Krishna saunter to title despite decider upset

Krishna CC players celebrate at the Marsa Sports Club.

Krishna CC players celebrate at the Marsa Sports Club.

Sunday’s final match of the Malta Cricket’s CricHQ Summer League, at the Marsa Sports Club Cricket Ground, saw Krishna CC face Marsa CC in what was a league decider.

Marsa not only needed to win the game but pick up more bonus points than their opponents to take the title.

The match started with Krishna winning the toss and electing to field first.

Marsa captain Tony Azzopardi (32) and Mark Sacco (20) made a brisk start, putting on 39 runs in the first six overs. Sher Khan (21 runs off 12 balls) and Liam Azzopardi (22 off 21) kept the momentum going during the middle overs.

Then, a cameo by Ronnie Sacco (13 off 11) saw Marsa finish their allotted 25 overs on 165 all out.

For Krishna, Nowell Khosla (two wickets for nine runs), Sid Anand (two for 30) and Kevin Krishna (two for 37) were the major wicket-takers.

Bikram Arora and Khosla also picked up crucial run-outs to see Krishna claim four bonus points for dismissing the Marsa team. They would be invaluable in deciding the outcome of the league.

To win the title, Marsa now needed to bowl Krishna out.

Krishna’s chase of 166 started with man-of-the-moment Sam Aquilina remaining unbeaten on 27 runs off his allotted 30 balls.

However, captain Khosla (21 off 17) and Arora (15 off 13) were both dismissed just as they started dominating the Marsa bowling attack.

Krishna reached 41 runs in their first seven overs but Ronnie Sacco and K. Kartik pulled back the run rate with a combined 10-over spell for only 29 runs.

It effectively ended Krishna’s chances of winning the game but meant they only needed to keep wickets in hand to win the league title. John Rusher’s one run (not out) was arguably among the most valuable in his career as he occupied the crease for his entire allotment of 30 balls.

Justin Farrin-Thorne and Sharon Lazar saw Krishna CC to the end, as they finished on 102 runs for three off their 25 overs.

Marsa collected 13 points for their victory but fell tantalisingly short of capturing the Summer League title.

It brought to an end a very successful CricHQ Summer League with final standings as follows: Krishna CC 67, Marsa CC 65, Melita CC 54, Marauders CC 25.

Leading performers were Bikram Arora (Krishna), Haroon Mughal (Marsa), Andrew Naudi (Melita) and Dean Arnold (Marauders).

Arora won the league’s Most Valuable Player and the Batting Award (175 runs), while the Bowling Award went to Sarfraz Ali (10 wickets).

This weekend sees the resumption of the touring team series with Tongham Cricket Club visiting from Surrey, UK.

They will face the Marsa Representative side on both Saturday and Sunday with matches starting at 10.30am.

Marsa CC, 165 all out, beat Krishna CC, 102 for three, by 63 runs.


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