Gladiators Crowned as TCC Taped Ball Tournament FALL 2018 Champions, SLCC Runners Up

Winners Gladiators with Chief Guest Dhaval Mehta

Winners Gladiators with Chief Guest Dhaval Mehta

HOUSTON: Gladiators and SLCC squared off in another engrossing final, which culminated with Gladiators winning by 15 runs and crowned as TCC Taped Ball Fall 2018 Champions. Gladiators came into the finals dominating all the playoff games while Sri Lanka Cricket Club (SLCC) was battle hardened winning some close games during the playoffs.

SLCC won the toss and put Gladiators into bat on a wet pitch and damp outfield. Amit was caught in the very first over. Emad and Ninad then steadied the ship with some sensible play, scoring 17 in the first five overs. Run scoring was difficult due to good bowling from SLCC and the wet outfield. The next five overs yielded 37 runs as Emad hit some lusty blows while Ninad rotated the strike from the other end. At the end of 10 overs Gladiators were sitting pretty at 54 / 1 and eyeing a target in excess of 120.

After the break, SLCC came back roaring with quick breakthroughs as Gladiators lost wickets trying to accelerate scoring. First Emad was caught brilliantly by Ramesh and in form batsman Aradhya fell cheaply, which set off a string of wickets reducing Gladiators to 87/8 after 18 overs. Good bowling and some suicidal run outs put Gladiators in danger of being bowled out for less than 100. Sandeep then played some cheeky shots towards the end and stitched together crucial 18 runs with Darshan in the last two overs, that pushed Gladiators above the psychologically important 100 mark.  Emad was top scorer with 32 runs and was well supported by Ninad (23), Sanman (15) and Sandeep (12). SLCC effected 3 runouts and except for Ramesh, all bowlers in play took one wicket each.

Runners up SLCC with Chief Guest Dhaval Mehta

Runners up SLCC with Chief Guest Dhaval Mehta

Defending 106 against a vaunted SLCC batting line up is no mean feat. However, SLCC was immediately put on the back foot as Gladiator opening bowlers Mathew and Hammesh started with some incisive bowling reducing SLCC to 6 / 3 after 4 overs. Ninad, Subodh and Sandeep supported by superb fielding continued to apply the pressure. SLCC was 16 / 4 at the end of 8th over and looked in danger of falling behind. However, Ranil and Thilan then scored briskly in the next two overs to make it 38 for 4 at the 10 over mark.

After the break, Gladiators continued to bowl well and gave very few deliveries to score. After the opening bowlers burst, SLCC was 10 runs behind throughout the innings and a big over that could swing the balance in their favor never came as Gladiators bowlers stuck to their task and bowled disciplined lengths. In the end SLCC managed to score 90 runs in 20 overs despite losing just 5 wickets and fell short by 15 runs. Ranil (37) and Thilan (33 N.o) were top scorers for SLCC. Mathew was the best bowler for Gladiators picking up 3 wickets.

The game was followed by prize distribution ceremony arranged by TCC. TCC and teams were honored to have Mr. Dhaval Mehta as the chief guest. He is well known for his effort to improve Kids cricket in Houston. He was felicitated by TCC with a plaque for his contribution to cricket in Houston. Jagadish Biradar, the organizer for TCC Taped Ball tournament coordinated the presentation ceremony and thanked Dinesh from Gladiators for a wonderful voluntary job in scheduling.

Subodh Dongare, the captain of Gladiators Cricket Club was presented with the championship trophy and Dushan, the captain of SLCC was presented with the runners up trophy. The players of the Winners and Runners up teams received individual trophies. Emad was adjudged man of the match for scoring 32 match winning runs.

Tournament awards were as follows. UH Sany from BTH won the best batsman with 285 runs. Manjunath from CFCC won the best bowler with 20 wickets. Raj Singh from STYX won the Best all-rounder trophy with 197 runs and 13 wickets. Darshan Trivedi from Gladiators and Swaroop CK from Cougars won the best wicket keeper trophy for 24 catches. Special trophies were given to Adithya from STYX and Abhishek form CFCC for centuries and Abhishek from SuperKings for a hat-trick.

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