By Sham Ali
(Celebrating 33rd Anniversary – Match #1017):- In a decade where conventional cricket seems to be a lost art bamboozled by shortened temperament and heightened tempo the Westbury middle order batsmen gave a subdued confirmation that it is still the most potent method against an opposition, and they did so against Cosmos last Sunday at Westbury HS after they won the toss and elected to bat.
The explosive Tristan Coleman enjoying a blistering start to the 2016 season with three massive consecutive centuries was kept in cruise control on this outing as Cosmos opening spell between Sham Ali and Sohan Dass pegged him back. However, that did not prevent the opening pair to post a 50-run partnership before Ali removed D. Ferguson in the 11th over. Coleman was looking to change gears when he pulled D. Mohamed to H. Hardeo at deep mid-wicket.
At the fall of Coleman (29), Westbury had two seasoned cricketers at the wicket; the former US player Barrington Bartley joined the veteran Dennison Thomas; a former Grenada national player. They proceeded to construct a crucial partnership of 54 runs with some aggressive running between the wicket to push the score along to 119 in the 22nd over before Ricky Kissoon flighted delivery sneaked one through the gates to remove Bartley (31).
Cosmos had kept the match balance after Ali completed a good spell (1 for 32 off 8 overs). With Ralston Levy and Kissoon operating in tandem on a steady line and Mohamed injecting himself for short spells Cosmos had taken some control of the match. At 119 for 3, Wayne Cuff then joined Thomas and they combined for a vital 4th wicket partnership in another clinical display of aggressive running between the wickets that produced 78 runs in 10 overs.
At 181 for 4 in the 30th over Westbury had the platform to launch an attack in the last 10 overs, but Cosmos bowlers kept pegging away on a steady line. Mohamed came on for his third spell severed the partnership when he picked up Thomas for 39 and Cuff (60) within a few runs of each other. The lower order struggled to get going with little room to extend their arms as Mohamed, Kissoon and Levy kept the tail in check. A few late wickets quell the charge, but Westbury still managed to close their inning on a fighting 252 for 9 off the allotted overs.
Cosmos would require a big inning from at least two of their top order batsmen. Amjad Khan is in good form with two centuries under his belt. He looked in command at the wicket for another big score in this match as he took the attack to the opposition. However, he began to feel the weight of the total on his shoulders as he searched for partnerships when Steve Samuels fell after a brisk 37 while Hardeo and Ramsingh didn’t last too long.
Rasheem James got a solid 39 (3 sixes) runs in mini partnerships, but it really didn’t threatened the opposition total as Thomas (2 for 21), and Cuff (1 for 37) bowled two tight spells in the middle to ensure a mounting run rate. Khan kept pushing along as he brought up his half century with a blistering straight drive, and just when he was looking to up the tempo he was unfortunately run out for 51 when he turned for a second run only to find that the ball rebounded from the fence that sits inside of the boundary. Mohamed (16) and Levy (13) remained not out when the Cosmos inning closed on 193 for 6 on the allotted 40 overs as Westbury sealed a convincing 59 runs victory.
Cosmos will play Lucas next Sunday at Van Courtland Park.