By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 44th Anniversary – (Match #1232):- It was a near perfect day for Cosmos last Sunday when they took on Staten Island at Randall’s Island at their Annual Family Day event. After five wins on the trot, Cosmos boys let their guards down, and allowed a bit of complacency to creep in after they had inflected a convincing victory over Staten Island a few weeks ago. They were a little flat, unfocused, and as result, they fell short in this match and consequently put their playoffs position in jeopardy.
Cosmos struck two early blows after Staten Island won the toss and elected to bat when Devindra Balgobin held on to a well judged catch at mid-off, and in the next ball, Akash Rahim picked off a sharp chance at square leg, both off Sham Ali. A solid 79 runs 4th wicket partnership between Dilan Mataraarachchi (32) and Ahamad Sheik (39) gave the Staten Island inning some stability. Towgeshwar Thakoordeen then affected the breakthrough when Rahim held on to another excellent catch, this time on the extra-cover boundary to remove Mataraarachchi.
In the next over, Naresh Persaud removed Sheik where Ryan Ganesh made a difficult catch looked quite easy on the deep mid-on boundary, 95 for 4 in 19 overs. Alex Miller (26) is maturing into a good young cricketer and he featured in a crucial 38 runs 7th wicket partnership with Rasel Tipu (22) that gave Staten a fighting 183 for 7 in their allotted 30 overs. S. Ali took 2 for 21. N. Persaud 2 for 43, and T. Thakoordeen 1 for 38.
In their reply, the Cosmos inning got off to a shaky start when Alex Chunilall miscued pull landed in the wicketkeeper’s glove. Shane Singh then held out at deep mid-off, and Naresh top-edged a rank long-hop. The lack of application could not have been more visible, and there appears a dire need of some self-improvement in the finer points of the game. At 52 for 3 in 15 overs, Cosmos inning was in first gear, and it needed to throttle up, and in search of some fire from Kemar Cox (19) and Devindra Balgobin (20), and a partnership of sorts.
A few occasional sparks did not add much to the equation, and the chase that was limping along throughout struggled to shift course, courtesy of Cosmos batsmen finding ways of getting out. While six of Cosmos batsmen got-in and moved into double figures, none were able to push on as this ‘new look faces on names’ Staten Island team appeared more adept at exploiting the conditions of this pitch.
In the end, Cosmos came up empty as wickets kept falling at regular intervals and the inning woefully veneered off course. Skip, Ashmul Ali, whose presence is always joy, looked concerned, and he will be more than willing to assist the boys in correcting some of their flaws in the way he has always done.
The only fire power came in the form of the Bar-B-Q grill puffing at full blast with Yogesh and Gohan in full control making sure that everything was prepared and cooked to perfection, while Cosmos inning was being fried on the field thanks to a witless batting performance in this match. Sohan Dass, is having a good season, and took the fight on, but with 70 runs needed of the last five overs, Dass was playing a lone hand since he couldn’t find support from the lower order as the inning petered out to 140 for 8 off the allotted 30 overs.
While the runs in the end appeared to be too much for Cosmos the same cannot be said of Lamb, Chicken and shrimp that passed over on the grill. The arrangements spearheaded by Balgobin and Rooplall, and Donesh were perfectly done.
Rooplall, who now has his hand in a cast after he suffered an injured when he scored a century against Staten Island a few weeks ago, was very active in the food area (no problem with his hand there), while Akash, Cox and Dass, added some spiced liquid to their menu, and the boys buss-a-lime to cap off a fantastic day!
Cosmos will play Renegades next Sunday at Randalls Island in the last round of the Round Robin competition.