The roar of Tigers

USP Tigers ended Sardar Patel Institute of Sports’ impressive run to win the second edition of Ahmedabad Mirror Cricket Cup

USP Tigers’ skiper Dilip Hadiyol gets ‘the trophy’ from chief selector Mukud Parmar

It could not have been a better beginning of the end. Parthiv Patel, Gujarat cricket’s biggest star, took time out of his tiring schedule to play on the final day of Ahmedabad Mirror Cricket Cup. 

Notwithstanding an exhausting Ranji Trophy season, busy international tours and leading West Zone to Deodhar Trophy title, Parthiv showed a great gamesmanship when he decided to lend his support to Ahmedabad Mirror’s small step to connect and support the game at local level. 

But for USP Tigers, for whom the Gujarat Ranji skipper played the final yesterday, it turned out to be the masterstroke. “There were at times when we were a little tensed but Parthiv came out and suggest us to do this and that,” USP Tigers’ skipper Dilip Hadiyol said. “His presence surely made a lot of difference in the low scoring match,” he added. 

There is no end to USP Tigers joy after breaking their final jinx in the city
Banking on the experience of Parthiv, USP Tigers broke their final jinx when they beat a fighting Sardar Patel Institute of Sports (SPIS) by 25 runs to win the second edition of Ahmedabad Mirror Cricket Cup. 

The win was never in doubt for USP Tigers. “We were confident of our win. There was absolutely no doubt,” Dilip affirmed. But at 24 for three in the sixth over, with the likes of Parthiv, Irshad Sindhi and Rujul Bhatt gone, there was a murmur in the air about Tigers’ decision to drop an in-form Anil Patel, who appeared to be in a good knick. 

It was then that Rakesh Makwana decided to get his act together, for one last time, in the tournament. The well-built 31-year-old came with a big reputation of being a big hitter but was clearly overwhelmed by the likes of Irshand and Gandhinagar Colts’ Sunny Patel. 

Vivek Makwana writhe in pain
Rakesh, who played three West Zone Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy matches, began on a cautious note on a wicket that offered vicious turn before taking the attack to the opposition. 

He also got an able support from Saurashtra’s Sagar Jogiyani who held on to one end as the duo added unbeaten 104 for the fifth wicket.

Despite the difficult-to-bat wicket it was not something that SPIS couldnot chase with a line-up that boast ed of the likes of Saurashtra’s Bhusan Chauhan, Kuldeep Rawal, Arpit Vasavada, Vipul Makwana along with Gujarat Ranji Trophy star Avi Barot. 

Rakesh Makwana and Sagar Jogiyani are at ease
However, Tigers’ claws, their left-arm spinners, turned out to be too dangerous as the likes of Vishwajit Solanki, Yusuf Bambania, Devang Khatri, Rujul Bhatt and Naman Shah stifled the opposition.  

SPIS also paid the price for losing five wickets for just 36 runs in 10 overs. “It was a chaseable total but we lost too many wickets early in our innings. In the end that haunted us,” SPIS skipper Bhusan said. 

 Despite Arpit and Kuldeep stitching a 47-run stand for the sixth-wicket, Dilip remained unperturbed. “They played really well but I knew that the asking rate was high and it won’t be possible for them,” he added. 

However, unlike many others, SPIS skipper was not a sore loser as he hailed Ahmedabad Mirror for organising the tournament. “Winning and losing is part and parcel of the game. But hats off to Ahmedabad Mirror for a wonderful tournament that surely benefits the local players and gives them a platform to perform,” Bhusan signed off.  So do we wish.

Brief Scores: USP Tigers 128/3 in 20 overs (Rakesh Makwana 67*, Sagar Jogiyani 42*; Alkesh Patel 1/16, Benson Songavkar 1/19) beat SPIS 103 in 18.2 overs (Kuldeep Rawal 31, Arpit Vasavada 27; Vishwajit Solanki 4/22)
High-flying Irshad Sindhi lets his emtions flow (L); Devang Khatri takes the cake (R)
Rakesh Makwana flicks this one to boundary
Parthiv Patel (r) along with members of USP Tigers at Sardar Patel Stadium
Sagar Jogiyani makes a long stride to sweep the ball on Wednesday