Monthly Archives: July 2010

115 Not Enough against Saginaw

For the second time in three weeks MCA faced a Saginaw team short of players, and for the second time lost, despite sterling work by the Academy’s familiar firm of Mayasandra and Son, who contributed a total of 59 runs to MCA’s 115, overhauled by Saginaw in the eighteenth over for the loss of five of seven available wickets. This time it was not the quick-fire 23, including two sixes and one four, from Captain and Coach Shyam Mayasandra, that led the scoring for MCA, but the slightly more circumspect 36 from Ani Mayasandra (two fours). No other MCA batsman reached double figures.

Bloomer Park was unexpectedly dry on Sunday morning, Rochester Hills evidently spared the rains that had drenched more westerly parts of the metro area over the preceding 36 hours, and when MCA won the toss and elected to bat against an under-strength Saginaw, hopes were high of avenging the recent defeat by posting a good total and putting the opposition under pressure. A good opening stand between father and son, taking MCA to 48 in seven overs, gave further reason for optimism. Then the Saginaw captain Shami dismissed Shyam Mayasandra with an excellent catch off his own bowling (Shami later remarked that, having been hit for a six and a four off the preceding two deliveries, he was determined to get a hand to the ball, whatever the cost), but, with solid batting still to come, MCA continued to hope for a big score. Kashif Akhtar came and went quickly, hitting one four in his eight before pulling Shami (who took 5/22) to backward square leg; Anurag Yerabati played a couple of nice shots for his six, before falling lbw to Shami, and the same fate quickly befell Deepak Chilla. Rohit Mogalayapalli, fresh from his heroics at the national U-15 tournament, seemed very unlucky indeed to be given out caught-behind for 2, off a ball that might have bounced off the pitch immediately after hitting the toe of his bat. Jai Sura scored 3 before playing around a ball on the stumps from Shahzad and then, in the seventeenth over, Ani Mayasandra was run out in the most unfortunate manner, when his runner attempted a suicidal single. Another wicket quickly followed when Vasanth Krishnaswami was given out lbw attempting to sweep. In the final over Gordon Makin was run out for three as his partner attempted another risky run late in the innings. Eleventh man Neil Makin’s pull to backward square leg got him his first run in the T20 competition (to go with his “Chinese cut” for one for Motown against Grand Rapids in the 40-overs competition last month), and he was not out when Pawan Canchi was caught off the last ball of the innings for 2.

116 was not a large target, but MCA began their defence with some optimism, knowing that Saginaw would be all out when the seventh wicket fell. However, that moment never came, despite an excellent spell from Anurag (4-0-15-1), one wicket from Kashif Akhtar, and two from Shyam Mayasandra. When Saginaw were 19/3, after Rohit and Gordon had run out Vishal for 1, Rohit had taken a good catch off Anurag to dismiss Utkash for the same score, and the swashbuckling Ram had fallen to Kashif
Akhtar, Vasanth Krishnaswami taking the catch, for 10, prospects looked very good for the Academy. But only two more wickets fell – the dangerous Fahad for 10, lbw to Shyam Mayansandra, and Shazad for 16, caught by Kashif Akhtar, also off Shyam Mayasandra – and Salil guided Saginaw home with an unbeaten 36, supported by captain Shami (7 n.o.). Pawan Canchi bowled an economical over that troubled the batsmen, but MCA’s other bowlers lacked penetration, and the Academy was left to rue the absence of Anurag’s usual opening partner, Chamila Kannangara.

Ani Mayasandra was chosen as youth-man-of-the-match without the slightest hesitation.

Next up for MCA is HFHS C.C. on Sunday.

