The excitement of PSAL cricket is in the air.

By Sam Sooppersaud
The PSAL Twenty/20 cricket playoffs started only three days ago, yet ten team have been sent home. In reality, this playoff is a one game season for the schools participating in the PSAL cricket program. The teams played through the preliminary rounds. Having won a minimum of six games they qualified for the playoffs. There are three rounds to be played, and won, if a team is to reach the finals.

The sixteen teams pair off, the top seed against the lowest seed, and this formula continues until eight matches are set. This is the first round. The eight successful teams then enter the Quarter Finals. Then come the Semi Finals. The two teams that survive the playoffs format, battle each other for the finals, which will be played on Sunday, June 6th, at Gateway Park, Brooklyn.

In the First Round, played on May 26th, Richmond Hill sent DeWitt Clinton packing. Hillcrest defeated Sheepshead Bay in an exciting finish. Hillcrest scored 125 runs, and Sheepshead Bay in a last wicket revival appeared to be on the road to overtaking the score, but fell short by 10 runs.

On the same date Franklin D Roosevelt defeated last year’s finalist, john Adams.

On May 27th, the Mother Nature intervened in the games and two schools won by having a better run rate than their opponents. At Marine Park in Brooklyn, Newcomers, the champions for the two years of the cricket program, won over Midwood. Newcomers batted first and scored 124 runs for 7 wickets in 20 overs. At one stage it looked as if Newcomers would fall for half that score having lost 7 wickets for 37 runs. But an 8th wicket partnership took the score to 124 without further loss of a wicket. Deprojith Dey scored an invaluable 50 not out.

Midwood had batted for 14 overs when thunder, lighting, and rain brought an end to play with the score on 84 runs. Newcomers were adjudged the winners by the umpires on a better net run rate. It was the same situation in the Aviation – Brooklyn International game. Brooklyn Int’l scored 117 in 20 overs.  Aviation was on 68 for 3 wickets when the weather interceded. Aviation won on a better net run rate.

Franklin Lane was victorious over 2nd seed, Van Buren in a low scoring game. VB was skittle out for 51 runs. Lane had no problem overcoming that score. Afterwards, Van Buren filed a protest with PSAL claiming that Lane used two ineligible players. This protest was unsuccessful. Lane’s victory stood. At Ferry Point, The Bronx, Lehman defeated Lafayette in a slugfest. Lehman scored 165 runs with Lafayette in their run chase fell short by 10 runs.  Bryant made short work of Abe Lincoln.

In the two Quarter Finals games played so far, Lehman defeated Lane, and Bryant, in an exciting finish, ended FDR’s season. Bryant batted first and at the end of the 19th over were 120 runs. In the last over they scored 17 runs giving them a challenging 137 runs. FD R took up the challenge and was well on the way to overcoming the total when, because of ill played shots and careless running, they ended their innings 11 runs short.

At this writing all the Brooklyn qualifies are out of the running. Lehman from the Bronx is still batting strong. The remaining contenders are all from the Queens divisions. On June 2nd, Aviation will take on Newcomers and on June 3rd, Richmond Hill will battle with their neighbor Hillcrest. Both games in the Quarter Finals.

We have seen in the playoffs so far some upsets. Lower seeded teams defeating the higher seeded ones. This is Twenty/20 cricket. Anything is possible. Forget what your team did yesterday, today is another game.

Good luck to all the survivors!