By Dervon A. Wallace
It was another good all round performance from Rashard Marshall and a good spell of medium pace bowling from Cuthbert Mendonca as Villagers CC continued on their winning ways in the 2013 Metropolitan Cricket League (MCL) Clement “Busta” Lawrence Round Robin tournament defeating River Valley by 3 wickets on Sunday June 9, 2013 at River Valley Cricket Field in Duchess County Poughkeepsie NY.
Playing a weaken team with no fewer than 5 first team players missing Villagers captain Cliff Roye won the coin flip and inserted his opponents knowing he lost the last time his team played their batting first after been dismissed for below 120.

Cuthbert Mendoza bagged 3 for 20 and hit an unbeaten 11 in Villagers' win over River Valley. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

On a very heavy outfield and large boundaries River Valley who opened their batting with Andre Cousin and Pete Plunkett were in early trouble with the score on 11 loosing Cousin 3 caught by Roye at second slip and Dave Wallace taken by Marvin Simpson at first slip for a golden ball duck from the fourth and fifth ball of over number 4 bowled by Mendonca. It was 23 for 3 when Ali Hussein gave Mendonca his third scalp presenting him with a simple return catch which he accepted gracefully. With the run rate at a staggering 2.83 it was clear that it was going to be another low scoring game that’s seams to becoming a norm in recent years at this ground. Plunkett and Bhabak Goyal added 27 for the fourth wicket from 44 balls as runs continued to be hard to come by.

The partnership was broken by Marshall who is developing into a useful bowling weapon for Villagers when he caught and bowled Goyal to make it 50 for 4 in the 16th over.  Plunkett was joined by one of MCL elite in the form of former West Indies middle order batsman Everton Mattis and Villagers very well knew these 2 on their day can change a cricket match in a hurry so it was delight for Marshall and his teammates when he had Plunkett 17 (56 balls 1×4) caught by Damien Henry ending a miserable time at the crease to make it 54 for 5 from 20 overs. Mattis top score with an unbeaten 31 from 57 balls and looked in fairly good nick turning back the clock a bit elegantly pulling a Marshall “Lollypop” ball over mid-wicket for a maximum. River Valley’s captain Ashton Mason faced 16 balls before he was outfoxed by rookie leg spinner Ricketts to be bowled behind his legs. Abdool Shakur made 13 in adding 38 for the eighth wicket with Mattis to take the score over 100 finishing 108 for 8 from their allotted 35 overs.

Bowling for Villagers: Andre Hopper 0 for 14 from 6 overs, Mendonca 3 for 20 from 7 overs, Marshall 2 for 22 from 6 overs, Ewart Gayle 1 for 16 from 7, Ricketts 1 for 14 from 4 overs, Damien Henry 0 for 7 from 3 overs and Roye 1 for 10 from 2 overs

Villagers was in early trouble in their reply losing season campaigner Melroy Kingston for a second ball duck in the first over dragging one on that kept low off Medium fast Ajeze Safir and was in further trouble 11 balls later when fellow opener Henry after playing 2 explosive cover drive went for a big slug and Safir sent his off-stump for a walk to make it 8 for 2 in 2.2 overs. Simpson and Marshall tried to repair the damage adding 28 with Marshall looking his ever assured self before Simpson who had his breakout season last year scoring a couple centuries in the process but after making a duck in his only inning of the season before this game looked like a man out of sort playing and missing and have Mattis been more flexible could have swallowed him at first slip on 3 occasion before his stumps were shattered by the ever impressive Jerry Hewitt playing an almighty swipe.

Marshall who made 36 (48balls 1×4 and 1×6) was joined by his captain Roye and the pair added 36 and seems to be cruising before Marshall after dispatching a Shakur long hop with distain power high and far over mid-wicket and into the nearby bushes tried to repeat the shot 3 balls later to one that was fuller in length but lost his middle and leg stump to make it 72 for 4 sending Shakur and the River Valley camp into a frenzy   sighting they’ve gotten the big wicket. Villagers lost 3 wickets for 16 runs including Roye for 22 who earlier took a liking to Denzil “Chief” Powell only over pulling him for a 6 and 4 off consecutive balls taking 14 off Chief’s only over.

It was some nervy moment in the Villagers dugout but Mendonca 11 not out from 27 balls and the veteran Charles “Give Thanks” Walker who in his third game of the season showed that at 60 years old  he still have what it takes to contribute to be not out on 3 from 15 balls as the two saw Villagers home with a 21 runs unbeaten 8 wicket stand with the highlight of the partnership been a jovial moment  for both set of players and supporters  when after completing a third run the villagers 12th man had to immediately  rush out with some energy boaster for the veteran Walker.

Safir, Goyal and Shakur picked up 2 wickets each with Hewitt been the other wicket taker.

Final score in the match River Valley CC 109 for 8 from 35 overs and Villagers CC 109 for 7 from 27.5 overs

Lions CC Victorious Over Lucas CC
In another game played at Marine Park in Brooklyn New York bottom of the table Lions Cricket Club won their first game of the season defeating Lucas Cricket Club by 7 wickets on the back of responsible half centuries of 84 from consistent former Leeward Island under19 Left handed opener Dave Hart and 60 from the talented Clint Wiseman as the pair shared in a 93 run from 80 balls second wicket stand after coming together with the score on 38 for 1 in the 9th over.

After winning the toss the visitors ask Lucas to take first strike and they posted a challenging 195 all out in 31.1 overs thanks to a workman like 89 from number 6 batsman   K. Thomas, Evol Loten 25 and 24 from  Orval Crawford .

Bowling for Lions CC; R. Williams 4 for 26 from 7 overs with 1 median, Wiseman 2 for 18 from 5 overs, Rodwell Busgith 2 for 27 off 6.1 overs 1 median, Mark Lawrence  1 for 18 from 3 overs and Lenox Mitchell 1 for 47 from 4 overs .

When Lions batted there was also useful contribution from Williams 20 and Captain Busgith 15 as both shared in an unbeaten 3rd wicket stand of 23 to seal victory with 25 balls to spare.

Scores in the match Lucas CC 195 all out in 31.1 overs and Lions CC 198 for 3 in 30.5 overs