The 2010 GSCL regular season competition drew to a close this past week-end setting up the play-off picture with a pair of intriguing matchups that include the defending title holders and a surprising contender vying for the League championship. Topping the charts heading into semifinals are the season’s points leader, undefeated and star studded, Vibes Sports Club, and last year’s point leader, UBACCC. Joining them are the always present Tropical Sports Club –defending champs, and upstart Nashville Vols. Conspicuously missing is last year’s semi-finalist, McNair Lions – failing to make any impact this season, and with some poor performances and forfeitures suffered through with a mediocre record.
Twenty plus years of cricket history in Georgia have established an accepted norm – the road to the League title goes through Tropical. Two years ago Vibes navigated that path with a beautifully carved century by former West Indies player, Junior Murray, but last year, in a rematch, they fell off the precipice in the semifinal as they were skidded out by paceman Ryan Wong’s 4 for 19. Earlier this year in two encounters – the 45 overs competition title game and the regular season 40 overs, Vibes, with a fully reinforced team, cruised through comfortably. In both instances Tropical’s batsmen faltered under the impressive bowling and fielding of the Vibes attack, and were dismissed for subpar scores. Vibes finished the regular season at 11-0-1; Tropical 10-1-1.
UBACCC, last year’s points lead, cranked up a torrid 6-0 start with opening batsman Leon Garrick, another former West Indies test player, in fine form. However, when he left the team the wheels came off, and they were soon humbled. Three quick losses, all to the other playoff teams, and soon UBA was struggling for a playoff spot, and with a 3 and 3 finish, edged out the Nashville Vols for the zone title with a better NRR. The surprising Vols, having lost several of last years players to the new entrant NCC, rode strong performances from A. Paul and S. Brindavanam to get into contention, and only lost the zone top spot on the final day.
The playoff pairings on October 3rd will find Vibes hosting Nashville Vols at Lithonia Park, while Tropical and UBACCC will square off at Burdett Park. The Final is set for October 10.
Vibes, McNair, Tropical, and UBA to vie for T20 Crown
No surprises here on who made the final four in this years T20 playoffs. Vibes romped to the top spot with a 3-0 record that includes a thrilling last over victory over Tropical. Defending champions, McNair Lions, also cruised to 3-0 with three easy victories to cement their spot in the fray. Tropical and UBA finished at 2-1, and edged out ICC (2-1) on head-to-head finish and NRR for the other two spots. The preliminary thee-game round was highlighted by two stunning centuries, one by ICCs T. Faizy (102), and the other by CSCs D.Swanson (106). A team score of over 200 runs off 15 overs was inked by CHSC in a boomboom display of boundaries over Wanderers; ICC and UBA also topped the 200 mark in one of their games. Bowling honors went to Dyer of Vibes with 4 for 15, and 3 for 5 in the double header games.
The pairing for the morning games on Sunday, September 26th will be Vibes vs. UBA, and Tropical vs. McNair in the semi-finals, with both winners battling for the title in the afternoon.