Following abysmal performances three weeks running, the Yorkton Yorkers finally showed some form in Saskatchewan Cricket League play July 13.
“Although we lost both of our T-20s last Saturday, I’m glad we are back on track,” said Faisal Anwar, Yorkers captain. “The team spirit, which I was looking for since our last and only win against the Jaguars, we’ve got it back.”
In Saturday’s first match against the Tigers, Anwar won the coin toss and chose to bat first. Led by a strong half-century (52 runs) performance by reserve squad all-rounder Akhil Kucheriya, Yorkton put a decent 20-over total of 123 on the board for the loss of only six wickets.
In the first half of the Tigers’ innings, it looked promising that the Yorkers could defend the score. With wickets in the third, sixth and seventh overs, Yorkton held the Tigers to 59 runs by the end of 10 overs.
The Tigers bats got hot, though, as a partnership between Noyon Rahman and Mohsan Raza produced 60 runs including five maximums (six runs) and four boundaries (four runs).
By the 17th over, the team in red had all but chased down the Yorkers total. On the third ball of the over, needing only two runs to win, Rahman put the game away with a boundary for a total of 126 for four wickets.
In the second match the Yorkton squad came up against a hard-hitting Team Midway. Lead-off Midway batsmen S. Khan and A. Zaman put up 80 runs combined with 21 extras for a total of 101 by 9.4 overs when the sky opened up leading to a lengthy rain delay.
Following the break, the Saskatchewan Cricket Association calculated—using a formula known as the Duckworth-Lewis Method designed to establish fairness for both sides—that the Yorkers target to win would be 127 runs in 13 overs. The batsmen in yellow made a valiant go of it led by Mandeep Singh (27 runs) and Anwar (20 runs), but by the end of 13 overs had only managed to put up 100 on the rain-soaked pitch.
Still, Anwar was very pleased with the effort.
“I don’t mind losing when we play the way we did today,” the captain said in a post-game pep talk. “The way we batted in both matches, especially in the second match was marvelous. Please keep the spirit high and try to play fearless cricket.”
Spirits will certainly be high next week as the Yorkers prepare for their demonstration match here in Yorkton on July 24. The Wednesday evening event is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Heritage Heights Park.
“We’re really excited to bring the game to the folks here in Yorkton,” said Thom Barker, Yorkers public relations manager. “We’ve had a tonne of support from the community and there seems to be a lot of curiosity about how cricket is played. Wednesday will be very informative, but most of all fun.”
The match will be a short-format (12-over) intra-squad challenge with Anwar leading one side (Yorkers) and vice-captain Raja Ramachandran captaining the other (Sunrisers).
The Yorkers next league games are Saturday, July 20 against the Panthers and Lions in Regina.