By Ragunathan Saminathan
Summary: Chicago United 241 for 4 in 30 overs (Hassan Bemat 108*, Yaseen Bahmaid 76) beat Cardinals United 123 All out in 27.3 overs (Ankit Kumar, 23, Deepak Velayudhan, 22, Umair Ghani 6-0-26-4.
In an epic playoff of the 2019 Bolingbrook Premier League (BPL) Champions League, Chicago United (CU) missed the qualifiers due to scheduling issues. However, in a well-contested eliminator CU defeated Deccan Mavericks to face Cardinals United in the final the very next day.
The months long awaited final was welcomed by a gloomy 33 degrees cold and windy day. Cardinals won the toss and choose to field. CU openers launched the inning well. Yaseen Bahmaid contributed with one of the best knocks with 76 runs in 70 balls, including 5 maximums. However, CU lost two quick wickets (Anirudh Jonnavitula, 14, Shayan Ali, 6). Hassan Bemat walked in to join the well-settled and dreadful Yaseen Bahmaid. Both batted brilliantly and posted an 85 run fourth-wicket partnership. Hassan Bemat built an exemplary inning to score 108* (9x6s and 4x4s) at a whooping strike rate of 200.0. The last fifteen balls he faced were very well-timed and ballistic. Most of the maximums he scored were fifteen yards or more beyond the boundary. It was a treat to watch him reach his century with a huge six.
Skipper Sami Khan scored a quick fire 20 runs in 11 balls (1×4, 1×6). The crescendo of CU’s innings was seventy five runs off the last five overs. CU posted a mammoth total of 241 for 4 in 30 overs.
Going into chasing, Cardinals United started their chase positively, losing their openers cheaply at 20 for 2 in the first eight overs. Only Ankit Kumar, 23 and Deepak Velayudhan, 22 made an impact to the Cardinals’ chase. The CU bowlers struck back picking up wickets at regular intervals. The Cardinals in the 15th over were 66 for 5. Umair Ghani was the most impactful with the ball as he spun it to pick up four wickets supported by Najam Iqbal, 6-1-20-2. Cardinals United collapsed at 123 all out in 27.3 overs. Thus, Chicago United won the Champions League Pepsi Cup final by 118 runs.
Man-of-the-Match: Hasan Bemat (Chicago United)
Best Batsman: Yaseen Bahmaid (Chicago United)
Best Bowler: Sami M. Khan (Chicago United)
MVP: Sami M. Khan (Chicago United)