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West Indian Softball Association
Richmond Hill & Rising Stars Are Co-Champions!

By Darshan Chickery
August 28th, 2008
Richmond Hill Sports Club and Rising Stars Cricket Club played one of the most compelling cricket matches in The West Indian Softball Association (WISA) eleven year history. It was the finals of the leagues’ 30 Over Premier Competition. The game ended in a tie.

With no official word from WISA as to whether the game will be re-played or not, the two teams may have to share the podium when WISA holds it presentation for the 2008 season.

Yes! a tie. Both teams were bowled out for 131 in 29.5 overs. I have heard about tie games but never have I been a witness of, or been a part of one until last Sunday. I did both. In addition, for good measure, more than two thousand other people who gathered at Charles Drew Park got their ‘money’s worth’.

After the pre-game formalities where the President of WISA, Mr. Rabin Sharma congratulated both teams for reaching the finals, Richmond Hill who won the toss decided to bat first. A decision that at first, was puzzling to many. After all, their strength has been their batting all year.

Pooran Balkissoon and Ahmad Shazaman (Zaman) opened the batting as they have been doing since the 30 Over Competition began. Both fell by the time the score was seven. To compound a bad situation, Richmond Hill lost their third and fourth wickets with the score at 12.

Requests for ‘wagers’ began to fly. Rising Stars’ scorer even declared that, “Richmond Hill will be bowled out for 50”. He was warned about predicting the opponent’s score. Truth be told, it did not look good for Richmond Hill. If they were going to have a chance, their batting which is ‘eleven deep’, had to bail them out.

Imran Wahab joined Krishna Chickery at the crease to steady the ‘wounded but batting ship’. Battle they did. They took the score to 49 at the end of the fifteenth over (break). A huge relief, given their disastrous start, but by no means a good position.

After the break, Richmond Hill’s strategy was to keep the score ticking without losing any wickets. That strategy did not work out as planned. Rising Stars bowled a maiden over after the break.

With the pressure on, Krishna played a ball to long-on and took off for what was a comfortable single. Imran called him for a second run and was run out in the process. Imran had been batting with ease accumulating 17 runs with a six and a four before he was dismissed.

Bridgelall Heralall (Max) joined Krishna for a 29-run partnership before Krishna fell for painstaking 21 from 46 balls. The score was 80 for 6 in the twenty third over.
With only seven overs remaining, Richmond Hill needed to score and do so quickly in order to post a challenging total for Rising Stars. They did, Max, Ravi Lutchman and Kumar Chickery attacked Rising Stars’ bowling to add 51 runs for the remaining four wickets.

Max top scored with 34 while Ravi and Kumar each contributed 15. Munesh Mulla, Ravin and Archibar took two wickets apiece while Reynold and Kawal grabbed one each.

Chasing the modest 131, Rising Stars was off to a flying start. M. Chan and M. Shaw put on 40 before Chan was run out for 27.

Paris and Shaw saw the score to 55, before Paris was dismissed for seven. Prior to his dismissal, Max comprehensively bowled Paris. He began to walk but realized that the delivery was a no ball.

Virtually no one heard the umpire called a no ball. Why? Amplied sound (music), courtesy of Cornered Tigers’ brass made it impossible to hear anything. The amplified sounds, we were told was supposed to provide commentary for the Premier Elite game between Dynasty and Cornered Tigers. Commentary was provided while Cornered Tigers batted but for whatever reason, melodies with lyrics in English and Hindi blared while Dynasty batted.

At the end of the twentieth over, Rising Stars were 93 for 2. That meant, they needed 39 runs in ten overs with 8 wickets remaining. A relatively easy proposition, but still needed to be accomplished.

They lost wickets at 94, 109, 113, 117 & 124. At 124 for seven in the 27th over, it meant that they needed eight runs with three wickets in hand and had three overs to go. Call it whatever you want, the pressure was on.

Zaman bowled the 29th over for one run off the bat and one extra. He captured a wicket and another came via a run out. The score at the end of the 29th over was 127 for 9. Rising Stars needed four to tie and five to win. Richmond Hill obviously needed a wicket before Rising Stars got those runs, or bowl the last over for three runs or less to win.

Both of Richmond Hill’s opening bowlers had overs but their skipper, Kumar Chickery decided to use Krishna. His strategy was the tail-enders had to hit the ball to win the game and not edge his fast bowlers and get an easy win.

Julian and N. Persaud were at the wicket for Rising Stars. Julian negotiated the first delivery from Krishna with out scoring. He scored a single from the second ball. N. Persaud tried to hoist Krishna’s third delivery but succeeded in skiing it at cover. Max made a good attempt going backward to make the catch but dropped it. They scored one. Julian played a ‘flicking cross bat’ to mid-wicket for a double from the fourth delivery.

The scores were level at 131. Needing just one run from two deliveries, Julian’s attempted shot ended up at cover point. This time Max settled under it and Rising Stars was bowled out. Zaman took 3 for 28 while Brian Heeralal, Kumar Chickery, Max, Ravi Lutchman and Krishna Chickery all took one wicket a piece.

The scorebooks were audited and no discrepancies were found. The umpires officially declared the game a tie.

The West Indian Softball Association’s 20 Over Competition begins on September 7, 2008. For information and Registration go to www.wisany.org

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