MARGATE/FL USA: Somerset Cavaliers the 2017 US Open T20 champions underlined their status as one of the more consistent teams at the tournament, when they reached the finals of the 2018 event, only to lose by a narrow two-run margin.
They were toppled by California Bears and in particular Navin Stewart who grabbed 5/15 to give his team the title, after Somerset dominated three quarters of the match. Batting first, the Bears struggled against the pace of Syed Najafshah and Muhammad Khalil and could put up only 145/9 off their 20 overs.
Openers Kennar Lewis and Gajanand Singh then added 37 runs in just four overs and the contest seemed dead for the Bears. However, Navin Stewart with a never say die attitude produced his best ever T20 bowling to hand the victory to his team and the first prize of US$50,000.
Leading up to the finals, the Cavaliers got the better of 2016 champions the US All Stars. The Cavaliers were in early trouble but the Windies star Andre Russell smoked an unbeaten century to take them to 181/6. Malothra then led a spirited US All Stars fightback but in the end they fell short by eight runs. The right hander smacked 97 off 46 balls and had he not been run out, the final result could have been different.
In the prelims the Cavaliers were brutal winning all four matches, thanks to the effort, Xavier Marshall who had a hundred against Pakistan First. Ashar Zaidi was the most consistent player for the Cavaliers in both the batting and bowling departments.
SOMERSET CAVALIERS PERFORMANCES AT THE 2018 US OPEN
Game One: Somerset CC 203/5 (20) (Xavier Marshall 104, Ashar Zaidi 41) vs Pakistan First 126/9 (Hunain Muhammad 37, Ashar Zaidi 3/20) – Somerset CC won by 77 runs.
Game Two: Somerset CC 165/5 (20) vs Yash Dallas Cricboys 96 all out – Somerset won by 69 runs.
Game Three: MichCA XI 163/9 (20) (Nikhil Kanchan 87, Jubel Ahmed 32) vs Somerset 164/5 (15.5) (Kennar Lewis 62, Shaheer Hassan 43) – Somerset won by 5 wkts.
Game Four: Florida Scorpions 77/8 (20) (Tahir Khan 3/10) vs Somerset CC 81/3 (Ashar Zaidi 29, Xavier Marshall 34) – Somerset won by 7 wkts.
Semis: Somerset Cavaliers 181/6 (20) (Andre Russell 108no) vs US All Stars 173/6 (20) (Jaskaran Malothra 97, Wayne Parnell 45, Rusty Theron 3/15) – Cavaliers won by 8 runs.
Finals: California Bears 145/9 (20) (Shazan Babwah 31, Syed Najafshah 3/22, Rusty Theron 2/26, Muhammad Khalil 2/22) vs Somerset CC 143 all out (Kennar Lewis 32, Ashar Zaidi 37, Gajanand Singh 23, Navin Stewart 5/15, Chris Wood 2/20) – Bears won by 2 runs.