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You are here: Home » News » News article

Western Regional Cricket Tournament 2018
By Bodhayan Chakraborty
Sep 7, 2018
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Colorado Blasters @ Western Regional Cricket Tournament: Twenty20 - Saturday September 1st, 2018 to Monday September 3rd, 2018 at Woodley Park, Van Nuys, CA - Reported by Bodhayan Chakraborty(Colorado Blasters)

Like last year, the Southern California Cricket Association invited Colorado to participate in the Sheikh Kamal USA Western Regional Cricket Tournament this year during the Labor Day long weekend. The Colorado Blasters team was formed with the best talents of Colorado. The team was as below;

  • Bodhayan Chakraborty (C)
  • Hamayun Zaheer
  • Jay Pathak
  • Kamal Ponday
  • Manjeet Inamdar (WK)
  • Manoj Acharya
  • Rohit Saini
  • Sandeep Bollampally
  • Satyam Singh (VC)
  • Subhashish Dash
  • Sumeet Khule
  • Venkatesh Sirangu
  • Poorvaj Venkatraman (Manager and scorer)

    The venue of this tournament was Woodley Park at Van Nuys, CA. The weather was perfect to play cricket with temperature around 85 to 90 degrees and little bit more humid than Colorado. Woodley Park has three cricket fields, Severn, Wright and Wong, where the games were being played. The grounds were all having turf pitches and outfields were very quick with very thin layer of grass. The condition is alien for Colorado players, but we all knew that if any Colorado team can do better in this condition, it is this team.

    There were six teams participated in this tournament. The other teams were Southern California Cricket Association (SCCA), Northern California Cricket Association (NCCA), Bay Area Cricket Association (BACA), Utah and Arizona. All the teams would play against each other and the top two teams based on points followed by run-rate would make it to the final.

    Colorado Blasters arrived Van Nuys on Friday, 31st August and stayed at beautiful Airtel Plaza Hotel. The hotel is just 5 miles away from the ground. All the players were instructed to have enough rest before the rigorous three days of cricket. All the players went to bed on Friday with the dream of achieving something big for next few days.

    The first day of the tournament had a customary captains’ meet at the ground before the start of the first game where the organizing committee went over the rules and regulations of the tournament. There was no entry fee for this tournament but the organizing committee did a tremendous job to make food, fruits, water, etc. available for the tournament.

    First game: Colorado vs BACA @ Severn on 1st September 10 AM:

    Blasters captain Bodha won the toss and elected to field first thinking that there is some moisture in the pitch and it will grip and turn. Blasters started with Subhashish and Rohit and even though both of them getting some early swing, they could not get the breakthrough. Manoj brought into the attack in the 5th over and he got the first breakthrough dismissing Dilpreet via an excellent caught-and-bowled. Jay came from the other end and he dismissed the other opened Jodha well caught by Subhashish. Blasters got a hat-trick of wickets when the next batsman Raman was run out brilliantly by Venky. Blasters came back strongly to this game and kept chipping away with wickets at regular intervals. But, Anshul was going great in the middle overs and after the 14th over, BACA was sitting comfortably at 108/5. Blaster knew that anything above 140 is a tricky score to chase as the wicket was gripping and turning for spinners and the bounce was uneven for the pacers. Kamal bowled an excellent 15th over when he got two wickets giving away just one run. The next over, Manoj got the big wicket of Anshul who upper cut it straight to third man where Satyam took a well-judged catch. Next few overs, Kamal and Manoj bowled beautifully to clean up the tail. Blasters did well to restrict BACA to 127 runs. Jay (3-1-8-3), Manoj (4-0-26-3) and Kamal (3.5-0-12-3) were the pick of the bowlers.

