On Saturday, Marsa CC soared to the top of Group B securing victory by a margin of 106 runs against Mater Dei CC. Marsa batted first with their openers easing to a score of 47 runs by the seventh over, before being dismissed by Kushilesh Kuppaka.
Atif Sharazy struck 3 times in the same over for Mater Dei claiming the wickets of Zeeshan, Muhammad Usman and Zubair Mohammed. It was up to the Mughal brothers, Haroon and Fanyan, to steady the ship with the latter scoring 37 runs. Late contributions from skipper David Marks and Farhan Masih helped Marsa to a score of 171 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in their 20 overs.
Mater Dei’s run chase was subdued as only opener Cornelius Khan and captain Muthukumaran Murugesan surpassed double figures as Marsa had their opposition bowled all out for only 65 runs in 17 overs. Haroon Mughal helped himself to 4 wickets, with David Athwal claiming 2 and Masih, Marks and Akhter picking up a wicket each.
The margin of victory will disappoint Mater Dei and they will look to end their season on a high with their remaining fixtures. The win means Marsa CC move level on points with Msida Warriors CC however their superior Net Run Rate places them top of Group A.
In the Saturday afternoon match, Knight Kings CC made it 2 wins from 2 with a comfortable victory over previous Group A leaders Southern Crusaders CC, largely in part to the opening run partnership between Knights’ Basil George and Eldhose Mathew with the former scoring his first half-century of the season before being bowled by Eardley Chandiram.
Mathew also recorded a 50, his first in Maltese domestic cricket, before becoming one of Lakshitha Senavirathna’s victims, the Crusaders’s fast bowler also claiming the scalps of the impressive Samuel Sanish and Ciril Mathew.
Knight Kings CC finished their innings on 170 runs for the loss of 6 wickets from their 20 overs.
Southern Crusaders CC’s response saw skipper Michael Goonetilleke and Ryan Bastianz with an opening 50 run partnership. Knights’ run-out of Gopal Thakur led to George claiming the crucial wickets of Angelo Delardon and Chandiram before Goonetilleke fell to Shah too.
Indika Perera and Zeeshan Yousaf put on 50 runs between them but it wasn’t enough for the Crusaders as they finished on 129 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 20 overs, losing by 41 runs.
On Sunday, Overseas CC made it 2 wins from 2 to go 3rd in Group B as they comfortably brushed aside debutants Paola Boys CC. It was a nervy start for Overseashaving lost openers Sean Byrne and Tim Cleasby to Jaison Jerome and Clinto Paul with the score on 40.
A tidy partnership from Andrew Naudi and Clyde Palmer helped to steady the ship before Thodi struck to remove them both. Christo Viljoen was dismissed by Paola skipper Jithin Joy.
It took an innings-changing partnership from Deon Vosloo and Jaz Cable to turn the tides for Overseas as Vosloo scored his first-ever 50 in Maltese domestic cricket. Cable was dismissed on a score of 23 by Jerome as Overseas CC posted 165 runs for the loss of 6 wickets in 20 overs.
Lee Tuck continued his sensational start to the season claiming the wickets of Arjun Jose, Paul and Sebin Thomas inside 6 overs. Aaron Oulton struck to remove Savio Thomas. A confident innings of 24 runs from Sanish Mani came to an end as skipper Jurg Hirschi picked up his customary wicket.
The Malta Men’s National Team’s all time greatest wicket-taker Andrew Naudi secured himself a wicket as he dealt with the big-hitting Livin Varghese on a score of 24.
Back into the attack came Tuck removing Joy to claim his second consecutive four wicket-haul of the season, putting him firmly on top of the Bowling and MVP Leaderboards after Week 3.
Paola Boys CC finished on 105 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 20 overs, handing victory to Overseas by 50 runs.
On Sunday afternoon, Swieqi United CC faced Bugibba Blasters CC with both teams needing a win after opening match losses. Swieqi’s innings did not get off to a good start as Sohan Singh and Suresh Singh Dobal struck to dismiss Imran Ameer and Niraj Khanna with the score only 3 runs. A quickfire knock of 24 runs from Anil Qadir came to an end after Singh Dobal claimed his secondwicket.
Blasters continued to pick up wickets as Nadeem Ulhaq and Michael Nazir fell to Shiv Singh and Devendra Singh. A run-out from skipper Gaurav Maithani led to Aneesh Tomy’s demise. It took a crucial knock of 44 runs from Nowell Khosla and a settled innings from captain Moon Malik of 21 runs to shift the momentum in Swieqi’s favour.
A strong end to the innings from both teams saw Swieqi United CC bowled out for 131 runs in the 19th over as Maithani claimed 2 run-outs and 2 catches in an inspirational fielding performance.
A catastrophic start to Blasters’ chase saw them 4 wickets down with just 13 runs on the board, Umar Ulhaq claiming 2 wickets. Singh Dobal soon fell to Muhammad Bilal while Bilal Qadir dismissed Naikoti Rohith. Shiv Singh paired up with Maithani to lead the fightback for their team, finally Singh was run out by Malik in the penultimate over. Maithani finished on 49 runs not out as Bugibba Blasters CC only mustered 115 runs for the loss of 8 wickets in their 20 overs, losing by 16 runs.
Next weekend, it’s 1st v 2nd in Group B as the weekend kicks off with Marsa CC facing Msida Warriors CC while Knight Kings CC take on Bugibba Blasters CC.
On Sunday, winless American University of Malta CC takes on Paola Boys CC while Power Hitters XI will look to bounce back from their previous game’s defeat as they take on Southern Crusaders CC.
Group A: Knight Kings 4, Super Kings 2, Power Hitters XI 2, Swieqi United 2, Southern Crusaders 2, Bugibba Blasters 0
Group B: Marsa 4, Msida Warriors 4, Overseas 4, AUM 0, Mater Dei 0, Paola Boys 0