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CER Announces Team for U-19 National Tournament – Kishan Patel Selected; Two MCA Players Among Reserves

Central East Region has announced its team for the U-19 National Tournament, originally scheduled for Detroit during the first weekend in August, but now rescheduled for Los Angeles over 19-22 August. Kishan Patel is among those selected, while two other MCA players are among the reserves:

1.   Abhijit Joshi  Captain
2.   Fahad Babar  Vice captain
3.   Srijay Kumar
4.   Aashay Chavan
5.   Jason Fox
6.   Kishan Patel
7.   Bilal Ismail
8.   Salman Ahmad
9.   Shubhankar
10. Wasim Patel
11. Talha Zamir
12. Jacques Gerber
13. Akhil Sridher
14. Shoib Choudhery
 
Reserves:
Haris Ahmed
Vaibhav Ganesh
Zakaria Uddin
Rohit Mogalayapalli
Gordon Makin

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MCA Players Thrive at National U-15 Tournament

MCA contributed three players to the Central East Region team that finished in third place in the national U-15 tournament in Newark, N.J. last week. Reports on each of CER’s four matches have already been posted to the MCA web site. Two MCA players were adjudged “man-of-the-match”; they can be seen receiving their awards on a video embedded in the DreamCricket report on the final day’s play and the awards ceremony.

The same two players were also included in DreamCricket’s unofficial Tournament XI: USA Cricket National U-15 Championship – Top performers and Tournament XI – USA Cricketer. The XI consists of three New Yorkers, three from North West (the first and second-place regions), two from Atlantic (which had two teams in the tournament), one from Southwest, and the two from CER.  The three Northwest players are all from California Cricket Academy, which is the only club/academy to have contributed more players than (much smaller) MCA.

Coach Shyam’s photographs from the tournament can be seen on the MCA Flickr stream (see link on the right of the MCA home page). CER coach Sunil Kumar’s photographs can be found here.

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CER Seals Third Place with Tight Victory over Hosts Atlantic

“Is it not passing brave to be a king, / And ride in triumph through Persepolis?”. Indeed it is, but it was North West, not Central East, who might have been quoting Christopher Marlow at the end of the U-15 national tournament tonight after their efficient victory over New York, whose star batsmen missed out, allowing the Californians to ease to their third straight championship.

Yet Central East and their coach Sunil Kumar had very good reason to feel themselves, if not kings, then at least princes, riding through New Jersey’s Persepolis tonight, after defending a modest total of 118 with some excellent bowling and fielding, not to mention nerves of steel, to take a well-deserved third place, defeating host region Atlantic by six runs at Watsessing Park, Newark. For the first time in four matches it was not an MCA player who top-scored for CER, but skipper Parth Joshi, whose 31 was the key innings for the Midwesterners; Parth then went on to share the death bowling with MCA’s Rohit Mogalayapalli (whose brisk 19 would also prove to be vital). Parth took 3-23, including the final wicket – that of no. 10 batsman Nazir Mehdi, brilliantly caught by Samvit Tirunnalayi, diving at short extra cover — with eight balls remaining and the hosts just seven runs short of a great rear-guard victory. Cheers and tears were in equal proportions on the boundary as CER players and supporters embraced ecstatically, while Atlantic sought solace.

