Metropolitan Cricket League
By Dervon A. Wallace
Record chasing Villagers Pacesetters Sports Athletic Club with a record of (play 17, win 16 lose 0 and Tie 1) will look to become the first “invincible” triple crown champion in the New York Metropolitan District Cricket Association League (NYMDCAL) if they can win the 2013 Twenty20 President Cup when they enter the semifinal leg hoping to advance to the final. The double champion will first have to clear a hurdle in the form of co-defending champion Westbury Cricket Club who over a fortnight ago in the Roy Sweeney Challenge Cup final, fright back from the jaws of defeat to stun Villagers and their supporters tying a match in which Villagers having leveled the score with 3 balls and 2 wickets in hand fail to even attempt a run.

Steve Massiah of Villagers. Photos by Shiek Mohamed

Both heavyweight clubs will renew their rivalry for the fourth time this season when they meet in semifinal one of NYMDCL 2013 President Cup Twenty20 at the Gateway Cricket field. Having defeated Westbury twice and outplayed them for large parts in the third meeting, Villagers for the first time in many seasons will enter a contest against Westbury as favorite but one can reassure that Villagers with their Hall of Fame management; General Manager USA Cricket Hall of Fame inductee Hugh Pitter and team manager USA Cricket Hall of Fame nominee Venelda Wallace their troops will be guarded against complacency. The Cliff Roye led Villagers will welcome back USA national captain Steve Massiah who missed the Challenge Cup due to personal reasons but looked in fine touch striking the ball cleanly in an unbeaten quick fire 43 (27balls 3×4 4×6)  in quarterfinal action as he up his preparation for national duties later in the year. Roye will be able to choose from Richard Staple, Rashard Marshall, George Adams, Melroy Kingston, Raldo Mowatt, Charles Walker, Talisman Gordon, Marvin Simpson, Cuthbert Mendonca, Rommoy Ricketts and Veteran leg-spinner Ewart Gayle who turned back the hands of time in the Challenge Cup final but has announced this will be his last season with the youngsters.

Westbury who made it to the semifinal as the best looser after a nail biting defeat by Progressive have a Hall of Fame of their own in the form of captain Ballister McLeish who has a talented pool to choose from with the likes of; West Indies Test fast bowler Jermaine Lawson, Dennison Thomas, USA middle order batsman Barrington Bartley, Linden St. Louis, Kevin Baugh, Darren Ferguson, Paul Salmon, Devon Campbell, Cheddie Gayle and young Javein Thomas who is in good nick and model his game from West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels.

The winner will travel West on the Belt Parkway on route to Floyd Bennett Cricket Field for the final against the winner of semifinal two.

A keen contest is expected over at Floyd Bennett Cricket Field when two of NYMDCA powerhouse Cosmos Cricket Club celebrating 30 years and Progressive Cricket Club come face to face in semifinal number 2. With both clubs not having the best of season failing to make it to any of the finals of the other competitions, Cosmos will be contesting their third semifinal of the season and looking to at least reach what would be their first final of the season while Progressive will be playing in their second semifinal having with some last day heroics made it to the Round Robin semifinal two months ago. Progressive been joint-defending champions will be aiming to reach the final for the third straight year having shared titles with Villagers in 2011 and Westbury last year.

Faisal Taj of Cosmos.

Fans can expect a good game between two evenly matched team as evident when both played to an exciting nail biting tie the last time they met in the Round Robin preliminaries earlier this year on July 7th Both teams feature a mixed of veterans and youngsters; Cosmos will be led by USA Cricket Hall of Fame nominee Dr. Sham Ali with the likes of Ricky Kissoon, Windward Island first-class player and West Indies High Performance Centre graduate Keddy Lesporis, hard hitting danger man Faisal Taj, Sajid Salam, Sohan Dass, Rasheem James, Abrar Ali, Cyril Choy and others. Progressive who is missing a couple season complainers will be led by former Windward Island youth player Kelvile George, and should include former Leeward Island youth opener Dave Hart, Maurice Powell, Mikial Miller, Rodwell Busgith, the disruptive Dervin Morand and the veteran Maurice Cole along with a very talented Kadeem Rowe who has been credited for the confident manner he plays his cricket all season, one can also expect to see team manager Jeff James making his rounds around the field.

Both semifinals are schedule to start at 10:30am with the final slated for 2pm. Clubs and officials are urged to make every effort for a prompt start as we are all aware of the change in weather and the early sun set this time of the year in our beloved New York.

On the behalf of and myself Dervon Wallace good luck to all teams

MCL Twenty20 Champions
Year    Winners            Runners up
2008    Westbury            Cosmos
2009    Abandon (rain)
2010     Villagers            Westbury
2011    Villagers/Progressive (rain)
2012    Progressive/Westbury (rain