The 2016 Eastern American Cricket Association champions, Richmond Hill Liberty Cricket Club, will be back at the big stage this Sunday to defend their title. This thanks to a rampant semi-final performance led by Altaaf Habibulla, Dominique Rikhi and Trevor Henry to defeat Big Apple Cricket Club by 9 wickets last Sunday. Habibulla picked up 4 wickets and Rikhi and Henry scored unbeaten fifties to chase down the 161 runs set by BACC with 3.5 overs to spare.
Trinson Carmichael won the toss and elected to bowl first for the 10:30 AM encounter at Baisley Cage. Inzy Khan struck in the first over of the match before Mark Gomes (35) and Winston Forester (41) put on a 50 runs 2nd wicket partnership. Gomes was the man to go first which led to a 40 runs partnership between Forester and skipper, Jamal Hickson (25).
Habibulla hung on to a smart running catch at the midwicket boundary to remove Hickson and from there Habibulla took over the game with the ball. He came on and picked up 4 wickets for 27 runs in his four over spell. This included Forester who was looking to stick around at one point. Utam Munroe (29*) finished off the BACC inning with some lusty blows to help his team post 161 for 9 in their 20 over allotment.
Supporting Habibulla in the RHLCC bowling department were Henry, Nadesh Badeo and Carmichael with one wicket each along with Inzy’s Khan’s lone scalp.
Rikhi and Wahid Ward, opening the batting for #TheBlueNation, quickly dulled any edge the BACC squad obtained by the late inning batting flurry of Munroe. The openers who chased down 144 without loss the previous week looked ominous once again as they staged a 58 runs opening partnership. Ward who struck three fours and two sixes miscued one off Munro’s bowling to depart for 29.
Henry joined Rikhi and the duo, with a couple of chances, dominated the BACC attack. Rikhi led the way with a measured attack on the bowlers. He struck four 4’s and four 6’s in his unbeaten knock of 63. Henry, following a watchful start which saw him 3 runs off 11 balls, skipped a few gears and converted his next 21 deliveries into 55 more runs. He finished with five 4’s and three 6’s in his unbeaten knock of 58 to send RHLCC into the 2017 final.
RHLCC will face up against Galaxy Cricket Club. The two clubs faced up in the 2016 semi-final before RHLCC, then Liberty Sprots Club, went on to win the tournament. The final is set for this Sunday, October 1st at the Baisley Cage. Start time is set for 2 PM, pending the completion of the tournament’s B-Division final which starts at 10 AM.
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