    Blasters knew that even this score is challenging and they needed a good start from their top order batsmen. Sumeet and Manjeet opened the innings but unfortunately they didn’t last long. Sandeep also got run out without facing a ball. Satyam and Bodha tried to stabilize the innings but runs were not coming easily. At the end of 9th over, Blasters were 31/3 and they needed some boost. Bodha and Satyam now started looking for boundaries and they got a few. Bodha got a boundary and a six in the 10th over but the momentum shifted in the 14th over. Satyam hit a boundary and Bodha hit a six to get 14 runs in that over and then next over Bodha hit two sixes to tilt the balance of the game in the favor of Blasters. After the 15th over, Blasters needed 43 runs in 5 overs. Bodha got out in that critical moment but Blasters were still favorite to chase it. Kamal joined Satyam and they took Blasters to the doorstep of victory. In last two overs, Blasters needed 17 runs to win with 6 wickets in hand. In the 19th over, 7 runs came but Kamal lost his wicket. Anshul bowled the last over and he bowled beautifully conceding just 3 runs. It was so close yet so far for Colorado Blasters but they learned some important lesson from this game. One of the set players had to finish the game as it was tough for a new batsman to come and start hitting the ball. Overall a good game of cricket played in good spirit. Satyam was the top scorer for Colorado with 45 runs from 62 balls with two 4s and one 6 and Bodha scored 40 of 30 balls with one boundary and four 6s.

    Scorecard: See Colorado vs BACA Scorecard

    Match Video: See Colorado vs BACA Match Video


    Second game: Colorado vs SCCA @ Severn on 1st September 2 PM:

    After the heartbreaking loss in the first game, Colorado needed some momentum in the tournament to stay alive. But, they faced the tournament favorite SCCA in the second game. SCCA won the toss and decided to bat first. Rohit and Kamal opened the bowling for Blasters and Kamal got the big wicket of Nisarg Patel in his first over. Manoj got another big wicket of Ravi Timbawala in the next over. Kamal was bowling excellent and in his next over, he got Christopher Lane clean bowled. Mrunal Patel and Mohammad Sadiq built a partnership for the 4th wicket but Blasters bowlers were bowling well too. The next wicket came in the 12th over when Venky got Mohammad Sadiq caught by Manoj. In next few overs, Blasters got wickets regularly and at one point SCCA were 86/8 in the 16th over. But, some smart cricket by them took them to a competitive 120 runs. All the bowlers bowled well. Rohit took 3 and Kamal, Manoj and Venky got two wickets each. Jay bowled an economical spell of 4 overs giving away just 16 runs.

    Playing in the same pitch, Blasters knew that the pitch will be more treacherous than the morning game. And, SCCA had some quality spinners in their arsenal. Sumeet and Manjeet opened the innings and they started cautiously. They were going decently without taking much risk. But, the game turned on its head in the 7th over when Hammad dismissed both the openers. Sandy also didn’t last long getting out to Timil Patel. Bodha and Kamal tried to stabilize but also understood that they cannot let the asking rate climb too much. Bodha attacked Abhimanyu in the 11th over when he took 16 runs of that over with one six and two boundaries. The next over yielded 11 runs and suddenly the momentum shifted towards Colorado’s favor. But again like last game, when Bodha was looking good, he was stumped. It was still Colorado’s game to loose with 42 needed of 7 overs. But, in the 15th over, the game shifted to SCCA’s favor when Blaster lost three wickets. Some inexperience and some good bowling didn’t allow Blasters to go over the line and they were all out in 18.1 overs for 92 runs. Bodha scored 26 runs of 19 balls with two fours and two sixes. Hammad from SCCA bowled with some pace to take a fifer giving away just 7 runs.

    Scorecard: See Colorado vs SCCA Scorecard

    Match Video: See Colorado vs SCCA Match Video


    Third game: Colorado vs NCCA @ Wright on 2nd September 10 AM:

    After the two losses in the previous day, Colorado players spent some time without thinking much about cricket. They had some beer and went out for dinner at a Pakistani restaurant. Even though they lost two games, they still had a slim chance to make it to the final if they win all the remaining games and if the result of other games go in their favor. First thing first, they needed to win NCCA match.

