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Atlantic Region's six match winning run in which it inflicted defeats on every region in the country finally came to a screeching halt on June 29th in the final and crucial match of the USACA National Under 15 Tournament against the North West Region. Atlantic Region had defeated North West just two days before, but for the home team and their captain Mohan Buch, it was a case of once beaten twice shy.
For NWR, Mohak Buch's 119 from 125 balls ensured that his side posted a formidable total of 220 for the loss of six wickets in their alloted 40 overs. Mohak (pictured right) was supported by Maulin (26 from 46 balls) at the start of the inning.
In their reply, despite Captain Vivek Narayan's opening knock (32 from 50 balls), a tired Atlantic Region collapsed under the weight of the NWR total for 133 as the grueling schedule of four back-to-back games following a cross-continental trip took its toll.
Mohak Buch not only won the Man of the Match for his knock, he also staked a strong claim for the Best Batsman of the tournament as his run tally reached 170.
Heading into the finals, North West Region handily defeated South East Region on Day 1 of the tournament. South East was dismissed for 71 suffering at the hands of Shankara Srikantan whose five wicket haul came from 6 overs and cost just 9 runs. In reply, North West reached their target without losing a wicket as both openers scored exactly 31 runs each. Shankara richly deserved his Man of the Match award.
North West's second game produced a shock defeat at the hands of Atlantic Region. Batting first, Atlantic scored 148 for 6 thanks mainly to Advait Manur (29) and Daoud Mohamed (20). Varun Narayan made a useful contribution of 17 runs. But it was Varun's excellent bowling and the resulting three wicket haul that broke NW's resilience despite Maulin Vajir's 57 runs. North West collapsed for 125 and Atlantic showed that it was not to be taken lightly.
In North West's third game against Central West, the visitors actually managed to get all the batsmen out but not before 178 runs had been scored. Karthik Lappathi took 4 for 15 in his 7 over spell. Aarvind Patnam made 48 and Shankara Srikantan scored 39, then followed up with a 3-wicket haul in a Man of the Match winning effort. CW was all out for 57 in their reply.
For Atlantic Region, their first game was against Central West. Batting first, Atlantic Region scored 177 all out in 37 overs before bowling CW out for 127. Varun Narayan scored 35, which earned him the Man of the Match. Raymond Ramrattan took two wickets.
After defeating North West in their second game (see above), Atlantic played South East Region on Day 3. Batting first, Atlantic scored 154 all out with Vivek Narayan getting 49. Advait Manur scored 26. In reply, South East were all out for 129 as Vivek Narayan bowled a useful spell taking 2 wickets for 13 runs from his 8 overs. For SER, Prit Patel scored 27 not out in a valiant effort.
In the two remaining matches featuring featuring CW and SE, Central West was edged out literally falling short by a hair's breadth in each match. In the first, needing 133 to win, CW ended their inning on 130 for 9. Batting first, SE put on 132 for 8 with Harman Soor scoring 35. Thej Bandi took 3 wickets for Central West in his 8 overs which included 4 maidens. For CW, Majjid Zubair scored 21 runs and Thej scored 27.
In their final match for 3rd place finish, once again CW came very close to achieving an elusive victory. Batting first SE were bowled out for a low 89. Karthik Lappathi once again excelled with the ball, taking a six wicket haul. When it was their turn to bat, CW collapsed to 49 for 8 at the 30-over mark. A brave fight ensued as Saad Humayun helped construct a 21 partnership for 9th wicket. But that partnership and his own contribution of 29 runs was in vain as CWR were dismissed for 84.
In the award ceremony that followed, Mohak Buch of NW was presented with the Best Batsman Award for his 170-run haul. There were three contenders for Tournament MVP awards including Mohak Buch but the organizers decided to present the award to Maulin Vajir (NW) and Vivek Narayan of AR. Karthik Lappathi was the Best Bowler and Srijith Sunil Kumar was the tournament's Best Fielder.
Pic (Right): Ram Varadarajan presents Man of the Match award to Shankara Srikantan
Ram Varadarajan's New Inning Foundation was the Grand Sponsor of the event. Other sponsors were California Cricket Academy, Lehigh Cements, Rotary of Cupertino, Fusion School, Shyam Patnam and Ravi Tax Services.
Source: NW Region score compilations; detailed scores were not available.