By James Persaud
This year the NYSCL fall season, T20 competition was extended by another two weeks due to inclement weather. The final was played on Sunday, Dynasty defeated Ace one week earlier to advance to the final. Elite automatically qualified for the final after the preliminary rounds. The teams were ready, and it was a much-anticipated matchup. Elite needed a win to complete the Triple Crown while Dynasty reached the final and desperately needed a win to boost their confidence after many tries. At the start of every season, it is almost every team’s dream to win the Triple Crown, it is one of the most coveted prizes in softball cricket.
On a Sunday with conditions not ideally best for cricket with wind gusts and temperature at 54 degrees. A good-sized crowd of softball cricket fans came to support and watch as their favorite team tried for dominance for the last time in the 2023 season. The final will bring an end to the 2023 season and teams will yield to their winter break. Dynasty won the toss and asked Elite to bat first.
Ricky Narine and A. Ramsarran opened the batting and Asif Alli started the bowling for Dynasty. Next was Mahendra Seeram and he bowled Ricky Narine with the last delivery in his first over for 3 with the score on 16. Ritesh Bridgelall batting at number 3 put on a second-wicket partnership of 44 runs with Ramsarran. Before the latter was caught off Amar Singh for 23. With one run added to the score, Singh had Bridgelall caught for 25. Brian Manniram and Vigai Surajpaul two new batter at the crease had a plan to rebuild the innings.
Surajpaul was the more aggressive and took the challenge to the bowlers. In the twelfth over bowled by Yumesh Persaud he had Manniram caught for 3 runs. Rohit Dutchin came to the crease and had trouble getting the ball away, he soon departed without scoring. Wasim Haslim came in at number 7, Surajpaul after a gallant inning and a mixed-up running between the wicket and was run out for 38 including two boundaries and 3 maximums. Haslim struck a quick 20 runs before losing his wicket to Amar Singh and the total on 144.
Raghunauth Pahalad in at number 8 did not last long before losing his wicket to Asif Alli for 2, Eon Ellis and Siddiq Kayoon batted to the end of their allotted overs for a total of 163 for 8. Ellis scored 12 and Kayoon 3, Asif Alli took 2 for 35, Amar Singh 3 for 25, Seeram and Persaud took one wicket apiece.
Dynasty began their innings with the sun tilting more to the west, the temperature dropping, and with the support of the crowd, it was sure to get the game finished. Kenny Narinedatt and V. Ramsoondar started the batting and Kayoon got the ball for Elite. Dutchin shared the new ball with Kayoon and gave up 2 runs, Raghunauth Pahalad bowled the third over and struck with his third delivery removing Ramsoondar for 3.
The new batter Prashad Mahadeo stayed with Narinedatt and added 27 runs, before being run out for 21. Devon Sobhai in at number 4 and 4 runs later Narinedatt was bowled by Vijai Surajpaul for 33 and the score on 59. Asif Adam joined Sobhai and with some good running between the wicket, they added a valuable 38-run partnership. Sobhai knew his team needed a big partnership, he played unconventional shots and tried to reverse sweep and scoop using the pace of the bowlers. His effort was not very effective, and he missed too often and was even hit in the head by Kayoon. He courageously stayed on and bat after some medical attention. Sobhai played and missed too many dot balls, but he stayed on and soon after lost Adam caught off Kayoon for 14.
With the fall of Adam’s wicket, Shailendra Shameer made his way to the crease, and the Dynasty fans roared since they knew that he could strike the ball over the boundary. As if Shameer was the last hope for Dynasty, the word around the ground was that he was batting too late. The required runs rate was climbing higher, and the batter needed to get boundaries, doubles and singles could not get them to victory.
Shameer tried but with the pace of Pahalad, Kayoon, and especially Dutchin who was bowling very fast he could not put the ball away. Dutchin bowled a very good spell; his 4 overs only gave up 11 runs and took 2 wickets. With 7 overs remaining and 6 wickets still in hand, the game was still in balance and could go to either team. In the fourteenth over Shameer struck Kayoon to deep mid-wicket and Ellis, running fast to his right, dived, a full-out stretch and took a magnificent one-handed catch. This was the turning point of the game for Elite.
Sohbai continued to bat and played his style, he tried a scoop shot against Pahalad and was only able to get it to the wicketkeeper who was standing back. Sohbai scored 21 runs, it was a very courageous effort, he is a young man with lots of talents. It is only that his choice of shots was one too many, he took too many hits on the body trying to sweep.
With the fall of Sobhai wicket Dynasty lost their last five wickets for a mere 19 runs and ended their innings at 122 all out in eighteen overs. Pahalad took 3 for 37, Kayoon 2 for 16, Surajpaul 2 for 20 and Dutchin 2 for 11.
After the game ended the Elite players met in the middle of the pitch and did their customary victory celebration. I had a chance to speak to Eon Ellis after and asked him how it felt knowing they had just won the Triple Crown. He said that it felt amazing. He reminded that me he had been there before but doing it this time felt even better after another team, Kingsmen had dominated the Premier Division for the last few years.
He continued and said they won the Spring T20, then the Summer 25 Over, after those two victories they kept focused on keeping the team together and worked on winning the Triple Crown. He dropped praises on all his teammates, every game is about the guys coming out. Elite team has some very good players, and it is always a team effort, knowing your teammates and having confidence that if they give their best every Sunday you will get good results.