2008-09-11 / Sports

Punjab Tops Imperial In Cricket League Prelim Round

By Marcus Bethel

Travel Treat Wicket Keeper and Batsman Dale Richard.Travel Treat Wicket Keeper and Batsman Dale Richard. Punjab made vain all Imperial preliminary-round hard work, when they bundled them out for a paltry 69 in 18 overs at Marine Park B in Brooklyn on Sunday, as September's playoff took center stage in the Brook-lyn League cricket competition.

Batting first under sunny skies, Imperial never regained ground after losing their first wicket with the score on 14. Imperial batsmen were unable to negotiate the left-arm swing bowling of Punjab's open bowler Zafar Khan, who produced a remarkable spell of eight overs, two maidens, six wickets for 25 runs to the leave opposition stranded. Babar with two for 18 from five overs; Naheem and Razwan sharing the other two wickets brought the curtains down. With only 42 runs coming from the bat, Imperial was quite grateful for Punjab's generous contribution of 26 extras. Foster Lewis with 12, Kester Sylvester, 11 and O. Ollivierre with 10, were the only batsmen to get into double figures.

For Imperial, it was quite an anticlimax to see the curtains fall in such a dramatic fashion on their 2008 regular championship quest. After beating Grenada last Saturday, their only hope for glory now is to go all the way in the knockout championship.

When it was Punjab's turn at the wicket, they were merely going through the motions as they achieved their target in 13.3 overs reaching 73 for three. A. Bilal top-scored with 35, while J. Qasim got 17.

Kester Sylvester, Kelly Payne and Andy Douglas shared the spoils for Imperial.

Grenada put on another fine performance to stay in contention for the championship as they beat Panthers by six wickets to stake their place in Saturday's semifinals against Punjab.

Batting first at Marine Park C, Panthers only compiled 122 runs as they were undone by some fine seam bowling in the 29th over.

Aamir was Panthers main batsman with 27, Shazad getting 17 and Imran 16.

Daniel Alexander continued his fine all-round form, taking three wickets for 18 runs in seven overs, having bowled three maidens. Victor Munroe, with three for 36 from seven, offered tremendous support. Lester Douglas, finally finding form with the ball, did the rest; taking two for 09 from seven overs, sending down two maidens in the process.

In reply, it was Joseph Peters who launched a huge six over long-on to finish in fine style on 126 in the 25th over, to be unbeaten on 27. Gregory Anthony was also unbeaten on 21. It was however, the inform Daniel Alexander who top-scored for Grenada with an impres-sive 36. Lindy Richards with 17 and Reggie Murray, 11, were the other batsmen to get into double figures.

Salman with figures of two for 22 from six overs, Adil and Imran, taking the other two wickets to fall, were Panthers main bowlers.

In the other game played at Marine Park, Dale Richards continued his dominating form with the bat, to ensure Travel Treat a place in Saturday's semifinals, scoring a stoke-filled147, his fourth century for the season, to help his team amass 266 for five in 35 overs.

Richards, who took his season's tally to 785, could very much be the first batsman to score 1000 runs in a single Brooklyn season, with at least three more innings to bat. Waqas, with 37 not-out; R. Ahmad, 21, David Cumberbatch getting 19 and Zafar, 16, were the other significant contributors.

A. Kirton took two wickets for 21 runs from six overs, bowling for Diplomats; F. Mendonca, S. Ram-phal and S. Simpson sharing the other three wickets to fall.

Diplomats made quite a fight of it to end on 212 in the 35th over, losing by 54 runs.

This weekend will see the best of the rest take center stage with the grand finale at Marine Park C on Sunday. Saturday's semifinals will feature Grenada tak-ing on Punjab at Marine Park A, as they fight to hold on their title, while Travel Treat, the present leader, takes on Pak Eleven at Marine Park C.

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