By Sumukha Prasanna
Being undefeated in a competition certainly adds pressure to a team headed to the finals, and against another unbeaten team in that final. Chicago United and Incredibles – both undefeated teams, reached the final of the 2017 Bolingbrook Premier League’s Pepsi Bash T20 (Day/Night) tournament; laying the groundwork for an exciting match-up.
The two teams demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm and arrived at the ground well ahead of the time for the toss. The coin used for the toss was an original one used for the Pakistan vs. India final of the ICC’s 2017 Champions Trophy. Live video broadcast, commentary, food, etc., added to the excitement of the grand finale of the BPL Pepsi Bash T20 final.
The toss spun in favor of Incredibles, and Chicago United, the defending champions were commissioned to field during daylight. The ‘Men in Red’ of Chicago United quickly took the field as speedster Ahmed Askari opened the bowling, picking up two quick wickets in his very first over, and Incredibles continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Former India Under-19 and ‘A’ player Niraj Patel (4-1-19-0) and Chicago United skipper Sami Khan (4-0-21-3), along with Ahmed Askari (4-0-24-4), continued to trouble the batsmen. Shayan Ali (37 runs) played a responsible knock in Incredibles posting 112 runs all out.
Going into bat under the night’s moon and floodlights, Chicago United batsmen found the target highly achievable until they lost their openers Yaseen Bahmaid and Sami Mohammed Khan in the first balls faced of their inning. Qasim Khan and Moin bowled ‘on-spot’ challenging the Chicago United batsmen by limiting them to 45/5 at the 8th over mark. Former USA wicket-keeper Ashar Mehdi along with Abhijit Joshi a former USA Under-19 captain and Ranji Trophy player – stabilized the Chicago United inning and achieved the victory target in 17 overs, with three wickets to spare.
Defending champs Chicago United won the BPL’s Pepsi Bash 2017 for the second consecutive year and is the team of current USA team captain Ibrahim Khaleel. It was an exciting but low scoring match that was dominated by the bowlers.
The match was followed by an awards ceremony, with a huge and heavy metal Champions trophy and runner-up trophy presented to the winner and runner-up teams respectively. The following individual awards were also presented:
Pepsi Bash MVP: Sami Khan (Chicago United)
Most Economical Bowler: Ahmed Askari (Chicago United)
Batsmen with most 6’s: Shaheer Hassan (Incredibles)
BPL’s MVP: Sami Khan (Chicago United)
The awards ceremony smoothly transitioned to a moonlight dinner hosted by the BPL to mark the end of a very well-organized cricket event.
Story courtesy of www.cucricket.com