UCC top the table, but ISCS & PSCC are lurking
At the turn of the year, defending champions UCC find themselves one point ahead of the pack as the only unbeaten team so far this term. However, with only 4 points separating positions 1-3 this could change quickly, especially with ISCS taking on UCC in the first VCA league match on Sunday 10th, January 2016. At the other end of the table, ECCS and ICCS are still looking for their first victories of the campaign yet both are also looking competitive and wins can’t be too far off the cards for the two sides. In mid table, SSC and SACC have picked up victories, and will be looking to start 2016 strongly to push for a place in the finals. With an exciting year in prospect, let’s take a look at what has happened so far with 10 matches having been played.
UCC (14 points)
UCC find themselves topping the pile over the Christmas period having won all three of their matches so far. In a repeat of last season’s grand final, they kept PSCC at bay with a disciplined bowling performance, which has been a feature of their season. They posted 164 on the way to comfortably beating SSC before bowling ECCS out for 107. So far, Skipper Vijesh, Dormer and Davis have all made 40s and Bala and Rajesh have been particularly impressive with the ball. Their season could be defined this Sunday with a crunch match with rivals ISCS who could replace them at the top of the tree after round 6.
PSCC (13 points)
After losing 2 influential players during the off-season, PSCC have added a couple of new faces and are looking a serious threat for the title this year. After a below par batting performance against UCC, they have reeled off three straight victories against ECCS, ICCS and ISCS. The run chase against ISCS was particularly impressive as they reached the 181 target set with 3 balls to spare. Ever present Ahmed struck an impressive 58* that day, and he remains a key for PSCC but Touseef and newcomer Nazir have also reached 40. With the ball, Veer has been their best bowler, but ample support has been provided by Ahmed, Touseef and Naeem to suggest PSCC might go one better this year.
ISCS (10 points)
With the additional of Sofi and Parvez to an already strong squad, ISCS remain strong contenders for the title this year. They started the season in impressive fashion, cruising to victory against SSC and an imperious batting performance against SACC. However, this weekend’s match against UCC could be crucial for them as they look to bounce back after defeat to PSCC. With the bat, Parvez, Robin and Sofi have all reached the retirement score of 40, and top of the pops of their bowling has been Sofi and Parvez with 5 wickets a piece supported by Pratap and Robin with 4.
SSC (5 points)
SSC started the season slowly, but showed glimmers of their best against SACC in recording their first win of the campaign. In the first two games, their batting let them down, but Priyantha and captain Joel made forties on their way to a total of 165 against SACC. In the same much, Sam took the season’s first 5 for and Joel has also been among the wickets this year. With Banuka, Sumedha and Chandana yet to fire this season, SSC could be a team on the move in 2016.
CRICKET TO BE PLAYED AT SEA GAMES 2017
SEA Games, the flagship sporting event of the ASEAN regional block is to introduce Cricket at the 29th edition of the games to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August 2017. The news was confirmed by the world cricket governing body - the ICC and the SEA games organizing committee last week.
The biennial event will be hosted by Malaysia for the sixth time and 16 years after it was last held there in 2001. It is hoped that the news will encourage Vietnamese sports authorities follow through with their commitments to help develop the sport in Vietnam. The discussions have been positive and will continue in the coming months.