The inaugural edition of the Kerala Cricket League T20 competition ended with the newcomers Blitz NY being crowned champions. In a gripping final full of twists and turns, Blitz NY defeated Rising Tigers by 2 runs to win the championship.
The final was held on Saturday, October 20 at Cunningham Park, Queens at 1 PM. Earlier in the day, Blitz NY defeated Long Island Tuskers by 57 runs, and Rising Tigers defeated Millenium CC by 50 runs to enter the grand finale. Blitz NY won the crucial toss in the final, and decided to bat first. It was not an ideal start for Blitz, as they lost two early wickets. Lisan Choudhury, promoted to open the innings in the final proved the decision right by top-scoring with a well compiled 47. Kevin Ramdeen proved to be an ideal partner for Lisan, as the two all-rounders put up a 59 runs partnership for the 3rd wicket to steady the ship. Kevin ended up with a brisk 29 off 24 balls. The lower order of Blitz combined together to take the final score to 133 in 20 overs.Rising Tigers captain Sumesh Surendran was the pick of the bowlers, with figures of 2-23 in 4 overs.
Chasing 133, Rising Tigers lost their first two wickets for 27 runs. To add further salt to injury, their opener, Rinu Babu left the field due to an injury. The Rising Tigers kept losing regular wickets and couldn’t maintain the required rate as the spin duo of Kevin Ramdeen and Georgekutty Thomas tied the batsmen down. With the game on the line, Rising Tigers opener Rinu Babu decided to come back to the crease. The spectators who were at the ground could not have expected what was to come.
A hair-raising, heart-pumping finish was on offer with the Rising Tigers needed 12 off the last over. Blitz medium pacer Jopies Alex was given the task to defend the 11 runs needed for Blitz to secure the victory. After giving up just 1 run in the first 4 balls, Rinu Babu hit the penultimate ball for a six to bring the equation down to 5 needed off the last ball. With a boundary needed for the Rising Tigers, Jopies executed a full length ball, which was drilled down to long on by Rinu. They could only muster 2 runs as it was fielded cleanly by Lisan Choudhury.
In the see-saw contest, where momentum kept shifting, Blitz held the nerve to come out on top by mere 2 runs. Kevin Ramdeen and Georgekutty Thomas picked up 3 wickets each, while Lisan Choudhury churned out a match winning figures of 4-0-12-2.
Lisan Choudhury was awarded Man of the Match for his all-round efforts. Blitz NY bowler Georgekutty Thomas finished as the top wicket taker of the tournament with 10 wickets in 5 matches. Kevin Ramdeen was the highest run scorer with 159 runs in 4 matches. Kevin, who also picked up 8 wickets in the tournament, was chosen as the Most Valuable Player.