Philadelphia Terminators terminate NY Knights. Reach finals of the NuWare NJT20 Championship.
Oct 14, 2008
The Terminators, runners-up in Group-B, took on the young and unbeaten New York Knights club in the second semi-final. The game was played on the Weston-2 ground and considering the long evening shadows in this park and its effect on the team batting second, the toss was going to be a crucial element. The Terminators won the toss and promptly chose to bat.
The NY Knights opened the bowling with the steady Kirk Higgins and Karan Ganesh. Ali Rizwan and Himanshu Patel opened the batting for the Terminators. The NY Knights' bowling attack has been consistent throughout the tournament and established for its accuracy and stinginess. Unfortunately, the Knights bowlers choose a wrong event to have an off-day and it showed in the bowling. Long hops and over-pitched balls were galore as the Terminators openers made merry with the offerings. Karan made the first breakthrough in the 4th over-accounting for Himanshu Patel - gone for 9 off 7 balls.
Ali Rizwan was the next to go - caught by the keeper Evans off Ganesh. Amir Siddique joined Dawood and the pair put on 15 runs before Higgins bowled Dawood off the last over of his spell - finishing up with the figures of 4-0-28-1 - great by 20-20 standards but an aberration by the high standards established by the Knights bowlers so far. Junaid Rashid joined Amir Siddique and the two put on 40 runs for the fourth wicket - milking the Knights bowlers - Dwayne Smith and Keon Lake. Though Twain Walter kept things quiet on his end, the Terminators batsmen fully capitalized on the off-color bowling performance to run up the score to 83 off 11 overs.
Twain finally broke the partnership - accounting for Junaid Rashid. Amir Siddique, meanwhile, was going great guns putting on 26 more runs along with Zaheer Abbasi. Desperately seeking a breakthrough with the Terminators on 109, Knights captain introduced his ace Fahad Mughal in the 14th over and though he went for 7 in the first over, Fahad came back to scalp three crucial wickets, including Amir Siddique (45 off 22 balls - 5 fours and 2 sixes) and USA International, Imran Awan (out for a golden duck) in the 16th over. However, the new Terminators batsmen - Badar Chouhdry and Chaminda Gunaratne ensured that there would be no let up in the run-rate scoring ones and twos at will.
The Terminators eventually finished up with the 150. None of the Knights bowlers stood out in this match and the best figures belonged to Fahad who scalped three wickets for 28 runs - a bad outing by his high standards.
The Knights chase began in earnest with the openers David Evans and Karan Ganesh playing classy strokes to keep the scoreboard ticking. The pair put on 59 runs in 6 overs - tearing into the Terminators bowlers. USA International pace bowler, Imran Awan was taken apart for 29 runs in his first two overs. However, the Terminators kept their cool and introduced the spin attack of Zaheer Abbasi. Zaheer with his fast off-spinners was impossible to get away and the frustration got to the Knights batsmen. Karan was the first to go caught by Dawood off Abbasi for a well-compiled 16 off 9 balls. Romeno Dean was the next to arrive and he survived a difficult catch chance that was dropped by Imran - who clearly was not having a good day on the field. The introduction of Junaid Rashid tightened things up for the Terminators and soon the runs dried up for the Knights who had never chased such a big total in the tournament before. From 61 for no loss, the Knights soon slipped to 88 for 4 with the classy David Evans falling for 37 off 27 balls (5 fours). Badar tightened the screws on the other end, accounting for Nicholas Stanford and Romero Dean.
The Knights hopes lay in the hands of Kalimotoo and as long as he was around the Knights still had a chance. Unfortunately, there was no one providing Kalimotoo the support that he needed and the spate of wickets on the other end forced Kalimotoo to play a rash shot and miss the ball - he was eventually out for 31 (off 19 balls - inclusive of two 4s). The Knights chase was steadily loosing steam and the pendulum completely swung the Terminators way when Imran came back to scalp two wickets - that of Fahad Mughal and Twain Walter in his second spell. Ameeq Khan castled Keon Lake for 2 and that signalled the end of the Knights run in the tournament. The Terminators were deserved winners of the game and the man of the match was awarded to Amir Siddique for his match-high 45 runs.
The Knights, unfortunately, chose a bad day to have an off-color performance and the result is not indicative of the talent and potential in this team.
Hopefully, they will learn from this experience and come back stronger next year. The Terminators meanwhile completed an emphatic victory and will now take on the Global Challengers in the grand tournament finale.