The second season of the Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship (MiLC) presented by Sunoco will come to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday, Aug. 28, at scenic Church Street Park in Morrisville, NC. The Seattle Thunderbolts and the Atlanta Fire will meet in a one-game championship final under the lights at 5 p.m., set to be broadcast live on the MLC Network YouTube channel and Willow TV. A grand prize of $150,000, the largest in American cricket history, will go to the 2022 Toyota Minor League Cricket Champions.
The final match at Church Street Park, located only 15 miles from downtown Raleigh, is free to attend tomorrow. Fans will have the opportunity to meet and greet with the stars of Minor League Cricket, enjoy local food trucks, music and a family activity zone.
The Pacific Conference title was claimed on Saturday afternoon by the Seattle Thunderbolts, who knocked out the defending champions, the Silicon Valley Strikers, in a matinee matchup. Seattle’s six-run victory came after the Thunderbolts set a total of 155 for the Strikers to chase. Rishi Bhardwaj had a top score of 66 from 47 balls, earning Player of the Match honors. Fidel Edwards led in wickets for Silicon Valley, taking three, albeit at an expensive economy rate, conceding 52 runs from his four overs.
The Strikers’ run chase did not reach high gear, with marquee stars Unmukt Chand (24), Shehan Jayasuriya (12) and Lendl Simmons (39) unable to ignite as they had earlier in the season that had seen Silicon Valley lose only two matches of 17 played. The Strikers entered the final over with 11 runs needed to win, falling short by six after an economical over bowled by Shadley Van Schalkwyk. Phani Simhadri, the top wicket taker of the 2022 MiLC season, was again Seattle’s most effective bowler, claiming two wickets while only conceding 17 runs from his four overs.
Seattle’s upset victory will see them take on the Atlanta Fire, who won the Atlantic Championship on Saturday under the lights at Church Street Park with a dominant 96-run victory over last year’s finalists, the New Jersey Stallions. Atlanta’s batting firepower was once again on display, with captain Aaron Jones top scoring on 76 unbeaten from only 46 balls, helping his team to set a total of 210 runs and winning the Player of the Match award. A partnership of 102 between Jones and Jahmar Hamilton, who smashed 54 from only 29 balls, proved to be the decisive combination in the match.
New Jersey started their response quickly with opener Anthony Bramble hitting a fast 33, but wickets rapidly tumbled with the Stallions bowled out for only 114 from 17.1 overs, Sai Mukkamalla top scoring with 34 from 24 balls. The Fire’s standout bowler was Evroy Dyer, who claimed four wickets in a 3.1 over spell that also only yielded 13 runs.
The victories by Atlanta and Seattle sets up a marquee clash for Sunday evening, with the championship final set to begin at 5 p.m. ET. The match and broadcast schedule at Church Street Park is as follows:
- Seattle Thunderbolts vs. Atlanta Fire
- Sunday, Aug. 28, 5 p.m. ET
- Live broadcast on Willow TV and the MLC Network YouTube Channel
Entry is free to Church Street Park and fans are encouraged to RSVP at www.minorleaguecricket.com/finals to receive important information to plan ahead for their visit.