Mississauga Ramblers defeated the Niagara Cricket Club by 5 wickets in an exciting finish to win the Niagara Cricket Festival T20. Set with a target of 145 to win in front of about 200 cricket enthusiasts at the picturesque Niagara Cricket Center, the Ramblers rode the clinical Taresh Beri, who earned a deserving Man of the Match award for his unbeaten 63. The chase never looked in trouble as the Ramblers batsmen kept wickets in hand while maintaining a run rate of 7 throughout. Earlier in the match, spinner Wafa Abbas bowled with guile while giving away only 12 runs for 2 his wickets in 4 overs of bowling. Himanshu Arora was a force on the field, leading the way with a catch and two runouts.
In their semi-final against the Hamilton Cricket Club, the Ramblers came out victorious in another nail-biting match. Batting first after winning the toss, Hamilton were bundled out for 90 runs. Seamer Umer Arshad proved to be the difference between the two teams in this match. He set the tone early with the ball, grabbing two vital wickets in his first over. The Ramblers made life difficult for themselves in a tricky chase and were reduced to 70-7 at one stage. Umer then joined the in-form Taresh and changed the course of the match, immediately looting 15 runs in one over and eventually taking his side over the finish line. Umer was adjudged Man of the Match for his all-round performance.
In the group stage of the tournament, Mississauga Ramblers made light work of an OAFL side, winning by a margin of 84 runs in the opening match; however, the Mississauga side received a wake-up call from the Niagara Cricket Club in a 38-run loss, falling against some incisive bowling from the host team.
The organizers of the Niagara Cricket Festival put on a show, where T20 cricket dominated Canada Day weekend at the newly-established Niagara Cricket Center. Live music and dance pumped up the atmosphere before the Final, as the Ramblers’ very own Anand Supaul entertained the crowd with a collection of yesteryear Hindi songs, followed by local talents Saima Myssah Khan alongside DJ Ryaan as the highlight performers of the afternoon.
Ramblers squad: Pankaj Gupta (c), Anis Adam, Asad Zaidi, Faseeh Qayyum, Hassan Aziz, Himanshu Arora, Hussain Zaidi, Krishna Ramnarace, Raghib Hussain, Sami Faridi, Saqib Khoso, Shuaib Zaidi, Talha Kirmani, Taresh Beri, Wafa Abbas and Umer Arshad.