MSSA Girls Cricket: Poor scheduling mars final as Shardashram win U-16 title
St Columba coach Ivan Rodrigues, father of India cricketer Jemimah, was understandably livid
Warped scheduling by the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) saw St Columba High School (Gamdevi) forced to play back-to-back matches and end up losing the MSSA-Late Manoramabai Apte inter-school girls U-16 final to Shardashram Vidyamandir (Dadar) at Islam Gymkhana yesterday.
The St Columba girls were made to play a 15-overs-per-side semi-final against St Joseph's Convent (Bandra) in the morning, which they won by 52 runs. Then, after a mere 75-minute break, they took on Shardashram in the final and lost by 51 runs. Interestingly, Shardashram played their semi-final on Thursday and enjoyed a three-day rest.
St Columba coach Ivan Rodrigues, father of India cricketer Jemimah, was understandably livid. "These are small girls, not seasoned players. This tournament is held once in a year; there are no other tournaments for girls. And you still make them play back-to-back matches? That's unfair! The other team coming into the final fresh, was always going to hold the advantage," said Rodrigues.
MSSA cricket secretary Nadim Memon blamed the scheduling issue on ground availability. "This is not the first time that we are playing a semi-final and final on same day. We have to consider availability of the ground as well," he said.
Meanwhile, Ketki Dhure (58-ball 72) top-scored for the Shardashram girls, who posted 134 in 19.4 overs. In reply, St Columba skipper and medium pacer Tushi Shah's 5-43 and 50 off 51 balls went in vain as her team only managed 83-9 off their 20 overs.
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