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Niagara Cricket Club 2018 Elite Champions

11-10-2018 POSTED BY Rupert Albert

Niagara Cricket Club 2018 Elite Champions

September 30th, 2018 the HDCL elite championship game was played at the Niagara Cricket Center. The game was live streamed on Youtube and featured the home town team Niagara Cricket Club and the Hamilton Cricket Club.  Niagara was looking to cap of an excellent season in which they not only finished on top of the points table; but also dominated in term of individual performances. At the end of the regular season their starting 11 consisted of the leagues tops scoring batsman, (Zia Sarwar) along with the league third (Sarang Hedge) and fourth (Pragash Podiratnam) highest run scorers. Their bowling attack boasted the league top four wicket takers, Gursewak Singh led the way, followed by Moghees Mian, Pragash Podiratnam and Abhay Annaswamy. Nikhil Kapoor the league seventh ranked bowler and Christo Paulson rounded out the bowling attack. Paulson was the lowest ranked of their bowlers but with thirteen wickets in seven innings and a bowling average of twelve, the little man is a force to be reckoned with.

Hamilton Cricket Club came into the game full of confidence after defeating the powerful Hamilton Hawks team. They had also defeated Niagara Elite in their last regular season encounter so had good reasons to feel confident. Hamilton lineup of talented players was well suited to pull off an upset. Their opening pair, Ayaaz Ali and Usman Ali are known for providing quick starts. Bilal and Owais Qazi have the range of shots to make any team nervous. The Chughtai brothers, Usman and Nauman have evolved into players that can clear the boundary rope. Players like Saad Azim and Sarim Ahmed are also capable of making an impact with the bat or the ball.

On an overcast day, Hamilton won the toss and elected to bat. Their plan of quick runs at the start was going well for  about three overs. Gursewak broke the opening partnership with the score on 20 and Hamilton continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Gursewak was responsible for removing the first three batsmen with his pace and bounce but the introduction of spin finished Hamilton off.  A late partnership between Usman and Nauman Chughtai got the score to 134. 

Low scores can prove tricky at times and for a few moments Hamilton saw a glimmer of hope when Shukla removed Niagara’s opening batsman Usman Yousaf with only 3 runs on the board. Sarang joined Pragash at the crease and they immediately attacked the Hamilton bowling. It was a calculated risk but a move that got them the momentum. The score card would show that Pragash score 24 runs but the pace of his scoring in his partnership with Sarang put Niagara in firm control of the game. Sarang well-paced 61 not out and a quick fire 45 not out from Zia Sarwar got Niagara to the target in the 21st over.

The team that led the points standing confirmed that they were the top team in the HDCL in 2018. Congratulation Niagara Cricket Club on winning the HDCL Elite Championship.

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