By VINODE MAMCHAN
All-rounder Zishawn Qureshi turned in a fine all-round performance to lead the Florida Beamers to their first victory of the 2021 Toyota Minor League tournament at the Maq Cricket Stadium in Delray Beach on the weekend.
The Beamers have struggled this season and going into Saturday’s encounter was winless in eight games. The captain Qureshi then took the bull by the horns and led from the front as they defeated the Atlanta Param Veers by two wickets.
The visitors batted first and was restricted to 124 all out in 19.2 overs thanks to wonderful spin bowling by the former Indian Premier League (IPL) player Rajesh Sharma and Qureshi. The off-spinner Sharma finally go into the groove of things by taking 3/23, while the left-arm orthodox spinner Qureshi returned the excellent figures of 2/15 from four overs including a rare maiden.
Medium pacer Prince Patel was also good in claiming 2/18 from his four overs, while Prit Patel was good opening the bowling and finishing with 1/23 off three overs.
When Beamers replied they lost the early wicket of Leslie Daniel for a first ball ‘duck’. In walked Qureshi to change the complexion of the match. He and opener Armaan Kapoor came together to forge a partnership of 61 for the second wicket that put Beamers on course for victory. Kapoor made 28 off 36 balls with a six and a four. At the fall of his wicket there was a collapse including the wicket of Qureshi. The right-hander made 36 off 31 balls with two massive sixes and four fours.
With Qureshi out the way, Param Veers the US Open T20 champions then came roaring back and soon Beamers were 101/7 in the 18th over. However, Asim Khurshid was still there and he took them home at 125/8 with an unbeaten 29 off 15 balls, including three sixes. Evroy Dyer took 3/21 and Santosh Reddy 2/14.
This victory was the first recorded by the Florida Beamers in the 2021 Toyota Minor League.
Atlanta Param Veers 124 all out (19.2) (Rajesh Sharma 3/23, Zishawn Qureshi 2/15, Prince Patel 2/18) vs Florida Beamers 125/8 (19.4) (Zishawn Qureshi 36, Armaan Kapoor 28, Asim Khurshid 29no) – Beamers won by 2 wkts.