The top of D11 has been very competitive and its followers will see compelling competition in the playoffs. Star was certainly the surprise and breakthrough team. There are no other surprise teams in the playoffs. If seeds hold true to the finals, the matchup between Empire and Sri Lankan will be a fun watch. But there is a lot of cricket to be played between now and then with no guarantee that these teams will make it. Let’s focus on this weekend first. With the threat of rain on Sunday the teams might just disturb the league’s plans of holding competition on the long weekend.

Meanwhile…..Desi Aunties have been missing this year. They are either too busy gossiping about other topics or are completely distracted. TMZ needs to reach out to them and get the latest scoop for the playoffs.

 

Empire vs Vikings @Hyattsville: This is a very good match-up. Empire is a top quality team with star players in Shamy Singh, Akbar and Imran with plenty of others who provide excellent support. The team’s strength is batting and has shown the capability to pile on runs. But Vikings’ strength is its bowling and Nasir Durani will target Imran and Shamy for sure. Vikings will certainly know that games in which Shami and Akbar have not done well, Empire has struggled. Vikings have steadily improved as the season went on and are playing with a high degree of confidence right now. The team feels that if it can win this week, it has an easier path to the finals. But it won’t be easy when the Empire strikes back. Pick: Empire.

 Star vs Fairfax @Fairfax: This will be a fun game to watch between two teams that are fairly evenly matched. The two teams played back in June at Strawberry and scored 281 (Star) and 282 (Fairfax). Neither side has a dominant bowling attack, but Fairfax generally plays better at home and fields a stronger team at home. The last two post seasons have not been lucky for Fairfax at their home ground but this year I think their fortunes will change in this round. Pick: Fairfax.

Urbana vs Windies @Strawberry: Urbana has traditionally played very good cricket in the playoffs, especially in round 1. My good friend Pranjal will play a big role this game. He loves to bat at Strawberry and when he gets going, it rains 4s and 6s. His bowling too will have an impact in this game. Windies are a confident lot and their strength is bowling. Will Urbana be able to negate some of that on the small ground? For me, the contest between Urbana’s batting and Windies’ bowling will determine the outcome. If Urbana can score over 220, they will win. Pick: Urbana.


 

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