By VINODE MAMCHAN
TAMPA/FL-USA: Titan Scorpions repeated as champions of the Tampa MCL tournament when they got the better of newcomers Gladiators by five wickets in a tense final at Wesley Chapel in Tampa, Florida last Sunday.
Tampa won the second tournament held in 2022 following in the footsteps of Samp Army who claimed the initial title in 2019. Led admirably by Chitranjan Singh Rathod, the Titan boys played unbeaten in the tournament to walk away with the US$6,000 first prize.
Titans had earlier played the Gladiators in the first game of the tournament and took the victory in a Super Over. Titans Gladiators won the toss and decided to take first strike in the finals. Prannav Chettipalayam got them off to a rapid start as he cracked 31 before being dismissed in the fifth over with the score on 45. He faced 19 balls, hitting three sixes and a four. After he left wickets fell regularly and despite 25 from the inform Gauranshu Sharma and 21 from Rizwan Mazar, their final score of 132/8 was always going to be inadequate.
Gladiators needed to take quick wickets and at 47/5 in the ninth-over they were in the game. However, wicketkeeper/batsman Nikil Kanchan proved to be too much as he scored an unbeaten 78 that took his team to a five-wicket victory with five balls to spare in the 17-over encounter. He and Omari Williams posted an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 86 runs that took Titans home.
Kanchan ended on 78 not out off 47 balls with four sixes and six fours. Williams made 20 not out and proved to be the perfect foil. For his efforts Kanchan was named player of the final and also player of the tournament.
Gladiators 132/8 (17)
Titan Scorpions 133/5 (16.1)
Complete Scorecard: https://cricketerbook.com/matches/scorecard/14b37a7baf29052aaa5dec3d