Strikers Cricket Club were worthy winners of the Ghetto Cricket League over the weekend, going unbeaten through the two-day tournament to strike several huge sixes and ultimately one precious gold.
With the bat dominating the ball at an action-packed sporting spectacle that climaxed under the John Mackenzie School floodlights late on Saturday night, Strikers saw off Panthers in a frenetic finale in Francistown.
Batting first, the big-hitting Strikers blasted 86 runs off their five overs, a formidable total that proved way beyond Panthers’ reach.
Liton and Safi Sheikh emerged as the match winners, sending the bowlers all over the park when they batted and then returning with ball in hand to take several key wickets, ensuring the Panthers inning never really got going.
Reflecting on a successful fourth edition of the tournament, which saw over 700 people pass through the JMS gates over the course of the two days, satisfied organiser, Dipesh Gandhi described the event as the best one yet.
The Nyangabgwe Cricket Club member admitted he was blown away with the number of spectators who turned up as well as the quality of cricket on show from the eight participating sides.
“Overall, it was an exciting, nerve-racking two days, with all teams having a chance of qualifying [for the semis] until the final league stage game. Not only did the players enjoy the action, but so did the many spectators; stalls performed exceptionally well, selling out before the night was over,” said the University of Cape Town (UCT) student, who plans to host the league’s next installment in June or July.
“This time, we might invite teams from outside Francistown as well. The guys from Selibe Phikwe were here and they were disappointed not to be involved so it’s something we’ll definitely consider,” added Gandhi, who came up with the Ghetto Cricket League concept last January along with his friend and fellow cricket nut, Deep Bhakta, after realising Covid-19 had curtailed sport in the second city.
Typified by thrills and spills, including two-time winners, Wasted Potential’s shock exit at the group stages after defeat to Panthers, the explosive, exciting event was an excellent advert for cricket.
Gandhi concluded by thanking the tournament’s sponsors, Disaji Panel Beaters and Spray Painters, as well as the food vendors that provided grub for the attendees, among them The Juice Bar, Pitstop, Desi Flame, Safi’s Braai, Shaalams, Streets Snacks and Crispy Treat.