It is anticipated that a final, all-Michigan, tryout for the CER U-19 team will take place on Monday, 5 July. All interested MCA players should anticipate further announcements this weekend.
Monthly Archives: June 2010
There will be no MCA practice over the long weekend of 4 July, and the MCA T20 team does not have a fixture. However, one of the area’s major tournaments, the Diversity Cup, is taking place at Lyon Oaks and Bloomer Parks on Saturday and Sunday, with several MCA players involved. More details on the Global Sports Web Site. Meanwhile, over all three days of the long weekend, the Central East Regional Tournament is also taking place at local grounds. It is anticipated that a series of fifty-over matches will be played by teams representing the leagues of the Central East Region. MichCA’s squad of twenty two, announced yesterday (see attachment below), includes three senior cricketers who have played for MCA this season: Kashif Akhtar, Mani Ramprasad, and Murali Venkatapathy. MCA wishes them and the rest of the MichCA team, plus all other friends and members of the Academy playing this weekend, the very best of luck.
Saturday’s fixture, re-arranged for 9.30 a.m. at Bloomer Park (to avoid a clash with Motown C.C.’s match against Greater Detroit C. C. – with the two clubs sharing so many players this year, a fixture clash might have meant forfeits for both clubs) saw MCA overwhelmed for only the second time in the season, with an eight-wicket loss to a proficient Toledo team. MCA had hopes for this match, having five senior men in the lineup, but the need to score runs quickly, with MCA batting first in a match shortened to eighteen overs, seemed to play on the minds of the Academy’s batsmen, four of whom “failed to trouble the scorer”. Coach Shyam Mayasandra, making a cameo appearance at the top of the order before disappearing to fulfill family obligations, scored nine quick runs before holing out, but by that time his fellow-opener, Gordon Makin, had already fallen – bowled unluckily off pad and elbow, with Gordon unable to find the ball as it trickled towards his stumps and then dislodged the bails. Kashif Akhtar hit a quick four before being bowled by one of several balls that kept low and that was slower than he had anticipated. Coach and Captain Vasanth Krishnaswami scored a patient 13, and while he was together with Murali Venkatapathy (top scorer with 20), things were looking up for the Academy, but when Murali fell, quickly followed by Anurag Yerabati, MCA were 55/5 off 12 overs, and there was no way back. Big-hitting Satish Thandapani and Chamila Kannangara were the last hopes for serious runs, but they both fell cheaply. MCA’s long tail wagged a bit, but not enough, although Pawan Canchi and Ryan Quinlan both battled, and when Neil Makin fell lbw in the eighteenth over to Rachit Singh, badly misreading the big man’s swing, MCA were all out for a very modest total, and Rachit was celebrating figures of 6/5 in less than four overs. MCA began to hope as Toledo failed to score at the required run rate off opening bowlers Chamila and Murali (4-2-6-1), but although Satish, Kashif, Gordon, and Pawan all bowled well, there were never enough runs to defend, and Toledo knocked off the required total in 13 overs, with only Murali’s dismissal of Utpal Patel lbw and Ryan’s run-out of Azmat Khan to console the Academy.
For the seven MCA players (Kashif, Vasanth, , Satish, Murali, Chamila, Gordon, and Neil) who stayed at Bloomer to play for Motown in the following forty-overs match, there was, however, some rapid consolation, as Motown, led by Kashif (67 and 3/23) defeated GDCC by 3 runs in a very tight match, to stay in the running for a place in the Super Sixes. MCA’s own final two fixtures of the first round of T20 matches are against Saginaw on Saturday, 10 July (Lyon Oaks), and Oakland University, on Sunday, 18 July (Bloomer Park).
Urgent! Our fixture against Toledo has been rescheduled: it will now take place at Bloomer Park, on Saturday, 26 June, starting at 9 a.m. The clashing Motown fixture will then take place at the same ground immediately after the conclusion of our match. Please let MCA know of your availability (or otherwise) for our match as soon as possible.