When Parth won the toss for the third consecutive time, and CER batted for the fourth successive day, there was hope that openers Gordon Makin and Rohit Mogalayapalli could make it four-out-of-four sound starts, but in the ninth over Gordon let his back foot slide out of his crease as he tried to block an off break from Sharma and was stumped for six, ending the first-wicket partnership on a modest total of 22. Rohit batted on, hitting two fours, in a good partnership with Parth, whose own 31 was the highest score of the match. But Rohit was caught off a top edge when pulling, and Parth was yorked, as Atlantic applied pressure with both spin and pace. Among the other batsmen, only MCA’s Ani Mayasandra, who hit two powerful fours in a rapid 12, reached double figures, and CER were all out for 118 in the 39th over. No one was surprised that Atlantic had bowled so well – they had, after all, restricted South West to 130 in a match their supporters felt they had thrown away – and it was equally predictable that tournament Best Bowler Ryan Persaud had the best figures in today’s match – 8-2-9-3. Now the question was – could CER, a team with better batting than bowling in the first three matches respond by putting pressure on the hosts, and, especially, on their best batsman – Persaud and Rishi Patel? As against South West the day before, CER opened with spin – Nauman Khan’s leg breaks from one end, and Vivek Joglekar’s off breaks from the other. An early breakthrough was required, and Vivek duly provided it when he had Patel brilliantly caught by Arjun Ahuja for two in the second over. Medium-pacer Arnav Sridher and leg-spinner Arsalan Babar came on first- and second-change (and bowled equally well), meaning that Atlantic faced no pace at all until the second half of their innings. Kiwi William Gilliard and Persaud scored forty runs between the two of them, but CER consistently took wickets and fielded well enough (their best performance in the field this week) to keep the brakes on throughout the innings. When Gordon stumped Gilliard off Arsalan and Arnav found the ball to dismiss Persaud, whom he had consistently troubled, for 21, Atlantic were clearly under the cosh. Two run-outs told of the pressure, while Parth’s excellent caught-and-bowled – a rolling dive to dismiss Silva under the batsman’s own nose — and Arjun’s catch of Khan, pulling Arnav hard to midwicket, showed that CER could field with the best. However, no. 8 Ghous Agha and Mehdi both belied their lower-order places by hitting out, so that the pressure now told on CER: a missed stumping, a missed run-out, and two drops off consecutive balls in the covers. Even after Agha went for 14, clean bowled by Rohit in his first over (the 36th), Atlantic, nine down, continued to fight, buoyed by raucous support from the boundary. Mehdi pushed on, punishing every bad ball and leaving every wide (which was cheered like a six as Atlantic’s supporters grew in hope), while eleventh man Narayam played out eight dot balls without looking troubled. CER supporters were anxious, Atlantic’s fans ever more hopeful, until Mehdi’s hard drive nestled in the small hands of nine-year-old Samvit, who was immediately buried under a pile of team mates.

At the closing ceremony MCA’s Rohit and Gordon picked up their Man-of-the-match trophies, along with Parth, and Rohit celebrated finishing the tournament as CER’s top run scorer and the only CER batsmen to score double figures in each match. No CER man had the numbers of the top batsmen in the tournament, but some of the highest scores in other matches came under less pressure than had been faced by CER’s leading run-scorers, two of whom were MCA players. MCA’s third player, Ani Mayasandra (top-scorer among MCA youth players in MichCA’s T-20 league), twice in the tournament showed how valuable big-hitting can be, and was probably CER’s unluckiest batsman in terms of marginal decisions. Meanwhile, CER’s bowlers had good reason to be happy – Nauman Khan, Vivek Joglekar, and Arsalan Babar had proved that spin could be deadly early in the match, while Parth, Rohit, and Arjun had all bowled very well in different matches under intense late-innings pressure (today’s death bowling by Rohit and Parth was the final key to the match); Ani’s left-arm pace, so effective this year in Michigan, was used less than might have been expected. In the field, Parth, Vivek, Nauman, Rohit, and Arjun all made major contributions to CER’s improvements, while Gordon’s keeping, although not perfect, was very respectable (and always came after his contributions as an opening batsman, three of which were of significant duration).

Only the most optimistic CER supporter could have hoped that the region would finish in first or second place, so third place, achieved at the expense of the host, was a very satisfying result, not least because only four of the current team are “true U-15s”. They will hope to leave a legacy for next year and the years to come, as CER’s youngest team will aim to rise from princes to kings.

