Three-time defending league champion Berbice Royals Cricket Club were beaten in resounding fashion as Planet Cricket Club capped an undefeated season with a 58-run win. It's the first time in the four year history of the league that Royals havennnnnnÃƒ?t claimed the NJSCUA title.
By Peter Della Penna in Somerset, New Jersey (on Twitter)
Three-time defending league champion Berbice Royals Cricket Club were beaten in resounding fashion as Planet Cricket Club capped an undefeated season with a 58-run win via Duckworth-Lewis Method in the finals of the New Jersey State Cricket & Umpires Association playoffs on Sunday at Naaman Williams Park in Somerset, New Jersey. Satyan Kansara was named MVP of the final after scoring 54 off 35 balls for Planet in their total of 175 for 9.
Planet CC won the toss and elected to bat first, getting off to a breezy start behind opener Raj Patel. Momentum turned for Berbice Royals with the introduction of Sunil Naga, who removed Raj for 33 as well as fellow opener Hemesh Patel for 5 and number three Bhavesh Patel for 3. Things got rockier for Planet when Ashutosh Banker and Dharmesh Patel were removed on back-to-back balls for 25 and 11 respectively to leave Planet at 95 for 5 in the 19th.
Image (right) - Satyan Kansara holds the NJSCUA Finals MVP trophy after his half-century helped Planet CC to the 2012 championship. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Kansara entered at number six and his counter-attack breathed life back into the Planet innings, which was interrupted by rain. The 40-over match was then reduced to 32 overs after play resumed. Kansara nearly carried on to the end as wickets continued to fall around him. He was finally bowled by Sunil Singh, but not before taking Planet to what turned out to be an easily defendable total.
While the rain returned during the innings break, the umpires calculated that rather than chase 176 runs to win, Berbice Royals would have a target of 171 after Duckworth Lewis calculations were factored in. Berbice Royals had a decent start to their chase, aided in part by wayward bowling from Planet as they struggled in particular to adjust their lines to the left-handed Romeno Deane, a former USA U-19 World Cup squad member from 2006. Planet wound up bowling 27 wides in all.
Berbice Royals were 60 for 2 in the ninth over as they confidently pursued the target when Deane was caught on the boundary at long off for 12. Andre Kirton followed in the next over, also caught at long off for 4, to make it 61 for 4. Coupled with the earlier loss of captain Qayaam Farrouq, caught down the leg side for 14, Berbice Royals had their top three run-scorers from the season done for the match and Planet CC never looked back.
Image (above) - NJSCUA Founder and President Deepak Katte stands by the awards table ahead of the post-match presentation. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
When Vaibhav Patel took a spectacular one-handed diving return catch to dismiss Tegana McKenzie, it was clear that this was Planet’s day. Berbice Royals were finally bowled out for 112 on the third ball of the 21st over in the rapidly deteriorating light to clinch the win for Planet. It’s the first time in the four year history of the league that Royals haven’t claimed the NJSCUA title.
Image (above) - Planet CC celebrates at the post-match presentation after defeating Berbice Royals CC in the 2012 NJSCUA Final. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]