July 11-12 matches
The second weekend of league play got off to a flying start as Maanik Arora made the first century of the season, 101* from 49 balls, with twelve fours and three sixes. After losing an early wicket, Ranvir Rana and Bhupesh Sharma had put on 60 before Maanik came in. Mukul Dhawan contributed a 20 ball 41 to a 4th wicket partnership of 110 with Maanik and the Royal Challengers totalled 214/4.
Mukul continued his good bowling form with two early wickets when the Hurricanes replied. Maanik Arora struck twice as well, as the Hurricanes struggled to keep up with the run rate. Mohammed Rafid made 17, as did Daiyan Ahmed as Royal Challengers rung the changes using eight bowlers in all. Mukul took two further wickets and finished with figures of 4/26.
In the second match of the day NSK took on the Tigers in what turned out to be an excellent match. The Tigers innings featured a fine partnership between Ali Raza (86) and Arafat al Nabi (66*). Both batted very well, although helped by NSK putting down some catches. Tigers made 177/2 from their 20 overs, with Nick Baxter taking 2/17. NSK were three down in the 4th over, with Indranil Malik taking two wickets, but then Rakesh Negi (31) and Nick Baxter took NSK to 102/ 3 with 9 overs remaining, with NSK perhaps favourites at that point. Ali Raza swung the balance back to the Tigers, dismissing both, and then taking two catches as NSK were all out for 140. Arife Mahmud took 3/32.
In the final match on Saturday, the Avengers played the Stars. Avengers made 192/6, led by 84 from Rahul Vashishtha (41 balls, 11 fours and 5 sixes. Jawadur Rahman took 3/32 for the Stars. In reply, the Stars lost early wickets to Rahul Vashishtha (2/12) and Saravana Kumar (3/30) and were bowled out for 96, Mehtab Singh taking 2/8. Top score for the Stars was Junayed Tushar with Irtiza Dar contributing 13.
On Sunday the Eagles took on the Tigers. The Tigers batting first got off to an excellent start with a 98 run opening partnership between the in-form Ali Raza (45) and Anol Azad. The innings faltered though as Najaf took three wickets and Osama one, but Anol Azad and Mohammed Zilani batted out the rest of the overs, leading the Tigers to 180/4. Anol batted right through the innings for a classy and chanceless 90*. Najaf resturned excellent figures of 3/18.
The Eagles made a strong effort at chasing the total, with Adeel Illyas (29) and Raheel Zaman (27) putting runs on the board early. They did slip behind the run rate as they lost wickets, but a hard hitting 50 from Najaf Kazmi kept them in the game into the final overs. Anol Azad dismissed Najaf and Khurram, leaving the Eagles to hit 18 off the last over. This proved too much, and the Tigers won by 12 runs.
The final match of the weekend saw the Stars taking on NSK. Nick Baxter proved to be a handful for the Stars bats, taking three wickets in his opening spell, and then newcomer Prahar Vyas ran through the middle order with his left arm spin. Nick took 3/6, Prahar 3/14, and Raza Riaz took 2/9 as the Stars were bowled out for 60. NSK raced to victory in 7.2 overs, Praha Vyas making 18* and Amit Sundly 19.
The Royal Challengers and Avengers top the table both with 3 wins and seem to have already booked their spot in Division 1 for 2nd round play. The Tigers are on 2 wins and a loss, and NSK and Eagles each have a win.
A few photos from Tigers-NSK