Massachusetts Patriots Successfully Defend NACCL Title
2016 ACF Newbery ACCL Tournament held at Maryland Turf Facility
The 2016 Newbery ACCL Championship was held on the Washington Cricket Center Turf Park in Laurel, Maryland during the weekend of October 21-23. The Washington Cricket Center features four natural turf pitches. The Championship featured four ACF teams, defending champions – Massachusetts Patriots, Southern Connecticut Robins, Washington Eagles, and the local WMCB League Champions Punjab Lions.
The American Cricket Federation (ACF) tournament kicked off on Friday, October 21 under sunny skies, which turned gray and rainy towards the afternoon. Both the scheduled games had to be abandoned because of the showers. The next couple of days featured some good competition under a mix of cold and windy conditions and culminated in a final between the Patriots and Eagles.
The MSCL Patriots defended their 2015 ACF title beating Washington Eagles by 4 wickets. Raghunandan Sridhar, the Patriots skipper won the toss and decided to bowl first, which he has done in all previous games, and restricted the Eagles side to just 110 in 20 overs.
The Eagles were cruising along with 60 for 2 in the first 8 overs, when Wahab broke through with 2 for 20 and a direct hit run-out. Raghavendra Kulaspur, Ravi Singh, and Raghu got a wicket apiece. Two more run-outs by Prasanna/Nachiket and Fazal/Ravi put the brakes on any hopes that Eagles might have had to put up a solid total. Ankur Saini top scored with 29, supported by Richard Sacrais’ and Vishal Khatri’s modest contributions. Nachiket Gokhale was workmanlike behind the stumps for the Patriots on a pitch that was turning square, and with a stand-out performance kept the Eagles’ batsmen cautious. The Eagles innings folded for 110 runs, a score that was at least 30 runs under par on the pitch used.
The Patriots got off to a flying start with Fazzal hitting three boundaries in the very first over from Gundeep Singh. Srikant Mokkapati with 21 off 20 balls, Pratik with 18, Raghu 15, and Nadim with 13 all chipped in to keep the steady run flow. Finally Prassana with 18 not out finished the game in style for the visitors with 2.5 overs and 4 wickets to spare.
It was a solid team performance from the Patriots squad with everyone contributing throughout the two and half days of cricket under less than ideal conditions. The Patriots deservedly walked away with four Man-of-the-Match awards – one each for Ragha, Raghu, Fazal and Prassanna, in addition MVP of the Tournament for Fazzal Aalam and Best Bowler for Ravi Singh. Another notable performance of the tournament was the Best Batter award sponsored by Shastha Foods for the Eagles batsman Ankur Saini who was the tournament’s top scorer with 68 runs from two games. Each of the Man-of-the-Match awards included customized T-Shirts sponsored by ProT20.
ACF is grateful for all the tournament sponsors including Mr. Mani Krishnan of Shastha Foods, Dr. Glendon F. Archer of Metallica Commodities Corp, Mr. Mushi Khan of ProT20, and to the personal contributions and efforts of ACF Chairman Jagan Jagannathan, Secretary John Aaron, and Treasurer Mike Thomas in making this year’s event possible.
A special note of appreciation to Drs. Ajith and Priyanthi Silva for hosting the tournament at their magnificent facility, as well as the umpires from the WMCB league who officiated the games. The Washington Cricket Center Turf Park is a wonderful facility with tremendous potential to attract high quality cricket in the Washington Metro area. It could very well become a regular venue for ACF tournaments in the future and evolve into a cricketing Center of Excellence in the Mid-Atlantic region.