Coach Shyam’s Expert Comments:

“It was a thrilling roller coaster ride all the way to the 10th wicket. Both sides’ weakness in playing spin was exposed, as indicated by the low totals. Also a factor was the ground size, the biggest CER played in so far, as evidenced by the very few fours and no sixes. All the MCA boys scored modestly, albeit making a contribution of nearly 40 runs in the 118 total. It must be admitted that the day belonged to Chicagoans in the CER contingent for the first time in the tournament. Nauman Khan and Arsalan Babar were great finds for CER, and are sure to do well in future. Vivek Joglekar did great as well, but it was Parth Joshi who performed as a true all rounder, not to mention his captaincy under a pressure situation on the field and confusing communication from off the field. Arnav, Arjun and Samvit executed their roles admirably. Near the end of the match there were some signs of frayed nerves on the boundary, but there were plenty of sporting gestures from the supporters of both sides as the two teams left the field.”

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CER Overcomes South West

At the national U-15 tournament in New Jersey today Central East Region beat South West Region by 96 runs, with MCA’s Rohit Mogalayapalli (45) and Gordon Makin (57, Man of the Match) posting a first-wicket partnership of 97 that set the foundation for a final total of 191. That allowed CER coach Sunil Kumar to challenge the opposition by opening with spin when SWR replied, effectively choking the Californians, who struggled to score against Nauman Khan, Vivek Joglekar, Arsalan Babar, and then medium-pacer Arnav Sridher, who all bowled with exemplary discipline to leave South West falling further and further behind the required run rate.

After winning the toss CER captain Paarth Joshi had no hesitation in choosing to bat, and MCA’s Gordon and Rohit headed to the crease. 23 overs later, when the first wicket finally fell, CER had taken control with a mixture of patience and well-directed aggression. Rohit looked particularly strong again, hitting three fours and a six before a moment of carelessness saw him bowled by Shakeel. Although the CER middle-order struggled to take advantage of the good start, Gordon batted on, hitting three fours in a careful, anchoring innings that came to an end with a premeditated swipe just three overs before the end of CER’s, as he began to throw the bat, surprising some of the CER followers with his late-innings slogging. Nauman and Vivek both added quick runs at the end, Vivek thrilling the Midwesterners on the boundary with his first ever six.

192 seemed a good target, although there was some concern that it might be a few runs short on a pitch that had some bounce. However, Coach Sunil Kumar felt that his batsmen had done exactly what he wanted, and proceeded to surprise and disturb SWR by opening with leg spin from Nauman (8-3-10-2) and off spin from Vivek (5-1-14-0). The Californians struggled to get the ball away, themselves unfamiliar with the matting wickets which demand a very different approach from batsmen, especially against spin, and at the end of the tenth over, when the score stood at 22/2, CER was in control. They never let go, with Arnav (8-1-31-2) and Arsalan (8-1-26-2) helping to tighten the noose, aided by good fielding and two runouts well engineered by Vivek and Samvit respectively. SWR’s fight ended in the 33rd over, just after Gordon took off his pads, having batted for 37 overs and kept for 30 in the match.

CER’s last match in the tournament is against the host region, Atlantic, in a cross-over meeting to decide third and fourth place.

Coach Shyam’s Expert Comments:

“CER must be particularly proud today of the consistent performance of its openers, Rohit and Gordon, who for the third time in a row laid a firm foundation for the team to build on. However, it appears that our batsmen in general have a long way to go before they master playing against spin attack. They seem to struggle much, either losing their wickets or considerably slowing their scoring against spin. CER’s own bowling was very good, with the spinners walking away with honors. MCA would have liked to see our spinner, Gordon Makin, shine with the ball as well today, but he did his wicket-keeping duties very well after a sterling batting performance.

That leaves CER in second position in the group A, after NYR. Another excellent game coming up tomorrow, when CER plays the group B runners up – Atlantic. Atlantic have narrowly lost the top spot in their group to NWR and this is expected to be a tough match for CER. We sure hope the CER (and MCA) boys will be at the top of their form.”

DreamCricket Report, by Peter Della Penna, with score sheet.

