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Goa’s one-of-a-kind T-20 tourney The Panjim Gymkhana Members League kicked off today at a colourful ceremony as players and team owners came together. 

Team owners of the five participating teams – Iftikar Aga of Prescon Panthers, Krupa Kholkar of Manas Mavericks, Shrinivas Dempo of Dempo Challengers, Nandan Kudchadkar of LPK11 and Ashwin Chandoik of Baale Tigers released balloons into the air to mark the inaugural of the celebrated tournament in the presence of Manoj Caculo, President, Panjim Gymkhana and Rajesh Khaunte, Hon. Secretary, Panjim Gymkhana. 

LPK 11 took on Prescon Panthers in the inaugural match. Anil Angle former joint secretary Panjim Gymkhana and the man who was a key architect in setting up cricket infrastructure in the city in the late 60s, tossed the coin  which was won by Prescon Panthers.Veteran cricket player, ex Ranji player and member of governing council of PGML,  Suresh Mahadevan who is also the League Commissioner handed  the ball to the umpires prior to the kick off of the inaugural match. 

Manoj Caculo, President of Panjim Gymkhana speaking at the inaugural said, “This is the first time that a cricket league of this magnitude and scale is taking place in the state amidst a festive atmosphere. It’s a moment of pride for us to kick off this tournament at this picturesque historic ground at Panjim Gymkhana which is the pride of the city”. 

Chief Guest for the ceremony Anil Angle said, “I am honoured to be invited for the coin toss ceremony by Manoj Caculo. In 1977 I was invited to bowl the first ball on this historic ground. It’s a great honour to be here again today.”

Baale Tigers and Prescon Panthers won their respective matches on the opening day of the first edition of the Panjim Gymkhana Members League (PGML)  at PG ground, Campal here on Saturday.

Baale scored an emphatic 32-run victory over Manas Mavericks in the evening after Prescon Panthers had beaten LPK11 by three wickets in the opener in the morning session.

Manas Mavericks failed to click in the run-chase, and could never gain a foothold as they lost wickets at regular intervals. They were all out for 118. Allrounder Shekhar Amonkar was the top-scorer with 33 runs to his credit.

Baale Tigers captain Kapil Angle was the chief wicket-taker with 3/28 while Balkrishna Hodarkar picked up 2 wickets. Sairaj, who displayed great touch while batting earlier, also got a wicket and was named man of the match.

Baale Tigers posted a total of 150/7 in the alloted 20 overs against Manas Mavericks after electing to bat. Sudin Kamat (35 off 28 balls) and middle-order batsman Sairaj Dhond (35 off 28 balls) provided their batting department the firepower to post a decent total after a shaky start to their inning.

Sudin’s knock comprised two powerful hits to the fence and two sixers while Sairaj struck three boundaries and one maximum. Shushrut Nasnodkar in his contribution of 34 runs (29b), hit a couple of boundaries and one sixer.  Mihir Kundaikar scored an unbeaten 22 of 19 balls, which included 2 fours.

For Manas Mavericks, Shekhar Amonkar was the most successful bowler with figures of 2/10, in his three economical overs.

In the first match, chasing LPK 11 total of 154/9 – Prescon rode on solid knocks of Iftikar Agha (38) and Swayam Naik (38), to reach 155/7 in 17.3 overs and make a winning start to the inaugural exclusive members T20 league.

Iftikar and Swayam put on a crucial 62-run partnership for the fifth wicket to provide the spine to the run chase after Prescon had got off to a shaky start.

Iftikar, who was named man of the match, slammed five boundaries and two sixers in his 18-ball knock while Swayam hit three sixers and two boundaries in his 19-ball stay at the crease. Captain Prajyot Rivonkar scored 20 runs. For LPK 11, Anish Kakode picked up two wickets, giving away 19 runs off his 3 overs.

Earlier having put into bat, a strokeful unbeaten 44-run knock by captain Anup Kudchadkar was the highlight of LPK 11’s inning of 154/9.

LPK got off to a flying start with Anup playing the big shots from the outset. His 21-ball stay at the crease, provided good entertainment as he hit six fours and 2 sixes. Devidas Kholkar also played a notable role, contributing 38 runs in 33 balls.  His knock comprised four boundaries. Manish Kakode scored 31 runs in 22 balls, which included one sixer and a four.

Prescon Panthers’ Vivek Karapurkar picked up two wickets giving away 25 runs in his 3 overs.

The matches will be screened live on YouTube

The PGML will run through the month and be held on weekends as the five teams battle for the top spot. 

Located along the picturesque Mandovi River, the Panjim Gymkhana, established in 1963, has been recognized as one of the oldest and premier sports clubs and is considered as the nursery of cricket in the state.