Article - WEEK 5 MCA BEAT REPORT: Dominating individual and team performances to the fore
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WEEK 5 MCA BEAT REPORT: Dominating individual and team performances to the fore

Nishit Patel (npatel)

WEEK 5 MCA BEAT REPORT: Dominating individual and team performances to the fore

With impending rain threatening to ruin another weekend of games, the weather gods had some leniency this time around as all 6 games scheduled for the weekend were played out in Match Week 5. The early season table is already beginning to take shape - how many teams will continue their perfect starts to the season? Can those without any victories begin to notch some wins under their belts?

Markham Lynx vs Sunrisers

Sunrisers won the toss and put in Markham Lynx to bat, trusting their strong bowling attack to put the Lynx batsmen under pressure from the get go. They duly obliged, taking regular wickets throughout the Lynx innings and bowling them out with only 85 runs on the board. The wickets were distributed fairly evenly, with Habeeb Ali, Krishanth Kathirgamanathan, Michael Maric and Abhilash Kaushal taking 2 wickets apiece. Only 3 Lynx batsmen ended up scoring double figures, as extras (19) were the innings top scorer.

The short run chase did have a minor hiccup when the score went from 31/1 to 32/3, but sensible batting from the Sunrisers middle order ensured that the chase was completed comfortably within 23 overs. A good day at the office for the Sunrisers with a 6-wicket win. Their bowling once again starred, wrapping up the opposition innings within 100 runs for the third time this season. 

Canadian Tigers vs Lexus

The short MCA season so far has already had some really close matches, and this was another one for the books...both teams had a win each coming into the game (they each also had 2 games rained out early in the season), so this was a good opportunity to put up some points on the board to truly kickstart their respective seasons.

The Tigers elected to bat after winning the toss, and were in some early trouble at 29/4 entering the 14th over. A steadying hand by Preet Bhatt (57) ensured that the collapse was not too costly, as the Tigers ended up posting a competitive 132 all out in 34.1 overs. Lexus captain Tharmy Ratnam led the bowling effort with figures of 3/21 in his 7 overs.

The Lexus innings got off to a nightmare start with both openers departing by the 3rd over. Srirangan Sivasbramanium and Thusha Ganashananthan played themselves in with a 38-run partnership before Tigers captain Kris Surana dismissed Srirangan for 28. With wickets falling at regular intervals, it was up to Thusha to keep the runs flowing, and he inched Lexus closer to their target. However, his departure for a well-struck 34 at 110/7 meant that 23 runs were still required with 3 wickets to go. Yunus Motara did his bit with the ball for Tigers, taking 3 wickets.

The Tigers bowlers kept the pressure up, but the Lexus lower order batted with steady heads knowing that they had plenty of overs to chase down the target, eventually getting there comfortably with 28 balls to spare.

Golden Sports vs Markhamites

Both teams came into the game with 100% records, so something was bound to give. Markhamites won a good toss and put in Golden Sports to bat. Without top scorer Eric Prathap, things were always going to be difficult for Golden Sports, and it showed...a first innings total of 95 all out with only 3 batsmen getting to double figures. Vijeyakulan Vimalanathan was the star with the ball for Markhamites (and eventual Man of the Match), taking 4/11 in his 7 overs.

Handy contributions from the Markhamites top 4 ensured a stress-free chase within 22 overs, as they won by 7 wickets and moved into top spot on the league table.

GTA Superkings vs Toronto Blasters

The Toronto Blasters should have been prepared for a strong batting performance by the GTA Superkings who had scored 269/3 in their previous game, and perhaps felt that the score wouldn't be repeated in this shortened game (30-overs a side). Fresh off scoring a century from that game, captain Shrikant Patel once again led from the front and looked on course for another big score, before getting caught for a handy 58. Miten Patel top scored with a run-a-ball 70 as the Superkings finished their innings at 205/5.

The Toronto Blasters never really looked like settling in during their innings. Accurate bowling from the GTA Superkings (Tilak Patel and Pratik Patel with 3 wickets apiece) meant that the Blasters innings was wrapped up for 65 runs, completing another comprehensive victory (by 140 runs this time) for the Superkings. 

KCC vs Crimsonites 

This game had an eventful start by the Crimsonites, who claimed the toss and inserted themselves to bat. You don't expect to find yourself at 6/4 when you choose to bat first, a bizarre start that included 3 run much attributable to helter skelter running as KCC's excellent fielding. The Crimsonites never really recovered as they were bowled out for a season-low score of 50 all out. Zuhair Ansari was once again destroyer-in-chief with a 3-wicket haul. 

Despite an early wobble where KCC found themselves at 14/3, Obaid Ansari and Zuhair Ansari batted through the remainder of the short innings to complete a 6-wicket victory - where 40% of the runs in the chase came from extras. A comfortable afternoon for KCC and much to ponder for the Crimsonites, who lost their third straight game.

Panthers vs RCF

RCF won the toss and elected to bowl, hoping to chase their way to their first win of the season. Things wouldn't be easy against old rivals Panthers, who had just got their first win of the season in their previous match. The Panthers openers started off solidly with a 50-run partnership to begin the innings. However, RCF mounted a mini-comeback with a flurry of quick wickets, getting to 79/5 at the drinks break. An attacking innings by Shehan de Silva (63) and some decent lower order contributions meant that the Panthers completed their innings at a comfortable 207/9 in 35 overs, despite a 4-wicket burst from RCF's Ayaz Khan.

A 200-plus chase is always difficult, but a hungry RCF went about chasing the total in determined fashion. Adil Rana and Mubasher Khan started things off briskly and despite both departing shortly thereafter with the score at 64/2 in 10 overs, the required rate was still manageable under 6 runs an over. However, the constant pressure of the high score meant that RCF needed to continue taking risks without losing wickets, and the Panthers bowlers were up to the task to ensure that didn't happen. This time it was Shehan de Silva's turn to show what he could do with the ball, and he didn't disappoint with 4 wickets. RCF got close to ensure their NRR didn't take too large a hit, but could never really challenge the large total, ending on 177 all out.

Match Week 5 threw up some dominating individual and team performances: another strong Sunrisers bowling effort, good all-round bowling and batting by Markhamites, twin half-centuries in the GTA Superkings game, a virtuoso performance in the Panthers game, a wonderful KCC bowling/fielding effort, and a close but well-paced chase by Lexus. Looking forward to what Match Week 6 has in store for us...

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