Daniel Chunilall
Daniel Chunilall shared a partnership with brother Alex Chunilall before falling 33 that included 3 fours and a six.

By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 42nd Anniversary – Match #1175):-
Cosmos boys rallied around Daniel Chunilall all-round performance last Sunday against New York Kings at Flushing Meadows Park, but his gallant effort was not enough to get them over the line. The Chunilall brothers, Daniel and Alex will be a dominant combination in this team and they have shown a glimpse of that last Sunday as they dug-in for a crucial partnership after Kings struck two massive blows when M. Jakhu removed Cyril Choy and Akash Rahim with two successive searing inswingers in the first over.

Daniel, the senior of the two, looked in good touch when he unleashed a few blistering cover drives to the boundary and then went over mid-wicket for a maximum, while young Alex was providing good support playing within his limitations picking up the singles and making full use of any loose deliveries to the mid-on and mid-off boundary and a crisp maximum over extra cover. The 54-run partnership in nine overs was as solid as it was classy, but the humidity and scorching upper 90 degrees temperature had the final say as the pair appeared exhausted. Alex pushed lazily off the backfoot to off-spinner Anmoolpreet and got a nick to the keeper for a 25-ball 33 that included 3-4’s, and a six. Two balls later, Yugesh Shivpersaud played an ambitious heave and was stumped. Khemraj Conyers and Daniel took the score to 81 in the 14 the over before Daniel was bowled by M. Suleman when he played tiredly off the backfoot for 29, 3-4’s and six.

Conyers was in shock and the victim of poorly adjudged lbw decision to a ball that pitched way out leg stump. It was one of those umpire’s decisions that makes a mockery of the rules. At 81 for 6 in the 15th over, the Cosmos lower order lacked the required application with only Devindra Balgobin and Sham Ali getting into double figures as the Cosmos inning closed on 132 all out. A. Singh 3 for 41 and M. Suleman 3 for 10.

Kings in their reply got of to a flyer when R. Garcha and A. Singh raced to 53 by the 6th over, but Cosmos kept pegging away. Left arm spinner T. Thakoordeen struck twice with his 4th and 6th ball in the 7th over when he trapped Garcha (23), and D. Chunilall plucked a tracer bullet out-of-thin-air off the bat of T. Sharma at mid-off. Chunilall then struck twice with his 4th and 6th ball in the 8th over when he dove forward and held on to brilliant return catch millimeters off the pitch. He then got one to rear off the seam and wicketkeeper Choy picked of a classic piece of stumping when S. Jakhu (0) lost his footing. At 55 for 4, Cosmos had pulled the match back into a balance.

Things got bit more heated under the blistering temperature as the pressure mounted. Another stroke of brilliance accounted for M. Suleman when S. Grant was moved from mid-wicket to forward short-leg where he snatched an inside edge to his right which appeared to have passed him, good cricket!

Thakoordeen then struck again in the 10th over when Y. Shivpersaud held on to a well judged catch at deep mid-off, and at 68 for 5, Cosmos appeared to have been in the ascendancy, but a steady hand from A. Singh kept Kings in the fight with a 20-run partnership. A bowling change resulted in another twist when K. Conyers held on to a brilliant catch running in from deep mid-on of the bowling of R. Ward. In the next over, Conyers then bowled U. Wyne with a faster ball while opening batsman Singh (51) had to retired hurt, and this match now had more twist than a 1960’s rock-steady.

But with only one umpire and a make-shift square by either side is what you get in these close matches as was evident when a stumping decision was turned down and a waist height no-ball was called after the catch was taken. It put an unfortunate damper on a match that had sparks of brilliance on either side as Kings sealed victory by 2 wickets.

Even though success have eluded them, it was one of the best performances so far this season for this young inexperience Cosmos team that seems to be improving with every match, and last Sunday was clearly not short of effort and an indication of the wealth of talent in this young unit, but learning the craft under tough conditions and at this level has certainly exposed some of their temperamental flaws rather than talent, but this team’s perseverance have been admirable.