The NJ Daredevils run machine scored the first points of the Radiant Info USA Twenty20 cricket tournament as they registered an emphatic win over the Gentlemen of Philadelphia team. The Daredevils, a talented young team, won the toss and elected to bat on Watsessing field # 1 in their opening encounter against the Gentlemen of Philadelphia.
Captain Sid Mehta and ex-Ranji player Aditya Mishra opened the batting for the Daredevils as the Gentlemen of Philadelphia opened their attack with Kalim Ahmed and Calbum Plummer.
The Gentlemen’s opening attack was tight in the first few overs and they managed to keep the explosive pair in line, giving away just 13 runs in the first 3 overs.
Aditya Mishra was definitely the more adventurous of the two and he was soon out caught in the deep by Omar Watson off Kalim Ahmed, as he attempted to up the ante. The fall of Mishra’s wicket brought Kiran Patel to the crease and the two batsment quickly got down to business - eschewing any big hits while keeping the scoreboard ticking at 7 runs an over. Sid Mehta finally fell on 69 after having scored 32 runs (2 fours) of 34 balls.
Nasir Islam came in next and soon made his intentions clear with a first-ball four. What followed can only be termed pure mayhem as the Nasir Islam went berserk - taking the Gentlemen attack to the cleaners including a 18-run feast off Gentlemen spinner Praveen Vijay’s over. The Gentlemen fielders wilted under this onslaught - missing catches and gifting Daredevils with overthrows. Jason Nelson & Chris Vassel provided good support for Nasir as the Daredevils finished up on an imposing 143 for 5 wickets, inclusive of 6 extras. For the Gentlemen, Omar Watson was the pick of the bowlers with 2 wickets for 18 runs.
The Gentlemen’s hopes in staging a fight lay in the hands of their opening batsmen - Quason Alfred and Hasan Khirbaq. The Daredevils opening bowler Saudhan Baxi ensured that no such possibility would occur by scalping both the openers for 3 and a duck. Jay Basharmal struck the first boundary for the Gentlemen but he soon fell to Baxi’s partner - Joewayne Powell for 11. Powell also accounted for Gavish Sharma to leave the Gentlemen teetering at 25 for 4.
Praveen Vijay brought some stability with a patient knock but he was running out of partners as the procession of Gentlemen batsmen continued at a fast pace. Omar Watson was the last hope for the Gentlemen and when he fell to Saurabh Verma, the match was all but over. Sid Mehta and Nasir Islam accounted for the last 2 wickets, as the Gentlemen folded for 72 in 18.1 overs - handing the Daredevils 4 points in their opening match.
Nasir Islam was awarded the man of the match for his batting heroics and the captain Sid Mehta hopes to keep up the momentum in their upcoming league encounter against the New England Pioneers.