So this was it. The best teams from Delhi and Mumbai were pitted against each other in the final of Dainik Bhaskar Agency & Media Cricket League (AMCL), presented by afaqs! It was a breezy evening at the Mumbai Police Gymkhana on Sunday evening with the floodlights adding to the beauty of Mumbai's Marine Drive, adjoining the grounds.
MSM won the toss and they invited Advert to bat first. On the decision, when the team is known to exploit every opportunity and score big, captain Srinivas Mukkari said that they want the other team to put up a total so they can plan the innings accordingly.
However, the dimunitive Ravish Lohia of Advert had different ideas. The left armer, also the league's highest wicket taker , was in the zone, with his unerring accuracy and extra pace. Ably supported by his colleague Amit Powaar, Ravish had the MSM batsmen batting uncomfortably eatly on. MSM's star batsmen Vishal Pandey and Sunil Punjabi were carrying the expectations of a great win. But the tight bowling and fielding ensured that MSM struggled to build momentum that would carry them to the winning post. It seemed that they were struggling to get even one good shot in every over. Through the innings, shot placement looked like a problem as the ball went straight to fielders and hardly managed to cross the boundary. Add to that some excellent fielding, including by 'Star Fielder of the Series', Piyush Tiwari, who, when receiving the award later, ran his hand around his belly and said that the secret to his fitness and energy was 'his commitment to the team'. Ravish's pace made batsmen struggle and he showed good things come in two's, with wickets of successive balls twice during the innings. Unfortunately the opportunity for a second hat-trick came at the end of his last spell. However, he ended with a 5-wicket haul with numbers reading: 4-0-23-5. At the end of 7 overs the total was only 53 and 59 runs were needed in the last 18 deliveries. Eventually, MSM's innings folded up at 58. A shocking upset for a team fancied for its strong batting line up.
Thus, Advert Communications from Delhi were the winners of the second edition of AMCL. Wresting the trophy for Delhi region. Last year's winners were Group M from Mumbai. While accepting the DB Agency & Media Cricket League Winner's trophy and cheque, with the entire team on the podium, captain of the winning side, said that in the last tournament, (last year) their team did not qualify and he and his team were very eager to compensate for that by winning this year. As a special prize, he blew a kiss to his star performer Ravish and continued partying in high spirits as the evening drew to a memorable end.
Players from both the teams had a number of awards to take back home, thanks to the great support from the title sponsors, Dainik Bhaskar Group, and Associate sponsors MCCS (Star News), Open Magazine.
Partners Red FM, Bright Advertising, All Sports Magazines and event organiser Sports Consiult played their parts to perfection in ensuring a superb league.
Talking on the occasion, Mr Sreekant Khandekar, Director, BNPL, expressed his thanks to the sponsors, and the fact that the positive feedback from team captains had been a great motivator to continue to expand the league in the future.
A number of awards were given away to deserving players and teams, as follows:
Dainak Bhaskar Fair Play Team Award - MSM
Dainik Bhaskar Best Bowler - Ravish Lohia (Advert)
Dainik Bhaskar Best Batsman - Sunny Grover (Advert)
Star Bowler of the Series - Ravish Lohia
Star Fielder of the Series - Piyush Tiwari (Advert)
Star Wicket-Keeper of the Series - Manoj Kumar (MSM)
Dainik Bhaskar Most Boundaries in the series - Sunny Grover (Advert)
Star Hitter of the Series (most 6's) - Sunny Grover (Advert)
Star Team of the Series - Advert Communications
Star Captain of the Series - Lokesh (Advert)
DB Best Catch of the Series - Pratik Patel (MSM)
DB Best Wicket in the Series - Ravish Lohia (Advert)
Open Magazine Refreshing Player of the Match - Hrishabh Vashisht (Advert)
DB Ziddi Player of the Tournament - Ravish Lohia (Advert)
DB Agency & Media Cricket League Man of the Match - Ravish Lohia (Advert)
DB Agency & Media Cricket League Man of the Series - Ravish Lohia (Advert)
DB Agency & Media Cricket League Runner's Up - MSM
DB Agency & Media Cricket League Winners - Advert Communications
For score details, click here.
Dainik Bhaskar AMCL-2010 is being supported by associate sponsors including Open Media, STAR News and All Sports Magazine. Radio partner for the cricket tournament is Red FM and outdoor partner is Bright Outdoor Media. Online support to the AMCL-2010 has been extended by Cricketnirvana.com.