SLCC Crowned as TCC Winter 2018 Champions, Gladiators Runners Up

Winning SLCC team

HOUSTON: Sri Lankan Cricket Club (SLCC) and Gladiators squared off in a back to back final on 9th March 2019 and it resulted in SLCC winning by 22 runs and being crowned as TCC Taped Ball Winter 2018 Champions. This was their 3rd championship win in their 8th final. For Gladiators, this was their 7th final. SLCC dominated the tournament being unbeaten throughout while Gladiators had some close matches on their way to the big final.

SLCC won the toss and elected to bat. Subodh was on fire in the first over taking wickets of Nalith and Ranil to put SLCC on 6/2. The situation got worse when Tanaji found Dulaj’s edge for the score to be 6/3. Things went from bad to worse when Mathew took the wicket of Bernard for 3 runs making the score 13/4. SLCC captain Dushan joined Gihan at the crease with a huge task of getting back on track from 4 early wickets down.

Both batsmen batted sensibly rotating the strike and absorbing the pressure created by the very potent Gladiators attack. Just when the batmen were settling in Dushan got out to Sandeep when Mathew held on to a brilliant running catch in the deep for the score to be at 36/5. Things did not look bright again for SLCC when they lost their set batsmen Gihan for 20 to Tanaji. Scorecard was reading 45/6. Udesh and Thilan were the next to fall due to great fielding by Mathew and Amit and this reduced the score to 57 only for the loss of 8 wickets. Thusitha joined Ramesh at the crease and put on a much-needed partnership of 26 runs for the 9th wicket in 4 overs. At the end of 20 overs SLCC managed to put up 93 runs on the board for the loss of 9 wickets. Gihan was the top scorer with 20 runs followed by Thusitha’s 19. Subodh, Tanaji, Ninad and Sandeep each took 2 wickets in what was a splendid bowling performance against a very good batting lineup.

Runners up — Gladiators.

SLCC took the field trying to defend 93. The bowlers were on top of their game from the start bowling good line and length and putting the Gladiators openers on the back foot immediately. Emad was the first to fall off the bowling of Thusitha nicking to the wicket keeper Bernard. Amit and Ninad were next to follow due to top class fielding efforts from Thilan and Ramesh leaving Gladiators in world of trouble early in their innings. Aradhya and Sanman looked to take the innings back on track with sensible batting. But with that pair gone and Mathew’s run out in quick succession, the batting team looked in deep trouble and the required run rate went to over 7 runs per over. SLCC bowlers made easy work of the rest of batting line up. Gladiators were all out for 71 runs after 17.3 overs. Aradhya was the top scorer with 15 followed by Amit at 12. All the SLCC bowlers and fielders brought their A game to the finals not allowing a single boundary in the Gladiators innings. Thusitha was the pick of the bowlers with 9/3 in his spell.

The game was followed by prize distribution ceremony arranged by TCC and facilitated by Nanda Kumar, president of TCC. TCC and teams were honored to have Rajeshwari Dholakia Antani for presenting the awards. She is well known in the Houston cricket community and have had the privilege of representing Indian Women’s national team. Dushan Silvester, the captain of SLCC was presented with the championship trophy and Subodh Dongare, the captain of Gladiators was presented with the runners up trophy. Thusitha was adjudged man of the match for scoring 19 match winning runs and taking 3 wickets for 9 runs.

For the tournament awards, Syed Mohiaddin was awarded the best batsman with 235 runs. Subramanya Upadhya was the best bowler for taking 16 wickets. Best wicket keeper award was shared by Swaroop CK, Debasish Das and Syed Mohiaddin for 17 dismissals. Anil Gorisipati was the best all-rounder with 179 runs and 8 wickets. Special award recipients were Prashant Manne and Sankirth Bathula for individual centuries and Vishnu Gardimalla and Joseph Alenchery for Hat-tricks.