EACA 40-Overs Tournament
By Annie Chitlall
On a Sunny day with the wind blowing ferociously at beautiful Bay Park Long Island, host Hillside won the toss and sent in Big Apple to bat first, with the hopes of taking advantage of the conditions and making it a good day of cricket.

Zaheer Saffie produced a skipper's knock of 111 in Big Apple win over Hillside. Photos by Shem Rodney

Donwell Hector and Mark Gomes opened the batting for Big Apple, but Donwell Hector failed to trouble the score after he was caught at mid-on off the bowling of Jerald Mangal.  The calm and dependable skipper Zaheer Saffie walked to the crease as his team was in trouble and like he always does calmly started the rebuilding process after an early wicket.

However, luck wouldn’t have it, as he stood at the non-striker end and saw Mark Gomes succumbed to Mangal caught behind for 1 run. With the hopes of joining his skipper and build Big Apple’s score, in walks US under-19 batsman the youthful Trevis Ross.  With the scorecard reading 2 wickets down with a miniscule 8 runs in 3 overs, trouble continues as Ross fell victim bowled to a beautiful delivery by Shahzad Ahmed and this was followed by what seemed like the worst with the score at 3 wickets down and only 10 runs on the board in 4 overs.

Big Apple in desperate need of a rescue, a decision was made by the captain to promote Sean Thompson to stabilize the innings. Things looked up for Big Apple as the duo compiled a 45 runs partnership in 8 overs, Thompson fell victim to the bowling change of left arm seamer Desrick Brooks as he was bowled for 8 runs.

Although wickets were falling Zaheer Saffie did what any captain would do, and took the innings by command stroking the ball with precision.  The informed Clain Williams joined his skipper at the crease and the duo compiled a magnificent 150 runs partnership in 22 overs with sensible batting and dispatching the bad deliveries at will. Clain Williams looked set for a ton but was brilliantly caught on the long on boundary for a well played and much needed 68 runs.

With Saffie still at the wicket looking calm and confident he took Big Apple to a more than competitive total with yet another ton. His innings of 111 came to and end soon after Rocky Kowchai, Adam Sandford and Hemendra Ramdihal all fell in quick succession with a combined total of 1 run.  Shiv Raghubar and Narindra Balram, with a 25 runs partnership saw Big Apple through to the end of their 40 overs with a final score of 232.

In reply Hillside needed to score 233 runs with an asking rate of 5.8 runs per over.  Adam Sanford took the new ball for Big Apple while Saeed Alie and Ramesh Narine opened the batting for Hillside. Narine soon fell caught behind for 4 runs. The battle continues as Nedesh Basdeo joined at the non-strikers end with Mark Gomes bowling a tight line and length with his off spin restricting the score.

Medium pacer Rocky Kowchai was introduced into the attack, Hillside continues to fight on but the young hero captured the wicket of Basdeo bowled and caught for 6.  As wickets tumbled Zamal Khan looking to bring home a victory for his team continues to battle on scoring a well constructed 81 unbeaten. But his contribution was still not enough for a victory. Hillside ended their innings with 187 for 8 wickets in their allotted 40 overs.

Clain Williams scored 68 and was the only other batsman to get into double figure.

Big Apple Cricket Club looking to clean sweep their group will be hosting M.M.Z at Baisley “Cage” Park this Sunday July 20th, match commences at 1:00 PM sharp. Www.newyorkcricket.com will try to you a live scorecard of the game.

Big Apple’s Cricket Club Innings: 232 for 9 in 40 Overs.
Zaheer Saffie     111   12 x 4   2 x 6
Clain Williams  68    6 x 4   2 x 6
Bowling for Hillside:
Shahzad Ahmed         8-0-45-4
Jerald Mangal         8-0-42-2

Hillside Cricket Club Innings: 187 for 8 in 40 Overs.
Zamal Khan 81 Not Out      5 x 4   6 x 1
Shameer Rahim 26         2 x 4    6 x 2
Saeed Ali 23                      4 x 1     1 x 1
Bowling for Big Apple Cricket Club:
Adam Sandford        8-0-21-3
Rocky Kowchai         8-0-25-2