The Monday All Rounder – Week 3

August 16, 2021


The third weekend of the Toyota Minor League Cricket Championship presented by SLING TV brought us a series of fantastic firsts with both bat and ball: the quality of cricket across 19 games saw magical moments as the competition heats up. That was also reflected in a series of fabulous finishes with enthralling T20 cricket across the country. Here’s a taste of what happened:

Fantastic Firsts

On the very first day of competition on week one back in July, Smit Patel hit an unbeaten 99 for the Manhattan Yorkers, just shy of a century. So close, but it turned out that we’d see more than 50 games pass by the time we actually saw a batter reach the three figure mark. And then it happened again within the hour! Cricket, how can you not love it?

The first to the milestone was Ryan Scott for the Michigan Cricket Stars. Scott dominated the Houston Hurricanes bowling, smashing no fewer than 13 sixes in his 118, the highest score of the competition so far. That helped Michigan to set 221 – a total the Hurricanes came nowhere near to, scoring only 167 runs.

That was partly thanks to another first, as West Indian U-19 international Matthew Forde bowled a devastating spell for the Cricket Stars. Forde first claimed the critical wicket of the dangerous Willem Ludick, who had scored 60 off only 33 balls, and then Saqlain Haider from the next ball. For his hat-trick, Forde got one to move away from Waleed Ahman, who could only edge it to be caught behind.

The heroics of Scott with batt and Forde with ball weren’t just for individual glory – the win for Michigan was Houston’s first defeat of the season, after winning four on the trot and looking as if they might run away with the Central Division. Instead, the Cricket Stars stay within eight points of the Hurricanes with a game in-hand.

Just a few minutes after Scott’s ton, former New Zealand international Corey Anderson wasn’t wasting any time registering the second century of the competition, blasting seven sixes in an innings of 108* off 57 balls. We’ve seen that before from Corey!

Fabulous Finishes

You play cricket for three hours, you’ve scored the same number of runs as your opponent, and then it all comes down to six balls each: the Super Over separates out a winner and a loser in agonizing fashion, and the tension tightens up with each delivery. That is, it seems, unless you are Jannisar Khan: then you just blast a six into orbit and walk off the field.

Khan’s six won the match for the Austin Athletics over the St Louis Americans, a critical win that sees them end the weekend just out in front of the Hurricanes in the Central Division.

On Sunday, we continued what’s becoming a tradition of thrilling finishes on the west coast to end the weekend. This time it came at Morgan Hill, as the Silicon Valley Strikers held on to defeat the East Bay Blazers, who had been odds-on favorites heading into the last two overs. The Strikers’ own USA Captain Saurabh Netravalkar tells the story:

What a wonderful weekend of cricket, bringing the thrills and spills of T20 cricket to audiences old and new – building the American cricket community one match at a time across the United States. Join us again for week four, won’t you?