American Cricket Champions League
By Matt Becker | Photo Gallery
As the other divisions in the ACF Champions League have spent June and July steamrolling their way toward thrilling conclusions, the three teams in the New England division had yet to play a match. That all changed this past Saturday as the Commonwealth Cricket League (CCL) hosted the Southern Connecticut Cricket Association (SCtCA) at New York City’s Van Cortland Park.

CCL won the toss and elected to bat, but the pitch belonged to the bowlers as their two openers fell for ducks and Junel Ahmed for only 14. All three of the wickets were taken by Seldon James (two caught and one bowled).

Jame Eshan fought mightily to keep his team in the game with a brave and patient 33 off of 30 overs, but he too fell sooner rather than later. SCtCA’s Jason Ferguson then decimated CCL’s tail, taking the final three wickets and leaving the home squad all out for only 89 after just 27.4 overs.

And so while CCL surely was disappointed in their total, their bowlers were just as surely licking their chops at the prospect of bowling on such a friendly wicket. And their excitement was well founded, as the SCtCA openers were quickly dispensed back to the clubhouse by Commonwealth’s bowlers.

Jay Singh fell for only one, Richard Miller for only four and Wayne Clennon for only one – all three wickets taken by Mohammed Irfan – as Connecticut slumped to 9 for 3. SCtCA’s wicket keeper, Gareth Matthews, started off his innings with a massive six, but he too fell via LBW at 13. Other than Matthews, club captain Santosh Sivaramakrishnan was the only other Southern Connecticut batsmen to see double figures on Saturday, scoring 10, as CCL’s bowlers pulled their batsmen out of the fire, turned the match on its ends and took wicket after wicket – with four CCL bowlers taking at least one.

When the dust finally settled, SCtCA were all out for just 63 after only 26.3 overs – and CCL won their opening match by 26 runs.

Next up for CCL is a visit to the Massachusetts State Cricket League (MSCL) on July 19, while SCtCA host MSCL themselves on August 9.

It was an inauspicious start to the season for both clubs, but there’s still a lot of cricket left to be played.