Tallinn United Falcons vs Tallinn Hippos
Falcons captain Rifaq Khan won the toss and elected to bat first with dark clouds overhead and rain threatening. Rifaq Khan, leading run scorer in the 40 over competition with 398 runs from 8 matches, opened the batting with Taimoor Khan. They got off to a good start before Kalle Vislapuu had Rifaq caught for 22 off 17, shortly followed by Taimoor being bowled by Dave Robson for 7. Shortly after the second wicket fell play was halted by a heavy shower with the players returning to the field after a 5 minute delay only to leave the field again after just 1 more ball was bowled. Heavy rain set in and it was another 45 minutes before play resumed. This lost time meant the match was shortened to 34 overs per team.
After the delay Aditya Panwar and Jay Baradwhaj took to the Hippos bowling attack, amassing a partnership of 114 before Aditya fell for 68 from 64 balls. Jay was then brilliantly run out for 43 off 44 by Hippos captain Tim Heath with a direct hit to leave the Falcons 163/4. Pranay Ghwewala (42 off 33) then combined with the Falcons lower order to post 239/9 off their 34 overs.
Kalle Vislapuu had the best figures of the Hippos bowling attack with 3/47 from his 7 overs. Dave Robson picked up 2 wickets while Tim Filer and Richard Parkin got one each.
The Hippos run chase got off to a decent start with Tim Filer and Mart Tammoja both reaching double figures before falling in quick succession leaving the team 41/2. Harpreet Singh picked up his second wicket soon after getting Marko Vaik to bring EPL F40’s second highest run scorer Stu Hook (362 from 6 games) to the crease. 4 overs later he was Harpreet’s 3rd victim, falling for 12 and leaving the Hippos in serious trouble at 64/4. Wickets continued to fall regularly from that point on with only Dave Robson’s 36 from 29 balls threatening the Falcons. Tim Heath (10 off 11) was the only other Hippos batsman to reach double figures as the last 4 wickets fell for 29 runs to hand the Falcons the trophy.
The Falcons bowling and fielding was exceptional with 8 catches taken in the innings. Aditya Panwar’s bowling was excellent, constantly putting pressure on the batsmen and finishing with 4/32 from 7 overs. Harpreet Singh got 3 wickets, with Ramakrishan Singh picking up 2 and Anurag Poudel getting 1.
Congratulations to Tallinn United Falcons for an excellent season of 40 over cricket and a deserving victory in the final.