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CER’s Batsmen, Spinners Too Strong for Young Directors’ XI

The second day of the USACA national U-15 tournament saw CER, led by MCA’s Rohit Mogalayapalli, who scored a blistering 68 and took one wicket (a simple choice for Man of the Match), defeat the Directors’ XI, comprised of Atlantic Region’s best younger players, by 86 runs. Batting first at the Orange Park ground, CER got runs from almost all their leading batsmen, and, while the young Directors’ players (many of them coached at the DreamCricket Academy by Earl and Malika Daley, whose excellent work showed very clearly in the field and at the crease) resisted valiantly in their reply, CER’s spinners contained very effectively, aided by some improved fielding, so that their young opponents never looked like overhauling CER’s 220. MCA’s openers Rohit and Gordon
Makin gave CER a good start, but Gordon, who had played some fine drives for fours, fell caught behind for 18 when the score was 34, trying to cut a ball he might have left alone at that stage of the innings. After Arnav Sridher briefly steadied the ship, Captain Parth Joshi came to the crease and built a spectacular 100+ partnership with Rohit. Both hit the ball hard and effectively, especially to the leg side, and dominated the bowling with excellent, aggressive strokeplay. They were looking good for even more runs until somewhat rash charges saw them both stumped, Parth for 40, and Rohit for his game changing 68. MCA’s Ani Mayasandra, towering over some of his young opponents, then came to the crease with one thing in mind, and 28 balls later he had added 34, including two sixes and four fours. CER’s last six batsmen added only a few more runs, but 221 was an intimidating target, and the Directors’ XI never looked like chasing it down. However, CER’s senior men were full of praise for ten-year-old Raymond whom they remembered from MCA’s 2009 Labor Day Weekend Tournament and who stayed almost twenty overs for a beautifully played 20, after taking four wickets in the CER innings, while Harish batted even longer for his 22. As against New York, almost all of CER’s bowlers were economical, but this time Arsalan Babar (6-1-8-3) and Nauman Khan (8-1-17-3) were able to inflict real damage with their accurate, flighted leg spin, aided by two stumpings from Gordon. The Directors’ XI were delighted to bat out their 40 overs and end the match on 134/8, while CER supporters worried that the match, although a very satisfactory victory, revealed a certain lack of penetration in the Midwesterners’ bowling. Several CER players remarked after the match that the marginal decisions seemed to go against them, but they also regretted a number of missed chances. CER coach Sunil Kumar later congratulated all his top-order batsmen, but joined other observers in noting that they missed chances (on a day when two centuries were made elsewhere in the tournament) to push on for even bigger scores.

Next up for CER is Southwestern Region, reputed to have some fine bowlers.

Coach Shyam’s Expert Comments:

The day turned out excellent for CER who looked dominant from the first ball. What they didn’t expect was the tenacity of the players from much younger Director’s XI, the credits clearly going to their coaches. Within the CER team, MCA players stole the show, with Rohit, Gordon and Ani scoring more than half the runs. Playing the spinners is a lacuna in CER batting that needs to be corrected immediately when we are facing a tougher opponent (SWR) on Saturday. But the team looks solid right now and should keep their act together to win the next two.

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CER Makes Disappointing Start to National U-15 Tournament

