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  • The high-scoring start to the Exhibition Matches continued, with three hundreds scored over the weekend
  • Saurabh Netravalkar, Rusty Theron, Nosthush Kenjige and Jaskaran Malhotra among the Team USA players excelling in the most recent round of matches

Thirteen Franchise Exhibition Matches of Minor League Cricket took place last weekend, with the Michigan Cricket Stars, Chicago Catchers, Chicago Blasters and Morrisville Cardinals in action for the first time. The high-scoring start to the series of Exhibition Matches continued, with three hundreds scored, including another ton by the star of last weekend, Darpankumar Patel.

The Franchise Exhibition Matches showcased some of the best established and upcoming cricketing talent in the country, with numerous USA national team players coming up against future stars. Rusty Theron, captain of East Bay Blazers, continued his fine form and took 3 for 9 against the Golden State Grizzlies on Sunday. This ruthless display, coupled by a fine all-round performance form Josh Dascombe, 1-21 and 36*, condemned Golden State Grizzlies to a disappointing nine-wicket defeat. Unfortunately, this concluded a poor weekend for the Grizzlies, who lost twice to Silicon Valley Strikers on Saturday. A consolation for the Grizzlies will be some economical bowling from USA captain Saraubh Netravalkar, 4-0-18-1 and 4-1-26-2, but Shadley van Schalkwyk’s 67* and 42* took Silicon Valley Strikers home on both occasions with the 32 year old South African showing his class. 

Rusty Theron continued his fine form with the ball

 

There was a reduced fixture list on the opposite coast, due to the solitary positive COVID-19 test after the opening weekend, but NJ Stallions dominated the matches that took place. They dispatched local rivals New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers CC on Saturday, before beating New England Eagles the following day. Dominique Rikhi starred for them, with scores of 76* and 56, and he was helped by some top bowling performances from Gavan Brown and Rushi Amin, who took 4 for 9 and 3 for 15 against New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers CC respectively.

Akshay Homraj Cuts powerfully ©Adeel Khan Photography

 

The Central Conference produced some of the most exciting cricket, seeing wickets tumble amidst some high-scoring matches. Rameez Raja, in the first match of the weekend, scored an unbeaten 103* for Houston Hurricanes, becoming the second cricketer to score a hundred in the Franchise Exhibition Matches. However, his side was unable to defend their total of 169/3, as a team effort, led by Ali Samad’s 57*, ensured Austin Athletics chased it down. Nosthush Kenjige put in an impressive all-round performance for Irving Mustangs, scoring a handy 22 (13) and bowling an economical spell of 3-1-7-0, which condemned Austin to a second loss in one day. Kenjige was aided by former Pakistan international Najaf Shah, who produced a magnificent spell of 3-1-7-4 to help skittle Austin for just 74. Irving could not continue their winning streak on Sunday, though, as they succumbed to a six-wicket loss to Houston in a low-scoring encounter. 

Further north up in the Midwest, three teams played their debut matches. The Chicago Blasters defeated Michigan Cricket Stars at Lyon Cricket Ground on Saturday, winning by just eight runs. The Stars were able to turn their fortunes around the following day, as they overcame the other Chicago team, Chicago Catchers, winning by four runs in another thrilling encounter.

It was a similar story to last weekend in the Southern Conference, as Darpankumar Patel continued his remarkable form in a series of high-scoring thrillers. On Saturday, Atlanta Fire chased down Atlanta Param Veers’ total of 190/5, thanks to 81 from Rishi Bhardwaj and a handy 46 for Sagar Patel. Later that day, Morrisville Cardinals played their first match of the tournament and started well, scoring 161/5 batting first against the Param Veers. It was a sublime 100, off just 65 balls, from captain Jaskaran Malhotra, that took them to that total. However, this proved not to be enough for the in-form Param Veers batting unit, as Darpankumar Patel scored another hundred, 106 coming off just 36 balls, to take his team comfortably over the line. The Cardinals tough start to the tournament continued on Sunday, as they lost by just five runs in a low-scoring thriller against Atlanta Fire.

Jaskaran Malhotra in action for Team USA

Please see below for a summary of the results from the weekend’s matches:

Franchise Exhibition Match Results:

Saturday 19th September

Prarie View Cricket Complex

Houston Hurricanes: 169/3 (20.0)

Austin Athletics: 174/7 (18.3)

Austin Athletics won by 3 wickets

Atlanta Cricket Fields

Atlanta Param Veers: 190/5 (20.0)

Atlanta Fire: 191/4 (19.2)

Atlanta Fire won by 6 wickets

Arroyo Park

Silicon Valley Strikers: 171/4 (20.0)

Golden State Grizzlies: 146/6 (20.0)

Silicon Valley Strikers won by 25 runs

Howe Athletic Complex
NJ Stallions: 149/3 (20.0)

New Jersey Somerset Cavaliers CC: 104/10 (20.0)

NJ Stallions won by 45 runs

Lyon Oaks Cricket Ground

Chicago Blasters: 183/5 (20.0)

Michigan Cricket Stars: 175/8 (20.0)

Chicago Blasters won by 8 runs

Atlanta Cricket Fields

Morrisville Cardinals: 161/5 (20.0)

Atlanta Param Veers: 164/2 (14.1)

Atlanta Param Veers won by 8 wickets

Prarie View Cricket Complex

Irving Mustangs: 126/9 (20.0)

Austin Athletics: 74/10 (18.1)

Irving Mustangs won by 52 runs

Arroyo Park

Golden State Grizzlies: 146/10 (19.3)

Silicon Valley Strikers: 147/6 (19.2)

Silicon Valley Strikers won by 4 wickets

Sunday 20th September

Prarie View Cricket Complex

Irving Mustangs: 114/5 (20.0)

Houston Hurricanes: 115/4 (18.0)

Houston Hurricanes won by 6 wickets

Lyon Oaks Cricket Ground

Michigan Cricket Stars: 176/7 (20.0)

Chicago Catchers: 172/7 (20.0)

Michigan Cricket Stars won by 4 runs

Howe Athletic Complex

NJ Stallions: 169/5 (20.0)

New England Eagles: 143/6 (20.0)

NJ Stallions won by 26 runs

Atlanta Cricket Fields

Atlanta Fire: 157/10 (19.5)

Morrisville Cardinals: 152/7 (20.0)

Atlanta Fire won by 5 runs

Prarie View Cricket Complex

Austin Athletics: 68/7 (13.0)

Houston Hurricanes: 0/0 (0.0)

Match abandoned 

Arroyo Park

Golden State Grizzlies: 116/8 (20.0)

East Bay Blazers: 120/1 (16.1)

East Bay Blazers won by 9 wickets

More details on Minor League Cricket can be found here: https://www.majorleaguecricket.com/minorleaguecricket.

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