Outlaws vs Berbice – week 1 match at Tamarac Sport Complex.
A revamp Outlaws team was looking to start their 2016 season on the right track as they take on last seasonâ€™s Division 2 finalist Berbice Cricket Club.
Outlaws won the toss and asked Berbice what they would like to do. Berbice asked to field first and was granted their wish as Outlaws took first strike.
With a revamped roster, came a restructured batting order with veteran Kaiume Mohamed and the hard hitting Vivian Kahn tasked with open the batting.
They both started watchfully but seemed to find the boundary once in every over. They batted through the powerplay at a respectable run rate of 8 an over. Kaiume was the first to go, driving at a slow delivery that seemed to have died in the pitch and offering a return catch to the bowler Jagdesh Roy.
Vivan was then joined by Nazim Ali, a former Outlaws member that is returning to the team this season. Nazim started aggressively as 3 of the first 5 balls he faced found the boundary. These two picked up the scoring at around 10 an over. Vivian was next to go, caught by Adam at long-on after misjudging a low full-toss from Joey.
Next batsman up was the well respected and feared Andrew Permaul making his Outlaws debut. As a polished cricketer and an exquisite timer of the ball, Andrew took no time to go after the bowling. His first 5 scoring shots were all boundaries, 1 four and 4 sixes.
Andrew and Nazim punished the Berbice bowlers as boundaries and monstrous sixes were being hit to all parts of the ground. This 150-run partnership finally came to an end when Andrew was caught at long-off by Andy. Andrew finished on 78 off 32 balls with 5 fours and 8 sixes.
Nazim continued the fireworks as he was joined in the middle by another former Outlaws player returning this season, Asif Sharief. The two put on a quick 25-run partnership in the next two overs before Nazim was comprehensively bowled by Joey while attempting an expansive drive over long-off. Nazim finished with top honors for the day with a score of 89 off 44 balls with 6 fours and 8 sixes. He will look to continue his good form next week and try to get to that century mark.
Asif was joined by Avinash and the two kept the scoreboard ticking as Outlaws was eyeing a target of 300 plus. However, Outlaws was kept at bay by some smart bowling by the veteran Joey, who eventually claimed his fourth wicket as Asif was also bowled attempting a massive shot over long-on and exposing his stumps. Sharief made a brisk 30 with 3 fours and 1 maximum.
The inform AlaStair Khan made a quick appearance in the last over and with a strike-rate of 200 saw Outlaws post a historic target of 300. Avinash remained not-out on 12 with 2 fours.
This version of Outlaws has never made it to the 300-run mark and it was quite an achievement to begin the 2016 season.
Joey was the pick of the bowlers for Berbice with 4 wickets.Â
With such a mammoth target ahead of them, Berbice was hoping to get a good start from their openers. However it wasnâ€™t the case as their young and talented open batsman Muneshwar was cleverly bowled behind his back for a duck by Fahron Persaud. The next two batsmen Andy Busgith and Mikey did not trouble the score either as they were both run-out by Alastair Khan. Berbice was reeling after losing three of the better batsmen with score only on 9.
A respectable 56-run partnership between Guru and Adam Sattar saw Berbice to a total of 79 before Adam was out caught at long-on for a well played 29 including 2 sixes.
AlaStair Khan was not done as he was given the ball by the skipper and quickly wrapped up the tail. Khan finished with figures of 3 overs 10 runs and 3 wickets.
Berbice made 119 in their allotted 25 overs with the loss of 8 wickets. Guru remained not-out on 45.
Fahron Persaud (4/1/12/1) and AlaStair Khan (3/0/10/3) were the pick of the bowlers for Outlaws who experimented with eight bowlers.
Although it was great to score 300 runs, there was no satisfaction in this victory. It was quite demoralizing for a team such as Berbice, a team consisting mainly of youths. It was clear that Outlaws was on a different level.
The league must do a better job of alignment and zoning so that teams can compete with others on the same level. We do not want to lose the interest of our youths in this game.
Next week OutLaws travels to Lehigh Acres to take on new comer SW Cricket Club at beautiful Veterans Park.