Eastern T20 – Day 2
The PEI game proved to be the closest match of the tournament, as we scraped a one wicket win. PEI put on 34 for the first wicket but took 8 overs, thanks to tight bowling from Mesam Timmar and Praveen Manhas. The stand was broken by Rakesh Negi, and then wickets fell regularly. Rakesh took 2/20, Praveen 2/16 and Madhu Bandara 2/11 as PEI were restricted to 99. Given the unpredictable pitch, thick grass and long boundaries, this represented a challenging target, and when three wickets went down for just 18, NL were in trouble. Anol Azad (14) helped Gurman Khurana steady the ship, but then further wickets fell – 52/6 in the 13th over. Mesam Timmar (11) provided valuable support for Gurman who played a match winning innings. He hit a six to reduce the target to 15, but then two more wickets fell. 7 runs were needed with two overs to go, when Gurman was caught for 34, leaving our final pair of Saravana Kumar and Madhu Bandara to score the 2 runs needed to win. A quick single to point from Saravana, and a lofted drive from Madhu gave us a 1 wicket win.
The team was back on the field immediately to face Nova Scotia, who needed a big win to help their chances of making the finals. Nova Scotia batted first and batted aggressively. Praveen Manhas bowled very well conceding just 11 runs from his three overs and was well supported by Rakesh Negi (2/18) and Rahul Vashishtha (1/21) but Nova Scotia totalled 112 from their 15 overs.
The team needed a good start but lost three wickets from the first 8 balls, and never really recovered. Gurman (13), Anol (17) and Abhishek fought hard but NL were bowled out for 65.
Sunday sees a must-win match with New Brunswick to reach the bronze medal match.