The finals of this year’s BIDA President’s cup cricket was played on 13 August at the Middleton St George ground near Darlington between Wigan and North East Divisions. Like last year, it was a gorgeous summer’s day although the outfield was somewhat wet from overnight rain.
Defending champions Wigan had entered the finals after beating Liverpool and Stoke in the earlier rounds whilst North East had got the better of Blackburn and Huddersfield.
Players and their supporters, mainly comprising of family members, had made their way to Darlington through the picturesque countryside of Cumbria and Yorkshire.
Wigan won the toss and elected to bat. They had a very good opening partnership between Syed Taqvi ((37) and Ravi Badge (31) but North East pulled it back with quick wickets thanks to excellent bowling by Subhan who bowled with great control and skill. After the departure of Ravi and Syed, the star of Wigan’s victory over Stoke, Amit Anand, was trapped lbw for 1 and Wigan at one stage were reeling at 86 for 3 after 16 overs. North East continued to get wickets at regular intervals reducing Wigan to 141 for 8 at the end of 24 overs and at this stage of the game it appeared that Wigan may struggle to play out the allocated overs but a 56 run partnership between Mikhil Jain and Mukesh Hemmady for the ninth wicket saw them close their innings on a respectable score of 199 from 30 overs. This ground had a reputation for being a high scoring one and the Lancastrians were not entirely sure that this was a par score for the track. Mikhil Jain top scored with a well deserved 68.
In reply, North East started well but lost two quick wickets. Subhan(36) and their skipper, Pratish(32) steadied the ship till the 20th over when Subhan was bowled by a peach of a delivery from Amit Anand reducing them to 111 for 3(the Nelson effect!).Jawad bowled a probing spell but was unlucky to go wicketless however he built up sufficient pressure with dot balls and the run rate kept creeping up.As is the case in big games, score board pressure played its part and wickets started falling at regular intervals and North East were bowled out for 156 in the 29th over.Amit Anand took four and Umar two wickets respectively and Zia as always was excellent behind the stumps.
Wigan won the match by 43 runs and their reign as BIDA champions continues for another year.
Mikhil Jain was adjudged man of the match for an all round performance of 68 runs and a wicket to boot.
Mikhil Jain 68, Syed Taqvi 37, Ravi Badge 31,
Subhan 36 runs and four wickets, Pratish 32
Author: Mukesh Hemmady