NY Mayor's Cup
West Indian Softball Association
Richmond Hill ‘Cornered’ Tigers For Championship
The teams were then addressed by Mr. Rabin Sharma, president of the West Indian Softball Association. The coin toss was followed immediately. It was won by Richmond Hill.
huddled briefly and informed Cornered Tigers that they will bat.
That decision was hinged on a few reasons, one of which was, it
was expected to rain later in the day.
Richmond Hill’s vaunted batting was about to go through a thorough test against one of the leagues most formidable bowling line-up. Dharampaul Singh and Ravin Gopaul were on their game, but so were Krishna Chickery and Kumar Chickery. They negotiated the remainder of Tigers bowling without any further loss of wickets before the official half.
The score was 36 for 3 at the half (13 overs). Not as many runs as Richmond Hill would have liked, but Cornered Tigers lost the momentum they had at the beginning of the game.
Having scored just under 3 runs an over before the break, Richmond Hill needed to pick the tempo up. With seven wickets in hand, they did but, Cornered Tigers nabbed the wicket of skipper Kumar Chickery bowled by V. Singh for an uncharacteristic knock of 9 from 29 deliveries. Kumar shared vital 31 runs partnership with Krishna Chickery.
Bridgelall Heralall (Max) joined Krishna and they added 18 runs for the sixth wicket before Max was run out for 6. At 59 for 5, Ravi Lutchman joined Krishna. They added 12 runs to the score before Krishna was run out for 28. His knock came from 45 deliveries and included two fours and a six. The score was 71 for 6 after 20 overs.
Richmond Hill needed to score and do so quickly. They did, Ravi took on Tigers’ bowling and Richmond Hill managed to get to 120 for 8. Ravi was left unbeaten on 45 from 30 deliveries. His superb knock contained three fours, a six and eleven doubles.
Richmond Hill took their chances between the wickets against Tigers’ fielding and paid with five dismissals via the run out route. The wicket takers for the Tigers club were D. Singh 1 for 13, V. Singh 1 for 26 and A. Aly 1 for 36. Even though R. Gopaul did not capture a wicket, his five overs conceded only twelve runs.
During the break, the rains came. It fell for about 20 to 25 minutes then stopped. The down pour was very heavy and left most of the pitch water logged. The umpires did their initial inspection but did not offer an official word. In the meantime, Richmond Hill and its supporters began irrigating the pitch. The umpires did not object, hence the ‘grounds men’ managed to clear the pitch of the water.
When Cornered Tigers began their reply, the delay for rain had lasted one hour and fifteen minutes. The light was excellent but the bowling run-up was slippery and the outfield was water logged.
Asif Aly and Ronald Khan opened the batting for the Tigers. After an uneventful first over, Ronald Khan was caught knapping outside his crease. He was run out by a direct hit from Ravi Lutchman at square leg.
Cornered Tigers did not feared better, losing N. Singh bowled by J. Hemraj for 1. He was followed by Nayeem Mohamed, caught by Max off the bowling Joe Persaud. Tigers were 19 for 3 in the sixth over. In the very next over, they lost Dharampaul Singh caught at the wicket off the bowling of Ahmad Shazaman (Zaman) without scoring. They were tattering at 24 for 4 but still had the services of the reliable Asif Aly.
Ravi Lutchman was introduced in the eight over and struck gold when he bowled Asif Aly around his legs for 17. Tigers were 25 for 5 and Richmond Hill was jubilant, as they were firmly in the driver’s seat. To add insult to injury, Zaman bowled Krishna Gopaul in his very next over. He went without scoring and that left the Tigers in real trouble at 26 for 6 in the ninth over.
Feiaz Samad and Ravin Gopaul added 26 runs for the seventh wicket with Gopaul being the aggressor. Feiaz’s painstaking knock came to an end when he was caught off the bowling of Joe Persaud for 4. He scratched out four singles off 28 deliveries. Tigers were 52 for 7 in the seventeenth over.
With 69 to get from seven overs and only three wickets in hand, Tigers needed to score and not lose additional wickets. They were successful to some extent when V. Singh and Ravin Gopaul added 23 in four overs. That good fortune came to an end when Gopaul was caught by Kumar Chickery at mid wicket off the bowling of Ravi Lutchman for 21.
The writing was on the wall. Cornered Tigers’ unbeaten streak and Triple Crown aspiration for 2009 was all but over. That came to an end when S. Khan was bowled by Ravi Lutchman for a duck, as the last batsmen never took the crease, an anti-climactic end, to a very intriguing game.
The man of the match went to Ravi Lutchman for his superb all around performance. Following his unbeaten 45, he captured 3 wickets for 6 runs from 3.3 overs. He was well supported by Joe Persaud and Zaman with 2 for 20 and 2 for 18 respectively. J. Hemraj also grabbed 1 for 10 off his five overs.
It was refreshing
to see a packed Charles Drew Park for this final. The support was
about even for both teams even though Richmond Hill’s supporters
were more vocal. Maybe it had something to do with ‘David
vs. Goliath’. Only time will tell.
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