LPL Pandemic Season Hundred Competition
Throughout the Month of August whilst the rest of the world were coming to terms with a new way of living due to Covid-19, we at the Foundation, more than ever, wanted to help our communities forget the ongoing pandemic and make available the game they love. Partnering up with the Leeds Premier League (LPL), we organised a Hundred Ball Competition which ran throughout August and was designed to run alongside the ECB Hundred Ball Tournament. However, the ECB Tournament was postponed until 2021, yet we went ahead with our plans and completed a successful competition.
The ECB Hundred is an action-packed new 100 ball cricket competition made simpler – 100 balls per team, most runs wins.
In total we had 10 teams, 2 groups, over 120 players take part and 23 games across 6 different grounds. It was brilliant to see that the players adapted quickly to playing within the new rules set by the ECB with outdoor changing areas, own teas provided, frequent use of sanitiser and batsmen running between marked areas placed on the wicket.
Group A was dominated by Leeds Gladiators who finished unbeaten with Victorious CC finishing close in second place. Group B was dominating by the Royal Indians team who also finished unbeaten and the Strikers made up the final place for the semi-finals. As crowds were reduced at grounds due to the local guidance, the semi-finals and finals were live streamed for family and supporters to watch from home.
Semi Final 1 saw the Gladiators play the Strikers and it was a one-sided affair with the Gladiators chasing down the small target of 98 with 22 balls to spare. Jonathan Figy and Sultan Zeb making 36 and 31 respectively to guide their team home. Parth Pandya was Gladiators’ best bowler with 3-11 from 3 overs
The second semi final saw the Royal Indians take on Victorious CC and at one stage it looked like it would go right down to the wire until Mohammad Khan came in for the Royal Indians and blitz it to all parts to finish with a quickfire 44. Set 107 by Victorious CC, the Royal Indians looked to be leaving it too late at one stage until Khan’s heroic saw them ease home with 14 balls remaining. Defeat was hard on Sujith Jacob who finished with 3-16 from his 4 overs.
The eagerly awaited final was contested by the Gladiators and the Royal Indians. Leeds Gladiators won the toss and elected to bat first. They posted a competitive total of 135/8 from their 100 balls.
That man again Jonathan Figy enjoyed time in the middle in making 47 from 27 balls and was well supported by Madan Basavarajaih who chipped in with 43. Royal Indians reply got off to the worst start losing a wicket in the first over and then finding themselves 14-4. Sameer Manjerkar and Iqbal Khan tried to turn things around with a partnership of 61 but M. Shahbaz ensured the Gladiators finished on top finishing with great figures of 3-6 from his 3 overs.
It was fantastic to see so many people take part in the competition over 3 weeks and play hard fought cricket. It was good to get outdoors and the weather was brilliant throughout.
After missing half of the season due to the pandemic it was important we had some sort of cricket where we could express our love for the game and take our minds of the situation we found ourselves in. I would like to thank the all the players, officials and clubs for playing their part and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation for supporting us to put a great competition together in these testing times and we look forward to putting on a bigger event again next year.
Jacob Kalapurakal, chairman of the LPL 100
Jonathan Figy, who was declared batsman of the tournament, commented,
‘It was nice to finally get out and play some cricket. We all trained hard in the winter and were ready to get going but unfortunately, we lost the first half of the season. But I think with this tournament we made up for it’
Madan Basavarajaih, Player of Tournament