Lagaan Lions
The victorious Lagaan Lions.

The Lagaan Lions won the 2020 Champions Cup T20 in Boston over the Labor Day Weekend. It was a fitting Final Day for the 2020 Champions Cup T20 during the Labor Day weekend near Boston, with beautiful cricket weather in the 80s. Eight teams from across the region were divided into pools A and B, through drawing of lots. Pool A included Waltham Tigers, Champions XI, Crowned Eagles, and Lagaan Tigers.

Pool B had Juggernauts, Bangladesh Sports Club, Khyber Zalmi, and Lagaan Lions. All local teams from the Boston area participated and competed in the $4,000 prize money tournament sponsored by Helping Hand USA, Customers Bank, and Venus Capital. The top two teams from each pool qualified for the semis after the League phase. Pool A1 was Waltham Tigers, and Pool A2 was Crowned Eagles. Pool B1 was Juggernauts, and Pool B2 was Lagaan Lions.

Semi-final 1 – Waltham Tigers scored 201/7 in 20 overs, and Lagaan Lions chased it down in 18 overs. Lagaan Lions beat Waltham Tigers by five wickets with Kevin Bhagat, scoring 110 of 56 balls (9x4s, 7x6s), the first century of the tournament for Waltham Tigers, and Ragha Kulaspur picked two wickets. Lagaan Lions replied with a swashbuckling 87 off 51 balls (6x4s, 7x6s) from Man-of-the-Match Zeshan Muhammad. Saroosh Nadeem supported him with 41 in 31 balls (6x4s), chasing 204/5 in 18 overs. Gaurang picked up two wickets for Waltham Tigers.

Sandeep Chiniwar and Muqudas Raza
Captain Sandeep Chiniwar and Muqudas Raza collects the winning trophy.

Semi-final 2 – Juggernauts beat Crowned Eagles by nine wickets Wkts. Sharaz Baksh top-scoring with 35 of 35 balls (4x4s) and Anil Yedugani, 34 of 33 balls (2x4s, 1×6) for Crowned Eagles. Juggernauts’ Fazal Alam replied with an all-round Man-of-the-Match performance of bowling and 85 off 36 balls (4x4s, 10x6s), with Paminder Singh scoring 29 off 19 balls (2x4s, 2x6s) opening the batting for Juggernauts.

Championship Final – Juggernauts versus Lagaan Lions was supposed to be a cracker of a final with big-hitting batsmen on both sides. The Juggernauts included many New England stars of the Minor League, like Fazal Alam, Pratik Dudhane (C), Raghunandan Sridhar, Ravi Singh, and Lakhram Sanichar, Parak Anantha, Abhilash Eppa, Keerthi Maddy, Adil Sardar, Veda Vyas, and Parminder Singh.

In comparison, the Lagaan Lions included Zeshan Muhammad, Raghavendra Kulaspur from Minor League, Waqas Nawaz, Muqudas Raza, and Saroosh Nadeem, Sandeep Chiniwar (C), Raghu Gadiraju, Abdul Samad, Varun Aiyanna, Nikhil Lavana, and Joe Buffong.

The Lagaan Lions captain Sandeep won the toss and chose to bat first with the team putting up 202 for 4 in 20 overs with contributions from Zeshan 44 (4x4s,4x6s), Saroosh 50 not out (4x4s), Waqas 48 (2x6s, 4x4s) Raza 29 (2x6s). Waqas and Saroosh had a 90-run partnership. Meanwhile, chasing that huge score of 202, Juggernauts ended up with 191 for 7 in 20 Overs. Fazal and Parminder started well, before Fazal got out quickly, followed by Pratik and Raghu, with Juggernauts in a bit of bother at 75/3.

Pratik Dudhane and Fazal Alam
Runners-Up trophy presented to Captain Pratik Dudhane (center) and Fazal Alam (left).

Soon Parminder and Abhilash were going great with a partnership of 77 and Parminder Singh top-scoring with 85 (7x4s, 4×6), Abhilash Eppa 53 (2x4s, 4x6s). However, they fell short of reaching the final score. Ragha Kulaspur got three crucial wickets and bowled the last over defending 18 runs. Saroosh, with an all-round performance of two wickets and 50 not out for the Lagaan Lions, earned him Man-of-the-Match for the Final Championship game.

Best Batsman: Zeshan Muhammad – 236 Runs (Lagaan Lions).
Best Bowler: Raghunandan Sridhar – 11 Wickets (Juggernauts).

Umpires were Tony Best and Jatin Karvir.

It was a great tournament, even during the current Covid-19 pandemic. The participating teams and players were thrilled with the overall event and the work of the organizing committee. All precautions like temperature checks, hand sanitation, use of masks, and social distancing were followed.