By Sam Sooppersaud
The 2011 PSAL Cricket Tournament was started on April 11, but the inclement weather has played havoc with the schedule, as several games had to be rescheduled because of the incessant rains. Also, two weeks after the start of the games schools were closed for the Easter Holidays causing a further delay in the schedule. However, the cricket administrators at PSAL are doing a fantastic job of rescheduling the postponed games.

Newcomers High School skipper Gaza Raman. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

One of these games was Newcomers vs Martin Van Buren originally penciled in for Wednesday, May 4th but on account of rain on that day was played one day later, May Thursday, May 5th.  Van Buren is the joint leaders along with William Bryant in Queens Division 2, both having won all their four games played.

Newcomers Lions and Van Buren had met during the “scrimmage” phase of the season for a friendly encounter which Newcomers had won.  This regular season game then was ”a kind of a mini rivalry”, with each side having their own reason for wanting to win: Van Buren to avenge the earlier loss to Newcomers, and Newcomers, for bragging rights that they defeated Van Buren twice in a row. Most of the players in both teams are mutual friends as they all play in the Saturday Bengali Cricket League.

Although it was a low scoring game it seesawed back and forth with each team on several occasions having the advantage. Eventually, Van Buren able to score the 94 runs needed for victory, and this was in the 19th over.

Newcomers had won the toss and elected to bat on a good surface. They got into early trouble loosing a wicket in the third over, after which wickets tumbled at regular interval. The Newcomers boys appeared not to know how to use a cricket bat. They were skittle out for 93 runs by some accurate bowling helped by excellent fielding.

The Newcomers captain, Gaza Raman was not overly worried about his team low score. He reminded his boys of a Quarter Final game Newcomers had played in the 2010 season at the same Idlewild venue. In that game Newcomers were able to defend a score of 62 runs against a school that had beaten them both times the two had met in the preliminary rounds. Gazi was sure that his bowlers would be able to do the job, as in that Quarter Final they were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat: the opposition needed 7 runs in 48 balls to win,  with 3 wickets in hand, and were bowled out two (2) short of victory.  He encouraged his players to give of their best, reminding them that Van Buren must score 94 runs for victory; his rationality was that if Newcomers could defend 62 runs against a team that had defeated them twice, then they certainly would be able to defeat a team which they have already defeated a few weeks ago. This was not to be. Van Buren scored the necessary runs needed for victory.

Following are the results of other PSAL scheduled games played during the past week:

Monday, May 2nd.
Aviation   100   vs    William Bryant   102
Newcomers 230   vs Thomas Edison 45
Stuyvesant  51   vs  Lehman  52
DeWitt Clinton  60  vs  Bronx HS of Science  55
Brooklyn Int’l  159  vs  Wingate  69
Prospect Heights  110  vs  Midwood  77

Tuesday, May 3rd.
John Adams  182   vs   Richmond Hill  95
Prospect Heights  77  vs  Sheepshead Bay  78
Abraham Lincoln  98  vs  Franklin K Lane  100

Thursday, May 5th.
Newcomers  93  vs  Van Buren  96
William Bryant  80  vs  Thomas Edison
Franklin K Lane  51  vs  Sheepshead Bay  52

Following is the Tournament Standings:

Bronx Division.                W    L            Brooklyn Division 1   W    L
Herbert H Lehman            3    0               Brooklyn Int’l              2     1
DeWitt Clinton                  3    2               Prospect Heights         2     2
John Bowne                       1    4               Lafayette                    1      2
Stuyvesant                         0    3               Midwood                     1     3
Bronx. HS of Science        0    4               Wingate                       0     4

Brooklyn Division 2         W    L            Queens Division 1           W    L
Sheepshead Bay                5     0               Hillcrest                           4     0
FDR                                   3    0                John Adams                     3     1
Abraham Lincoln              3    2                Queens HS of Teaching   2     1
Franklin K Lane                2    3                HS of Construction          1     2
Jamaica HS                      0     1
Richmond Hill                 0      2
Queens Division 2            W   L
Van Buren                        4     0
William Bryant                 4     0
Newcomers                       2     2
Aviation HS                      0     3
Thomas Edison                 0     4
Long Island City               0     0