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Indoor Cricket USA League Opens With Thrilling Matches

Jan. 29th, 2010

Indoor Cricket USA Annual Winter Indoor Cricket League Tournament commenced with a set of exciting matches last Saturday evening at its venue in Morristown New Jersey. The opening night of this winter cricket tournament featured four teams.

Last year’s champions Galaxy; last year’s finalists Royals; and two under 19 youths’ teams ICUSA’s Stars and ICUSA’s Stripes which are being trained at ICUSA’s Cricket Academy. The three matches produced an evening of entertaining and delightful cricket which displayed the thrills and excitement of this “game of glorious uncertainty” that has captured the interest of cricket lovers over the years.

Participating teams (top to bottom) are Royals, Stripes and Stars.

The first and the last matches kept the adrenaline flowing throughout the duration of the matches as the skills of the veterans mingled with those of the young at ICUSA’s ideal state of the art Indoor Cricketing venue.

The first match was between the Royals and the Stripes teams. This was an encounter between the experienced and matured cricketers and the highly motivated and energetic youths of ICUSA’s Academy.

Royals batted first and was restricted to 110 runs in their 12 overs by some disciplined bowling and athletic fielding of a youthful nature. Royals was given a solid start by their first batting pair of captain Qayaam Farrouq and Prashad Mahadeo who put on 44 runs in their allotted 4 overs, before their second batting pair of Deryck McDonald and Mark Gomes added an entertaining 48 runs to take the score to 92 . However the Stripes team restricted the last batting pair of Bachu and Mark A. Gomes, at the death of the innings to 18 runs.

Captain Cameron Mirza, leg-spinner Ryan Persaud and Kareem Latif gave a display of disciplined bowling which collectively not only give away a miserly 18 runs but also captured 2 wickets and shifted the momentum of the game as they began their reply. The youths and their coaches had every reason to be proud of their bowling and fielding performance.

Ryan and Cameron bowled intelligently giving away only 10 and 11 runs respectively in their spells. In reply the Stripes batting was competitive with their opening pair of Ammar and Saif scoring 30 and next pair of Ryan and Kareem taking the score to 59 before the last pair of the aggressive skipper Cameron Mirza and Parth Thanari took the score to100 at the end of the innings with a delightful 41 runs partnership that was encouraging for Stripes and their supporters.

It was to the Stripes credit that they did not loose any wickets in their innings which was noted for the technical correctness of its batters but lacking in smartness suited to the situation especially from their middle pair of batters. For the Royals Deryck MacDonald, Prashad Mahdeo and Mark Gomes bowled tight spells in giving away only 12 runs a piece in their two overs bowling spells. The others bowlers were untidy with their lengths and lines.

In the next match ICUSA ‘s Stars was no match for 2009 Winter Tournament champions Galaxy who taught the youths a lesson in indoor cricket and gave them a worthy introduction to senior competitive cricket. Galaxy batted first and scored 161 without loosing any wickets. Their opening pair of Kawal and Manoj put on 63 runs, before the next pair of Sunil and Rana added a further 60. The last two batters, Krishna and Ryan closed off the innings at 161.

The bowling and fielding of the Stars was a display of mere “work in progress” at its initial stages. In reply the Stars could only muster 70 runs as the Galaxy bowlers were too accurate for the youths. For the trainees the batting of Anush Thanari and Roshan Patel was impressive as they gave an exhibition of sound technique and sensible intent.

This match was a thriller with fortunes swaying throughout the game and the winner could not have been determined until the last delivery which was the 8th of the final over. Every delivery of that last over of the match was preceded with absolute silence in the hall, visible spectators’ anxiety and players’ tension.

Royals batted first and scored 121. Prashad Mahadeo and Qayaam Farrouq send them off to a sound start with an opening partnership of 36 against some steady new ball bowling from Sunil and Manoj Balgobin . That was followed by an entertaining 44 runs partnership involving the seasoned McDonald and M. Gomes as Ryan Gulvary and captain Krishna Harrichan tried to curtail runs.

The last pair of (Rusty)Bachu and Sean Thompson had a fluctuating last wicket partnership which yielded 10, 20, 8 and 3 runs in their 4 overs as Kawal bowled 2 restrictive overs while Rana Prataap Narain, with his hurlers, produced a display that ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime.

His first over went for 20 runs. His last which was the final over of the innings was special, yielding 3 runs off the bat, 5 runs from wides and a dismissal to restrict the score to a net 3 runs off that over. The Royals score was competitive but well within the range of the Galaxy’s batting capability.

Kawal Persaud and Manoj Balgobin got their team off to a good start with a 38 runs partnership off the bowling of the accurate MacDonald and Captain Qayaam. McDonald’s first over of the innings produced a wicket maiden which resulted from an acrobatic catch by Sean Thompson at short mid-on to capture the wicket of the dependable Kawal and earn a -5 runs for his team.

The next pair of batters, Rana and Sunil kept the runs flowing with a 37 runs partnership off the bowling of Thompson and Prashad. With the last pair of Krishna and Ryan Gulvary at the wicket and the score 75, the excitement was soaring. At the end of the penultimate 11th over the score was 114 with 8 runs needed in the last over and two set experienced batsmen to take their team to victory. Mark Gomes was entrusted with the last over in which 6 runs came from the first 5 deliveries, which included a dot delivery in the process and the score moving to 120 with 2 runs to get from the “final” delivery of the match.

At this point the cricket match gravitated to the level of “a game of glorious uncertainty”. In an atmosphere of high tension bowler Gomes lost his nerves and produced a wide which apparently gave Galaxy their 2 runs for victory.

But wicket-keeper Prashad Mahadeo held his nerves and affected a brilliant piece of leg side stumping as the left handed Krishna sautéed out of his crease. That resulted in the score being reduced by 3 runs to 117. Gomes next delivery was another wide taking the score to 119 and 3 runs to win from the possible 6th legitimate delivery of that last over. In that final delivery Ryan Gulvary was run out thereby ending Galaxy’s innings at 114. Royals snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and Galaxy snatching defeat from the glory of victory. In the final analysis, the brilliant fielding of Royals brought them victory. The game was a spectacle of cricketing joy.

The opening round of this year’s ICUSA Winter League Tournament was indeed attractive. It did not only give cricketers in the Tri State area the chance to keep themselves physically fit and mentally prepared for cricket during the Winter but it also provide cricket lovers with the entertainment for which the game is reputed. The next round of preliminary matches is scheduled for Saturday at 6.00 p.m.
Reporting from Cricketer’s Paradise at ICUSA Inc. Morristown New Jersey.

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