By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1195):-
On a clear hot day and a bone dry outfield at Beach 32, Cosmos felt the scorching in a double header last Sunday against Falcons and Melbourne.

Shane Singh
Shane Singh had figures of 3 for 37. Photo by Sham Ali

Cosmos was back into their old habits in only the third over of the match, and the writing was clear that it was going to be a long day at the park. Both openers had survived before they were in double figures when three regulation catches were floured off the first three deliveries from Akash Rahim who had to complete N. Persaud’s third over after right his calf muscle gave him a rude wake-up reminder that running in to bowl is no bull.

The Falcons openers rode their luck for the next eighteen overs after they won the toss and elected to bat on a good pitch with the match reduced to 25 overs. It was obvious that the early morning rise triggered a menu malfunction as Cosmos bowlers served-up bowls of soup for breakfast instead of the usual dhall.

Falcons feasted to 150 runs in 18 overs before Shane Singh (rhof), perhaps introduced a little too late into the attack, amended his earlier blunder when he affected the breakthrough by removing K. Shamsundar, but not before he had put a dent in the Cosmos attack with a breezy 58-ball 78 (3’6, 10’4). The Falcons inning was poised for a late inning explosion, but Cosmos managed to keep themselves in the match as Singh bagged another two wickets.

D. Ramdeo kept the Falcons inning together with a patient 58 off 67 balls before he fell to R. Ganesh. Doneshwar Dayanand was outstanding in the field, he was perhaps the only one awake that early, as Cosmos leaked 31 extras before the Falcons inning closed on a competitive 212 for 6 off their allotted 25 overs. S. Singh finished with 3 for 27.

Cosmos batsmen in their reply batted in patches by trying to be overly aggressive on an outfield with plenty of rewards on offer for basic batting. The first seven batsmen got into double figures, but were not able to push-on against a bowling attack that did not present much worry. Only Yudesh Shivpersaud showed some intent before he was undone via lbw from a big inside edge unto his pads for a 19-ball 28 runs.

The Cosmos approach was a clear indication of an inexperience line-up, and their inability to properly access the batting conditions on a fast outfield. As a result, they kept loosing wickets at crucial times, and the inning petered out to 160 all out in the 25th over. K. Ramsundar had a good all-round match as he followed up his half century with 3 for 26 while F. Gobin got 4 for 30.