Holiday Weekend Weather Challenge Looms for Niagara T20 Event

Toronto Knight Riders beat Shinol MS Boys by 42 runs when group matches resumed in the Niagara Cricket Club’s T20 Event 2020 on Saturday (August 1, 2020). Toronto Knight Riders struck 164 all out from 19.5 overs then bowled out Shinol MS Boys 122 all out (17.5 overs). The win carried the Toronto Knight Riders into the semi-finals alongside York CC. York won both their two group matches last weekend so are assured of a semi-final berth regardless of the result of their remaining group game against Avengers.
York CC (Won 2, Lost 0) is due to play their third and last Group game against Avengers (Won 0, Lost 2) today (Sunday, August 2, 2020) at 4pm. The weather forecast includes expectations of thunderstorms with a projected 60-80% prospect of rain during the scheduled hours of play. The 60% prospect of rain currently shows for 4pm but, more significantly, applies during overnight hours including the scheduled morning start match in the other group between Youngstars (Won 1, Lost 1, Net Run Rate -0.0476) and Spartans (Won 0, Lost 2). Prospects of rain are high for the 12.30pm start when hosts Niagara Elites (Won 2, Lost 0) are due to play Jazba (Won 1, Lost 1, Net Run Rate -1.0292).
There were two contrasting overs on Saturday to end the Jazba v Avengers game. Avengers gathered runs quite freely in the 19th over, then lost five wickets from 5 balls without scoring one run. Seven runs needed from the last over transformed into seven runs needed from the last ball, unless there was help via a no-ball or wide. A straight single from the last ball was the only shot a series of right hand batsmen had not fired or played with lesser power into the covers or square on the off-side. Two well struck balls were caught, two were bobbled into the air and caught. A run out at the bowler’s end came after the third ball was tapped towards extra cover.
The weather forecast for Holiday Monday (August 3, 2020), currently slated for the semi-finals and final, is similarly far from promising.
The organizers acknowledged the possibility that the schedule might need to be revised, the first imperative was that the event could only begin once Ontario and the local municipality provided the “all clear” for non-contact team sports to be played. Weather tends to be a challenge for cricket and the current conditions of heat and humidity in the Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas of Ontario add to the challenges for players who have not been allowed to practice until recent weeks.
Given the lack of cricket this summer due to the pandemic emergency situation it might not be a surprise if, at minimum, the playoffs are moved to next weekend based on about 4 hours of rain that have fallen in southern Etobicoke as 6pm Sunday approaches. Now if the Niagara Falls area has been lucky, it may only have been the lighter rain that has fallen this morning rather than some more solid downpour phases.
Sunday’s Schedule
Now the Sunday (August 2) schedule on the Niagara CC’s website comprises: Game 1 (9.00am)
Youngstars v Spartans; Game 2 (12.30pm) Jazba v Niagara Elites; and Game 3 (4.00pm) York CC v Avengers.
These games have not, as yet, been included in the schedule on the Cricclubs.com website, which is being used for live scoring of tournament matches.
Some fairly intense rain is falling in western Toronto as 5am approaches. The rain has intensified in the last hour or two. I suspect the cloud cover extends over a large area, as is implied by the Sunday weather forecasts for both Niagara Falls and Toronto.
Now prospective spectators for today’s games are not allowed at the ground under current Ontario Stage 3 emergency regulations, so potential spectators check via facebook to see if play is taking place and for information about any changes in schedule that are made due to the current bad weather.
Saturday’s Matches
9am Toronto Knight Riders beat Shinol MS Boys by 42 runs Toronto Knight Riders 164 all out (19.5 overs)
Shinol MS Boys 122 all out (17.4 overs)
Toronto Knight Riders and Shinol MS Boys played the first game of this holiday weekend’s closing group matches in the 2020 Niagara Cricket Club T20 Event. Toronto Knight Riders scored 164 all out from 19.5 overs then bowled out Shinol MS Boys 122 all out (17.5 overs). The win carried the Toronto Knight Riders into the semi-finals alongside York CC (Won 2, Lost 0) who will close the group with a game on Sunday against Avengers (Won 0, Lost 2).
Shinol began well, putting the Knight Riders on the backfoot at 22/4 from 4.4 overs before new batsman Sahil Patel pumped 67 runs from 26 balls (4x4s, 7x6s) before being out at 110/5 after 11.2 overs. Sahil Patel and Bharat Negi had added 86 runs for the Knight Riders fifth wicket. Bharat Negi was eventually out at 112/7 (13.3 overs) after scoring 31 runs from 29 balls. Ramzan Abdul Cader bagged 4 wickets for 22 runs from 4 overs, including both Sahil Patel and Bharat Negi.
Anil Kumar Reddy scored 23 of Shinol’s 38/3 (5.2 overs) before being caught off the bowling of Humayan Abassi, who went on to capture 3 wickets for 15 runs from 3 overs. Abassi’s wickets included Shinol top scorer Pirasanno Ganeshalingha, who was caught for 29 (101/7, 13.2 overs).
12.30pm Jazba beat Avengers by 5 runs
Jazba 185 all out (16 overs; Umair Ghani 67, Shivpreet Grewal 48, Udev Singh 35)
Spartans 180/8 (20 overs; Salman Arshad 55, Rameez Durrani 49, Shahib Singh 31, Nasir Shafiq 5/29)
[Note scorecard for Jazba shows : 7 wickets but the 3 players listed as “Did not Bat” ought to be “Absent 0″.]

4pm Niagara Elites beat Youngstars CC by 42 runs
Niagara Elites 176/6 (20 overs; Aaditya Varadarajan 85*, Moghees Ali 33, Sarang Hegde 26) Youngstars 134 all out (17.2 overs; Hafeez Ullah 48, Waleed Imtiaz 46, Kairav Sharma 5/15)
Holiday Monday Original Schedule (August 3)
The first semi-final is scheduled to start at 9.00 am and is projected to be followed by the second semi-final at 12.30pm. The winning semi-finalists are then due to meet in the Final at 4pm.
Eddie Norfolk Etobicoke August 2, 2020

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