The 2022 Edition of the US Open T20 tournament has been hailed a tremendous success by players and officials who participated.
The 14th Edition was the longest in the tournament’s history spanning over nine days from December 5 to 13 at the Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale. The tournament got the full backing of USA Cricket and was also sanctioned by the International Cricket Council.(ICC). This ensured that international players would have taken part and a total of 63 players from around the world participated.
Twelve teams took part in the event with the eventual winner being Stallions X headed by the player of the tournament and US National player Shayan Jahangir.
Over 75 teams took applied to take part in the tournament but in the end Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) decided on a final 12. The teams taking part being Samp Army, Clarion County, Stallions X, CVUCC, Florida Scorpions, Tampa Tigers, UMMC Knight Riders, Titans, Dallas All Stars, Virginia Bears, Masters Cricket Club and Stallions CC.
The teams were treated to a wonderful banquet dinner the day before the tournament began at the spacious Central Broward Regional Park. Many dignitaries from Broward showed up to welcome the players from across the country and the world. The event was well attended and American ‘poster boy’ cricketer Ali Khan was on hand to wish the players all the best.
Khan who is still injured was not able to take part in the tournament but wanted to be there to speak to the players. He reminded all that this was the tournament that gave him his break in international cricket and he was urged all the players to take the opportunity presented to them and make full use of it. His offerings were well received by the large crowd on hand.
At this banquet the Chairman and CEO of Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) Mahammad Qureshi made the announcement that not only US$150,000 in prizes will be given but the player of the tournament will be gifted land worth US$50,000 in Orlando. This left the players anxious to get unto the park and the action bowled off at 10am the following day.
At the opening all teams attended decked off in their tournament gear. They were treated to all the frills that has become known at the US Open T20.
The 12 teams were placed in four groups of three each and they were set to play across group. At the end of the preliminary round stages which went on for six days the top teams emerged. Heading into the quarter-finals were Stallions X, Samp Army, UMMC Knight Riders who won all their three matches, as well as Clarion County, Dallas All Stars, CVUCC, Titans and Masters CC.
Coming out of the quarter-finals were Stallions X, Samp Army, Dallas All Stars and Masters CC. The semi-finals saw a match up between Samy Army and Dallas All Stars and Stallions X and Masters CC.
The finals saw Stallions X playing against Dallas All Stars. Batting first, Stallions X made a wonderful 201/4 off their 20 overs on a beautiful batting strip at Central Broward. They then restricted Dallas All Stars to 108 all out in 14.5 over, recording a resounding victory by 93 runs and sparking wild celebrations among their players and fans.
With the match starting at 11am, the pitch got enough time to dry out and the ball came on nicely unto the bat. Jahangir and fellow opener Tajinder Singh added 87 runs by the 10th over and the foundation was laid for a hefty score. Singh did the early lifting and spanked 56 off 29 balls with eight fours and two sixes.
Shehan Jayasuriya was up next and counted a quickfire 34 off 19 balls with three sixes and two fours. All the while, Jahangir was scoring freely and kept the momentum up. In the end he was unbeaten on 79 off 61 balls with three sixes and seven fours. No bowler stood out for Dallas with four of them taking a wicket apiece.
When Dallas started their innings they were put under pressure as wickets fell regularly. Skipper Unmukt Chand stood among the carnage as the left arm seamer Zia ul Haq proved a handful. U Haq who finished the series as the leading bowler with 15 wickets took 4/11 in the final.
Chand finished with 45 off 33 balls with it was not enough as the others did not provide the support they needed to, in order to get the huge target.
At the ending ceremony which was attended by County Commissioner Hazel Rogers the winning team collect their US$100,000. The Dallas All Stars also received their runners up prize. The MVP was named in the form of Shayan Jahangir. He also scored the most runs. The most wickets award went to Stallions X Zia Ul Haq while the most promising player award went to the youthful Aayan Qureshi.