First year entrants National Fighters Cricket Club, won the Garden State Cricket League (G.S.C.L) division two championship, when they defeated another first year entrant, and highly fancied Berbice Royals Cricket Club in a very close encounter on Sunday August 25, 2013 @ Warinanco Park in Elizabeth. On a picture perfect day for cricket, Berbice Royals who came into the finals as the overwhelming favourites, won the toss and decided to bat first. Royals got off to a rollicking start, when Dino Chow-Wee-Nam took 19 from the first over bowled by Sukunj Bhalodia, and it seemed then that the fighters were in for a long day. With the score on 58, Dino held out to the long boundary for 37, of the bowling of Sunny Thacker, and with only one run added to the total, Royals lost their captain Qayaam Farrouq in the same over, bowled by Sunny. Fifty eight without loss quickly became 67 for three, when Kalvin Somrah was LBW to Sunny for 1, and suddenly we had a game on our hands. An 86 run partnership between Camran Mirza and Raj Bhavsar steadied the Royals ship, and restored order to the batting. Mirza who started very circumspect, gradually grew in confidence and played some exquisite strokes on both sides of the wicket, and was the best batsman on the day. Mirza’s excellent knock came to an end when he was the seventh batsman out with the score on 212, trying to get to what would have been a well deserved century. He had made 85, and had looked the part of a batsman in fine nick. Shortly thereafter the Royals inning closed at 226 for 9 at the completion of Forty overs, with Mirza’s 85 and Sunny 4 for 21, being the highlight of the first half.
Needing 227 to win, National Fighters got off to an inauspicious start, and at 50 for 3 in the tenth over, seemed to be in a very precarious position. A spirited partnership of 42 between Sukun and Ronak seem to have steadied the ship for the Fighters, but when both batsmen got out within 20 runs of each other, and the score reading 118 for 5 in the twenty fifth over, the game seem to have turned again in favour of the Royals. It was at point that Vivek and Parimal came together to initiate the partnership that wrestled the initiative from the Royals. Both batsmen were very positive in their approach, and were not afraid to put away the bad balls. Vivek played the anchor role while Parimal was the more aggressive, scorning his half century in 30 balls, while Viveks’s half century came in 54 balls. With 3 runs needed for victory in the 40th and last over, Vivek’s crucial knock came to an end when he was bowled by captain Farrouq. The game became very tense with 3 needed from two balls and everyone was on the edge of their seats. When Ankit hit the penultimate ball of the final over through mid-on for the four, underdog fighters had won their first GSCL championship and were clearly ecstatic as the players stormed the field. Without taking anything away from the national Fighters, Royals had only themselves to blame, as the muffed 5 or 6 easy chances in the field, and as the old adage goes, catches win matches. Congratulations to the National Fighters on their well deserved victory. Highlights of the Fighters’ innings was Vivek’s 54, Parimal’s 50 not out and Ronak’s 32.