MCA will practice as usual at Lyon Oaks Park on Saturday, 19 June. Since MCA’s coaches will be playing for Motown C. C. at Bloomer that day, it will be worth checking with MCA’s Information Director (mobile 734-646-4821) to confirm the planned 6 pm start for practice.
MCA’s T20 match vs Toledo, scheduled for Saturday morning at Hartland, clashes with Motown’s match at Bloomer. Since the two clubs are now sharing so many players, MCA has petitioned MichCA for a postponement. We are still waiting for confirmation, but we do not anticipate having to play on Saturday morning.
No one plays sport to lose, and no one enjoys losing, but MCA Joint Head Coach and T20 team captain Shyam Mayasandra and MCA regular guest player and Motown C.C. captain Kashif Akhtar both left Lyon Oaks on Sunday in good spirits after the Academy’s sixteen-run defeat to Greater Detroit C. C. Their good spirits were the result of another strong performance by the young team, in which every player made solid contributions (with Ani Mayasandra chosen as youth Man-of-the-Match for his 18 not out, two economical overs, and an excellent catch running in from deep mid-off), and in which one of the league’s stronger teams was pushed hard. Coach Shyam expressed his pleasure at the continued development of the team and the signs of growing maturity.
GDCC won the toss and elected to bat, with Chamila Kannangara and Anurag Yerabati taking the new ball for MCA. Both bowled economically (MCA gave up significantly fewer extras than their opponent), and when Chamila had GDCC opener Faisal Sultan caught behind for seven by Gordon Makin, diving well to his right, in the third over, the Academy applied the brakes to GDCC’s quick start. However, despite good spells from Rohit Mogalayapalli, Ani Mayasandra, and Deepak Chilla, a couple of dropped catches allowed Abinhav Verma and Rohan Wanchoo to build a one-hundred-run partnership before Kashif Akhtar dismissed them both in his second over (good catches by Rohit Mogalayapalli and Ani Mayasandra). Amir Masood and Hamza Ansari added useful runs at the end, aided by two dropped catches in the last over, after Irfan Mahmood had been stumped by Anurag Yerabati, unwisely charging Pawan Canchi, who bowled an excellent first over.
A target of 146 was within MCA’s reach, but, as ever, required at least one of the senior men to score big. Shyam Mayasandra and Gordon Makin opened for MCA, facing Rohan Wanchoo and GDCC captain Nasir Mumtaz. Both bowled very well (Gordon subsequently described Rohan, who was swinging the ball both ways, as the best quick bowler he had ever faced), but MCA’s openers survived the first four overs, albeit with only 12 on the board. GDCC’s first- and second-change men were not as tight as their opening bowlers, and MCA’s opening batsmen profited, taking the score to 34 without loss after six overs. At that point, Shyam Mayasandra called for his more powerful bat, while a mid-wicket conference between the two openers led to his junior partner telling the MCA captain (according to reports): “Coach Shyam, if you stay in, we can win this match”. Unfortunately, the MCA captain fell on the very next ball, attempting to lift the returning Rohan back over his head, but succeeding only in giving an edge to keeper Amir. MCA’s scoring rate again slowed down, and when Gordon fell to Haris Ahmed, in the ninth over for nine (his half-hearted pull lobbed to square leg), MCA had only 42 on the board. Anurag Yerabati and Kashif Akhtar began to speed things up with some aggressive hitting, before Anurag went for six, and then Chamila Kannangara and Kashif Akhtar made nice contributions, hitting hard, before both were run out trying to challenge the field and accelerate the run rate. Ani Mayasandra came in, showed some caution, and then started to hit out very effectively, aided briefly by Rohit Mogalayapalli and Neil Quinlan. As the final overs arrived, it seemed unlikely that MCA could chase down the total, but late aggression from Ani, supported at the end by good running from Ryan Quinlan, lifted MCA almost within reach of the GDCC score.
As in other defeats this season, MCA had come close to surprising an opponent who had probably not expected to be challenged by such a young team (Shyam Mayasandra, Kashif Akhtar, and Neill Quinlan were the only senior players). With three matches left in the first round (against Toledo, Saginaw, and Oakland University), there is still all to play for.
