The 40 over competition comes to an end this weekend. Its been a great year for the 6 remaining teams, some of whom have met expectations and have justified their high seeding (Virginia, Potomac, Sri Lankan, Urbana, ), while others have exceeded them (Pakistan, Spartans).  Good luck to all the teams with the hope that all 3 games are compelling and are played in great spirit and sportsmanship.

 

Pakistan vs Spartans @Bucklodge: Spartans have had an excellent second half of the season, while Pakistan has played good, consistent cricket throughout the season and post-season. This is truly a meaningful championship game as the winner gets the highly sought promotion to D1. I expect this to be a very competitive game with momentum swings on both sides. Bucklodge should lend itself well for a good score and the teams will look to post 185+. Pakistan has been bowling well over the past month and will bank on their bowling form to continue while Spartans will rely on their batting. This is where the game will be decided. It’s a very evenly matched contest and fielding will come into play. Spartans are probably slightly better thus I pick them but it’s close to a 50-50 game. Pick: Spartans.

 

Urbana vs Sri Lankan @Hyattsville: This is a no pressure game for both teams as both have qualified for the PD. The game is purely for bragging rights and for the championship trophy. I expect both teams to play very well, which will make for an entertaining game. Sri Lankan is the more balanced team with very good bowling, fielding and quality batting. Urbana has star power of its own with in form players and significant power hitting ability. They also have good depth in batting and will need it against the penetrating Sri Lankan bowling attack. I expect Pranjal to play a key role in this game, both with bat and ball. However, I expect Sri Lankan to win, due to their superior all-around game. Pick: Sri Lankan.

Potomac vs Virginia @Hyattsville: Both teams did very well last week. Virginia won a game where they controlled and managed the game extremely well, while Potomac created an upset against a short handed Titans team that played with 10 players (not sure why). Virginia showed its batting power on a very good batting track and Potomac showed that it can win even when the Ravi-Sunny duo don’t fire and their bowlers ensured that the opposition is kept under check. This week, Potomac’s stars must perform to win and will need Anirudh and Harmeet to support them. Hyattsville is an excellent batting track and if Ravi-Sunny do not get out to Najaf Shah early and get their eye in, the wicket will allow them to rapidly accumulate runs. Just as I had said last week, if these two bat the majority of the overs, and at least one of them bats till the end, they will give themselves a chance to chase any total that Virginia posts. If batting 1st, they will need to make sure to play positive cricket and keep scoring at a healthy rate, as Virginia has great firepower and batting depth. Obviously, Virginia is the favorite as it has more weapons, but Potomac can win this game on the back of its star players and with Arvind’s wicket taking. Pick: Virginia.


 

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