By Dinesh Budhu
The Garden State Cricket League 20-Overs 2023 Competition has come to an end with the Final being held at Watsessing Park in Bloomfield, NJ on October 15th.
With all the rainy weekends, everyone was hoping the cricket gods would allow one more game to finish the cricket summer. The weather permitted, and the match-up was set between New Jersey Cricket Club (NJCC) and Jersey Rising Stars, NJCC looking to complete the double after winning the 40-Over Competition.
This is the first competition Jersey Rising Stars have competed in and was well-deserved to be in the final. Both teams know each other very well as they share many common friends and spectators. The game was set to be a great contest.
Jersey Rising Stars won the toss and elected to field first on a damp wicket. Anthony Jaggernath struck early, sending back both openers cheaply. Wickets were falling quickly as NJCC was pinned back at 24-4 in the first 5 overs.
Jersey Rising Stars’ spectators were on their feet, cheering and overjoyed as the game was theirs for the taking. Guyana National Player, Demetri Cameron, had something to say about that. He showed his experience and power as he steadied the ship to finish with 44 not out. NJCC completed their innings, finishing on 132-8 off 20 overs.
Anthony Jaggernath was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-0-11-4.
Jersey Rising Stars sent out their dependable opening pair of James Budhu and Jonathan Douglin with an asking rate of 6.6 per over. Jonathan Douglin got off to a strong start, but the experience of NJCC Captain Anthony Budhu pulled out a trick from his bag and dismissed him for 24 with a well-judged catch from Narish Budhu at deep square.
The experienced Marvin “Strappa” Darlington, known for finishing games, walked to the crease, taking 15 runs off the first 2 overs he faced. But a beautiful comeback by Demetri Cameron got his man for 20 runs. At this point, Jersey Rising Stars were 94-3 after 12 overs, needing 39 runs off 8 overs with 7 wickets in hand and an asking rate of 4.8 an over.
The lack of experience in Jersey Rising Stars’ middle order was exploited by Brandon Mangal, who spun webs around them, taking two crucial wickets in consecutive deliveries, turning the game on its head. Jersey Rising Stars could not recover from this and completed their innings at 117-9 off 20 overs. Jersey Rising Stars’ wickets fell at 32, 56, 94, 101, 103, 104, 104, 105, and 112.
Brandon Mangal had great figures of 4-0-19-3, Jignesh Parikh 4-0-13-2, and Anthony Budhu 4-0-39-2.
NJCC finishes the cricket summer with their best season to date, capturing both the 40-Overs and 20-Overs Championships with a perfect overall record of 16-0.