By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 44th Anniversary – (Match #1220):-
Cosmos registered a convincing 8-wicket victory over All Nations last Sunday at Beach-58, Rockaway – a ground that has been dubbed as the ‘Mosquito Coast’ was free of the singing stinging vampires on this occasion. They must be plotting to launch their full-blooded attack sometime in June. So make sure that you are armed with all your repellents if you will be playing there as the weather get warmer.

Antonio Rooplal and Mikhail Bissoondyal
Antonio Rooplal (left) picked up 4 for 18, while Mikhail Bissoondyal bowled two overs for 8 runs. Photos by Sham Ali

All Nations got off to a reasonably good start after they won the toss and elected to bat on a pitch that definitely needs some work and dusty outfield. Cosmos opening attack managed to keep the rate tidy. At the change, left-arm orthodox spinner Toogeshwar Thakoordeen affected the breakthrough when Sohan Dass rolled back time, and offered the youngsters a glimpse into his golden yesteryears as a Guyana National Player, when he took off (we felt the earth shook and taught that it was Balgobin’s athleticism on show), and with outstretched hands he held on to a good running catch at short mid-wicket to remove K. Ram (16); Dass doesn’t seem to loose his mojo with ball in hand either as he was on target with a tidy spell. He picked up 2 for 21 in the process when Ryan Ganesh took a comfortable catch at mid-wicket and Shane Singh, running in from short third-man, put the dive in and held on courtesy of a few bruises.

Cosmos then ceased the opportunity to tightened the screws on the opposition. Thakoordeen was on his game and accounted for another two wickets before he completed a good spell of 3 for 29.

At 74 for 5 in the 17th over, Cosmos grab the reins with debutants, Antanio Rooplal and Mikhail Bissoondyal, two budding young spinners, operating in tandem, ensured that the grip was tightened. There may be a level of suspicion as both spinners appeared oblivious to the limited degrees of flexion at the elbow; that may be a story for another day. It is one of the defining features of a good club that you go through the years constantly blooding young players who are eager to learn the game, despite the many challenges, but like most other things you have the good moments and you savor them.

However, on this day, Bissoondyal appeared hungry. He grabbed his chances in this match as he was excellent in the field, and with ball in hand, he settled into a good tidy length. The runs dried up keeping the match in control and pressure on the opposition. However, it was his partner, Rooplal who did the damage bowling with good flight and control. He proceeded to silently sliced through the opposition’s lower order to return with impressive figures of 4 for 18 in just 3.1 overs and subsequently restricted All Nations total to just 110 runs all out in 24.1 overs.

It was a good effort with the ball to keep the target within grasp and Cosmos opening batsmen were up for the task. Shane Singh has picked up from where he left off from last season as the leading run scorer and got among the runs again in this match.

The opening pair raced to 37 runs in just three overs with Alex Chunilall in an aggressive mood. He may need to curb his aggressive appetite for runs since he has managed to gift his wicket away too easily. Having struck two sixes and one four, he sent a full-toss into the hands of the man the deep mid-on for a 7-ball 20 runs. Singh, on the contrary, was more controlled and selective in his intent. He looked solid in a 2nd wicket partnership of 44 runs with Yudesh Shivpersaud.

That partnership put Cosmos in a commanding position at 88 for 1 in 8 overs, and on a solid platform of achieving their target, before Singh (37) got a leading edge and holed out at mid-on. Shivpersaud played himself in and got some much needed runs at this early stage of the season as he remained on 31 not out with not much left for Akash Rahim (6) to flex as Cosmos achieved their target and sealed a convincing 8-wicket victory.

Cosmos will play Yakusari next Sunday at Randalls Island.

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