Doneshwar Dayanand and Alvin Gobin
Doneshwar Dayanand and Alvin Gobin. Photos by Sham Ali

By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 43rd Anniversary – Match #1203):-
A dogged counterattack from Devon McCarthy and Yudesh Shivpersaud against Warriors at Cunningham Park last Sunday highlighted a Cosmos team that is not wanting of individual talent, but the collective ability to consistently fuse it together. And last Sunday was another display of the depth in the line-up when McCarthy moved from the number seven position to opening the batting as he and Shivpersaud dug in for a massive second wicket partnership. Alex Chunilall got off the mark with two commanding boundaries, but, once again, threw is wicket away in the 2nd over when he went aerial with Cosmos looking to get 236 runs in 30 overs posted by Warriors.

It was a Warriors total that was built around a good 3rd wicket partnership of 127 runs between Vaickesh Dhaniram and Youghistir Bachan, a former Guyana U19 player. Dhaniram took full advantage of the chances that were handed to him, on a platter, when yours truly clipped his edge in the second over and it went in and out of the wicketkeeper’s glove. Chunilall then grassed another at deep mid-off and Mangal at extra-cover as Cosmos fought hard to affect a breakthrough. The break finally came in the 25th over with the score on 191, when Bachan was run out for a solid 41 runs, but Dhaniram was still there and rode his luck and anchored the Warriors inning as he blasted an 80-ball 108 runs (8-6’s, 4-4”s), before he was bowled by Shane Singh in the 28th over. It was a little too late with the opposition total mounted to 236 for 7 in the allotted 30 overs. A. Chunilall took 2 for 31.

On a fast outfield and a short boundary on one end of the wicket, the opposition’s total was not beyond this Cosmos line-up. However, it would require some discipline from the top order to apply themselves with a mix of patience and calculated aggression, and Devon McCarthy seems to be in that mode as he appeared to have found some lost form in this last match of the round robin competition, albeit, a little too late. He unleashed a commanding hook to backward square, and then pulls confidently through the mid-wicket region for consecutive boundaries. He then drove neatly to the extra-cover boundary.

Shivpersaud was in command and appeared to have wrestled the initiative from the opposition attack and scoring his runs quite comfortably. He went nonchalantly over mid-off for a maximum to bring up his half century and then cuffed one over point for another maximum and then a flick through mid-wicket sounded a slow drum beat as the pair looked solid. However, at a time when both batsmen appeared to be in command of the attack, and with both of them stroking the ball cleanly in the middle of the inning, they somehow shifted gears in the wrong direction and resorted to being a bit too circumspect when they needed to keep-up-the-tempo after the break.

The chase took an abrupt turn at a crucial stage of the match with the score on 153 for 1 in 23 overs when Shivpersaud, whose penchant to play the cut-shot, or moreso how not to play it since he missed for the ‘50th time, resulted in his demise when he finally succeeded in getting an edge to the wicketkeeper. It was a hair-brained shot and for the second time in consecutive innings he missed out on the possibility of a century as he headed to the shade for a solid 81 runs off 77-balls (3-6’s, 11-4’s) in a tantalizing 2nd wicket partnership of 142 runs. It was the 149th century partnership for Cosmos, the 28th highest for any wicket and the 5th highest for the 2nd wicket.

Yudesh Shivpersaud
Yudesh Shivpersaud

At that stage, Cosmos needed a cameo from Akash Rahim or Mangal, their last hope, unfortunately, both batsmen succumbed to the pressure as Warriors pounced on the opportunity to go for the jugular and the Cosmos chase simply veneered off course as the middle order batsmen were unable to exploit the conditions that were ideal for batting.

The middle order has been one of the areas that needed a lot of attention, since it failed to fire on a number of occasions that resulted in ticking the lost column and fueled some unkind souls. However, it is imperative to note that while many teams that are on a similar tier failed to show up for games because they are not in contention for a playoffs spot, that this Cosmos team has fully honored every game on the schedule.

It is evident that the boys are enjoying themselves, and can be very proud of their efforts. That is especially evident when a few of the less talented players gets an opportunity to showcase their abilities. Doneshwar Dayanand is one of those players. He may not possess some the classic finesse of notable cricketers or some of his colleagues, but none will come even close to him as a model team man. His efforts on the field is a highlight that is way above the one hundred percentage mark, and the encouragement which he receives from his colleagues is admirably. That is especially so when he gets the opportunity is to bat. Alvin Gobin is just twelve years old and a very talented young cricketer who have displayed a maturity beyond his age. He is a player on this Cosmos team and is rallying with the big boys on the field. Watch him; he will be an excellent all-round cricketer in years to come. That was on display in the closing overs of the match where a win may have eluded us, but a greater victory is accomplished whenever opportunities are created for future cricketers. Donesh drove upishly over point to get off the mark and Alvin moved boldly down the wicket and hoisted one over mid-off. That brief display is what defines the true value of playing the game, and Donesh and Alvin have certainly won the test of attrition on this day.

And with that, the Round Robin competition has concluded. It has been a good season thus far for this Cosmos team despite having fought a number of uphill battles throughout the season. Cricket can be ‘cruel’ at times especially when one’s best efforts falls short, but that is uncertainty that gives the game its intrigue, coupled with levels of competitiveness and the test of those you engaged it. This Cosmos team has been on the receiving end of some of those disappointing encounters, and while the round robin competition revealed some of their deficiencies they managed to recognize it as a learning process, and an opportunity to absorb the experience with a healthy dose of camaraderie and sportsmanship.

Cosmos is off to Atlantic City on Saturday august 20. The bus is full to the rim, and a win is on the cards.

If you would like to publish your club’s or league’s report or your opinion, please reach out to us, we also provide the service of writing your report. Contact us at [email protected].