On Thursday, March 7th, Northern Stars (Jamia Millia Islamia) beat Western Wizards (Jiwaji University, Gwalior) by 10 wickets in the semi-final UCC match. Jamia needed all of 51 balls to race to an emphatic victory after Jiwaji were all out for 61 runs in 18.1 overs. This was the lowest team score of the championship.
A team that has always defended low totals, Jiwaji did not have enough on the board. The Jamia openers were under no pressure and backed by a packed home crowd, Amit Verma and Shivam Sharma squeezed the Gwalior attack and scored the required runs with no trouble at all. Shivam was in a punishing mood. He struck five fours and a six in a 36-ball 43 that ended the match as a contest.
The semifinal turned out to be an anti-climax as the Gwalior players went down like a pack of cards, with the highest partnership worth only a 19 runs. The slide started early with Jamia’s Abhay Negi and Aashish Chopra removed both the openers with just two runs on the board. The movement and pace on a hard wicket caught the Gwalior players by surprise as Jamia’s fielding backed the bowlers to the hilt. Shivam took two wonderful catches at slips.
Deepak Sharma was declared the Man of the Match for his outstanding bowling. And Shivam Sharma got the Batsman of the Match award while Deepak Sharma the Bowler of the Match.
Jamia will now meet either Southern Champs (Jain University, Bengaluru) or Western Wolves (Mumbai University) in the big final on Sunday, March 10th, at Jamia Millia Islamia.