By John L. Aaron
As the New York Metropolitan Cricket League’s Clement “Busta” Lawrence Premier 40-overs 2023 season nears the halfway mark, players continue to star with both bat and ball.
As always in cricket, wickets follow runs because batting comes before wickets. The battle between the prognosticators of willow and leather continued, and it was a rewarding round of cricket for Westbury, Atlantis, and Villagers – the frontrunners of the tournament thus far.
Westbury has a five-point lead over Atlantis and Villagers, who are on 25 points each with 5-1 records. With 3-3 records, Suburbia and Lucas round out the top five with 15 points each.
Westbury vs. Spice Island
Westbury won by 274 runs
Playing at home, Westbury did not depend on its run machine Richard Allen to raise his hand last weekend. Instead, Brandon English did, posting an unbeaten 116 that included 7x6s and 11x4s, with the league-leading run-getter Richard Allen contributing 69 before being caught off the bowling of Devon Jones in the thirteenth over with Westbury on 112.
Devon Jones would later capture the wickets of Roberto Simpson, 70, and Javein Thomas, 38. Romaine Johnson batting at number six would emerge not out on 31 alongside Brandon English as Westbury closed out its inning at 370 losing four wickets in the process.
The 31-over inning saw the Westbury wickets fall at 126, 171, 175, and 235. Bowling for Spice Island: Devon Jones enjoyed figures of 7-0-53-3, while Damien Reed captured the fourth wicket with figures of 7-0-69-1.
Spice Island was off to an uncertain start losing its first wicket Damian Reed c. Horace Porter b. Romaine Johnson, 0, with only seven ticks on the tins in the second over. Clint Chastou, 14, would follow Reed ten overs after posting just 14. Opener Keon George top-scored with 37, falling prey to Joe Brown in the 16th over.
Except for Devon Jones’ 19, all others scored four or less as Joseph Brown skittled out the middle order with figures of 7-3-9-5 for his first five-wicket sweep of the season at a meager average of 1.29.
The Spice Island inning folded at 96 for 8 in 25.5 overs, losing to Westbury by 274 runs.
Brandon English was adjudged Player of the Match.
Atlantis Cricket Club-NY vs. Island Wide
Atlantis won by eight wickets
Atlantis played host at 80th Street Canarsie, where it was the scene of a resounding win over Island Wide, as the Atlantis squad playing in their yellow home jerseys, lost the toss and had no choice but to bowl as Island Wide opted to bat first.
Island Wide was off to a disastrous start, losing its first six wickets while posting only 49 runs to the board. It looked like an early exit from the office for Atlantis, but not before opener Richley Charles, 23, b. Kellon Carmichael and Kevin Augustin, 16 c. Prashanth Nair b. Telston Johnson held on stubbornly, as Island Wide posted a modest 64 for 8 in the 12th over.
Telston Johnson missed out on a fiver, bagging just 4 for 15, while vice-skipper Kellon Carmichael grabbed 3 for 11 off his 2.4 overs. Jaden Norville had 1 for 33 in his three overs spell.
The Island Wide wickets fell at 8, 13, 49, 49, 49, 49, 54, and 64.
Atlantis, set the modest total of 65 for the victory, flexed its opening roster, sending in Freddy Pestano and Darius Gopaul. The pair posted 28 in four overs before Gopaul was trapped lbw off the bowling of Aloysious Fontenelle for 15. Atlantis would lose its second and only other wicket in the fifth over with the score on 34, as Mbeki Joseph departed via the same route off the bowling of Howard Blake without troubling the scorers.
Freddy Pestano, 32, and Steve Roopnarine, 12, would bring home the victory as both men emerged unbeaten in the ninth over, with Atlantis posting an 8-wicket win over Island Wide.
Telston Johnson was declared Player of the Match.
Villagers Sports Club vs. Suburbia Sports Club
Villagers won by 191 runs
Villagers won the toss and elected to bat first. It gave the hard-hitting Tristan Coleman a chance to get into form after a less-than-satisfying season so far. The squatty power-hitter got off to a blazing start alongside teammate and fellow opener Lorenzo McDonald as the duo posted an opening stand of 173 runs before McDonald departed for a well-made 53 (2x6s, 5x4s) caught off the bowling of veteran Cuthbert Mendonca. At the other end, Coleman was plundering the Suburbia bowlers, hitting 21x6s and 9x4s in his massive 212-run personal best inning, before being caught by wicketkeeper Andre Lindsay off Dennis McGarvey. It was a monstrous contribution of 61% of the 345 runs posted by Villagers. Other double-digit contributors included Michael Frew, 14; Duwayne Kerr, 13 not out; Daryl An Hall, 12 not out and Extras, 26, as Villagers recorded 345 for 6 in their 40 0vers.
Cuthbert Mendonca was the pick of the Suburbia litter with figures of 8-0-56-3. Wayne Cox had 2 for 64 off his four overs, and Dennis McGarvey snared the remaining wicket for 52 runs off his eight-over spell.
The Villagers’ wickets fell at 173, 183, 207, 282, 282, and 324.
Facing a massive 346 for victory, Suburbia, under the captaincy of Cuthbet Mendonca, took to the middle with openers Andre Lindsay and Towan Henry. However, both openers were quickly back in the shade before the completion of the second over. Lindsay, 1, c. Zahib Tariq off Gregory Robinson and Henry, 0, b. Aldean Elliott.
The dominoes continued to fall rapidly, except for a defiant 92 off the bat of Jonathan Bonner, batting at number six. His almost ton included 6x6s and 8x4s in the losing cause. It was a noteworthy knock as all of his fellow teammates and Extras, 19, collectively contributed the remaining 62 runs of the Suburbia total of 154 all out in 29.3 overs, falling short by a whopping 191 runs.
The Suburbia wickets fell at 1, 6, 6, 29, 38, 82, 82, 106, 153, and 154. Bowling for Villagers: Rushane Manning 7.3-2-35-5 was the lead wicket-taker, followed by Gregory Robinson 3 for 15 off his spell of four overs and one each for Duwayne Kerr and Aldean Elliott at 16 and 18, respectively, as Villagers used a total of seven bowlers.
Tristan Coleman was named Player of the Match.
The action resumes this Sunday, July 2nd, with the following fixtures:
Suburbia hosts Lucas at Roy Sweeney Oval
Westbury hosts Villagers at Westbury High School
Atlantis visits Spice Island at Marine Park D