Delhi Kathmandu Royals Crowned 2022 Smart Investments CFC Champions! I

In a nail-biting last over climax that was
befitting of a superbly staged tournament,
the Canadian National Men’s captain
Navneet Dhaliwal led Delhi Kathmandu
Royals prevailed over the Jaffna-Galle
Centurions to capture the 2022 Smart
Investments Canadian Friendship Cup
Championship Title. The Royals won by two
wickets with four of the six available balls of
the very last over having been bowled in the
June 24 Championship Final that was played at
King City’s Maple Leaf Cricket Club.
Taking first strike, the JG Centurions posted an
aggressive opening stand of 38 in just 4.2 overs
between Canadian National Senior Men’s and
Junior players, Rayyan Pathan and Mihir Patel.
The loss of Pathan bowled by Salman Nazar for
18, brought Kamileen Shihan to the wicket.
Patel and Shihan added 41 in just 5.3 overs
before Centurions lost their second wicket
at 89 in the 1oth over. Patel, who had batted
aggressively in scoring 38 off 26 balls with 1 six
and five fours, was well caught by Jaskarandeep
Singh off Varun Sehdev’s bowling.
Centurions suffered a further loss just three
runs later when Canadian National pacer,
Rishiv Joshi, clean bowled Shihan for 32 in the
11th over with the score on 91. Shihan’s 32 was
made off of 22 balls and included 3 sixes and
2 fours.
Shihan’s departure signalled the crease
arrival of Canadian National all-rounder
Harsh Thaker who proceeded to play an
innings of controlled belligerence that was
simply breath-taking to behold. Thaker
struck 3 sixes and 5 fours in his whirlwind
innings of 51 which was constructed in
only 26 balls.
Thaker eventually fell in off the fourth ball
of the nineteenth over by then he had,
however added 105 in a fourth-wicket
partnership with Naresh Budhayer. The
somewhat less aggressive Budhayer’s 47
was made off of 34 balls, punctuated as it
was by 3 sixes and 2 fours.
Further wickets fell off the final two
balls of the twentieth over as the JG
Centurions’ innings closed on 198-6/20.
Bowling for Delhi Kathmandu Royals
Jaskarandeep Buttar (1/57-4), Salman
Nazar (1/2404), Rishiv Joshi (1/50-3.5)
and Varun Sehdev (1/24-2) were the
Chasing 199 to win off 20 overs at a
required run rate of 9.995 was always
going to be a challenging task for the DK
Royals. That task was made even more
onerous when the first wicket fell in the
second over with the score on just 9.
Shubham Sharma (9) who had opened
the batting with his captain, Navneet Dhaliwal who is
also the Canadian Men’s team skipper, was well caught
at the wicket by Srimantha Wijenratne, himself a
former National player.
Dhaliwal and Armaan Kapoor, however, added 76
for the second wicket to take the score to 85/2 after
9.5 overs. Kapoor’s departure via the run route was
subsequently followed by the further loss of four
additional wickets, the first of which was that of
Dhaliwall himself falling for a well made 55 off of just
34 balls.
When the sixth wicket fell off the first ball of the 17th
over with the score on 150, the DK Royals still required
a further 49 runs with just 23 balls remaining. Some
ultra-aggressive batting from Parthkumar Chaudhari
whose unbeaten 35 was made off of only 17 balls,
however, saw them home to the required victory target
of 199 in the very last over and with two balls to spare.
Chaudhari who also struck 3 sixes and 2 fours was
particularly severe on the Nikhil Gupta. The former
National Canadian “mystery spinner: was repeatedly
carted to and over the King City boundaries. His four
overs, including the all important 18th and 20th of the
innings, cost 37 runs.
At the conclusion of the Final the victorious Royals
were presented with the Championship trophy and the
prize money cheque for $20,000 by the tournament’s
Title Sponsor Smart Investments partnership Owner
Abhay Mathur.

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