MCA Combined XI were runners-up in the California Cricket Academy U-17 Tournament, after another comprehensive loss to CCA 1 on Sunday. Ani Mayasandra, Sagar Patel, and Arjun Ahuja were responsible for the lion’s share of the runs in a low total as MCA Combined, who won the toss and batted first at Santa Clara, scored 124 all out in 38.5 overs. CCA 1 were untroubled in their run chase, and won by ten wickets. Openers Vikram Valluri (Tournament MVP) and Arsh Buch both scored 65 not out.
This time there could be no talk of jet lag and fatigue, but MCA Combined flew home on Monday knowing that they fully deserved the runners-up trophies, after very efficient victories over New Jersey and CCA 2 — by no means insignificant achievements for a team who were learning one another’s names the evening before their first match, and the majority of whose members were U-15 players.
Reports indicate that the entire squad, weakened on Sunday by the unavoidable early departure of Karnjit Singh, performed well throughout. According to unofficial reports from California, Kwiese Edmondson was third-highest run scorer in the tournament (131) and Gordon Makin fourth (126). Ani Mayasandra’s 70+ runs and three wickets can be presumed to have placed him in the top rank of all-r0unders, while, among the bowlers, Paarth Joshi’s nine wickets in four matches must have made him one of the top wicket-takers.
Coach Shyam Mayasandra described the tournament as an excellent experience for his players, and a springboard for further progress for all.
In the final, MCA Combined needed a good start to have much hope of revenge for Thursday’s heavy defeat at the hands of the experienced Californians. Instead, they lost their two top run scorers in the tournament within four overs as first opener Gordon Makin fell for six, caught in the slips off a swinging delivery from Pranav, and then Kwiese Edmondson was adjudged caught behind off the same bowler without scoring. Paarth Joshi, whose leg spin led the MCA Combined bowling in the tournament, came and went immediately after Edmondson, and with MCA Combined at 13/3, it was left to young Sagar Patel, moved up to open with Makin, to batten down the hatches, and his 24 in 32 overs helped to ensure that MCA Combined batted out almost 40 overs. Patel was the junior partner in a fourth-wicket stand of 43 with Ani Mayasandra, whose powerfully hit 25 (two fours) gave MCA Combined hope. Mayasandra’s dismissal brought in Arjun Ahuja, whose 18 kept MCA Combined going after Patel was stumped, with the support of Vivek Joglekar (15), but when Vivek was run out MCA Combined had little more to give, the remaining four wickets falling in four overs for 16 runs.
None of the eight bowlers MCA Combined tried could get a breakthrough, and CCA 1 eased to victory in just 21 overs.