Spartans (SCG) won the TCC Taped Ball Winter 2016 tournament defeating Big12 by five wickets in a closely contested game. It was a well-deserved win for Spartans (SCG) who won the championship Seventh time. They played exciting cricket throughout the season and were one of the favorites to win the championship going into the tournament. Big12 had a great tournament reaching finals for the first time. The tournament was a highly competitive one featuring 23 participating teams.

On a beautiful Saturday morning, Big12 won the toss and opted to bat first in good batting conditions. Right from the onset of the game, Big12 tried to be positive and score runs freely. However, Spartans (SCG) boast of a powerful bowling line up and their bowlers stuck to the plan and got crucial wickets at every juncture to peg back Big12. At the end of 10 overs, Big 12 had scored 46 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. They were further reduced to 76 for 7 at the end of 15 overs, due to some quality bowling from Sandeep, Subodh, Nattu, Mathew and Ninad. Just when it seemed Big12 would be dismissed cheaply, Adriraj from Big12 played a blinder. He was supported by Prakash. 45 runs were scored from the last five overs.. In the end Big12 finished with 121 runs from 20 overs and set up a challenging total for SCG. For Big12, Adriraj scored 39 runs, and was well supported by Rex (16), Gopi (10) and Prakash (12). For SCG, Sandeep was the best bowler taking 3 wickets and was well supported by Nattu who took 2 wickets and Subodh and Mathew  took 1 wicket each.

At the end of the first innings, the momentum had clearly shifted towards Big12 and SCG were well aware that they would need some quality batting to chase the target. Amit Patel from SCG, wrest back the initiative, hitting 4 powerful sixes against Big12’s opening bowlers to kickstart the chase as SCG scored 48 runs without the loss of a wicket in the first 6 overs. Just when it felt like SCG will chase the target easily, Amit Patel got out caught in the deep and thereafter Big12’s bowlers Rakesh, Abhishek and Prakash not only applied the brakes but also got key wickets (Sanman, Ninad & Srini) to push back SCG. At the end of 15 overs, SCG were reduced to 84 for 4 and required another 38 runs in 30 balls. Aradhya, who had come to bat at the fall of three wickets was injured and was struggling to run between the wickets. However, he found a suitable ally in Mathew who kept the scoreboard ticking and Aradhya went for big shots. With the season on the line, Aradhya then played a gutsy knock through pain, hammering three sixes in the next 3 overs to take the team home and start wild celebrations in the SCG camp. In the end, SCG chased the target with 10 balls and 5 wickets to spare. Amit Patel top scored with 41, Aradhya scored 38 and were well supported by Sanman (10) and Mathew (14). For Big12, Rakesh and Abhishek picked up 2 wickets each. The game had high quality umpiring from Tony and from HJCC team.

The game was followed by a well-organized prize distribution ceremony arranged by TCC. The presentation party included TCC President Nanda Kumar and former HCL president Tony. Bilal Saeed (former CWCC treasurer and HCC Captain) graced the occasion as chief guest. Mr. Bilal Saeed spoke about the fun and time advantage of Taped Ball and paid rich tributes to TCC for their initiative in youth cricket.  He was felicitated by TCC President Nanda Kumar with a plaque from TCC for his contribution and support to cricket in Houston. Jagadish Biradar, organizer for TCC Taped Ball tournament coordinated the presentation ceremony.

Chief Guest Mr. Bilal Saeed felicitated

Chief Guest Mr. Bilal Saeed felicitated by TCC president Mr. Nanda Kumar

Dinesh Kasliwal, the captain of SCG was presented with the championship trophy and Sunny Teli, the captain of Big12 was presented with the runners up trophy. The players of the winners and runners up teams received individual trophies. Man of the match for the finals was Amit from SCG for his blistering 41. Dinesh Kasliwal credited team work and fighting spirit for winning the championship.

Spartans Winners with Chief Guest Mr. Bilal Saeed

Winners SCG with Chief Guest Mr. Bilal Saeed

Big12 Runners up with Chief Guest Mr. Bilal Saeed

Runners up Big 12 with Chief Guest Mr. Bilal Saeed

Jeffery from Titans won the Best Batsman trophy with 286 runs. Subodh from SCG won the Best Bowler trophy with 23 wickets. Gihan from SLCC won the best all-rounder trophy for scoring 144 runs and taking 16 wickets.  Mathew from SCG and Gopi from Big12 were the recipients of the man of the match for Semi Finals. Neil from Houston Arrows was given special award for taking hat-trick during the league game.

Winter 2015 Best Batsman Jeffery

Best Batsman – Jeffery from Titans for 286 runs

Winter 2015 Best Bowler Subodh

Best Bowler – Subodh from SCG for 23 wickets

Winter 2015 Hat trick Neil

Neil from Houston Arrows for Hat-trick

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