Championship weekend across Canada
This weekend will be a time of championships in the domestic leagues across Canada. From East to West there will be decisive matches as the cricket season draws to a close. In Toronto there are still four teams with title aspirations in the Premier League, while in Vancouver and Calgary the field has already been narrowed to two.
Toronto's final weekend of Premier League play gives us some bonus action as last Saturday's rainouts pushed everything back by a day. The semifinals will be contested Saturday at King City with the winners progressing to the finals on Sunday. The first semifinal features Yorkshire vs Vikings, and the second pits Cavaliers against West Indians. Vikings earned their way to the semis with a five wicket win over Centurions last weekend while West Indians knocked off Victoria Park in a match which featured three of Canada's national team pacemen. Yorkshire and Cavaliers had last week off by virtue of their first place finish in their respective divisions. The weather looks good so we should have a champ by Sunday night. The First Division playoffs are also continuing with the quarterfinals and semifinals this weekend. The teams still alive are: National, Gujarat, SpartanSuperstar, Cavaliers II, Brampton Masters, Kholvad, Vikings II, and Lion Hearts.
In Vancouver the picture is a lot clearer with only finals to be contested on this final weekend. The Premier League final on Saturday sees points leaders Meraloma take on the second place finishers Salim Akbar. Meraloma won two of their three matches so far this season, by 4 wickets and 123 runs respectively. The other match was a tight 3 run victory for Salim Akbar. Meraloma will look to national team bowlers Steven Welsh and Kevin Sandher to take care of business while Salim Akbar will look for a total team effort to claim the crown. Meraloma will look for the double as their 2nd team will take on West Vancouver on Sunday in the First Division final.
Calgary's champion is decided not by a playoff, but by the leader of the points table at the end of the season. However this weekend will have the decisive match there as well. Predators and St. John's are presently tied on 54 points atop the Premier League table. Predators have completed their season and will have to sit and watch as St. John's play their final match against Cavaliers. A win will result in victory, while a loss will give the trophy to Predators as they have a higher win percentage due to a rained out game earlier in the year. There is also a big match between United and Canasia who are tied for third place. The winner of this match claims third and with it, a coveted spot in the Alberta Superleague starting next year.
It won't be easy to keep up with all the cricket this weekend, but it will be an exciting time across this great land of ours.