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Another Successful Sundar Memorial Event

By Lloyd Jodah
August 16th, 2009
Bollywood and American cricket came together this Saturday August 15 when American College Cricket Champions Montgomery came in from Maryland for the 17th Annual Sundar Memorial Event. That night the team were honored at the Bollywood Divas Nite Show featuring movie stars from India.

It was a beautiful day at Baisley Pond, a gorgeous field near a small lake. Bordered by busy streets on 2 sides, it also exposes the public to cricket. Lots of space and trees provided the roughly 400 strong crowd ample space for picnicing. Notable was the large percentage of young men and women in the crowd.

USACA CEO Don Lockerbie had sent a greeting for the cricketers wishing everyone "Good luck, and best wishes".

The preliminary game was between the NY Under 17 and the CT Under 17, managed by Mahadeo Adjodi, a role model of an American cricket dad, and captained by Nirav Patel. The NY Under 17 was managed by Joe Sewharack and captained by Thakoor Singh, who had also captained the runners-up, John Adams High School in the NYC Public High Schools (PSAL) Cricket final.

NY made 135 for 4 in 20 overs, Thakoor Singh 35* (3 fours), Baksh 30 (3 fours), Sahid 29 (2 fours, 1 six). In response CT got to 113 for 6, Nirav Patel top scoring with 36 (3 fours ).

New Under 19 Star Kavishwar Bridgepaul (a High School senior) and Shaan Mehta (GWU) opened the bowling for the Sundar Allstars and showed real pace. The Zaheer Abbas-like strokeplayer Danish Ashgar was given out to one that was nowhere near his bat. Though Mointgomery lost 2 wickets they had 56 funs in 7 overs and seemed set to get 200 runs with Bhatti looking good.

A couple of delightful cuts, and a Bhatti straight drive for 4, then one out of the park for 6. Bhatti then featured in the first of the three fielding highlights he was to be involved with. A powerful cover drive high in the air which Under 19 All American Star Henry Wardley (McGill) tried to catch and took it in his face. Wardley had to leave the field to ice the eye which later swelled shut. The smiling young man was later presented with a thigh guard to protect his eye in the future. Henry and his mother, father and sister had come in from New Jersey for the game. Latest report is he is fine.

Then Bhatti ondrove powerfully for what seemed like 4, Bridgepaul dive far to his right to snatch a one handed a magnificent catch inches from the ground to send the stroke playing Montgomery Captain back to the pavillion for 26,( 3 fours and 1 six). The stocky Nadeem who had been failing unsuccessfully at the fast bowlers suddenly found his touch and drove through square cover for 4. A couple of powerfully hit sixes and a four followed before he went for 31. Amir Chaudhury made 17.

After this Montgomery crumbled like they were eager to field .The Sundar Allstars bowlers Andy Mohammed (CUNY) took 3 for 19, Greg Sewdial (Hofstra) 2 for 8, Regis Burton (SUNY) 2 for 22 and 16 year old Andrew Adjodi took 2 for 16. Burton had flown in the day before from Antigua for the match. Captain Sewdial (Hofstra) made judicious bowling changes and field placement and the fielding was tight and professional.

Andy Mohammed and Shakoor Rehiumullah (a High School Senior) opened. Rehimullah had acquired a reputation as one of the most electrifying batsmen in the NYPD League, edged for a 4 then blasted 2 more fours in his 12. Andy looked imperturbable whilst Adil Latiwala came on with an exciting run-up and action, he generated speed which quickly sent Greg Sewdial and Chad Munroe aka Chris Gayle back to the pavilion, On a hat-trick Latiwala was denied narrowly. The Montgomery players felt Bridgepaul hit the ball, caught by the wicketkeeper Ashgar, the umpire did not. Then Bhatti took a tremendous running one handed catch on the cover boundary to dismiss Andy 25 (2 fours).

Without neutral officials no sport is immune to hometown officiating calls but even the commentary team was surprised by some today. Bridgepaul 54* survived a number of close calls, including an appeal for a catch when he was on a duck. He went on to show his big hitting prowess by lifting a 6 over mid on, pulling through midwicket for 4 and a clossal cover drive for 6. A 4 brought up his 50 and another gave the Sundar XI victory with Brian Ajjodi holding up the other end on 9*.

As usual the generous Ray Sundar gave out countless awards, cash and trophies for everyone including the Sundar Trophy for the Sundar XI, match MVP for Kaveshwar Bridgepaul. Best bowlers were Andy Mohammed and Adil Latiwala, best fielder Adil Bhatti. The Legends of Port Mourant Trophy went to the NY Under 17 Team.

USACA Secretary John Aaron in his closing remarks praised the Sundar Memorial Event and Ray's long term promotion of cricket. USACA Director Krish Persaud and USA Selecter Sew Shivnarine were also present. American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah took the opportunity to announce that the five Under 19 USA team members in the NY area were recipients of a special Award from New York Sports Club (NYSC). To assist the five players get ready for the 2010 World Cup (Under 19) Greg Sewdial, Andy Mohammed, Regis Burton, Kavishwar Bridgepaul and Caspar Davis would be training at NYSC. Bridgepaul has already begun his training, as his teammate Chad Munroe told him "That cover six! When did you get so mad strong?...you entertained the crowd!"

Following the game the College Champions were VIP Guests at a Show featuring Bollywood Stars, Koena Mitra, Tanushree Dutta, Preeti Jhiangiani, Rakhi Sawant and Mahalakhsmi Iyer. It had been a short time from when they couldn't even find places to play to now when they were meeting stars but the Montgomery Team are a determined breed of cricketers doing their part for American cricket, even if it means traveling hundreds of miles.

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