One of America’s best youth cricketers, rising star Abhijit Joshi, has temporarily forsaken the Midwest to play for Painswick C. C. in the Gloucestershire Division of the West of England Premier League. Abhijit, who last played in an MCA tournament in 2007 (at 14 he was one of the stars of the U-16 bracket and MVP for MWCA), has since gone on to bigger things – last year he was one of the youngest members of the USA U-19 World Cup squad that played in New Zealand, and he has also been at training camps with the national senior squad. But this summer Abhijit has decided not to play on Astroturf, but on grass, and not in Illinois, but in Gloucestershire, the county of W. G. Grace. At Painswick (between Gloucester and Stroud) he plays alongside men with first-class experience, in a club-cricket environment very different from suburban Chicago. And English conditions in the first half of the season are notoriously difficult for home-grown batsmen, never mind young overseas players. Yet Abhijit has starred (again) for his new club, as the ECB’s statistics page for him reveals: over various formats he has scored approximately one quarter of his team’s runs, and has averaged nearly 50 in his league matches. Reports in the Gloucestershire media make it clear how pleased the Painswick captain was to sign Abhijit, and we hear that the young American batsman is equally happy to play in one of the most beautiful parts of the game’s homeland. Perhaps the route taken by the pioneering Abhijit will be followed by other ambitious young Americans? MCA awaits sequels to the young Chicagoan’s story with great interest.
MCA fast bowler Chamila Kannangara is on the MichCA “first draft” list of fifty players under consideration for the team to represent the league in the Central East Region Tournament. Details from the MichCA email are below, the preliminary list is in the attached document. Many congratulations to Chamila, and good luck to him and to MCA’s T20 guest players who are also on the list (Kashif Akhtar, Maniramprasad Ravikumar, and Muralidharan Venkatapathy).
MichCA writes: “This list has been compiled based on (1) nominations sent by various Teams/Clubs and (2) Top-10 performers in 2010 season as shown in the ResultsVault. Please note that these Try-Outs are also open for all members of MichCA. All those Teams/Clubs that have not yet contributed to this list are hereby invited to send their top players to the TryOuts. These Try-Outs are mandatory and therefore we want all players to come prepared along with their cricket-gear (if available with them).
Date: 06-24-2010 (Thursday)
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Lyon Oaks Park, 52251 Pontiac Trail, Wixom, MI 48393
Primary Contact: Philip Allen will represent MichCA GB during the tryouts. Feel free to contact him at the ground in case you have any questions.
The Selection Panel will consist of three well-known cricket personalities of Michigan- Dr Abdul Hai, Shekar Kadur and Banfield Mark. They will select a FINAL LIST of 20 players [14 members of the team and 6 reserves] based on their assessment of the unique skills of players in terms of strength in batting, bowling and fielding (incl. general fitness) and player’s present form in terms of current season performances.”
Canton Cricket Club’s ground in Heritage Park, in use since the beginning of the season, was officially inaugurated on Thursday, at the beginning of Canton’s annual Liberty Fest. Canton Township Supervisor Phil Lajoy presided over the inauguration, introducing his fellow Township Trustees, among whom Dr Syed Taj had played a particularly significant role in the planning and creation of the new cricket ground. MichCA Chairman Shahid Ahmed praised the efforts of everyone who had contributed to the campaign for a home ground for the local club, and spoke of the growth of cricket in Michigan, noting in particular the efforts of Michigan Cricket Academy to develop youth players. Some fifty local residents, as well as Canton C.C. and other Michigan cricketers, attended the inauguration, and heard an explanation of the basic rules and principles of the game, before the ground was inaugurated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The speeches were followed by a short demonstration, supervized by distinguished former first-class cricketer, coach, and umpire Dr V. V. Giri, who called upon MCA’s Gordon Makin to bowl the first delivery to one of a pair of Canton batsman who had padded up for the occasion. MCA is glad to report that the first ball at the inauguration beat the bat (an omen for the future of the ground?), although a few subsequent deliveries also beat MCA player Neil Makin, called upon to keep to his brother and other bowlers. After the demonstration a group of enthusiastic young novices played on the pitch, coached and encouraged by MichCA and MCA players.
