Cricket - Gran Kaz Kings claim Vijay Cup | 28 November 2019
.Mahe Strikers win SCA Junior League
On a warm Saturday afternoon (November 23), the Junior League T10 Tournament, play-offs were underway at the new Perseverance ground.
In the first semifinal, Mahe Strikers batted first against the Island Heroes. Arth and Matthew opened the innings for the Strikers putting on 46 runs for the first wicket, before Matthew was dismissed for 31 runs. Kaston (21 runs) coming in at 3 provided good support to Arth (29 runs) as they the Strikers posted 93 runs in their 10 overs.
Despite their efforts, a task of chasing 94 runs seemed way too demanding for the Heroes team as they folded for 20 runs within 8 overs.
The main contributions with the ball came from Arth and Janil who picked up 3 wickets each ensuring a 73-run win for the Mahe Strikers.
In the second semifinal, Master Blasters batted first against the Caiman Champs. After losing Prashish early for 8 runs, Vivek and Hitesh put on a commendable 110-run stand to lead the Blasters to a great total of 129 for 2. Vivek scored 60 (off just 25 balls) and was well supported by Hitesh who made 44.
Chasing 130, the Champs lost Thanisk early, before Shubranshu and Lithira showed promising batting display. Despite not being able to chase the mammoth target, Lithira showed good stability scoring 16 runs and was well supported by Nikhil who made 6. Prashish and Hitesh were the only wicket takers for the Master Blasters ensuring a comfortable 83 victory over Caiman Champs.
The stage was set for a great finale which promised to be a nail-biting one. Batting first Master Blasters lost Vivek and Hitesh early leaving the score at 16 for 2. What followed was a solid 44-run 3rd wicket partnership which was fuelled by continuous boundary striking from Prashish and sensible strike rotation from Deepesh. The regular fall of wickets on one end, did not stop Prashish scoring a fantastic 43 runs off just 26 deliveries to take his team towards a competitive score of 95 for 8. Dhruv and Janil from the Strikers were the only bowlers to cause regular checks on this run flow picking up 2 wickets each.
Chasing a target of 96, the Strikers lost Arth and Matthew cheaply in 2nd over, courtesy of 2 sharp catches by Priyak. Skipper Dhruv restored the innings by playing sensibly and received support by Kaston who scored 11 runs. Both rotated the strike well and took advantage of regular misfields and extras provided by the Blasters during their 57-run 3rd wicket partnership. However, it seemed like a twist in the tale was on the cards with Kaston being dismissed at the start of the 9th over. Needing 24 runs off 11 balls, young Janil lived up to his team’s and captains’ expectations by piercing the field with 2 crucial boundaries in the 9th over. Requiring 6 runs off 4 balls Dhruv was caught out at the boundary for an excellent 42 runs with the Blasters sniffing a possible victory. Nevertheless, Janil remained extremely calm and knocked off the remaining runs providing his team victory by 6 wickets with a ball to spare. Winning captain Dhruv was awarded man of the match for his 42 runs and 2 wickets helping his team secure the Junior League Cup.
Gran Kaz win Vijay Cup final
The final of the Vijay Cup was underway on a bright Sunday afternoon (November 24) at the mew Perseverance field.
After winning the toss, the GSP 7 captain had no hesitation sending in Gran Kaz Kings to bat being unsure of how the new surface would play. This decision seemed wise upfront as the Kings lost Hari and Murray for ducks within 3 overs leaving Gran Kaz reeling 4 for 2. With early trouble, Islam was promoted at number 4 to steady the innings and with great support on the other hand by veteran Tim, they combined well to put on 46 runs for the 3rd wicket. Just as the innings was progressing well Krishna removed Tim for 24 to re-assert the brakes back on Gran Kaz Kings. Sandipan then joined Islam to put on a solid 45-run stand before being dismissed by Seenu for 21 in the 17th over.
With a late push for quick runs Islam finally fell for 42 (4 fours and 1 six) in the 18th over, courtesy of a superb Yorker from Kalvin. With late contributions from Sanjay (12 runs), Tarak (13 runs) and Jayden (4), Gran Kaz Kings ensured they reached a commendable total of 127 for 6 on a challenging wicket at the new stadium. The main pick of the bowlers for GSP 7 were Muthu (1-8), Krishna (1-21) and Senu (2-23).
Chasing a challenging total of 128, GSP 7 openers looked very confident upfront having struck 2 boundaries in the opening over. However, with Rajiv, Krishna and Nataraj being dismissed in successive overs the chase looked in all sorts of mess having the scoreline stuck at 16-3. Kings skipper Hari Krishna made maximum use of the slowness of the wicket, bowling an exception spell off 2-3 in 4 overs (including 2 precious maidens) bamboozling the opposition by spinning the ball both ways. The pressure exerted by Hari was taken to full advantage by the other seamers – Rajiv, Neel, Murray and Sanjay – as they combined as a force to run through the middle order of GSP 7. This regular fall of wickets did not allow GSP 7 skipper Babu to play his natural game as he had to patiently try to anchor the innings. From 22-6, Manoj (14 runs) and Babu tried to provide some momentum to the innings taking the scoreline to 51 for 7 before Babu was dismissed. At last Babu lost his patience and was trapped in front by Sanjay in the 13th over leaving GSP 7 innings all but over at 57-9.
With 71 runs required off the last 7 overs, Seenu and Yakesh decided to play out the remaining overs as the task to knock off those runs seemed way too daunting. GSP 7 managed a final score 86-9, handing the Gran Kaz Kings a comfortable victory of 41 runs to claim the Vijay Cup of 2019.
Alongside, Hari’s exceptional bowling spell, Neel and Sanjay claimed 3 wickets apiece, alongside Rajiv and Murray contributing with economic overs. The player of the match was awarded to Islam for his resilient innings of 42 runs under pressure and his formidable fielding skills to support the Kings’ bowlers.