non-striker’s end and motioned the man at short extra-cover to throw the ball. He removed the bail and appeal, wha-kinda-story-dis-now budday. After some seconds, the Umpire raised his finger. Shivpersaud was given out run out. Nuff trouble start skites! Tek-u-ball-&-bat-and-go-home if he doesn’t go out.

Shivpersaud attempted to plead his case to the opposition captain about not even attempting to run, but he quickly realized that he was engaging an opposition leadership that seems to fuel that type of unsavory behavior, and one that takes comfort and is refreshed by in spitting against the wind, and an umpire that is on another planet with regards to the finer points of the game. Golaaang you out! Laaad!

Devindra Balgobin
Devendra Balgobin also produce a quick 40 that included six fours and two sixes.

Cosmos boys remained unfazed and refused to stoop to a level where few would go or even engage in the verbal garbage. It is most unfortunate though, that discipline appears to be toxic for some leadership, and it is sad that young innocent cricketers tend to follow suit. Any attempts to win a cricket match at all costs by engaging in actions contrary to rules and spirit of the game will eventually find its rightful place in the heavy bushes on Bellhills, wherever that susu is… And as always, that kind of behavior on the cricket field will always get the results it deserves, and that is ‘fall-flat-pun-u-backside’ as some described it colloquially.

Phew, and after that episode of bushhill cricket, Devindra Balgobin, promoted up the order to #4, made his way to the middle, and immediately cracked three boundaries over square leg and mid-wicket to shut-up the ‘noise’. Balgobin was not finished, as he was equally dismissive of the man who committed the act earlier as he ran in to bowl. Bang! Six, tek da. Bang! Six, tek da to. Balgobin didn’t even bother to look where it landed. Bang! Four, sweetie. A 3rd wicket partnership of 53-runs took Cosmos to 79 runs in 11 overs, before Balgobin went for an excellent 24-ball 40 runs (4-4’s, 2-6’s).

Balgobin spoke loudly with his bat on this day, and his cameo laid a solid foundation for the Cosmos inning for Rooplall to flow with the tide. He (Rooplall) remained unfazed, though he had showed some resentment at the utterly distasteful display earlier, he quickly brushed that noise aside, and quietly repaid this opposition in rusty small change, and any hope which this opposition had of reaping rewards for a sneaky wicket earlier, disappeared like a congoeel in trench moss.

Kemar Cox had a brief outing, and at 96 for 4 in the 13th over, Cosmos was in cruise control as Akash Rahim and Rooplall exercise restraint, self preservation and a gradual accumulation of runs. Rooplall anchored the inning with a composed 60 runs not out while Rahim remained on 19 runs not out as the pair neatly stitched together an unbeaten 5th wicket partnership of 68 runs by the 25th over that gave their team a comfortable 6-wicket victory.

Cosmos will play Trini Boyz next Sunday at Randalls Island.