[Eddie Norfolk, Toronto, August 3, 2020]:
Niagara Cricket Club demonstrated commitment and awareness on Sunday (August 2, 2020), in my opinion, in the face of some unfriendly weather, so the playoffs will take place this Ontario Holiday Monday in the face of whatever nature brings. The start of Sunday’s play was delayed due to wet conditions before two reduced overs matches were played in Group A, but the day’s third game in Group B had no play due to wet weather with no impact on which two of four teams qualified for the playoffs.
Holiday Monday’s (August 3, 2020) semi-finals will see hosts and Group A leaders Niagara Elites (Won 2, Lost 0, No Result 1) play Toronto Knight Riders (Won 2, Lost 1), who placed second in Group B. Group B winners York CC (Won 2, Lost 0, No Result 1) will play Youngstars who placed second in Group A thanks to Sunday’s win under the D/L system by 1 run against Spartans.
Monday’s first semi-final is scheduled for a 9am start between York CC and Youngstars. Niagara Elites are then due to meet Toronto Knight Riders in the second semi-final, scheduled for a 12.30pm start. The winning semi-finalists advance to the Final, scheduled to start at 4pm on Monday.
Live Scores (via CricClubs.com) and Live Streaming videos can be accessed via options in the tournament heading information at: www.niagaracricket.com/festival.
Sunday in Group A
After a delayed start and a reduction of the game to 15 overs per innings, Spartans (Won 0, Lost 2) provided a strong challenge against Youngstars (Won 1, Lost 1). Spartans began with a promising opening stand of 73 (8.1 overs) ended when Rameez Durrani was run out for 38 (28 balls). Fellow opener Hasan Adil went on to reach 43* (45 balls) of Spartans 121/5 from 15 overs. Murtaza Majid contributed 14 and Salman Arshad 18 in useful supporting roles.
Spartans hopes blossomed with the early dismissals of both Youngstars opening bats, who had produced plenty of runs in the ‘stars first two matches, with just 7 runs on the board. Success continued as Spartans took two more early wickets, including Youngstars captain Umer Iqbal (2 runs), and were poised for victory with their opponents struggling at 14/4 after 2.5 overs. Mansoor Khan scored 19 before a fifth wicket stand with Shahid Amadzai ended at 58/5 from 8.5 overs. Junaid Siddiqui joined Amadzai sparked a batting revival in adding 67 runs for the sixth wicket. Shahid Amadzai was caught for 51 (31 balls) at 125/6 (13.4 overs). The Youngstars innings ended at 132/6 after 14.3 overs, which was good enough for Youngstars to claim victory by 1 run under the D/L system.
Niagara Elites (Won 2, Lost 0) scored a promising 161/6 from 17 overs against Jazba (Won 1, Lost 1) in the match to complete the Group A schedule. Niagara soon made inroads into the
Jazba batting but rain ended the game followng Umair Ghani’s dismissal with Jazba struggling on 30/4 from 3.2 overs. Opening bat Joewayne Powell was caught after clipping 19 runs from 8 balls and was one of three wickets for Niagara captain Moghees Ali (3/21 from 3 overs). No more play was possible so the game ended as a No Result.
Niagara’s innings began with a stand of 51 from 5.1 that ended when Pragash Podiratnam was caught at the wicket for 27 (17 balls). His opening partner Sachin Kumar went on to reach 47 (30 balls), Aaditya Varadarajan was caught and bowled by Umair Ghani for 38 (20 balls), while Haseeb chipped in with 23 runs (15 balls) batting at number five. But a promising 161/6 from 17 overs was beaten by the weather. Still, Niagara will be looking to win the tournament this Holiday Monday; a public holiday that may have more local names in different parts of Ontario than the eight teams participating in this first outdoor cricket tournament of this pandemic year of 2020.
Sunday in Group B: York v Avengers Washed Out
In Group B, York CC with 2 wins from 2 games at close of play on Saturday were assured of a place in the semi-finals even if they had lost to Avengers (Won 0, Lost 2) on Sunday. Avengers could, potentially, have placed third in the Group on Net Run Rate with a solid win against York but could not have moved into second place as Toronto Knight Riders had finished their group matches on Saturday with 2 wins and 1 loss.