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ANIRBAN 128-6 (14 OVERS)

Arif Ahmed 28, TAJ hussain 23, marham rahman 26


AJMAL AFZAL 35, dudley spiers 28no, ross legg 23, tom taylor 21




The new VPCCL season officially began on Friday as the defending league champions, Anirban took on the Presidents VIII in a return to the opening season format that had been absent for the last four years. 

As a poignant memorial for Bert Vandermark who sadly passed away back in February, members of his family  alongside his wife Rita arrived at the park to watch the mighty league champions against the best of the best from across four divisions in 2020. 

Anirban’s Arif Ahmed won the first toss of 2021, electing to bat for the champions and despite a three quick sixes from Mahran Rahman, it was the Presidents who made the early inroads with debutant AZM  Jonynicking behind and Muhibur Jony removing the in-form Rahman helping to reduce Anirban to 35-2, with Ross Legg taking two simple catches behind the stumps. Arif Ahmed’s cool head kept things in check as he and Taj Hussain (23) put on a crucial half century stand  alongside Shumon Miah (23). Ahmed was eventually run out for 28, as Homerton’s Sagar Bora took two quick late wickets including bowling the dangerous Hussain as the league champions finished on 128-6 in their 14 overs. 

The President's made an emphatic start as I Don’t Like Crickets’ Ross Legg blitzed four quick boundaries with three in succession before he was caught by Salman with a heave over the bowler. His wicket  brought in Ajmal Afzal  (35) of Super Rangers as he and last seasons top run scorer, Masiha’s  Tom Taylor (21) looked to be steering the Presidents to a comfortable victory with a half century stand. 

However, as the halfway point neared , and the Presidents on a comfortable 72-1, the wobbles began to take hold. Firstly, Taylor watched his timbers fall trying to scoop and Ajmal followed shortly after caught in the deep as Anirban pulled themselves back into the match and sensed victory. Homerton’s skipper Sagar Bora fell cheaply alongside Phoenix’s Ishmail Malvad as the Presidents slipped to 90-5 with just three overs remaining.

With the dark creeping in and the run-rate rising, Anirban pushed hard for victory, but it was skipper Dudley Spiers and veteran Rizwan Siddiqui showed his ever dangerous form as the pair smashed just 28 off just 9 balls as Riz nudged the crucial final run off the final ball, to spearhead victory for the Presidents by the closest of margins. 

With the Vandermark family watching on to the end and a small memorial after to recognise a man who has had a huge impact on the players and the league, the opening match was finished.


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