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Pacer Kevin Darlington set the tone for New York Region with the ball, having figures of 8-5-12-2.
USACA National Championship
NY Region Shows Strength.....CE And SW In Thrilling Finish!

By Lloyd Jodah

Nov. 14th, 2009 | Comments
If you want a definition of nirvana, try a beautiful sunny day in Florida, 70 degrees with a gentle breeze, on an immaculately maintained cricket field. Today was the start of the USACA National Championship at Lauderhill Cricket Stadium,and Brian Piccolo Park.

The 4 competing Teams were the Winners and Runners up from the Eastern and Western Conference Tournaments which took place this past summer. Today the New York Region played the South West Region on the turf wicket at Brian Piccolo Park, whilst the South East Region played the Central East Region at the gorgeous turf wicket of Lauderhill Cricket Stadium.The NY Region and the SW Region were widely considered the strongest Teams so anticipation of a thrilling match was high.

At Brian Piccolo the NY Region opted to field and Kevin Darlington made it a good choice right away by generating pace and dismissing Ricky Singh (6) and Ravi Timbawala (3). George Adams then got rid of Nikhil Iyer (0) and Aditya Thayagarajan (4) and SW was 26/4 in 13.4 overs.

To say the SW batsmen struggled would be an understatement, Thayagarajan's 4 took 26 balls. Ali Shaffie made 37 in 102 balls, with 3 two's and no boundaries. SW seemed to need a GPS to find the boundary rope. Abhimanyu Rajp contributed 19 in 41 balls before SW were all out for 105 in 41.5 overs. It was an inexplicably poor demonstration by the SW batting which had the most experience playing on turf (at Woodley Park in California) but excellent bowling by the NY Region's bowlers, particlarly Darlington and Adams.

NY lost the early wicket of Denis Evans but Glen Hall showed the SW players how its done by slamming 57* (4 fours, 2 sixes) in 84 balls. NY won in 28.1 overs with 7 wickets to spare.

Central East team.
USACA CEO Don Lockerbie and 1st Vice President Nabeel Ahmed.

The SE and CE Regions got the privelege of playing at the Lauderhill Cricket Stadium and celebrated with a thrilling game. Anand Tummala took the early wicket of young Abhijit Joshi for one. Saminda Sirwardina (18) and Fahad Babar (14) then put on 36 before Tummala struck again, dismissing Sirwardina. Usman Shuja and Ashar Mehdi both made 24 and most of the CE batsmen reached double-figures but their total of 165 all out in 48.4 overs was a tough one to defend. They would need the cooperation of the SE batsmen.

Nasir Mehmood in particular kept it close, Mehmood getting 4 wickets for 25 runs off 9 overs and SE was reeling at 45 for 5. Then came a partnership of 71 runs between Chandradat Bhawani (45) and Tummala Anand (24) to take SE to 116 when Tummala fell and the SE tail crumbled like the French Army and SE was all out for 156 in 42 overs. CE Region won by 9 runs.

So ended a magnificent day for cricket as USACA Officials and the players gathered in the shadow of the Lauderhill Cricket Stadium pavilion to take photos and speak with media. Organizationally the day had gone smoothly so there were many smiles all around. Eveyone then retired to the Quality Inn to shower and change before having Poolside Dinner.
Tomoorow is going to be another beautiful day for cricket....and the Finals between the NY and CE Regions!

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You called that a good day of cricket when 2 regional teams in a national tournament cannot make more than 150 runs in a 50 overs match. Is that your expectation for US cricket. If these are the players vying to make the national team for the 2010 tournament then we are certaintly in bad shape.
Posted by Clive Thomas on Nov. 14th, 2009

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