Late Maneck Golvala T-10 Cricket Trophy: Hosts Parsee Gymkhana Triumph

It was a sultry Sunday evening just before six when the denouement came – the PG openers taking their side home in a canter against defending champions Nagpur. The sixth edition of the tournament, which began in 2015, saw six teams battle for the coveted late Maneck Golvala T-10 trophy, instituted by PG President – Mehli Golvala, in memory of his father.

Teams from Surat, Nagpur, Hyderabad, hosts Parsee Gymkhana and two from Navsari competed on the superbly curated PG pitch – one of the best maintained in the city. The excitement was further compounded as this tourney was being held after a hiatus of three years due to the pandemic. 15 matches were spread across 7th – 9th April, with the top two teams (based on points and, if equal on points, then net run-rate) clashing in the finals on Sunday evening.

Two matches in the league stage went to the wire – both coincidentally involving hosts PG. In the first match, PG batting first, made 101 mainly due to opener Shahen Mistry’s 47 off 22 balls. In reply, Hyderabad managed to reach their target in the penultimate delivery. In the second match, on the final day, Navsari ‘B’ bundled out hosts Parsee Gymkhana for a paltry 69. Despite a valiant fightback by PG, the Navsari lads scampered home by just two deliveries to spare.

At the end of the league matches, holders Nagpur, with 8 points from 5 games (4 wins and 1 loss), were clear leaders. Close on their heels, in joint second place and tied on 6 points were Parsee Gymkhana, Navsari ‘A’ and Hyderabad with 6 points each (3 wins and 2 losses). The NRR thus came into play and PG, running their opponents close in the above two games, were declared runners-up due to their superior run-rate.

In the finals, the two teams lined up and were introduced to the Gymkhana President Mehli Golvala by Vice-President and Cricket Secretary – Khodadad Yazdegardi. Nagpur skipper Zervin Rana won the pivotal toss and chose to bat first. Nagpur’s much vaunted openers and mainstay, brothers Danush and Yohann Dungaji, who had served their team well in the league stage, continued their dominant form with Yohann scoring 18 in 15 balls and Danush rattling up a quickfire 46 in 25 balls (5 fours and 2 huge sixes). Clearing the boundary with effortless ease, the latter’s power hitting had shattered the residential window-panes on the far side of the Marine Drive flyover on the first day. After the brothers departed, Homiyar Dumasia scored 18. Burzin Mehta, PG’s most economical bowler, gave away just 9 runs in 2 overs, and captured a wicket. Nagpur scored 93 for 2 in their allotted 10 overs.

The Gymkhana openers went in for overkill, with Shahen Mistry taking the hapless Vaspan Patel to the cleaners for 27 in the first, and his only over with 2 boundaries and 3 maximums. He and Behzad Devadhwala (both scored 46 runs each) ensured no hiccups for the home team as they chased down Nagpur’s score in just 7.3 overs. PG skipper Kersi Pavri marshalled his squad astutely, and if testimony of the vagaries of limited overs cricket is required, look no further – a team which managed to sneak into the finals on the basis of a superior run-rate won the finals by 10 wickets!

PG pulled out all stops to make this tournament a huge success – 4-nights lodging facilities for players, buffet meals and handsome cash prizes for players, winners and runners-up. Cricket Secretary Khodadad was ably assisted by his dedicated team of Mehernosh Chhor, Vafadar Irani , Cherag Irani and Vispi Mehta in organising this tourney.

Aditya Tare, veteran of 80 first class matches, Captain of Mumbai Ranji team and also the last time Mumbai won the Ranji trophy, and having represented Mumbai Indians for 10 years in IPL, and also Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, was the Chief Guest. Guest of Honour was Rusi Bhumgara, past Hon Secretary and Vice-president of the Gymkhana and present Hon Secretary of Fozawac.

MCA qualified Ranji trophy umpires Manish Patel, Rohinton Mistry and Nikhil Patil were on duty alongside scorer Harshil Patel. Harish Pandya’s entertaining and hilarious commentary on all three days enlivened proceedings. The live telecast of matches on YouTube by Kainath Zadeh (Rainbow Warriors Sports & Event Management LLP) complemented the logistics.

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