June 26, 2018

State Champions Are Crowned In Maryland Youth Cricket

After a rainy Saturday delayed this year's championship matches by a day, Sunday dawned sunny and bright at Spencerville Park in Burtonsville for the 6th annual Maryland Youth Cricket Championships.


The first match of the day was the 13U final between Ellicott City (4-0) and Germantown-Rockville (2-3).


Winning the toss, Ellicott City elected to bat, and slowly built up a foundation for a solid innings with Reyansh Attavar and Aditya Patel reaching 16/0 after five overs. However, the innings started to come unraveled as Reyansh was caught out and his replacement, Rish Kajale was run out an over later, and EC found itself at 18/2 after seven overs. Ellicott City steadied at this point, getting to 31/2 three overs later, before then scoring just three runs while losing the same number of wickets over the next four overs. The roller coaster ride surged back up at this stage, though, as Akshar Ravichandran and Ansh Parikh added 14 runs before Ansh was bowled by Ryan Bennett, breaking the partnership and the innings. EC padded its run total with extras in the final three overs, finishing on 66/7.


With a target of just 67 to win, GKRR found the Ellicott City bowling to be as tough as advertised, slumping to 19/3 after eight overs. Eventually a partnership developed between Raghav Haridas and Varadraj Chavan, who took to the total to 48/3 before Raghav was bowled in the 14th over. From here Varadraj and Adithya Bharadwaj saw GKRR home, surpassing the target on the last ball of the 16th over, as Aditya smashed a four to long on to clinch the championship and the first ever SuperOverSports Shield.


GKRR's Adithya top-scored with 14 off seven balls, while his steady batting partner Varadraj ground out 11 off 38 in a Geoffrey Boycott-like performance. For EC, Ansh led the way with 11 off 17, while Akshar tallied nine of 22 deliveries. Akshar was also the pick of the bowlers, taking two wickets for only seven runs in two overs, while Raghav led the way for GKRR with 2-12 in four overs.


The first of two 11U semi-final matches, in which the winner of each game would be crowned co-champions, also featured Ellicott City (4-0), facing off against Washington Cricket Academy (5-2).


WCA won the toss and decided to bowl, which turned out to be a good decision, as they bowled out EC in 14 overs for just 26. Superstar hurler Aaryan Boddupally, who earlier this season notched a hat-trick, repeated the feat in this match, taking six wickets for a paltry five runs in four overs to earn Player of the Match honors. Bowling partner Atharva Kaushal added two wickets of his own in just two overs. For Ellicott City, the only real resistance came from Suryavel Santhalingam, who saw off 34 balls for 11 runs not-out.


After a wobbly start at 3/2, WCA's Atharva Kaushal (14 runs from 19 balls) and Amit Damaraju (13 from 16) took control to see the match home in just seven overs, claiming their share of the Herman's Discount Trophy.


In the featured match of the day, Lutherville-Timonium-Cockeysville (5-0) faced Future Stars School of Cricket (4-1) for the Frank Islam Cup. FSSC was looking to repeat as state champions, while the LTC Cobras were looking for their third state title in this division.


After winning the toss, FSSC elected to bat first. Raja Herman and Jaspreet Singh opened the bowling for the Cobras, sharing the first four overs that saw FSSC build to a 21/0 start. In the sixth over Manav Bhatt (13 off 23 balls) became the first wicket to fall, caught out by Prabhnoor Singh off Harsha Devaraconda. Govind Mohandas (46 runs off 48, six 4's, one six) was then joined by Aditya Addepalli, and the pair added 32 runs before Harsha also had Aditya caught out, this time by Aman Singh.


Coming to the crease then was FSSC's big hitter, Ritwik Behera, but the next several overs saw Ritwik off to a slow start while Govind batted on. This all changed in the 15th over when Govind was bowled by Kiran Herman with FSSC on 82/3, after which Ritwik caught fire. In the next three overs, Ritwik went from seven to 45 runs scored, blasting five sixes along the way, and bringing FSSC's total to 127/4 after 18 overs. Two overs later, FSSC had finished on 154/4, with Player of the Match Ritwik not-out on 63 off 34, with three 4's and six 6's.


Hallaj Rana and Jaspreet Singh opened the batting for the Cobras against FSSC's Sidharth Vasireddy and Ritwik. Hallaj immediately looked as if he was going to take the game away from FSSC by himself, blasting eight 6's on his way to 57 off just 18 balls. With LTC on 64/0 in the 7th over, however, Hallaj was caught by Ritwik off the bowling of Mihir Ganguli, and, as often happens, everything ground to a halt for the Cobras. By the end of the 11th over, LTC stood at 76/4, having only added 12 runs for the loss of four wickets.


Just when things seemed desperate for the Cobras, the partnership of Raja and Harsha began to take matters firmly in hand, rapidly pushing the total to 124/4 in the 15th over. But then disaster struck again as Harsha (28 off 19) was run out by Sidharth Vasireddy, and then, just three balls later, Raja was caught out by Linal and the LTC innings had been gutted. Adding only 14 more runs to finish the match, the Cobras ended on 140/6 and FSSC had won by 14 runs, taking home the Frank Islam Cup for the second year in a row.


For the bowlers, Mihir and Linal each took two wickets in the match for FSSC, while Harsha led all with three.


In the second 11U semi-final of the day, Future Stars School of Cricket (6-0) took on defending 11U champions Bowie (4-0).


Winning the toss and electing to bat first, FSSC, powered by Ricky Aravind (20 runs off 33 balls, three 4's) and Tanush Apte (15 off 20, one 4, one 6) scored 60 runs in their 16 overs, with Goutham Muvva (6) and Alvin Kanappilyy (5) also contributing with the bat. Player of the Match Grant Christiansen starred with the ball for Bowie, taking four wickets in four overs and only allowing three runs.


Bowie's batting was more balanced, with Grant leading the way with 18 off 15 balls, including a four and a six. Urenna Acholonu and Stephie Janey both scored nine, and Xavier Williams and Taha Osman both chipped in five each. Tanush and Alvin each took a wicket for FSSC.


After a bit of a slow start, Bowie began to score more consistently, eventually passing FSSC's total in the 14th over to notch a five-wicket victory and to claim a share of the Herman's Discount Trophy. This will be the fourth straight year that a Bowie 11U team has won the state championship.


The day's final match was historic. In the first-ever Girls Division final, Ellicott City (3-0) took on Bowie (2-1) for the right to claim the Rebekah's American Cricketers Cup. In only its first year, the Ellicott City cricket program was participating in its third championship match of the day!


Ellicott City won the toss and elected to bat first. EC finished its innings at 59/6, being led by Anushka Ganoo, who scored 16 off of 16 balls, including two 4's. Player of the Match Jenna Knight took three wickets in four overs for Bowie, while Stephie Janey and Leah Lykes each collected two. Bowie's innings saw Joanna Chen score 11 runs off six balls, including one six and a four, while Jenna scored 14 off 12. Masha Khalimovskiy took two wickets for EC and Anika Kumar added another, but it was not enough as Jenna smashed a six to eclipse the target and hand the state championship to the Bowie girls.


Thank you to all players and coaches on another great season, and congratulations to our new state champions!

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