    NCCA captain Pranay Suri won the toss and chose to bowl first. Colorado wanted to bat first after two failed chases. Blasters opened with Sumeet and Sandy. Sumeet was unfortunately run out first. Sandy also didn’t last long. Jay promoted up the order and after hitting couple of boundaries, he departed too. Venky and Satyam put up a partnership but then Venky departed as well. Bodha joined Satyam and they both looked positive. They knew this is a better pitch than the last two games and they needed to score close to 150 to challenge NCCA. They got some occasional boundaries but more importantly they didn’t play too many dot balls. Satyam got out on 13th over trying to accelerate for 27 of 28 balls with 3 boundaries. Manjeet joined Bodha who was looking good. But, Manjeet didn’t last long and got run out. Rohit joined Bodha and they both looked to attack. They both ran well as well as they got the boundaries they needed to take to score to 159. Bodha remained not out for 58 of 42 balls with 6 fours and 3 sixes. Rohit was not out for 21 of 16 balls with two boundaries. NCCA bowlers were guilty of bowling 24 extras.

    This was a good score posted by Colorado but they knew this 22 yards is better than the other one they played. Blasters opened the bowling with Manoj and after getting tinked for a huge six, he came back strong to pin Karan Chandel plumb in front. That was a big early breakthrough that Blasters needed. After losing an early wicket, NCCA batsmen didn’t go into a shell. They kept getting boundaries and after the powerplay, they were sitting comfortably at 53/1. Then Kamal got the other opener Vinay Suri LBW and next over Sumeet took an excellent catch of Venky to dismiss danger man Ronak Ghadiya. Next few overs, both Kamal and Venky bowled exceptionally well to bring down the run-rate and also took wickets. After 13th over, NCCA were 86/6 and Blasters were clear favorite to win this one. The 17th over made a few Colorado supporters nervous when an ex Colorado player Rohith Ramkumar blasted 3 huge sixes. But, they still needed 46 runs in 3 overs after that over. Jay got him next over and sealed the fate of the game. NCCA could manage 134/9 handing Colorado Blasters a well-deserved victory. Kamal (4-0-16-3) and Venky (4-0-18-1) were the pick of the bowlers well supported by Manoj (4-0-25-2) and Jay (4-0-28-1).

    Scorecard: See Colorado vs NCCA Scorecard

    Match Videos: See Colorado vs NCCA Match Video and Colorado vs NCCA Match Video by NCCA


    Fourth game: Colorado vs Arizona @ Severn on 2nd September 2 PM:

    Colorado Blasters are now truly believing that they can be in the final after beating NCCA by a good margin. Their run rate is good and they needed to win the remaining two games by a good margin and hope NCCA beat BACA. But, first thing first, they need to win against Arizona. After three hard-fought games, Colorado Blasters players were still having enough in their tank for the remaining two games. Blasters captain Bodha won the toss this time and didn’t hesitate to bat first. Sumeet and Manjeet are now used to this pitch and they started off brilliantly. They got early boundaries and rotating the strikes very well. But, against the run of play, Manjeet got out in the 4th over for 14 of 9 with 3 boundaries. Venky joined Sumeet but Sumeet got out too next over unluckily judged LBW. Venky also started middling the ball but Jay got run out on 7th over. Satyam joined Venky but then Venky got out too on 9th over. Blasters were getting the boundaries and the run-rate was healthy. But, they have started losing wickets at regular interval now. Nobody else were able to stay at the crease and Blasters were bundled for 105 in 17.4 overs. A rather poor performance with the bat after getting a decent start. Thomas (3.4-0-22-4) and Abhishiktha (4-0-13-2) were the pick of the bowlers from Arizona. Venky scored 29 of 21 with two boundaries and sixes each.

    Colorado cannot lose this game. And, they started with a bang. Manoj got two top order batsmen bowled just by his searing pace. He also got the other opener run out and after the 3rd over, Arizona were reeling at 16/3. That became 26/4 in the 6th over when Jay got Jesal Patel caught by Manoj at mid-off. Rohit was introduced into the attack and he ran through the lower middle order with his slowers and in-swingers. Kamal and Venky supported well too to pick up one wicket each. But the pick of the bowler was Rohit with 4-0-8-4. Arizona managed to score only 51 runs and got all out in 14.4 overs. Colorado Blasters came back strongly into the tournament after the two losses in the first day. They are much happier bunch now and all their players showed their potential. After some after game stretches, they returned back to the hotel to have a few beers. These beers tasted much better that day!!

