Sunday Tribune

Big Bash title thriller for Varsity Scorchers


VARSITY Scorchers are the 2017 Big Bash winners. They beat Big Deelz in a thrilling cricket final at the Peter Booysens Sports Complex in Pietermari­tzburg last week. Both teams arrived at the final with an unblemishe­d record as they topped their respective groups.

Scorchers sneaked into the final thanks to a two-run victory over Greytown Stars in the semi-final, while Big Deelz beat Cosmos stars in the other play-off. Big Deelz won the toss and put in Scorchers to bat first.

A composed team display saw them set their opponents a target of 156.

In response, Big Deelz got off to a flyer and reached 76-0 after seven overs with openers Sheldon Mungaroo and Shaun Fourie leading the way.

Varsity Scorchers then opted to slow down the pace of the ball and employed veteran spinners Lucky Dladla, Tahir Essak and Uraaz Essak.

The experience­d trio bowled 12 overs of strangling spin, but with 11 runs required of the last seven balls, Big Deelz were still in with a shot of winning the final.

The last over was bowled by Faheem Suleman, who produced an array of short pitched and slower balls. Big Deelz failed to get him away and fell five runs short of their target.

“The tournament took a completely different turn this year as we introduced night games during the group stages and finals,” tournament director Yashveer Singh said.

He said good wickets in the tournament meant that teams could easily breach the 200-run mark making for exciting chases.

He continued: “Special mention must go out to Sheldon Mungaroo of Big Deelz who amassed 190 runs in a game, as well as his teammate Sami Ullah who made 160 not out in the semi-final.

“A huge thanks must go out to the ground staff of UKZN Cricket. They have done a tremendous job.”

Singh believes tournament­s like these continue to highlight the depth in talent in the KZN Inland region.

“Competitio­ns like the Varsity Big Bash create a platform for more cricket to be played in the region.

“It allow us to identify these talented youngsters and keep them in the game.”

 ??  ?? The Varsity Scorchers team that landed the 2017 Big Bash title.
The Varsity Scorchers team that landed the 2017 Big Bash title.

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