By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1215):- It is Nov. 6. Daylight savings time takes effect with the clock turned back one hour. It is also Marathon Sunday in New York City with the temperature expected to rise into the mid 70 degrees with clear skies and bright sunshine. Your eyes are perfect, nothing is wrong with it, and you are reading correct, mid 70 degrees in November. The Marathon runners may dread the unusually warm temperatures, but cricketers just love it. Let it remain like that until Christmas.
Cosmos are on the road to the city of brotherly love to play Philadelphia Cricket Club at the exclusive Philadelphia Country Club. Every cricketer’s dream, almost every cricketer, is to play cricket at the famous Lords Cricket ground in England. Well, the Philadelphia CC ground will do just fine with the outfield is immaculately manicured and the postcard surroundings makes for something like a fairytale cricket match staged for a movie setting. Push the ball into the gap and don’t move. Just watch it hug the grass and melts away without a bump on the way as it raced to the 80-yard boundary. It is a stark contrast from the ‘rocky mountains’ cricket fields in New York that we call home which is quite alright.
Of course, Alex Chunilall elected to field, and apart from being a courteous guest, the boys were overly anxious to step onto the greenery. A few early slips and slides on a smooth outfield, as a Guyana lingo would apply ‘country-come-to-town’ were quickly adjusted. Philadelphia got off to a good start, but Cosmos managed to pull things back in the middle as Chunilall rotated his bowlers in an effort to get everyone involved whilst keeping the run rate from ticking over too much, and keeping the match in a balance.
Young Alvin Gobin and an energized Doneshwar Dayanand had a good spell while Shaheed Behari had a very testing over where one of his deliveries almost cleaned up the man at point. The hosts managed to get a competitive 151 in their allotted 25 overs. However, in a kind gesture, Chunilall decided to bowl two additional overs to give the two female players a chance to bat. That was probably the highlight of the day as they featured in an eventful partnership of five runs. The game is much richer whenever it can accommodate a learner the opportunity to be at the crease.
Cosmos got off to a good start when Jaden Ramlakhan (17) and Charu Choudhary (21) posted a 35-run partnership. Sohan Dass looked a bit pristine on this outfield as he showcased a glimpse into his early days on the Guyana National Team with a few crispy drivers while Chunilall’s (22) natural taste for going over-the-top had no time to digest the outfield. Devindra Balgobin looked a bit of his old self as he too took the aerial route with two massive blows. Dass, during his partnerships must have wondered where he went wrong in keeping the ball on the green; it’s a generational thing.
And while the match had its elements of entertainment there were periods of competitiveness to make for an excellent day of cricket. Doneshwar Dayanand had a full days play as he and Behari saw their team safety home when Dayanand pulled through mid-wicket and walked off in jubilation in 22nd over. Cosmos was grateful to Clark Thomas for putting a team together so late in the season and a fantastic host.
Cosmos will draw the curtains down on their 2022 next Sunday at their 43rd Anniversary Presentation.
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