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San Francisco Bay Area, July 5, 2010
In the finals of the USA Independence TANA Cup 20-20 organized by Northern California Cricket Association (NCCA) and Telugu Association of North America (TANA), San Francisco Blasters continued their undefeated run defeating DreamCricket Fooglies by 5 wickets and taking home the championship and $3000 in prize money.
The finals started at the North Gate Park with the star studded DreamCricket Fooglies taking to the bat and looking for a mammoth score.
Pic (Right): San Francisco Blasters celebrate their win [Courtesy: Ganesh Sanap]
In fact, that was within the realm of possibility as long as USA senior team player and opening batsman Aditya Thyagarajan (43) was at the crease together with Scotland’s James Crosswaite (36). In the end, the newly reunited DreamCricket Fooglies managed to put up a par score of 153 for 7.
Blasters captain Sunny Khan led the bowling ranks with his 2 for 17 in a remarkable 4 over spell. Krishna Prasad took two crucial wickets - those of North West Region’s Vijay Beniwal, who threatened to blow the Blasters away with two huge sixes and of NC Aiyappa of the Royal Challengers Bangalore who too was looking to accelerate.
In reply, the San Francisco Blasters showed the kind of aggression that was needed to counter the raw pace of Scorpio Speedster award winner and Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler NC Aiyappa! After losing the first wicket early on and the score reading 2 for 1, Arshdeep Jammu (89 from 48 balls) and Majid Muhammed (22 from 31 balls) let their intent known - the former setting the field ablaze with 13 boundaries.
By the time Majid’s wicket fell with the score reading 108, the damage was done and barring a small chance of a self-inflicted implosion, the pendulum had already tilted in favor of Blasters. Two wickets fell with the score on 147 but that did not really affect the home team’s chase which they accomplished for the loss of 5 wickets with a few balls to spare.
Arshdeep Jammu was the Man of the Match as well as the MVP of the Tournament and Krishna Prasad took the most wickets - 15 in all.
Calling the event a landmark, The Times of India wrote a glowing report about the TANA Cup. The paper quoted Ganesh Sanap, President of NCCA as saying: "Even though US is mainly a non-cricketing nation, the expat Indian and Commonwealth community is strong and eager to play cricket. We had a Ranji trophy player NC Aiyappa and current USA players like Aditya Thyagarajan, Sushil Nadkarni and Bilal Khan playing, but all of it was non-profit.”
And what’s the secret for Blasters’ surprise win over the supremely talented DreamCricket Fooglies? Ayan Banerjee, the manager of SF Blasters who is a project manager in Cisco had the answer. He told The Times of India: "We took the tournament seriously because we knew we had tough competition. We were passionate, aggressive and we trained hard.”
[Match statistics and report are based on incomplete scorecards. Please send your corrections/feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org]