By Umar Alizai
It was a clinical display of batting strength by the New York City C.C. against the NY Fighters C.C., posting a club record 292 runs in 30 overs.
On a day tailor-made for cricket, all nine Van Cortland Park (VCP) cricket fields were filled with cricketers, New York City C.C. broke its club record for the most runs scored in 30 overs.
The day started a bit late due to the tardiness of the NY Fighters C.C., however both teams agreed to maintain the 30-Overs Divisional format with batting power plays. NYC C.C. played without their veteran skipper Farooq Haider, and was led by Vice-captain Umar Alizai, instead.
NYC C.C. won the toss on a slow VCP #3 wicket, but decided to attack first with the bat. For the second week in a row, openers Umar Alizai and Bilal Shahid built a strong foundation, scoring at a good rate and achieving over 70 runs in the first 10 overs. Bilal Shahid missed out as he attempted a booming drive on the off-side, however Umar would continue the dominance with key contributions from Zain Syed, and Hedayat Barakati.
NY Fighters C.C. had an extremely poor outing in the field and Umar was able to cash in, achieving his second career century, and first of the 2015 season. His century came off just 70 balls, as he hit boundaries on both sides of the ground. Right after achieving his century, he exploded hitting NY Fighters attack bowler S. Ali for 4 sixes off 4 deliveries. He would end with a career high 157, stumped off the second to last ball of the innings.
It was a pleasure watching the top five NYC C.C. batsmen click and play extremely well in partnerships, as every player who came in, batted with an intent, aggression and confidence.
NY Fighters were up against a monstrous total and needed a lot of self-belief to think that they could achieve the target. The target on the board got the best of them as Bilal Shahid removed their opening batsman and skipper Nabeel S. off the first ball.
The first over would set the tone for the rest of the match as Bilal cleaned up three of the NY Fighters C.C’s top order batsman with accurate and aggressive bowling. At one point, the field setting must have reminded spectators of the Australian national team, with a short leg, silly mid-off, and two slips. The rest of the bowlers all performed extremely well, especially Shahzaman Akbar and Humza Ahmed. Humza had one of his best days in the field, bowling with extreme pace, accuracy and aggression.
It was an amazing day in the field, in all facets of the game, setting the tone for the rest of the season. With a healthy and full playing XI, New York City C.C. can beat any team.