Nicholas Pooran put up a superlative effort with the bat to help MI New York clinch the first-ever Major League Cricket title on Sunday. The wicketkeeper-batter scored 137 runs off 55 balls as MI New York took down Seattle Orcas by seven wickets at Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas. MI New York restricted Seattle Orcas to 183/9 before chasing down their target in just 16 overs.
MI New York didn’t get off to the best of starts as Imad Wasim dismissed Steven Taylor in their third delivery of the opening over. However, Pooran made his intentions quite clear for the night when he struck consecutive sixes off Wasim’s bowling in the same over. The West Indian showcased tremendous form as he hit Dwaine Pretorius for three sixes and two boundaries in the third over.
Opening batter Shayan Jahangir fell to Wayne Parnell in the fifth over, but Pooran continued to find maximums at the other end. He struck three sixes off Andrew Tye’s bowling to take MI New York’s score to 80/2 in just 6 overs. Pooran kept finding the middle of his bat and smashed a total of 10 fours and 13 sixes during his innings. The Captain remained unbeaten on 137 runs off 55 balls and single-handedly took MI New York over the line with 4 overs to spare.
Earlier in the day, MI New York won the toss and put Seattle Orcas into bat. Quinton de Kock looked in prime touch as he struck Jessy Singh for consecutive boundaries in the second over. However, Rashid Khan sent De Kock’s opening partner Nauman Anwar packing for 9 runs off 13 balls in the fifth over. Thereafter, Shehan Jayasuriya provided excellent support to De Kock as he hit David Wiese for a four and six in the seventh over. But Steven Taylor bowled him out for 16 runs off 15 balls in the tenth over.
Following Heinrich Klaasen’s early departure, De Kock and Shubham Ranjane put up a fantastic partnership of 51 runs from 24 balls to take Orcas’ score to 142/4 in 16.1 overs. Thereafter, the Orcas kept losing wickets at regular intervals, but Dwaine Pretorius’ cameo of 21 runs from 7 balls helped his team post a formidable total on the board.
Speaking about his team’s victory, the leading run-scorer in the tournament and MLC Season 1 MVP Nicholas Pooran said, “We spoke today about having an opportunity to do something special. I am very proud of everything every individual did and everyone contributed in some way. The people in the dressing room told me that I just needed to bat like Nicky P and not think about batting like the captain. I just backed my skills. The platform was there today and the opportunity was there.”
Meanwhile, the Seattle Orcas’ Captain Wayne Parnell said, “Whenever someone plays like that, you have to give them credit. Credit to Nicky and his team. It did not look like he (Pooran) would mishit a ball today. We put up a decent total but we have to give them credit today. The first MLC season has gone really well. Credit to everyone who has organized it. Credit to our owners and the management for picking this team and giving us the freedom to play this brand of cricket.”
Brief Scores: MI New York 184/3 (Nicholas Pooran 137*, Dewald Brevis 20, Imad Wasim 1/14) beat Seattle Orcas 183/9 (Quinton de Kock 87, Shubham Ranjane 29, Rashid Khan 3/9) by 7 wickets
– SLING TV Most Valuable Player of the Tournament: Nicholas Pooran
– Royal Rice Leading Run Scorer: Nicholas Pooran
– NTT Leading Wicket Taker: Trent Boult
– Bart King Domestic Player of the Tournament: Cameron Gannon