By Ravi Madholall in Toronto
A sterling all-round performance from Royston Crandon inspired Vikings Cricket Club to a convincing 68-run win over arch-rivals Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club on Saturday when action began in the 2018 Toronto and District Cricket Association Super9 50-over competition.
The former Guyana and West Indies versatile all-rounder caressed seven fours and three sixes in his attractive 90 as Vikings were able to pile on a satisfactory 224 all out off 49.3 overs while the hosts, in response, only managed 156 in 43.4 overs.
Crandon, captaining the team as well, won the toss and opted to take first strike on a pitch that offered appreciated bounces. He came to the crease when his side was in a spot of discomfort reeling at 33-4 but the Berbician batted with purpose and responsibility to set up a match-wining total.
Akash Shah also showed good form with the bat and usefully contributed 38 runs laced with four fours as medium pacers Hassan Choghtai and Daniyal Fahim grabbing three wickets apiece for 25 (6) and 39 (7) respectively.
Crandon later returned with his tidy off-break to pick up three wickets conceding just 27 runs from 7.4 overs while his fellow Guyanese fast-bowler Jeremy Gordon and left-arm orthodox spinners Eugene Lafleur and Raj Nanan took a wicket each.
Nitesh Kumar top-scored for the losers with 35, while Choghtai proved his all-round capability by making a fighting 24 and national Canadian opening batsman Hiral Patel chipped in with 23.
Meanwhile, coach of the successful team Zaman Khan expressed delight with their victory and is very optimistic they will continue to dominate the Super9 competition and more prestigiously retaining the championship after dethroning last year’s finalist and champion, Centurion Cricket Club.
“I think we have a good bunch of talented players and they [are] eager to do well again; it was a nice game and players were indeed happy to come out on top but we have to maintain our focus and commitment to play hard cricket throughout the season,” Khan related.
The Super9 50-over competition was introduced in 2016 with the top teams advancing to the final. Vikings will be back in action on Saturday against Victoria Park and then the next day against bitter-rivals JB Masters. Both preliminary round matches are scheduled for Maple Leaf venue in King City, Toronto.