By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1207):-
In the New York National Cricket League T20 series Cosmos took on Richmond Hill at Baisley (Cage) ground last Sunday in the finals after they defeated Intruders in the semi-finals at Baisley 150th Street ground. It was a good opportunity for this young Cosmos outfit to test their ability against one of the league’s a division 1, front-runners team, and the chance to be in a final is an excellent opportunity for the team to gain some good experience.

Akash Rahim
Akash Rahim. Photo by Sham Ali

Cosmos got off to a reasonable start in the powerplay overs after Richmond Hill captain, Dinesh Deonarain, offered Cosmos to take first strike. Opening batsmen Shane Singh and Surendra Ramcharitar were somewhat watchful before Shane Singh (8) holed out at point. Yudesh Shivpersaud, Cosmos most dependable batsman failed to get going and followed soon after via lbw. Ramcharitar and Akash Rahim steadied the Cosmos inning, and at 80 for 2 in the 10th over, the Cosmos inning had recovered well and was in a good position to post a competitive total.

But once fastman K. Sewnarine, after he returned for his second spell and Ramcharitar took him for two maximums, affected the breakthrough when Ramcharitar attempted to repeat once more but managed to find the man on the mid-off boundary as he went for a 37-ball 54 runs.

The Richmond Hill attack got the opening and Sewnarine proceeded to put a dent into the Cosmos top-order. Leon Mohabir, right arm off spin, was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged his second 4-for in the meetings. Mohabir probed on a steady length with good variation and control. The Cosmos middle-order had few answers for Mohabir as the inning veneered off course with a series of injudicious shots while Rahim stood as a spectator at the non-striker’s end. The Cosmos batsmen could only manage just 40 runs in the last 10 overs before the inning closed on 120 runs all out in 18.5 overs L. Mohabir took 4 for 12, and K. Sewnarine 4 for 29, V. Singh 1 for 18.

These low scoring matches, especially in a final, can at times becomes a tricky chase, however, it would require a major effort from Cosmos in the field to defend a below par total on a good batting wicket and a formidable Richmond Hill line-up. Cosmos opening attack led by Junit Mingo and Ryan Ganesh kept things tidy with Ganesh accounted for N. Rambharos (11) as the opposition managed 34 runs in the powerplay.

At he half way mark, the 10th over, Cosmos was at 80 for 2, while Richmond Hill was on 76 for 2, but Trevor Henry was still there, and never looked like leaving anytime soon as he constructed a few mini partnerships. Cosmos bowlers tried gamely on a flat track but still managed to make a slight dent in the top order with a few sparks when Rahim took a blinder low down to his right at backward point to remove M. Boodram, V. Singh then holed out on the boundary to give Ramcharitar his third wicket in the match.

Captain Dinesh Deonarain joined Henry and the pair ensured that there will be no further hiccups, but it was Henry who proved to be Cosmos nemesis as he rode on his two chances. He was in good command thereafter and paced his inning against the ineffectiveness of the Cosmos attack on this track. He drove twice with authority to the mid-off boundary for maximums and was equally contented in picking up the singles. Henry’s inning in this final was one of maturity balanced with furious elegance that saw him gently caressed a match-winning unbeaten 52-ball 63 runs, that sealed an emphatic 6-wicket victory for Richmond Hill. Cosmos, though disappointed, gave a good account of themselves in this final.