Avengers win Saini Cup
The first and second place teams in the league met in the Saini Cup, a best of three series. The Cup has been renamed this year in honour of Ranjit Saini, Cricket Canada president who made a major contribution to getting the new pitch in place. The Avengers took the series in two straight matches, played back to back in less than ideal conditions on Sunday.
In the opening match the Newfoundland Superkings batted first, and were immediately in trouble, losing two wickets in the opening over bowled by Rahul Vashisht, Amit Sundly caught at mid wicket and Sajawal Usto well caught at slip by Matthew Sinclair. Rakesh Negi and Talha Riaz (15) added 44 before Praveen Manhas dismissed Talha and Adeel Ilyas, and when Taqrim Ghous fell to Matthew Sinclair, NSK were 48/5. Rakesh Negi was still there, and put on another 41 with Purvi Kalyan (13*) before he fell to a tumbling catch by Bharath Shetty for 48. Mukul Dhawan hit well for 17 and NSK totalled 113/6 from their 20 overs- a reasonable total considering the wet outfield and water soaked ball. Rahul led the bowling with 3/12 from four overs.
The Avengers however had little trouble knocking off the runs, Matthew Sincliar (33*) and Praveen Manhas (17) putting on 40 for the first wicket. Rahul Vashishta rattled up a quick 55* to lead his team to a 9-wicket win with 7 overs to spare.
Avengers batted first in the second match, and Praveen and Matthew again put on 40 for the first wicket. Matthew was first out this time, for 23, bringing in Rahul who made 73 from 33 balls with six sixes and six fours. Amit Sundly took four wickets but the Avengers totalled 190.
Sajawal Usto (22) and Amit Sundly got NSK off to a good start but both fell to Praveen with the score on 45. Rakesh Negi kept NSK in the game with a fine innings of 67 from 39 balls with 5 sixes, but NSK fell behind the run rate, and the Avengers ended up winners- and Saini Cup champions – by 24 runs.
All Avengers innings and start of NSK- unitl the rain meant the camera had to be turned off (although the game continued).