NECA2017 Cricket Tournaments kick off - exhibited tremendous interest, competition and great fun among players. This year - due to its increasing popularity - NECA allowed 32 teams to register.
Credit and Kudos goes mainly to the NECA board [Ganesh Iyer, Raghuvir Leelasagar, Ram Sundaram, Bala Sadagopan and Ujwal Rawal] and others for helping in organizing and implementing such a monumental task seamlessly. Through their and other NECA participants the NECA tournaments have reached a higher plateau in organizational and professional skills. This year three divisions were created: Div A comprising of the best 12 teams of last years competition, Div. B for the remaining 10 teams and Div. C for the 10 new teams. The user Friendly NECA2020 website has it all, from Team Schedules, scoreboards, and statistics- such as: For week 1 - Highest Score was 70 by Rohit Kaul, Most wickets (4) were taken by Vikas Dua, Best Bowling 4/12 Shiva Ranjan and most catches(4) by Ashish Subramanian.
Some teams due to growing pains decided to amicably split in 2 teams, as did ShaheenXI. Here are the highlights of their first kick off games.
Both Shaheen XI cricket teams 1 and 2 played the first match each in the week 1 of the NECA2017 tournaments. In Division B ShaheenXI-1 played against Boston Rising Stars. In Division C ShaheenXI-2 played against the "Village Hawks"
Not a single batsmen from the Boston Rising Stars managed to score into the 2 digits, in fact the highest score of 9 were contributed to Stars from Shaheen in form of "Extras". ShaheenXI's new comers Ajay Mallya, Muhammad Rizwan and Baber Rao took the most wickets - 3 for 5 runs only, 2 for 10 and 2 for 7 run, respectively. Fine bowling and fielding dismissed Stars for just 45 runs. Seemingly a low score and ought to be matched by the openers, you would think - not so fast, surprisingly ShaheenXI had to give up 5 of its wickets to get 46 runs. The only batsman to cross the 2 digits was Mukarram for a dozen runs. According to the captain Shujaat "It was really a slow pitch" - Yeh- blame it on the pitch.
Playing its first tournament game, ShaheenXI-2 also left its marks. Sajjad Shah took an Hat-Trick dismissing Hawks seeded players(Saiman, Rajesh and captain Sravan) thus ranked 3rd in bowling according to the Statistics collected by NECA2017 for all the 32 teams playing this year. Ahmed taking 2 wickets was also counted among the first 10 top bowlers in Div. C. Hawks were not too far behind, Pradeep Ajjampudi ranked 4th and Seavan Daruvuri ranked 9th in the Bowling stats.
Opener Mujeeb Khan maintained his crease until he lofted the last ball of the 20th over, scored the highest runs 24 to rank 7th out of the 123 players in Division C, [For what its worth I ranked 63rd]. Qasim showed some affiliation with the number 5. He played well got his 5th run with a boundary until caught out, and in return he caught 2 catches and ranked 5th in fielding Stats. New comer Maqsood Mughal and Sajjad Hussain were chipping away at the ball quite economically, until both were run out, the former due to a muscle cramp that slowed him down considerably and the latter due to mere confusion. New comer Tahir Mirza appeared was set and quite content with his 4 runs. However, the first six of the tournament came from ShaheenXI-2's captain Zakir Ali.
ShaheenXI-2 really fought hard but couldn't stop Hawks in reaching the target of 79. Most of Hawks runs came from Saiman(16), Rajesh(13) and Jagdeed who hit a six and remained unbeaten for 18 runs to his credit. An 'Extra' gift of 15 runs from ShaheenXI-2 also helped.
Nevertheless, both Shaheen left a remarkable mark on the scoreboard and NECA Stats. Whereas ShaheenXI-1 ranked number four in standing in its Division B, ShaheenX1-2 ranked 7th in its Division C - Yep total runs counts.
In a nutshell - the village Hawk pounced on the city-slick Shaheen, and the elder Shaheen rose higher than the Stars.