There were two D1 articles written by 2 guys who play in D1 and posted on our site today. I know both these guys. One article was straight forward analysis of the games this coming weekend. The other article had some harsh words about a couple of teams that lost in the QF round. The criticism was focused on how the teams play and/or manage (hint: The article was by a guy who is an avid follower of D1 and knows all the teams and players in that Division). From what I could tell, there were no personal insults in his articles and no names were taken. It amazes me that teams/players are very receptive of praise in posts/articles but if someone presented a view that perhaps was over the top,  these same people are unwilling to accept that as part and parcel of sports and not able to dismiss it as one person’s opinion. If someone was criticizing me or my team (it’s just an opinion after all), I’d take it sportingly. Anyway, it is what it is. So based on some (over) reactions, I’ve decided that we will no longer publish articles on our site, named or otherwise. It is obvious that many people liked to read what was published (given the number of hits we get), and I’m sorry that they will no longer have the content that we published. But such is life in this day and age, where tolerance levels of people are very low. It is ironic that some people complain about anonymous articles but then turn around and use abusive language towards forum members and their families. I have never stooped to that level, and never will. It also amazes me that some people are unable to understand the simple difference in what is published on our site, and what is published elsewhere. They tend to attribute every anonymous article to our website, even if they are published on websites that have nothing to do with us. It is just not worth the time and effort to explain these simple things multiple times. I want to thank every writer who contributed their time and effort so the WCL community could enjoy content geared towards them. I also want to thank the readers who came to our site to read what we posted. When I had stopped writing before the season began, many of you requested that I resume. I did write a couple of articles upon  you request, but not any more. I request that you please do not ask me to write again. So readers, enjoy this last article on our site. Ehsan gets the last word. Enjoy the rest of the playoffs.  Signing off. (Anurag)

 

By Ahsan Chaudhary

 

Last week saw two one sided games in Premier Division Playoffs. I had expected close matches to some extent but given that the two losing teams didn’t have the services of their pro players, results don’t seem surprising after all. Also shows the gulf between local talent and teams with loaded professional help. In my personal opinion, there should be a cap on pro players per team but that’s a topic for another time. Let’s get down to analyzing the two semi finals.

Potomac vs 22 Yards

These two teams met in the early part of the season where 22 Yards won with a decent margin in their home ground (Woodmoor). Since then Potomac Cricket Club (PCC) have played excellent cricket and have also increased number of their pro players. In that game Farhat brothers did the bulk of scoring for 22 Yards and the team will surely miss Imran in this game. Potomac will definitely bring all their big guns as they are very serious about getting their first trophy and their roster is testament to that. Sunny Sohal is in excellent form and he has a good chemistry with all the other players in the team. Him and Rajit work well together in getting the most out of that team.

Key Players Potomac: Sunny Sohal,  Rishi Dhawan, Ravi Inder Singh, Swapnil Salvi, Rusty Theron, Saudhan Baxi, Mayank Tehlan.

To be honest, i haven’t seen most of these guys play but their statistics speak for themselves. I almost feel like i am writing for a pro team. Each of these names is a star and can decisively turn the match on its head. Some of these guys have done well for their big name domestic franchises and this will be another showdown of their firepower.

Key Players 22 Yards: Sunny Patel, Shahid Hanif, Farhat brothers, Samuel Lalzare, Kamran Sheikh, Rameez Raja, Dishant parikh, Pavan Kahar, Usman Shahid.

22 Yards had an easy outing in the quarter finals against a depleted Titans team but this will be an entirely different challenge. Kamran Sheikh blasted his way to 70 odd runs in that game and Usman Shahid took three vital wickets. The team would need a collective pull from all of their members to go past this goliath.

Who might win:

Though 22 Yards have done well all season upto this point, i foresee Potomac winning this one due to the sheer  number and quality of pro players in their roster. Odds (65%-35%) in Potomac’s favor.

Jamaica vs Virginia Lions:

This match is a mouth watering battle of two equally strong teams and a big crowd is expected from both sides. The number one ranked team from the regular season going head to head with the team who takes great pride in their playoff and championship record. Jamaica has some serious firepower in their ranks and it is evident from that fact they are still ranked #1 given the transfer of their main player (Juicy). They lost the regular season matchup against VCC and would like to return the favor. Their only weakness/challenge seems to be against quality spin bowling as shown in that game where Naseer, Junaid Rasheed and Abassi took most of the wickets. Their batsmen like pace on the ball and it would be great theatre watching them go against Najaf and Co. VCC had a strong showing last week where they flexed their muscles against a talented but somewhat depleted Wolves. Nevertheless VCC’s body language was very positive on the field.

Key Players Jamaica: Bryan Gayle, Nkrumah Bonner, Andrae Bryce, Yannick Elliot, Derville Green.

Like Potomac, i also haven’t watched many of Jamaica’s players play this season but these guys seem to contribute big in the wins. All eyes would be on Bryan Gayle to showcase his talent against the quality bowling attack.

Key Players Lions:

Gowkaran Roopnarine (Juicy), Tristen Coleman, Cassius Burton, Najaf Shah, Naseer Islam, Sajjad Khan.

Juicy had a quiet outing in the quarter final and fireworks can be expected of him. Cassius and Tristan had decent 50s and would like to continue their good performances with the bat. Sajjad provides a good balance to the team with both bat and ball and is a valuable asset to the team.

Who might win:

This one is a close call and can go either way but my gut feeling says that Virginia Lions would come out on top by the odds of (55%-45%) based on their strong spin attack and their recent momentum.


 

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