This weekend witnessed an exciting see-saw battle not only between the 10 teams, but also between the elements and the organizers as torrential rain threatened the 20th edition of the Tata Motors Jakarta International 6s cricket tournament played at the Cibubur Cricket Ground.
Ten teams including 3 foreign teams from Singapore & Malaysia faced off in cricket’s most entertaining format, the 6s. Despite heavy over-night rains, the tournament kicked-off on schedule on Saturday morning thanks to the efforts of the Ground coordinators. Consistency of performance was key to making it to the top & the best teams demonstrated that in good measure. The introduction of the Tata Motors Double Mileage over, brought in not only new excitement, but also the need for some astute captaincy.
The young Indonesian team of Yadavas Chairos Tigers surprised & delighted everyone by their wonderful all-round performance losing only 1 game, which too was a rain-shortened one. The stars for them were Ahmad Ramdoni, the 2nd best batsman of the tournament, Agi Saptiazi, one of the most economical bowlers of the tournament, Muhaddis who shone with his classical leg-spin & their talismanic captain I Kadek Gamantika with his all-round performance. They were looking well placed to fight for a spot in the finals, but rain & the need to leave to Malaysia for their national team tour, put paid those ambitions.
In Pool A, both the Singapore teams, with a bevy of former & current Singapore national team players, looked unbeatable. Anuj Behl, the tournament’s most economical bowler (just 9 runs of 4 overs) was Singapore Recreation Club’s best bowler and played a huge part in their dominant display (the only unbeaten team in the tournament) and run to becoming the joint winners.
The current trophy holders Selular Lions on the other hand, had many stars. Vijay Babu (the Overall MVP of the tournament) & Surendar Chandramohan (Best Batsman of the tournament) along with the classical Rakshan Rai, starred in their performance. But losses in two key games hurt their performance & prevented them from making it to the finals.
The ANTV powered WPP India XI team, were brilliant in their consistency which depended on a solid team performance, where everyone chipped in at crucial moments. His ability to take wickets earned Gaurav Pathak the Best Bowler of the tournament while Rahul Pagad, bludgeoned his way to the award for highest number of 6s in the tournament. Their skipper, Pallav Malhotra & opener Arun Ranjain, were the other stars of a complete team-effort.
In a tournament, where spinners, especially leg-spinners, performed well, Corbon Loughnan also shone, albeit in a losing cause to be the 2nd best bowler. The tournament saw a huge, 83 sixes being hit and 8 maiden overs being bowled. The introduction of the innovative double mileage over saw 1 over going for 54 runs, a rare occurrence in cricket. The tournament also witnessed 3 bowl-outs as rain impacted a few games.
Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) & Selular Lions topped Pool A while WPP India XI & Yadavas Chairos Tigers topped Pool B. SRC romped through to the finals to face WPP India XI after Selular Lions had been knocked out & the Tigers had to leave for national duty to Malaysia in the double eliminator. Heavy rain, however, played spoil-sport and since no further play was possible, SRC & WPP India XI were declared joint tournament winners. Ceylon CC & Jaguar CC were jointly awarded the Plate trophy.
“Inspite of all the heavy rains around, we were delighted to get so many games. Testament to the hard-work put in by the JCA committee members and the spirit shown by the teams” said a visibly relieved JCA President, Avakash Lohia.