The Canton pitch is officially inaugurated
Gordon Makin bowls the first ball at the inauguration.
Sunday, 13 June was lucky for some, but not for MCA. Captain and Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra asked for 150 when his side batted first against Troy, but MCA’s respectable, yet not spectacular, 109 turned out to be not quite enough, and the Academy lost in the nineteenth over of Troy’s reply. Gordon Makin was chosen by Coach Shyam as youth Man-of-the-Match for his twenty.
MCA’s core squad was thinned this week by high school graduation events and finals, so Coach Shyam recruited three new senior players from sister club Motown: big-hitting Satish Thandapani, whose 23 turned out to be MCA’s top score, and Motown’s two young newcomers, Murali Venkatapathy and Mani Ravikumar, whose 2/23 gave the Academy a fighting chance when Troy replied.
This was MCA’s first visit to Chet Singh’s ground at Tag’s Sports Complex in Hartland in two years, and several players took advantage of the proximity of the minigolf concession stand to enjoy ice cream and sodas, while Bradman-like practice with stumps and golf balls was another novelty. What wasn’t so novel was that MCA needed every batsman to score and the senior players to score big if the total the captain wanted was to be reached. But when Troy put MCA in, three wickets fell for a mere twelve — openers Rohit Mogalayapalli (bowled by Vamshi), Shyam Mayasandra, caught at mid-on off Troy captain Venkat, and Ani Mayasandra, also caught off the Troy captain, at square leg. Gordon Makin, batting one-down, and Neill Quinlan (three down), making his 2010 début, carefully rebuilt, but the score was only 43 at the end of ten overs when Neill retired hurt. New batsman Murali then fell lbw to Harsha immediately, and prospects looked bleak for the Academy, but Satish and Gordon put on 26 together before Gordon, feeling the need to put more runs on the board quickly, was caught at deep-ish mid-on, trying to lift a ball off Troy’s Satish Ketkar to the boundary. Mani fall cheaply but Chamila Kannangara hit a spectacular six before following Mani, also bowled by Avinash, while Satish continued to hit out until he was caught near the midwicket boundary. Anurag hit an aggressive 10 before Ryan Quinlan, also making his 2010 début and the returning Neill Quinlan (one of two father-son pairs in the MCA team on Sunday) took the score to 109/9 at the end of twenty overs.
The total gave MCA’s bowlers something to bowl at, and the Academicians’ progress over the last few months was indicated by the economy with which they pursued their attack of Troy, giving up fewer extras than their opponent, and generally bowling well. It is true that they began the defence of their total in the worst possible way, with Gordon conceding one bye along with five penalty runs off the first ball of the innings, as the ball hit his helmet, placed injudiciously behind the stumps. But openers Chamila and Ani give up only 28 runs in six overs, Ani starting with a maiden and lots of swing, while Murali bowled four overs for only 19 runs, and Anurag two for only 11 before he took over behind the stumps after the drinks break. Mani began with two overs for two runs and one wicket, but couldn’t quite sustain his parsimony as Troy attacked, and MCA’s failure to remove man-of-the-match Ankur, who carried his bat for 35, plus the middle order aggression of Shyam and the experienced Satish Ketkar was too much for MCA. The captain brought himself on, but could not get the needed breakthrough; nor could Gordon, whose leg breaks were hit for the winning runs. At the end of the match Troy’s senior men, led by Satish Ketkar, were generous in their praise of MCA’s progress, while MCA’s Shyam Mayasandra also spoke positively of his charges, and reminded everyone that the logjam in the middle of the league table means that MCA still has a fighting chance of making it to the Super Sixes. The next match is against Greater Detroit next Sunday morning, at Lyon Oaks.