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Dado Slams Century For Everest Masters

By S. Ali

Oct. 7th, 2009
A solid century from opening batsman M. 'Dado' Barran followed by a brilliant all-round performance from former USACA captain Zamin Amin led the Everest masters team to complete a successful 2009 season in vintage style when they inflicted a crushing defeat on All Pros last Saturday at Beach 32 in Rockaway, Queens.

After winning the toss, the All Pros team engaged in a lengthy deliberation and then asked Everest to take first strike. It was quite difficult to comprehend that the All Pros masters team would employ such strategy this late in the season, it was a highly tactical decision that later proved to be very costly. Everest Masters captain Amin appeared to be under an All Pros spell himself when he took a highly calculated risk of sending Zainul Mohamed to open the batting along with Barran. Well Zainul was determined to defy his critics on this day and proved that he was a more than a worthy choice to open the batting, though he did not have any gears. He dug in and delivered an excellent opening partnership of 43 runs, thus laying the foundations for his team to launch their assault, as he said later. He was eventually run out caught standing at the non strikers end debating whether the ball had crossed the boundary for four without realizing that he should be in his crease at the other end. His brief appeal was denied and so he was more than happy to make his way back to the pavilion, he grabbed a chair with a bottle of vitamin water in hand, and after a few puffs of air he proceeded to explained what had happened, actually that is a conversation from all the masters players even though their weary legs are saying something quite to the contrary.

Pictured are Wayne Stuger, Trevor Walke, Feezo Sheriff, M. Barran and Sham Ali.

The next batsman Ray Ramsammy stroked his first ball to the mid wicket boundary before was he on his way back to the pavilion after he attempted to repeat the stroke. However, the battle continues in 2009 in more ways than one for this champion of player as he prepared himself to challenge a daunting health shocker. It will require him to play an inning of a lifetime 'one ball at a time' and with his determination he will win this challenge like he has done for his team on so many occasions with all his teammates rallying behind him.

Barran and Zamin then combined for a massive third wicket partnership of 148 runs in just 14 overs which left the opposition to regret their earlier decision to give the toss away. Zamin missed out on his third chance of century this season when he was dismissed for a breezy 88. Dado, however, remained composed as he held the inning together and plotted his way with some exquisite drives to a maiden century, 104 not out; he remained motionless the next day. He was ably supported by the “explosive” Wayne 'the slugger' Stuger who played an 'out of character' inning -27 runs- pushing for singles in the closing overs which led his teammates to assume that he wanted to bat through the winter until start of next season. When Everest Masters closed their inning on an imposing 245 for 3 off 30 overs, the weary legs of the All Pros team had a major task on their hands. In their reply, they were eventually bundled out for just over a hundred, only Neville Flowers showed some resistance with a determined 77 runs not out, but not before he had to administered a bit of physical therapy stretches to his batting partners so they can bat on with him.

The performance in this match has been the story all season by this Everest masters team. A dominant batting display in the season opener against a formidable Hutchinson led masters team in which the Everest registered a huge 253 for 6 in 35 overs at Ledo Beach, with two century partnerships- 105 between the hard hitting Imran Ali and Sham Ali and then 120 between Sham and Zamin, in a match that ended in a thrilling four runs difference. In their next match, Everest posted an improbable 345 for 3 off 35 overs against Village Rams at Gateway in which Saheed Mohamed slammed a blistering double century 208 not out that included 22-6's and 10-4's as he and Zamin (87) posted a record second wicket partnership of 279 runs.

While the runs flowed from the batsmen the bowlers also had their say. The admirable consistency of the seasoned campaigner in paceman Trevor Walke seems never ending as he continued to dominate batsmen in the New York area for more than three decades. Feezo’s total wickets haul for the season were overshadowed by the one he took on tour to Orlando earlier in the season. He is perhaps still in shock when he bowled W.I. star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul with a late inswinger – it is a wicket for the ages. The extra special straight off spin of Iqbal Sheriff still mesmerized the opposing batsmen for 'pace', even though, his bowling action falls far off the chart when it comes to the ICC's regulations on degrees for elbow flexion- there may be a footnote to that rule on an aging arm. Medium pacer Jerry Persaud, leggie Sam Ali, Mohan Kissoon along with the others had their say on occasions.

Everest Masters hard working lone soldier Feezo Sheriff was pleased with his team’s performance through the season, even though his tolerance has been exhausted to the fullest at times, but he kept on going as he tried to compile the masters’ collection of players for the season. It is a thankless undertaking and Feezo deserved all the admiration. He dedicated the 2009 season to our good friend and opening batsman Ray Ramsammy and the Everest Masters team responded with utmost compassion.

The Everest Masters were unable to defend their 2008 title as they ended their season in second place on the points table. A competition format that excluded a semi final and final came up a little short on the excitement of the game towards the end of a season since the playoffs and final can add a little more flavor to a competition and provide an opportunity to strengthen the camaraderie among the players as the season comes to an end.

In the end though, it was a very different level competitive encounter between the teams and the Everest masters will be refreshed that they have enjoyed the season within the spirit of the game and engaged in a brand of cricket that embodied discipline, camaraderie and sportsmanship.

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