PORVORIM: Geno Sports Club remained unbeaten throughout their campaign and bagged the Goa Premier League 2021-22 (3-Days) title, overcoming the challenge from Dempo Cricket Club in the truncated final at Goa Cricket Association ground, here on Friday.
Having beaten Dempo earlier in the group phase by eight wickets, Geno came into the final with a superior quotient. And had the play been not possible at all due to rainy condition, Geno would have been declared the winners. However, with the GCA ground staff putting in great effort, the final could be played for 125 overs between both the teams over two days. Having been put into bat, Dempo scored 241/6 in 60 overs before declaring their innings. Their captain Snehal Kauthankar was the top-scorer with 79 runs to his name. Azim Kazi contributed 38 runs. Geno off-spinner Mohit Redkar was the pick of their bowlers with 2/34, taking his tally of wickets to 17 for the tournament and made him the highest wicket-taker.
In their reply, Geno did not have to chase Dempo’s total to win the title as such; but they had to bat well enough to avoid getting bowled out and lose the final in the wake of some fiery fast bowling by Ram Dayal (3/40) and Harshad Gadekar (2/24). They had some anxious moments when they lost their first three batters within 20 runs. Captain Amogh Desai (27) tried to steady the ship as wicket-keeper Samar Dubhashi came to the crease. The duo put on 50 runs for the fourth wicket.
Samar played good-looking shots and also displayed strong application as he avoided taking risks. He was looking secure at one end while at the other, Geno lost their fifth wicket soon after Amogh had departed. Then came in youngster Gaurish Kambli (33), who played with a courageous positive approach despite Dempo bowlers dishing out challenging deliveries. As Gaurish struck seven boundaries in his 42-ball stay at the crease, Geno looked set to make it to the finish line without further calamity. With still over 20 overs to go, skillful spinner Vikas Singh foxed Gaurish with his length and the batter couldn’t prevent his stumps being rearranged. Mohit Redkar (21 not out) then played a useful knock as he curbed his aggressive instincts to combine with Samar and take Geno home. However, Mohit and the Geno camp members’ hearts would have been in their mouth when Mohit took his habitual waft outside the off-stump off leggie Manish Kakode for an uppish shot only to see Jagdish Patil spill the chance in a diving effort, with five overs still remaining. Samar (73 not out off 170balls, 10×4) was the key to Geno’s resolute reply of 187/6 in 65 overs and emerging befitting winners in the final of GPL 2021-22.
Following individual prizes were awarded: Best Batsman- Amogh Desai (Geno SC), Best Bowler – Ruthvik Naik (Geno SC), Man-of-the Series – Deepraj Gaonkar (Karimabad SC).
Goa Cricket Association secretary, Vipul Phadke, member Mohan Chodankar, ICA Member, Suresh Mahadevan, Director of Coaching and Cricket Operations, Prakash Mayenkar, Prashant Kakode, Sunil Azgaonkar and Balkrishna Misquin graced the prize distribution ceremony.
Full scorecard 👇
Earlier in the tournament, Geno won both their group games (vs Chowgule and vs Dempo) before overcoming Salgaocar in the semi-final on first innings lead. Dempo meanwhile lost to Geno, while defeating Chowgule in the league stage; before overcoming a stiff challenge by Karimabad SC on the first innings lead in the semi-final. In all six teams featured in the tournament organised by GCA, with the cream of Goa cricketers being drafted via a players auction.