    Scorecard: See Colorado vs Arizona Scorecard

    Match Video: See Colorado vs Arizona Match Video


    Fifth game: Colorado vs Utah @ Severn on 3rd September 9 AM:

    After two days of rigorous cricket, Colorado Blasters needed some good stretch. Manoj did the stretching drills and after that the players felt like they can play cricket for few more days!! Colorado faced their familiar opponent Utah for their last league game. Colorado so far has unbeaten record against Utah and they wanted to extend that to have any hope of reaching to the final. They also needed NCCA to beat BACA but not by a big margin.

    The weather was good as usual with the temperature was around 75 degrees in the morning with little cloud cover. Probably that could have prompted Utah captain Omar Alam to win the toss and bowl first. This is the 4th game Colorado is playing at the same ground but the strip is different. This strip had little more juice and the ball was skidding a bit.

    Sumeet and Manjeet opened and they looked the best they ever looked in this tournament. They both were timing the ball nicely and the ball was racing towards the boundary. Sumeet had a special liking for Harman’s bowling as he hit him for 6 boundaries in his two overs. Manjeet was also getting one or two boundaries every over. At the end of the powerplay, Blasters were 60/0. Introduction of the spinners slowed them down a little and Sumeet got out in the 10th over for a well made 45 of 39 with 9 boundaries. Manjeet got out in the 12th over after scoring 33 of 26 with 3 fours and 1 six. Sandeep also didn’t last long. Bodha and Jay good out soon after hitting a few boundaries. Blasters lost wickets but didn’t slow down. Everybody came and swung their bat to hit a few boundaries before getting out. Finally Blasters managed to get their highest score of this tournament of 164/7. They probably thought at the halfway mark that they were 10-15 runs short considering the start they got. But, in this wicket, this is an above par score.

    Blasters knew that they need to win this game with the decent margin so their NRR don’t get a ding. They got the first wicket via a brilliant run out by Venky. Manoj and Jay bowled well in the powerplay not to allow Utah to get a quick start. Jay got the second wicket when he bowled Anubhav in the 6th over. Utah was 35/2 after the powerplay and the required run-rate already climbed to 9 runs per over. Then Harry attacked Kamal in the 9th over to take 17 runs of that over. But, Rohit removed the danger man Harry next over. John Manoha came next and he and Shazad built a partnership. John was looking ominous and timing the ball well. At the end of 13th over, Utah was 98/3 and the target was still not out of their reach. Then Manoj came back to the attack and got two wickets in that over. Venkatesh was brought into the attack and he immediately struck. First he got Akshay stumped and then in his next over, he got the big wicket of John and Omar. Venky got two more wickets in his last over to finish with a fifer (3.5-0-21-5). Manoj (4-0-19-2), Jay (3-0-13-1) and Rohit (4-0-37-1) bowled well too to restrict Utah to 127 runs.

    Colorado Blasters ran to the other ground to see the outcome of the NCCA vs BACA game. BACA won that game in the last over breaking the heart of Colorado to face SCCA in the final. Colorado Blasters were disheartened but very proud of the way they played. It was tremendous achievement to finish 3rd in such a competitive tournament and we are hopeful that next year we come here again and play in the final.

    Scorecard: See Colorado vs Utah Scorecard

    Match Video: See Colorado vs Utah Match Video

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    CCB 10 8 0 2 0 16 0.72
    FRCC 10 6 0 4 0 12 0.04
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    FCCC 10 3 0 7 0 6 -0.30
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    DCC 10 3 0 7 0 6 -0.56
    ABQCC 8 0 0 8 0 0 -2.15
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    LCC-L 13 12 0 1 0 24 2.66
    FRCC-A 14 10 0 4 0 20 1.70
    FCCC 14 9 0 5 0 18 1.43
    CSCC-Stars 12 7 0 5 0 14 0.57
    CCB 14 9 1 4 0 19 1.75
    RCC 13 8 0 5 0 16 0.33
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    FRCC-B 14 7 1 6 0 15 -0.57
    DDCC 14 10 0 4 0 20 2.81
    BCC 15 6 1 8 0 13 -0.93
    DCC 14 6 0 8 0 12 -0.23
    YCC 13 4 0 9 0 8 -1.76
    LCC-T 14 7 0 7 0 14 -0.55
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