Commonwealth Cricket League
In a rematch of last year’s final, Seven Star C.C. and Melbourne CC met again to decide the Premier division championship on September 8, 2013. Both teams earned the right to play by beating out tough competition in their respective semi-finals match.
Seven Star C.C. – the top seed – hosted the game at their home ground – Whitestone Park. The visitors and defending champs Melbourne CC arrived at the park early and based on their swagger, determined to pull off a Two-peat. From all reports and their performances leading up to the final, Melbourne CC was a much stronger team this year compared to last year’s team. The same could have been said of Seven Star C.C., with the addition of former USA U19 captain Greg Sewdial, they seemed determined to payback Melbourne CC for last year’s defeat. Seven Star C.C. also had some added motivation, as they were playing this game in the memory of their good teammate and friend Andre Roodlal, who unfortunately passed away earlier in the year.
With the backdrop set and a good size crowd on hand to support their teams, things got underway as scheduled for this 35-over match. Yet again, Melbourne CC won the toss, and like last year decided to bat first, hoping to put up a good total to defend. Unfortunately for Melbourne CC, rest of the day did not go as planned. On the second delivery of the game – Tim Persaud – struck to dismiss the 1st wicket (Dhillon) of the day on a brilliant catch from the most prolific athlete on the field – Nadir Mohammad. Not to be outdone, Seven Star captain Vijay Seonarine, also struck on the very second delivery of his spell from the other end for the 2nd wicket (Arif) of the inning.
At the end of second over, the score was 2/2. As if that wasn’t ominous enough, Tim struck again in his 2nd over to clean bowl (Badhor), and the scoreboard now read 3/5. But to their credit and like champions, Melbourne batsmen did not fold, instead they weathered the rest of the hostile spell from Tim and Vijay to start to repair their innings. With the pressure of losing early wickets and plenty of overs remaining, the Two batsmen at crease (Amit and Rehman) played sensible cricket and kept the scoreboard ticking with One’s and Two’s.
Sensing a good partnership brewing, Seven Star C.C. captain relying on his immense wealth of cricketing experience, brought on his first spinners for the day – Krish Ketwaroo and Ritesh Patel. The move paid off handsomely, as both spinners in tandem kept the pressure on the batsmen, restricted the run flow, and in the process ended up removing the next Five wickets. At the end of their spells, the scoreboard read 7/83. Ritesh Patel bowled an amazing 7 overs spell, 7-4-4-10. Things were looking very rosy for Seven Star C.C. at this point, but until you get the 10th wicket, anything is possible. With that mind, was it possible for the lower order of Melbourne CC to pull something special off? Sadly not, as the captain went for the kill by bringing on the best bowler and spinner of the team – Sarmad Khan. With Sarmad’s mesmerizing leg spin from one end and return of Vijay’s pace from the other end, the tail end was cleaned up quickly. Melbourne CC was bowled out for a measly totally of 101.
In reply, the chase began, with Moshin Khan and Mike Sewdial opening the batting for Seven Star C.C. As usual, Moshin Khan was very meticulous in his approach and Mike the aggressor in the first few overs. Knowing they had to defend a very low total, Melbourne bowlers were very hostile, bending their backs for every little extra ounce of pace and bounce. That extra effort produced immediate results as at the end of 6th over, the scoreboard read 1/12. In came the captain Vijay Seonarine at number Three, to steady the ship, and to take the team to the promised land.
With Moshin demonstrating his usual batting class at one end and the captain at the other, they were able to calm the waters and take the scoreboard to 53 from 15 overs. Knowing, there was plenty of batting of left in the stable – with the likes of Greg Sewdial, Sarmad Khan, Nadir Mohammad, Andy Patel and hitters like Mohammad Habib, Boyce Jewth, Tim Persaud – the two batsmen at crease started to accelerate the chase. With the boundaries now flowing freely, the task at hand was accomplished in the 20th over and a new champion was crowned. Moshin Khan carried his bat throughout Seven Stars innings – astoundingly for the 5th time, where the first four times he ended up with centuries, this time he ended up with 51 and Vijay Seonarine playing a captain’s knock, ended up with 35 not out.