Clapton team clinch seventh title in Victoria Park league
- Credit: Archant
Clapton-based Sky CC preserved their place as the most decorated team in division four of the Victoria Park Community Cricket League as a win over Tawheed saw them crowned champions.
Sky rose above the likes of Crossrail, Stirling Ackroyd, London Fields and Homerton in the 28-team league to win the 16-over evening competition thanks to a dramatic finish.
It is the seventh title for Sky since the league began in 1991, and stalwart player Rizwan Siddiqui told the Gazette of his pride in winning a first championship crown since 2011.
“It has been a very competitive season with teams coming back stronger from the winter break,” Siddiqui said.
“Of course the popularity of short-form cricket, particularly T20 cricket, has meant an influx of youthful talent attracted to a fast-paced game.
“The Victoria Park League has benefited from this new enthusiasm for the national sport and, with no team remaining unbeaten, it was always going to be a challenge to come out on top.”
The final round of matches meant Sky had to beat Tawheed to be certain of the title.
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After winning the toss Sky restricted Tawheed to 139 all out in 14 overs, with the pick of the bowlers being Ashif Suteria, who returned figures of 3-28.
Sky’s chase wobbled with the early loss of Ravi Kishore, however Aleem Hussain (43) and Tariq Mehmood rebuilt to keep in touch with the required run rate of 11 an over.
With the fall of Aleem, Rizwan Siddiqui (35 not out) joined Tariq Mehmood (41no) and, with 39 required off three overs, the match was in the balance.
Tariq, however, unleashed a barrage of boundaries to reduce the equation to 12 off 12 balls, and they were duly knocked off by Rizwan, who hit three fours in succession in the penultimate over.