By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1197):- Cosmos fun in the sun at last Sunday’s cricket match and Family Fun Day at Randalls Island was celebrated by their friends and family as the Club is now pinching itself in celebration of their 43rd Anniversary. It has been an unbelievable journey so far and last Sunday ensured that the fire is still burning and so too was Akash on the BBQ grill. And while all the social activities were going on beyond the boundary, Cosmos scripted an exciting victory over Bell Hills in a low scoring match.
Cosmos won the toss and elected to bat recovered to 65 for 2 in 9 overs after the early loss of Y. Balgobin in the first over and A. Chunilall in the third. Devon McCarthy and Yudesh Shivpersaud then combined for a good partnership of 35 runs. The usually patient McCarthy (18) appeared to be on an stimulant of sorts as he shifted gears early in his inning with a commanding hook to the square leg boundary and followed up with a thumping pull over mid-wicket. He then fell to a nick behind when he tried to steer a wide delivery.
The Cosmos middle-order then fell apart again, via the airy-fairy route against an opposition attack that kept the ball on the wicket. That invited the ill-advised aggression from Cosmos batsmen at a time when they needed to consolidate the inning, and as a result, found themselves reeling at 100 for 7 in 18 overs. Cosmos veterans, Sohan Dass, the former Guyana National player, and yours truly settled for a crucial 25-runs partnership to add some respectability to the score on a tricky track before the inning closed on 129 all out in the 24th over. A. Puran took 2 for 16, while O. Motilall, L. Persaud and K. Ram took 1 for 17, 7, and 9 respectively.
This would be a tricky chase on a tricky wicket that was drenched with overnight rain, and it would require some application and careful shot-selection from Bell Hills batsmen to get over the line. Sham Ali struck an early blow in the 3rd over, as Cosmos conceded 17 runs in just seven overs. A steady 2nd wicket partnership of 39 runs between R. Netram and M. Bissoondyal led the recovery before Chunilall held on to a good catch to remove Netram (24) off R. Ganesh, and D. Balgobin handed Sookhoo a duck. A 4th wicket partnership of 24 runs pushed the BellHills inning in a good position at 74 for 3 in 14 overs at the break.
Upon resumption Cosmos spinners kept their cool and settled on a good line. Shane Singh made two crucial incisions into the middle-order two peach of deliveries. He got one to straighten a bit and clipped the bails of M. Motilall (12), and then got one to turn sharply to pierce the defense and disturbed the woodwork of M. Bissoondyal (27).
He and Chunilall turned the heat on to high and fried the opposition lower order. Chunilall then got into the dance when he held on to a return skier. There were moments to fray Cosmos nerves. A heart-in-hand moment when Towgeshwar Thakoordeen waited on the deep mid-wicket boundary, for what seems like eternity, and held on to little more than half of the ball for a ‘well judged catch’ from C. Kishore off S. Singh. Akash Rahim, safe as a house, held on to L. Persaud at deep mid-on off Chunilall as Bell Hills slipped from 74 for 3 to 102 for 8 in the 25th over and headed downhill with no brakes. Yours truly got an earful after a catch off the last wicket went begging. Chunilall and Dass the wrapped up the inning as Cosmos sealed a 20-runs victory and headed for the BBQ grill. S. Singh 3 for 22, A. Chunilall 2 for 26 , D. Balgobin 1 for 17 , S. Dass 2 for 1, T. Thakoordeen 1 for 13.
It was a good day for this team, and while the season has been a challenge for this young team, they kept their focus and continue to persevere and forge ahead despite challenges encountered in the season so far. It may not be a place a team that is rebuilding wants to be, and not a place relative newcomers wants to be, but it is a place where reputations can be made, and successes can be achieved, and this group on the right track while being cognizant of the triggers that often led to the disintegration of teams and characters that keep plying that trade. And while cricket matches will be won and lost from one season to the next, it is days like these that ultimately defines the character of the club, and this group has done an admirable job in making this family day a grand success.
Cosmos will be going to Atlantic City on Aug. 20th. All are welcome.
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