Central East Region’s U-15 team lost by ten wickets to New York Region in its first match of the national tournament in New Jersey yesterday, despite making a promising start. The host region, Atlantic, had to overcome significant obstacles this week, as torrential rains left its top grounds waterlogged, so CER faced New York on an emergency replacement ground at Branch Brook Park, Newark, where five large trees were within the boundary and soft, wet, unrolled sand lay beneath the matting wicket. Not surprisingly, when New York won the toss, they put CER in, and MCA’s Gordon Makin and Rohit Mogalayapalli walked out with some trepidation to face the Easterners’ bowlers on an unfamiliar surface. Twelve overs later, with the score at 65/0, coach Sunil Kumar’s team had reason to feel that they might be able to match what they thought would be the strongest team in their bracket, but New York’s spinners reined in CER, the ball kept low on the wet surface, and CER could not take advantage of its strong start. Rohit fell for 16, and when Gordon fell, also clean bowled, for 26 (top score for CER) with the score at 93/2 in the eighteenth, the best part of CER’s match was behind them. Between the fourteenth and the thirtieth over, CER added only 31 runs, with a middle-order expected to be strong struggling to get the ball away: Arjun Ahuja hit a big straight six, but took 51 balls to score his thirteen before a misunderstanding saw him run out, while Captain Parth Joshi and MCA’s Ani Mayasandra both fell lbw, perhaps a little unluckily in each case, without pushing the score along. Six lower order batsmen could add only five runs off the bat for the last five wickets, and CER were all out in the 39th over for 141. New York’s early overs had helped CER with significant numbers of extras, but excellent spin bowling, exemplary field setting, and athletic fielding had all made the going hard in the later overs. Nonetheless, CER had something to bowl at and took to the field with some hope. Twenty-five overs later it was all over, with New York’s powerful openers Z. Tariq and R. Wilson both scoring unbeaten fifties, hitting most of CER’s bowlers with impressive power. On the whole, CER bowled economically, with Arnav Sridher particularly distinguishing himself (6-1-12-0), but there was little penetration, and the fielding lacked New York’s verve and application.

A chastened CER returns to action today against the Directors’ XI at Orange Park.

Coach Shyam’s expert comments:

This was the first time CER was playing on a matting ground. The ground was wet, not rolled hard and matting was put on it. Our kids simply weren’t used to balls keeping so low. Considering these conditions, they did remarkably well, playing 39 overs! They started excellently but should have done better during the middle overs. NYR’s experience on matting was clearly visible, not to mention the fact the ground had baked a bit in the 86 degree weather resulting in a little extra bounce on the ball. Another 50 runs on CER’s total might have made a crucial difference to the match. But I’m sure the boys will adjust to the ground conditions in subsequent matches and do better.

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MCA’s 142 not enough against Saginaw

MCA lost by three wickets to Saginaw at Lyon Oaks on Saturday, despite setting a target of 142. MCA, with the core squad reduced by injuries and absences, called upon two new guest players – Motown’s Vijay Patel and Sumit Garg – and welcomed MCA’s own Jai Sura to the lineup for the first time. Saginaw, too, had found it hard to field a team, and arrived at Lyon Oaks with only seven men. Vasanth Krishnaswami (MCA Joint-Head Coach, and T20 Captain in the absence of Shyam Mayasandra) and Saginaw’s Captain Shami agreed that, with the outcome of the match irrelevant to standings for the Super Sixes, MCA would loan Saginaw three fielders, but bat first. Vijay Patel and Neill Quinlan opened for MCA, and put on 57 for the first wicket, before Neill fell for 16 to Shami in the tenth over, trying to pull a ball off the stumps as MCA attempted to accelerate; Vijay, short of match practice this season, batted himself into form with 42, before mistiming a big shot, while Sumit shortened his own time at the crease by ambling a second run to MCA’s Pawan Canchi, fielding for Saginaw – Pawan ran him out for 15. Gordon Makin made 13 nice runs before Salman took a good catch in the gully off Gordon’s cut. Anurag Yerabati’s speedy 18 included two boundaries, while Ani Mayasandra hit the second six of MCA’s innings (Vijay had the other) in his rapid and powerful 12 n.o., and Jai ended his first MichCA innings 1 n.o., facing just a few balls in the final overs. Every MCA batsman who faced more than a couple of balls hit boundaries, taking advantage of a speedier Lyon Oaks outfield, and the Academy had reason to be confident that 142 was a solid total against an opponent with only six wickets to give. The Academy felt even more confident when Anurag bowled opener Fahad for 0 in the second over; and when Vasanth took a good catch on the long-on boundary to remove the energetic Shahid for 22 off Pawan, in the 12th, MCA was still very much in the match; two overs later Salil fell to a catch at short midwicket by Gordon, also off Pawan, but , despite excellent quick bowling from opener Anurag (4-0-12-1) and later equally good off spin from Pawan (4-0-27-2), as well as very solid contributions from Ani, débutant Jai, and Ryan Quinlan, MCA could not dislodge Vishal, whose 45 n.o. was the key knock. Late in the innings brothers Gordon and Neil Makin bowled three rather chastening overs in tandem to set batsmen Vishal and Shami (although at least one chance went down in their expensive spells), and when Anurag returned in the eighteenth over, Saginaw needed only ten to win. Four leg byes helped, and the winning run came off the first ball of the nineteenth over, bowled by Ani.

