Ontario snatch slim 1st innings lead in Athelston Trophy 2 day game


Errol Townsend


Solid performances from new Ontario Captain Tony Russell, Ontario débutante Stephen John and Canada cap Asif Mullah and Amed Panchbya helped Ontario to a slender 16 runs first innings lead over Quebec on an absorbing first day of the annual Athelston Cup match at Ross Lord Park, Toronto.

Put in to bat in humid overcast conditions Quebec struggled after John made a dream start to representative cricket in Canada claiming two victims with his first two deliveries. But a solid 41 from left hand opener Vijay Patel enabled the visitors to reach 164 for nine at the mandatory 50 overs declaration.

John finished with 3 for 29 from 10 overs. He generated genuine pace, moved the ball both ways and produced a well disguised slower delivery, showing off the repertoire which had earned the 22 year old Vincentean a place in the West Indies 1998 under 19 squad.

He received good support in the field and skipper Russell chipped in with 3 for 34 off 10 overs, pinning down the Quebec batsmen with tight line and length.

Ontario also made a disastrous start as Canadian seamer Ashish Patel removed wicket keeper Robert Crosse for a duck. The other opener Sandeep Jyoti made only 3 as Ontario wobbled at 10 for 2 but Mulla mixed aggression and solid defense for a well deserved 50. He received support from an aggressive Aryjune Nandu, but when the former Guyanese all rounder was stumped for 23 and Mullah was caught on the boundary Ontario was left struggling and tight bowling, defensive field placing and a slow outfield.

It was then that Russel (27 not out) and Panchbay (46) came together to steady the boat and steer it home to the all important first innings lead. The two innings match continues Sunday and is still in the balance as despite the 16 runs lead Ontario have to bat last on a pitch already showing signs of wear and tear.

Day 2

Ontario retains Athelston Cup

(Errol Townsend)

Rain ruined what was shaping up to be a keenly contested Atholstan Cup match at Ross Lord Park in Toronto on Sunday.

When bad light stopped play 15 minutes from close, Ontario were 120 for 3, in pursuit of the 170 runs required for outright victory.

As the match was drawn, Ontario retained the cup by virtue of the first innings lead.

Final scores were:- Quebec 164 for 9 declared (Vijay Patel 41, Ashish Patel 33 not out, Stephen John 3 for 27, Tony Russell 3 for 34)

Ontario 180 for 7 declared (Asif Mulla 50, Ahmeda Panchbya 45, Russell 27 not out)

Quebec 185 (Henry Lawrent 79, Baiser Ali 40, Stephen John 3 for 30)