GB Strikers defeat Daman to clinch second successive league title
GB Strikers secured their second successive North East London Cricket League title on Saturday thanks to a comfortable five-wicket win over newcomers Daman.
In a game switched from Springfield Park to an artificial surface at the North Marsh, the Strikers won the toss and applied early pressure after putting their opponents in.
However, big hitting from Faizal Daman (108) and Afzal Bhai (38 not out) helped Daman post a respectable 298-9 from their 40 overs, with Yusuf Malji taking 3-38.
The defending champions responded well, with Sufyan Data and Farooq Jabber laying the foundations for Abdulhai Lasania (58) and Majid Patel (108) to build an excellent partnership and reach 144-2 after 17 overs.
Rizwan Mulla followed up with a punishing knock of 81 to seal victory and another title with nine overs to spare.
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The opportunity to seal the championship before the end of August came about thanks to London Fields’ defeat at the hands of Coach and Horses, who lost the toss and were invited to field.
Opening bowlers Sakil Mahmud and Chris Norris made early inroads and the rest of the attack maintained a testing line and length, backed up by a fielding unit that displayed strong intensity.
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Stand-in captain Edgar Maddicott was the pick of the bowlers, with 3-20 from his seven overs, while James Moore took a stunning diving catch at second slip as Fields succumbed to 162 all out.
Coach appeared to be in a rush, with a flurry of early boundaries and, despite the impressive bowling of Phil Clark (2-31 from eight overs), it was not enough to slow their progress.
Moore hit 31 in support of Tom Dollard, who displayed impeccable timing to find the boundary on countless occasions, batting through the innings and hitting the winning runs to finish 92 not out.
Tower Hamlets’ 3rd XI won the toss, electing to bat against Bloomsbury Royals at Springfield Park, and their opening pair of Akshan Ali (58) and Yogesh Agrawal (58) set the scoreboard alight with some electrifying strokeplay.
Poor fielding from the Royals ensured that extras was the third top scorer and Tower Hamlets ended their 40 overs on 226-6.
In reply, Bloomsbury started strongly with Hassan Ali scoring a quick 51, but Akshan Ali and Ma Kashem ripped through the middle order and the visitors were only able to last 32 overs, totalling 190 all out.
That result, coupled with Baring Up’s withdrawal from the league, means Bloomsbury Royals remain bottom while Tower Hamlets have cemented their mid-table position.
There are no fixtures this weekend, but London Fields will be aiming to seal second place when the league concludes in September.