May 1, 2009

Nigeria

Ibeju-Lekki confirm Lagos league dominance with Super 4 title

Jamie Alter

Tunde Akinleye
The Iris Smart Technologies CCC Lagos League 2008-09 in Nigeria has finally drawn to a close with some interesting matches at the end. GCI Old Boys Cricket Club (GCIOB) came back strongly in the second half in Division 1 to qualify for the Super 4 Tournament. The rivalry between Ibeju-Lekki Cricket Club (ILCC) and Ogun Rocks Cricket (Rocks) persisted but Rocks finished rather weakly, leaving ILCC to top the league with a 12-point margin.

At the end of the league matches, the top four teams qualify for a knock-out tournament, the Super 4 Cup. In Division 2, the top four teams engage in a round-robin tournament.

This year the four teams that qualified for the Division 1 Super 4 Tournament were ILCC, Rocks, GCIOB and Howzat Pioneers (HZP). Foundation Cricket Club (FCC) were not able to sustain their past glory and finished fifth. Lagos-Asians Cricket Club (LACC) came last and will be relegated to Division 2 next season.

In the Super 4 Tournament, the rivalry between ILCC and Rocks continued as they met in a close and enthralling encounter to determine which one of them qualifies for the final. GCIOB faced up to HZP. ILCC again triumphed over Rocks whilst GCIOB saw off a close challenge from HZP which was affected by weather. ILCC and GCIOB qualified to meet in the final which traditionally marks the end of the Iris Smart Technologies CCC League season with presentations being made at the post-match event.

The final took place on April 26 and was well attended. The final was played between GCIOB and ILCC. ILCC set GCIOB a target of 180 after lapsing to 93 for 6. GCIOB posted 170 and lost by nine runs.

With this, ILCC emerged the undisputed champions for the Iris Smart Technologies CCC 2008-09 Season having done the double by winning both the League title and also the Super 4 title. This achievement is just reward for the consistent application and dedication of the team which has taken just three seasons to emerge champions.

Division 2 is drawing to a close and it is a keenly contested battle between Federal Government College, Warri Old Boys Cricket Club (FGCW) and Ibeju-Lekki Cricket Club Team 2 (ILCC 2). These two will be playing each other in the final match of Division 2 and with ILCC leading by four points, the Division 2 Championship can go to either of them. ILCC 2 need a win to confirm their position as champions. FGCW need a win with a bonus point or substantial net run rate advantage to seize the championship.

This final match promises to be exciting. The team that wins the championship will be promoted to Division 1 and both teams have promised their fans that they will be campaigning in Division 1 next season.

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Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie Alter
Senior sub-editor While teachers in high school droned on about Fukuyama and communism, young Jamie's mind tended to wander to Old Trafford and the MCG. Subsequently, having spent six years in the States - studying Political Science, then working for an insurance company - and having failed miserably at winning any cricket converts, he moved back to India. No such problem in Bangalore, where he can endlessly pontificate on a chinaman who turned it around with a flipper, and why Ricky Ponting is such a good hooker. These days he divides his time between playing office cricket and constant replenishments at one of the city's many pubs.

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