To be, or not to be is a famous line from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. The Poona Hoteliers Association Executive Committee had to deal with the question of “To do, or not to do the 3rd edition of PHA Premier League in these Covid-19 Pandemic times.”
The PHA (Poona Hoteliers Association) President Sharan Shetty teamed-up with the Chairman of Organizing Committee – Amit Sharma along with other Executive Committee members decided to go ahead with the popular cricket event. The PHA Ex-Comm strongly believed that the need for the event to be organized was much more in the current testing pandemic times than earlier.
The event was organized to solidify the solidarity of the Poona Hoteliers Association (PHA) community, which had to face challenging times during the pandemic.
The event generated an overwhelming response seeing active participation from 20 teams. The tournament was played adhering to all the Covid-19 safety protocols in league cum knockout format spanning 3 days (March 1, 2021 – March 3, 2021).
The first two days saw some pulsating cricketing action, wherein teams tried to secure a quarterfinal berth. We saw teams winning matches by a narrow margin of 2 runs, a huge margin of 100 runs, a bowler picking up an over hattrick, an opening partnership of 158 runs, and many more exciting moments.
In the quarterfinal matches The Ritz Carlton won their match against Fort Jadhavgadh by a comfortable margin of 23 runs. In the 2nd quarterfinal AISSMS team fell short of the target by just 5 runs against defending champion Sayaji.
The 3rd quarterfinal was won by Blue Diamond against Conrad by a margin on 11 runs. The pick of the quarterfinals was played between Corinthians & J W Marriot which resulted in a tie. The match was won in Super over by J W Marriott.
The 1st Semifinal was played between The Ritz Carlton and Sayaji wherein Sayaji – Imran put up a all-round performance to see his team through to the finals. In the 2nd Semifinal Taj Blue Diamond team posted a huge total of 111 runs for opposition J W Marriott, who fell short of the target by 25 runs.
The final match between Blue Diamond and Sayaji failed to live up to the big match expectation. Sayaji bowlers backed their Captains fielding decision by restricting the opposition to a modest total of 49 runs.
The defending champions Sayaji trampled the target in just 4.4 overs with Captain Madhav leading from the front scoring a quickfire 28 runs. The final man of the match was bagged by Sayaji – Sandesh who set up his team’s win by picking 4 wickets. Team Sayaji created history by lifting the PHAPL championship for 3 consecutive years.
The entire tournament was played with great camaraderie and team spirit. The teams played great competitive cricket on-field but above all celebrated the joy of togetherness. The wonderful initiative by Poona Hoteliers Association (PHA) Ex-Comm has strengthened the bond between the PHA community and transformed them into a closely knit family woven by the uniting fabric of Cricket.
The popular PHAPL cricket tournament organized by Poona Hoteliers Association has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 3 years and would scale greater heights in the coming years.
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