St. Stephen’s Knanaya Church Crowned Inaugural MECCC Champions after Super-Over Nail-Biter

Pictured above, charity fund presented to Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.

The inaugural Malayalee Ecumenical Church Cricket Championship (MECCC) charity match concluded with a super-over thriller, enjoyed by a sizable crowd at Cunningham Park, Queens. St. Stephen’s Knanaya Church, Hempstead was crowned champions after they beat Vincent De Paul Church in a nail biting final.

The MECCC is intended to be an annual event where all the proceeds would be donated to a designated charity. This year, $1,000 was raised through the tennis ball cricket tournament and was donated to Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) of Long Island. Ms. Corri Lincker, Major Gifts Officer at RMHC Long Island was present during the final to receive the check from the organizers of MECCC.

Ms. Lincker thanked the organizers for a wonderful tournament and the handsome donation to the organization. Other chief guests of the final included Fr. Johny Chengalan of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, Ridgewood, Brooklyn, and Mr. Reji George, Vice President of New York Malayalee Sports Club (NYMSC).

The MECCC was conducted in the Super 8s format with eight teams, eight players per team, and eight overs per side. A total of eight churches representing various denominations from across New York and New Jersey came together to make the event a grand success.

In a thrilling final, Vincent De Paul Church won the toss and decided to field first. After being put in to bat, St. Stephen’s Knanaya Church put up 76/6 on the board in the allotted eight overs. Amal Njaliyathu top scored with 21 off 15 balls. Eljo Jose picked up four wickets, and gave up just 12 runs in his two over stint to restrict St. Stephen’s to a par score.

In reply, Vincent De Paul scored 76/4 in 8 overs. Amit top scored for Vincent De Paul with a blistering 26 off 12 balls. Tibin Thayil starred with the ball, picking up two wickets and giving up just four runs in his two overs.

With the match tied, a super-over was necessary to decide the winner. Vincent De Paul batted first in the super-over and put up 9/1. St. Stephen’s chased down the score with one ball to spare. Needing 6 runs to win in two balls, Amal Njaliyathu cleared the mid-wicket boundary off a length ball from Eljo Jose to seal the deal for St. Stephen’s. Amal Njaliyathu was awarded the Man-of-the-Match award for his super-over heroics.

In a glittering presentation ceremony, St. Stephen’s Church was crowned the Champions, and Vincent De Paul was awarded the Runner’s up trophy. Subin Joseph of Vincent De Paul Church was awarded the Best Batsman award for being the top scorer of the tournament with 90 runs in three matches. Eljo Jose was awarded the Best Bowler award for his 6 wickets in 3 matches for Vincent De Paul Church.

The organizers of the event declared the event a grand success and thanked the participating teams, sponsors, and the fans who supported the venture. The organizers also promised a bigger and better tournament next year.