Khaitan & Co lifted the ELP Masters Cricket Cup trophy for the second time after defeating hosts and defending champions Economic Laws Practice (ELP) in the finals of the 10th edition of the competition held on 5-7 January.

The final was a “power-packed performance by the two teams” which “kept spectators guessing”, ELP said in a press release.

“We actually dominated in every aspect, whether it be batting, bowling, fielding or wicket-keeping,” said Rabindra Jhunjhunwala, a partner and captain of the winning team at Khaitan & Co. “Khaitan lost only one wicket in the entire tournament, despite rotating its batting attack in every game. The marked departure from the usual format of the game was our strategy of playing five frontline bowlers in every game and turning what is usually a batsman-dominated game on its head.”

Glorious-win-for-Khaitan-at-ELP-Masters-Cricket-Cup-2Khaitan elected to bowl first and restricted ELP to 51/5 in the allotted 6 overs. Ashraya Rao chased ELP’s total from the very first ball, eventually retiring after scoring 36 runs. The team got its winning runs in the 4th over.

Jhunjhunwala added, “It helped that we had fresh and in some cases, very young blood on the team … we had a wider pool of talent to choose from and several regular players were benched!”

Khaitan’s Shivanshu Thapyal claimed two “Man of the Match” awards, while Ashraya Rao won three along with the “Man of the Series” award. ELP’s Amit Manubarwala and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co’s (SAM) Nishant Sharma were adjudged the best batsman and best bowlers of the series, respectively.

The Masters Cricket Cup is played in a 7-a-side format, with one compulsory player aged 40 years or over. Five players must bowl one over (5 balls) each in the league and all six players other than the keeper must bowl one over (6 balls) each in the finals.

A total of 16 law firms fought it out on the field to claim the coveted cup. SAM and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas made it to the finals. The other participating teams were from Talwar Thakore & Associates, Desai & Diwanji, Kanga & Co, DSK Legal, Wadia Ghandy & Co, Hariani & Co, ALMT Legal, Trilegal, Veritas Legal, AZB & Partners, IC Universal Legal and Nishith Desai Associates.

ELP’s managing partner, Suhail Nathani, said he was delighted to see the continuing legacy of the cricket competition. “The tournament is a wonderful networking ground for peers in the industry and this in turn helps build camaraderie within the legal fraternity.”