Team India take out Black Leopard Cup
Thursday, 21 February 2013
leading run scorer in the tournament Musa Patel receives his award
Last weekend 'Team India' were crowned champions in the inaugural Black Leopard T20 Cup, emerging victorious from a 16 team tournament which took place over six weeks at Eden Roskill CC.
“The competition was set up to promote cricket amongst the diverse communities around Auckland,” said the tournament managing director Ben Mailata, “and also to try and recruit some new players to the game, in the hope they will go on to play for a club side in the region.”
The Black Leopard Cup was run as an IPL style competition with each side being provided with a gear bag which included coloured clothing and matching coloured pads for their sides.
Each Sunday throughout January and early February nearly 200 players descended on Keith Hay Park with eight matches being played simultaneously. The teams were split into four groups with the top two in each progressing to the quarter-final stage, with the remaining eight teams being left to battle it out in the Shield competition. There was even more incentive for the players with the man of the match from each tournament game being awarded a brand new Black Leopard bat.
Over the six weeks the competition was intense but in the end 'Team India' and 'Roskill Boys' were the two sides left standing, and they turned on a run laden display in the tournament final.
Roskill Boys racked up an impressive total of 154/6 first up, with Munsarim Ahmed top scoring with a magnificent 67. Ahmed’s innings looked likely to be decisive when Team India were reduced to 28/4 after just seven overs of their reply, but the fireworks were just about to begin.
Vamshi Puppala stepped up for his side, playing a spectacular innings of 76 not out to rush Team India to a remarkable five wicket victory and the first ever Black Leopard T20 championship.
In the Shield competition final Afghanistan Xl were victorious over Westlakers and there were individual awards for Musa Patel (leading run scorer), Raja Sandhu (leading wicket taker) and Nigel Collins (most sixes in the tournament). Each of these three players received a full kit bag of Black Leopard cricket equipment.
Once the tournament was complete Mailata had a chance to reflect on what had been a significant undertaking for Eden Roskill CC: “A tremendous amount of work went in behind the scenes, and with the first competition now complete I am confident of saying it was a success.
“The club did an outstanding job, setting a high standard of organisation for a tournament that was outside of the club cricket structure. A special mention to Sanjay Sharma and Mintoo Kohli who gave the competition a lot of support. There will definitely be more tournaments over the next few years and I would like to gratefully acknowledge all of the sponsors - Black Leopard Sports, All Cold Refrigeration, BNZ, McDonalds Maharaj Corp, Radio Tarana, Indian Newslink, and the Auckland Cricket Association - for their support of Eden Roskill CC throughout this competition.”
Winners: Team India
Runner-up: Roskill Boys
Shield competition winners: Afghanistan Xl
Shield competition runner-up: Westlakers
Leading run scorer: Musa Patel
Leading wicket taker: Raja Sandhu
Leading six hitter: Nigel Collins