By Dyon Ravello
ACA Dragons v. Pak America
On Saturday April 7th ACA Dragons thumped Pak America to eliminate the Paki squad. Pak America batting first upon winning the toss could only muster 77 in 15.4 overs. Bowling for Dragons medium fast bowler Hugo D’ Oliveira tore through the Pak America middle order scalping 4 wickets for 23 runs in overs. Playing supporting role were offspinner Hugh Craig picking up 3 for 11 in 4 overs, pacer Francis Mendonca with 2 for 15 off is alloted 4 and Keon Lake with 1 for 6 off 10 balls.

Hugo D’Oliveira struck 47 not out off 39 balls against Panthers. Photo by Shiek Mohamed

Opening batsman Yasir hit three boundaries to topscore with 21. Sabbir ended on 16 as the inning closed, with Waheed the only other batsman to get to double digits with and even 10. In return Dragons completed a flawless batting performance with both openers Avinash Ramnarine and US National Akeem Dodson unbeaten on 30 as Dragons completed the chase in just 8 overs.

Panthers v. ACA Dragons
ACA Dragons looking to continue after a convincing win on Saturday won the toss on Easter Sunday and elected to bat first. D’ Oliveira showed his newly found versatility as he strokes 47 not out off 39 balls, holding the Dragons innings together.  Sean Stanislaus played a cameo innings repairing the early damage with 27 of 24 balls after ACA Dragons had falted to 18 for 2 after 3.2 overs. Mendonca kept the score ticking; he made 18, as Dragons could only muster 126 of the allotted 20 overs. The late innings flourish never came with only 32 runs scored off the last five overs. Discipline bowling from Panthers restricted the Dragons total with Adnan leading the way with 2 for 22 off 4 overs and Salman striking the early blow picking 1 for 13 off 3 overs.

In reply Panthers made light work on the target set, with Saliq and Shahzad posting a fifty runs partnership. Saliq struck 25, as Shahzad motor on with Adil to take Panther within sight of victory. Adil was undone by the leg spin of Tony Jaggernauth holding out to Leslie Lake running in from long on. Dragons had few smiles on the day but when Shabaz was bowled by Stanislaus it show that the fat lady was yet to release her breathe. Off spinner Ravello return to snare Shahzad caught at short third man by Mark Farrier. The eleventh hour heroics looked set to continue with Cheema hitting Ravello down the ground to L. Lake on the long off boundaries with the youth player taking a superb catch only for his momentum to take him over the rope for the winning runs.

ACA Dragons blushes have indeed been spared after a pedestrian performance, they go into the Super 8 draw along with Panther in Group A. In group B King XI, Shaheen and Brooklyn Stars all won and loss a game each, with Shaheen and Brooklyn Star advancing to the draw. Travel Treat and Challengers both won the match versus Warriors to advance to the knockout phase. So too Punjab and Brooklyn Knights eliminated Pak Kashmir in Group D to move on. So the Super will be played on a knockout basis with Panthers, ACA Dragons, Shaheen, Brooklyn Star, Travel Treat, Challengers, Punjab and Brooklyn Knight in the draws. Matches continue on April 14th at Marine Park.

Around the Park this Week
In the PSAL John Adams post in excess of 200 led by a Ton from Ton Mars with Hami Singh stroking and unbeaten 55 as they steam rolled High School of Construction.  High School of Construction rebounded to edge High School of Teaching on Thursday at Foch.