Labour Day weekend games
The weekend got off to a damp start as the 40 overs match between Tigers and Hurricanes was curtailed by rain. However, the teams got in 63 overs of cricket, with the Tigers winning. They batted first, and made 247, with Imran Ahmed leading the way with a patient 80. Fahad Hossian made 58, and Junayed Tushar took 4/41 for the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes made a decent start in the chase, with Junayed Tushar (22) and Mohammed Rafid (20) putting on 47 for the first wicket but then collapsed to 79/7. Mojammel Hridoy (27*) kept them in the game until the rain fell with the score on 134/8 after 23 overs. The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern calculations suggested a par score of 223, leaving Tigers the winners by 89 runs.
Sunday saw an extraordinary battle for the 40 overs title, as the Royal Challengers took on the Avengers, with the Avengers winning in unlikely fashion by the narrowest of margins. The Avengers batted first and lost both openers with the score on 2, leaving the middle order to re-build the innings. Jaspreet Singh (25) put on 69 with Rahul Vashishtha, and Dax Mehta made 35 out of a 61 run partnership, but the innings revolved around yet another century by Rahul, 103 from 98 balls, his 5th century of the short summer. The Avengers were bowled out for 234 in the 36th over.The Royal Challengers made a steady start, and a 101 partnership between Akash Singh (49) and Aryan Falke put them in a great position, with the 4th wicket falling with just 31 needed in 7.2 overs. Aryan completed his maiden century- the 13th century of the summer on the honours board, but his dismissal triggered a collapse. With 5 overs to go, RC needed just 15 with 5 wickets in hand. The 36th over yielded just 2 runs, the 37th just one, and with the pressure on the 38th over resulted in 3 runs and a wicket. RC scrambled 6 runs from the 39th over but another wicket went down, taking the match to the final over, with Royal Challengers needing 4 to win. Kathan Shah had the unenviable task of bowling it- his first in the match but more than rose to the occasion. Two runs came from the first ball, but the second resulted in a leg before decision in his favour. Royal Challengers were desperate for the tying run but Dax Mehta ran out Gurpreet from the 3rd ball. Kathan concluded one of the best games in our history by bowling the number 11 bat for a 1 run victory. This remarkable comeback not only secured the Avengers the 40 overs title but maintained their unbeaten run this season.
Monday saw the Avengers conclude a successful weekend by clinching the Division 1 T20 tile with a 32 win over NSK. Once again Rahul Vashishtha led the way with yet another century- 120* out of a total of 216/3, with Praveen Manhas (38) and Gurman Khurana (34) making useful contributions. Rahul took 28 from a single over at one point- 4,4,4,4,6,6. NSK made the Avengers work hard for the win, with Nick Baxter’s 58 from 30 balls setting the stage for Shami Khan’s stunning 48 from 16 balls. Kathan Shaw, last over hero in Sunday’s match did the trick again, trapping Shami in front, and the NSK charge faltered, all out for 185, with Rahul taking 4/23.
The final match of the weekend saw the Tigers beat Royal Challengers by 71 runs. Ali Raza made 56 but the highlight for the Tigers was a superb 88 from just 32 balls from Arafat al Nabi. He displayed some excellent power hitting straight, with 8 sixes. The total of 217/4 proved too much for the Royal Challengers, with Imran Ahmed leading the bowlers with 4/32. Maanik Arora made 50 but they fell well short on 146/9.