USA Cricketers

Cosmos Lost Alliance

Antonio Rooplall

By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 45th Anniversary – Match #1262 / 20240623):-
On a day that tested one’s endurance, Cosmos succumbed too easily to Alliance with a lackluster performance after Alliance won the toss and elected to bat.

Antonio Rooplall scored 52 which included 6 fours. Photo by Sham Ali

Alliance opening batsmen R. Balkarran and T. Gilbert got off to a flying start with 33 runs in the two opening overs on good batting wicket and a fast outfield. That prompted an immediate change in the attack from pace to spin, and it stems the flow of runs and affected the breakthrough when Antonio Rooplall held on to an excellent catch at short mid-wicket to get rid of Balkarran (28) off Alex Chunilall. Shane Singh managed to scalp another two wickets as Cosmos fought themselves back into the match at the break with the score on 108 for 3 in 15 overs.

The chance to make further inroads into the opposition middle-order came in the 18th over when Akash Rahim held on to a skier at point. Cosmos then missed two crucial opportunities when G. Gourdeen grassed a dolly at mid-off and Rahim a regulation at deep mid-on, and they paid the price. David Williams Jr. and Davanand Persaud then proceeded to post a crucial 88-run partnership in just nine overs courtesy of some poor bowling.

Williams Jr. in particular appeared more adept at exploiting the conditions of a good batting wicket and a fast outfield. He batted with purpose and fluency as he constructed mature half-century ( 53) at a crucial stage of the match with two sixes and six fours. That partnership ultimately shifted the balance of the match as Cosmos attack was quite wayward and in the process it leaked too many runs in the last eight overs when the Alliance inning closed on a competitive 225 for 7 in their allotted 30 overs. Shane Singh got 3 for 36. A. Chunilall got 2 for 39. R. Palmer 1 for 34, T. Thakoordeen 1 for 44.

Cosmos needed a big inning from one of their top order and they have enough fire power, despite the absence of Devindra ‘went fishing’ Balgobin, in their middle order to help them get over the line. However, they needed a good opening partnership from Alex Chunilall and Yogeshwar Ramgobin, but it was not to be, in what can probably considered a stroke of ‘brain freeze’ when Alex Chunilall swiped at his first ball and went for a duck. Yogeshwar Ramgobin pulled through mid-wicket for four, and then ran down the wicket at the next ball. Surely that was not in the plan. He was out soon after when he tried to finish the match in the 4th over with an ambitious heave and holed out at short third-man.

Young Rasheem Palmer was run out for 6. Photo by Sham Ali

Antonio Rooplall and Akash Rahim had a brief partnership with both batsmen looking quite comfortable at the wicket. Then the unthinkable happened via two terrible run outs that left Cosmos panting for breath. In the 9th over, Rooplall pushed to point and took off, but Rahim was late in his response and was run out by-a-mile. The left-handed Rasheem Palmer looked solid, much in the image of his father Dixeth Palmer, when again in the 12th over, Rooplall pushed to point and took off leaving Palmer stranded as Alix Hussain, who affected both run outs, and just as he did in the previous play, darted in and with the pick up executed another brilliant piece of fielding to leave the Cosmos inning stuttering on 68 for 4 in the 13th over.

Cosmos had dug themselves into a hole and it was left to Rooplall and Shane Singh to get them out. Rooplall was playing his role constructing a mature inning, despite having the higher percentage of error in the last two wickets that fell. He appeared to be the only Cosmos batsman to adapt to these conditions where there was value for shots on the ground on a good batting wicket and a fast outfield. He picked up the occasional boundary and converted on the singles, as he and Singh brought a sense of calm to the inning with a good partnership that had swelled to 58 runs. Singh (32) batted with his usual flare clearing the mid-wicket boundary twice in an attempt to give the inning a much needed acceleration to improve on the run-rate, however, it appeared that he was low on fuel and eventually ran out of gas. Rooplall attempted the same just after he had brought up his half-century. But managed to find the man at mid-off.

Spinner Shane Singh. Photo by Sham Ali

Thereafter, the Cosmos inning went into a free-fall from 126 for 4 in 22.1 overs to 129 for 8 in 23.1 overs in one eventful over from Hussain. And just as the Cosmos inning melted in the first match of the season from 172 for 2 in the 17th over to 192 all out in 22 overs, similarly that performance was repeated in this match when the inning melted like an ice-cream cone on a hot day, well it was 90 degrees, course courtesy of some witless batting. We could have gone fishing after being bowled out for 140 all out in 25 overs. A. Hussain was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged 5 for 21,

Cosmos Masters will play Xploras Masters at Ferry Point Park, Whitestone on Saturday at 1pm.

Cosmos ‘A’ will play Yakusari on Sunday at Roy Wilkins Park, at 1:30pm.

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