Queens United Sports Club Twenty20 Festival
By Dervon Wallace
As we celebrate our nation’s 237 year of declaration of independence, it was cricket lovely cricket in glorious sunshine at the epic and beautiful Idlewild cricket field in Rosedale Queens NY in the Queens United Sports Club twenty20 cricket festival. It was a four-team tournament hence the games were a semi final type first round where the two winners would advance to the championship game while the losers would have to watch from the sidelines and enjoy the beverages from the coolers.

Dennis Evans compiled a total of 147 runs during the tournament. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

In the first game between Queens United and a NY All Stars XI lead by former USA captain Richard Staple and included a host of current and past USA representative with the likes of David Mohammad, Barrington Bartley, Glenmore Hall, Akeem Dodson, Garfield Wildman, Rashard Marshall, discarded West Indies fast bowler Jermaine Lawson and former Jamaica first class player Clem Thompson. The NY All Stars held their nerves in a closely contested game defeating the host by 13 runs.

Scores in Game I: NY All Stars won the toss and elected to bad and made 171 for 9 in 20 overs; Staple 47, Hall 39, Dodson 24 and Roy Trocard 20. Bowling for Queens United Dave Wallace 3 for 27 in 4 overs, Ragamola 3 for 7 in 3 overs, Drysdale 1 for 27 in 3 overs and Henry 1 for 32 in 4 overs In their reply Queens United did well to get to 153 all out in 18.5 overs. Waqas Shah 37 and Buccanan 31 made most runs as Staple picked up 3 for 26 from 3 overs, Roger Williams 3 for 17 from 2 overs, Lawson 1 for 23 from 2.5 overs, Austin Hutchinson 1 for 25 from 3 overs and Thompson 1 for 35 from 4 overs.

In the second game of the scheduled triple header Metro XI lead by Cliff Roye went down by 36 runs to a big name team in the form of Shadi XI which was led by former Jamaican batsman Dixeth Palmer which included a host of national and first class players with the likes of discarded USA opener Dennis Evans, former Jamaica under-19 captain Derval Green, Bruce Blackwood, George Adams and Windward Island first class players Hyron Shallow and Keddy Lesporis with the latter been a graduate of the West Indies Cricket Board Sagicor High Performance Center in Barbados.

Scores in Game II: Shadi XI won the toss and opted to bad posting a massive 176 for 2 in 15 overs; Thanks to Evans 82 retired not out and Shallow 67 retired not out sharing in a 164 runs stand. Elliot finishing with 1 for 19 from 2 overs the only wicket taker for Metro XI In their turn at bad Metro XI made 140 for 8 in 15 overs with Roye unbeaten on 59, Talisman Gordon 14, Duncan 12 and Javien Thomas 10 while Blackwood picked up 2 for 22 from 2 overs, Shadi Khan 2 for 28 from 3 overs, Damien Reid 1 for 2 from 2 overs and Evans 1 for 16 from 1 overs.

With crowd growing throughout the day it was now time for the much anticipated matchup between the two “star studded” teams manage by 2 of the region cricket enthusiast NY All Stars manage by Austin Hutchinson and Shadi XI manage by the man the team has been name after Shadi Khan. With the game reduced to 15 overs per side because of time strain it was Palmer who won the coin flip electing to bat and would be hoping for his batters to continue from where their left off in their earlier game and Shallow and Evans obliged to their captain’s wish by continuing with their assault.

It was Shallow who started the runs feast be it in fortuitous  fashion when he flash hard at a fast rising delivery outside off-stump from Lawson that flew over the head of Staple at first slip on its way to the third man boundary for 4. Both batsmen took a liking a depleted looking NY All Stars bowling attack striking the white cricket ball to all parts of the park clearing the boundaries at will posting their second century run stand for the day. Evans who seem the more technically correct of the two had the crowd applauding his every shot and played the shot of the day when he exquisitely drove medium pacer Roger Williams on tipped toes flat over a vacant extra cover for 6 which had the crowd on their feet, it was a strike where the ball went no higher than 6 feet from the time it left the bat until it crashed in the trees behind the boundary rope and he repeated the shot from the other end off Hutchinson with the only difference been it went a little higher and if that wasn’t good enough he switch hit the next ball expertly into the third man boundary. Shallow was not to be left out as he kept clobbering away on his way to 72 (44 balls 8×4 and 4×6) before he was caught behind of Marshall in the 11 over with the score 118. Lesporis came and went quickly as he was caught off Staple’s bowling for 2 with the scoreboard reading 123 for 2 from 12 overs.  Evans 65 not out (33 balls 3×4 and 6×6) was joined by Green 18 not out (8 balls 2×4 and 1×6) as they added 48 in 3 overs. Evans in the process bringing up his second half-century of the day in the penultimate over, an over in which he dispatch Marshall for 3 Hugh sixes rocking 20 off the over.

Bowling for NY All Stars Lawson 0 for 28 from 3 overs, Williams 0-26 from 2 overs, Hutchinson 0 for 23 from 2 overs, Bartley 0 for 31 from 3 overs, Marshall 1 for 40 from 3 overs and Staple 1 for 15 from 2 overs

NY All Stars needing 172 to win at a run rate of 11.46 an over with a very strong batting line up there was a buss around the ground with supports of both teams making friendly bet as to who would come out on top. It was Shadi XI who strike first as NY All Stars got off to a disastrous start when fast bowler Adams sent his Villagers CC team mate Staple’s middle stump for a walk for a first ball duck off the first ball of the chase and Adams was even more pumped running a half lap with his team mates in toe in his next over when he rattled the stumps of Staple opening partner Hall (6) to make it 21 for 2 in the third over and he almost had Marshall played on first ball. Bartley who made a duck in the first game decided to fight fire with fire as he took on the bowlers trying to keep his team in with a shout along with Marshall 12 (1×4 and 1×6) who strike 2 blows before he held out to make it 34 for 3 from 4 overs. After sharing in a 55 runs partnership with the reliable Dobson who looked good before was given out stumped for 18 (13 balls 1×4 and 1×6) the writing was on the card when Bartley 62 (32 balls 5×4 and 4×6) fell playing one shot too many to be caught on the long-off boundary off  Blackwood. NY All Stars was dismissed in the 13 over for 119 to hand victory to Shadi XI by a commanding 52 runs as no other batsman got into double figures.

Bowling for Shadi XI; Adams 2 for 9 from 2 overs, Reid 1 for 25 from 2 overs, Levy 1 for 33 from 2.2 overs, Blackwood 3 for 30 from 3 overs , Khan 0 for 7 from 1 over and Palmer 2 for 13 from 2 overs picking up 2 wickets in the only maiden over of the day.

Final score in the final Shadi XI 171 for 2 in 15 overs, NY All Stars 119 all out in 12.2 overs

After the game there was a brief ceremony in which Hutchinson promise this is the start of more tournaments like this with the next one set for Labor Day September 2, 2013 and he hopes to get sponsors onboard so there can be more prizes, Shadi Khan, Ricky from Metro XI along with the president of the Queens United Sports Club in their remarks thanked everyone for attending as cricket was the only winner on the day.

Dennis Evans was named MVP of the tournament for his 147 without been dismiss in the 2 games and got for himself a bat sponsored by Rana Mohammad Hussain of Hussain sporting goods.