Commonwealth Cricket League | Scorecard
Sunday September 7th 2014, will forever be remembered as one of the most memorable day for cricket in the long and prestigious history of the Commonwealth League’s Premier division.
Not only was the title of 2014 Premier Division Champions at stake, but also the bragging rights for who is the better team once and for all. This was the third year in a row that Seven Star CC and Melbourne CC faced off in the finale. Melbourne having won the first and Seven Star winning the second match-up.
As if winning two out of three wasn’t motivation enough, earlier in the week, several players and management from Melbourne CC took social media to proclaim themselves the champions – ignoring the old adage, let your play do the talking.
The match-up lived up to all its hype and the large crowd on hand was not disappointed. It took until the last ball of the match to determine the winner.
And the winner was Seven Star CC.
The match got underway after small speeches from the President of the league Mr. Lesly Lowe and the Chairman of the Premier division Mr. Raouf Khan.
Seven Star CC Captain Vijay Seonarine won the toss and elected to bat first. With that, the openers Moshin Khan (leading run scorer for the league) and Greg Sewdial (hard hitting former U-19 USA captain) trotted out to the middle. This dynamic opening pair played a major role in thrusting Seven Star CC to the league finals, arguably the best opening combination at club level in the country but things got off to a rocky start for Seven Star CC.
Greg looking to put the bowlers under pressure immediately, as he did the throughout the regular season and the playoffs, lost his wicket in the 2nd over of the match. In came the captain himself to steady the ship, but the waters got choppier, as Moshin Khan lost his wicket to an inside edge onto the stumps in the 5th over and only 16 runs on the board.
In came Sarmad Khan, to settle things down. Though Sarmad, showed intent of playing a long innings, his captain on the other got a bit antsy, and lost his wicket in the 9th over.
The scoreboard reading a ghastly 31-3 in the 9th over, it was now Nainesh (Andy) Patel turn to navigate his team through the storm. This pair for all intent and purposes changed the dynamic of the match. Sarmad, turning the strike over at every opportunity, and Andy playing solid defensive strokes to thwart the hostile bowling. The pair took the score to a respectable 97 in 25 overs, but more importantly limited the damage, before Andy (25) was out caught trying to accelerate the run rate.
Thanks to the yeoman’s work done by this pair and with plenty of batting left, in came the ever dangerous Nadir Mohammad with one purpose in mind – to push the total as close to 200 as possible. And Nadir did not disappoint. He thrashed the bowlers all over and out of the park in the next 5 overs, while hitting one of the longest sixes ever hit at the Whitestone Park. Before he lost his wicket in the 31st over, he racked up an astonishing 46 in 24 balls (5×6’s & 2×4’s).
Although, Nadir couldn’t accomplish the mission of 200, next man up Mohammad Habib (27* in 16 balls), took up the cause in-stride. Amazingly, Sarmad (73*) was still holding down the fort at one end, while batting with hand cramps throughout the innings. Without any further damage Seven Star amassed a total of 210-5 in 35. A total that seemed unreachable back in the 9th over when the scoreboard was at 31-3. Great display of team batting.
It was now Melbourne CC’s turn to show their batting mettle to win the match. They got off to a flying start, as their openers were scoring at a brisk pace to keep up the asking run rate of 6 runs per over. Krish Ketwaroo (the ageless wonder) bowling his off-spinners earned the first wicket (that off Melbourne’s best batsmen Arif Islam) in the 9th over.
Melbourne kept losing wickets at regular intervals (70-2, 82-3, 103-4, 129-5, 173-6, 200-7) during the course of their innings – they kept up with the asking run rate until the last over of the match. K. Chowdhury looked very dangerous spraying the ball all over the field, until he was out caught hitting a low tracer to Greg Sewdial who was patrolling the long on boundary. He had to run about 15 yards to his right, dived full length and took the catch with one hand landing flat on his chest. It was one of the most amazing catches you will see at any level of cricket. Honorable bowling mentions go out to Krish Ketwaroo 7-1-18-2 and Tim Persaud 7-1-28-1.
Needing 12 off the last over, Nadir was assigned the task of bringing the team across the finish line. Rudir Ahsan of Melbourne almost snatched victory from the jaws of death. The first five deliveries went for 9, one of which went for a six. It all came down to the last ball of the match, needing 2 to tie and 3 to win, Rudir mistimed a mighty heave, they attempted a second run to tie the game but was out run out. Game over!!!!!
An unbelievable ending to a great match.
Congratulations to Seven Star CC for defending their championship!
Can they make it 3 in a row next year???