Although the loss was disappointing, it will have no impact on MCA’s place in the second round, and MCA felt they had set a sporting example by providing their opponent with extra fielders, without whom the visitors would probably have faced a more demanding target when they batted.

Vasanth Krishnaswami had no hesitation in naming Anurag Yerabati Youth Man-of-the-Match for his outstanding all-round contribution.

MCA’s last match of the first round of T20 matches is on Sunday, 18 July, at Bloomer Park, against Oakland University.

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In Memoriam

MCA is deeply saddened to note the death of Michigan State Cricket Club’s Muthu Raman Sankara Narayanan, who suffered cardiac arrest while fielding for his team against Advanced Technology Group C. C. at the Flint Cricket Ground on Saturday, in the Great Lakes Cricket Conference forty-overs league. Muthu died at the age of 31, leaving behind a wife and four-year-old son. MCA expresses profound condolences to Muthu’s family, and joins the entire Michigan cricketing community in mourning his tragically early death.

MCA Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra has announced that MCA will collect donations for a memorial fund. Please send your checks, marked “In Memoriam Muthu”, to Coach Shyam at 3625 Sleepy Fox Drive, Rochester Hills, MI 48309.

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4 July – a Busy Weekend for Cricket in Michigan

The long weekend of 4 July is usually a busy time for Michigan cricket, even though there are no league matches.  This year was no exception, and MCA players and officials were visible, if not prominent. Six teams competed in the 2010 Diversity Cup, run by Global Sports, with Pakistan Greens defeating Canada Maple Leafs in a tight final match at Bloomer Park, where MCA Joint Head Coach Shyam Mayasandra was Head Umpire.  The final was webcast live, and the video has been archived.  MCA members watching the archived video will note some familiar voices.  The four other teams in the tournament represented the USA, India, the West Indies, and the Rest of the World, whose squad included two MCA players — Chamila Kannangara and Gordon Makin. Chamila bowled with distinction for what was evidently the tournament underdog, while Gordon played a smaller role in both of the team’s matches — against the West Indies Masters and the Pakistan Greens.  However, it has to be added that the Rest of the World team, consisting almost entirely of local club players (whereas almost all the other teams included players with international experience) was some way off the pace, losing its first match by ninety-five runs to a West Indian team equipped with excellent opening bowlers and some predictably powerful hitters, and its second match by ten wickets to the eventual champions, who bowled and batted with deadly efficiency.

Meanwhile, the annual Central East Region Tournament also took place at Metro Detroit grounds over the long weekend, with a MichCA team weakened by absences finishing in fourth place out of six. Regular MCA guest player Kashif Akhtar put in particularly battling performances, helping MichCA beat the Director’s XI on Sunday, and playing on Monday despite having fractured a thumb making a typically brave stop a short extra cover on Sunday. It is said that on Monday he played some forty balls, ignoring considerable pain as he tried to anchor the innings. The CERT was won by the hosts, Great Lakes Cricket Conference, whose team surprised the Midwest Cricket Conference in the final at Belle Isle on Monday.

The final CERT match was followed by CER U-19 tryouts, attended by some twelve players, including two from MCA.

Normal service resumes over the weekend of 10-11 July: MCA’s T-20 team plays Saginaw at Lyon Oaks on Saturday afternoon, with MCA practice following, while the Motown match against Michigan Cricket Club at Toledo on Sunday will probably involve MCA’s coaches and, perhaps, some MCA players, too.

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