Mainland Sambaran Cricket Academy wins Mantoo Ghosh Challenge Cup

Mainland Sambaran Cricket Academy

Kolkata, 3rd May, 2022: Mainland Sambaran Cricket Academy (MSCA) won the inaugural Mantoo Ghosh Challenge Cup, a first-of-its-kind under-15 cricket tournament, with an emphatic win over Tarun Sangha Cricket Academy on Friday, 29 April. The tournament was organised by Mantoo Ghosh Cricket Academy, the cricket coaching arm of Tollygunge Agragami Club, at its ground in Tollygunge, off Moore Avenue.

Batting first on Thursday, the first day of the two-day match, Mainland Sambaran Cricket Academy amassed an imposing total of 635 off 80 overs, and bundled out Tarun Sangha on Friday for 142 runs in 34 overs to win the match by 493 runs.

MSCA’s captain Joheen Das was adjudged the man of the match for his 294 off 171 balls — one of the dozen double centuries scored in the tournament. MSCA’s Akshu Giri, who scored 161 in the final, received the man of the tournament award for scoring 862 runs from five innings with an average of 431 runs.

Right from the league stage, Mainland Sambaran Cricket Academy was the pick of the 21 teams that took part in this unique tournament, which got underway on December 1. MSCA started with a victory over Akbar Cricket Academy by an innings and 16 runs, and won the other two league matches by first innings lead. In the semi-final, MSCA beat Howrah’s North Point School by five wickets, chasing 420.

At the league stage, each side had to bat twice, and minimum of 80 overs bowled in a day—a departure from the limited-over format. An outright win yielded seven points, whereas win by first innings lead produced four points. At the knock-out stage, the matches were of 80 overs a side, split between two days.

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“The format of this tournament made a huge difference to our players overloaded with limited-over cricket,” said Sambaran Banerjee, former cricketer and coach. “Most importantly, the format taught children to be patient. Bowlers learned to bowl long spells, fielders learned to field all day. This is exactly the kind of cricket to which children should get more exposure for their own good in the long run.”

The biggest individual score in an innings came from Ayush Roy of RC Sporting Club, the second highest scorer of the tournament with 617 runs from three innings, who scored a scintillating 425 off 162 balls against Md. Sporting Club in their first league match.

The top pick among bowlers was MSCA’s Rudraneel Das who claimed 31 wickets from six innings with an economy rate of 3.97 and an average of 16.29. Akshit Pandey of Kolkata Colts Cricket Academy was the second highest wicket taker with 18 wickets from four innings.

“This tournament has brought to the fore a large pool of talented cricketers such as Akshu Giri, who scored five centuries, and Rudraneel Das among bowlers,” said Biswajit Mukherjee, technical director of Mantoo Ghosh Cricket Academy. “The idea behind the tournament was to give these players the experience of playing long-format cricket, and I am sure, going forward, these cricketers will get the attention of CAB selectors for their performances in this tournament.”

A total of 38 matches were played over almost five months, the playing schedule disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, unseasonal rain and school examinations. As many as 52 centuries were scored and 55 100-run partnerships witnessed, while bowlers claimed 800 wickets.