Saturday Cricket Club Blog

Friday, May 13, 2005

Saturday CC romps to victory against Hattrickers

Match Report Saturday CC vs. Hattrickers

The 3rd round match of 2005 Knockout tournament started under cloudy conditions with a weather forecast of intermittent showers. Luckily, the raingods stayed away the entire match. SCC captain Naresh wasn't as lucky though with the toss. Hattrickers chose to bat first however, setting in action what SCC think-tank wanted, to chase a target, rather than set one.
SCC bowling attack was looking comparitively weak, with the absence of Abhay, Ahmed and Kedar Bapat.

Wasim started as usual, bowling a very tight line and length and giving nothing away. He was almost awarded with a wicket in the first over but Shankar dropped a sharp chance at square leg. Morning blues, probably. But the pressure created by Wasim helped in the very next over as the other opener skied a catch to Nadeem at covers of the bowling of Madan. There was a runout in the next over as well. As always, Ashish was involved in the runout along with Shiv. Any scoring opportunities were dried up by accurate SCC bowling and tight fielding.The pressure fetched a wicket each in the 4th and 5th over as batsmen tried to force the pace.

Wasim bowled a very effective spell of 3 overs for 6 runs and 1wicket.Madan and Wasim were replaced in the attack by Kedar M and Shankar. Both took a while to settle down and the run rate improved a bit. A partnership started blossoming and then there was another letoff. The opening batsmen Ani, who was dropped by Shankar, got 2 lives in one ball. First Naresh could not hold on to a very fierce drive to his left hand. But Nadeem, who was alert, threw the ball to the bowlers end where Kedar M smartly collected the ball and whipped the bails off. However, as is to be expected of most umpires in theTCA, this one was also in no position to judge correctly, and ruled in favour of the batsmen. There was another reprieve when a clear outside edge of the bowling of Shankar was not upheld by the umpire. The partnership finally ended in the 11th over when Kedar M took a very high catch of his own bowling with the score at 31.

Hattrickers managed 23 runs in the last 5 overs losing 3 wickets. Naresh castled a batsmen while Shankar and Shiv got into the act to run out the opener Ani for 16. Shankar also gave up only 6 runs in his 3 overs. SCC were set a target of 54.

The mood in the SCC camp was jovial and chirpy. The cold weather brought out some Hema Malini mimickry asking "Dharam" to make her "Garam". I dont know about Dharam, but both Parag and Nadeem sure warmed up to the task of chipping at the target in extremely confident fashion. Parag hit the shot of the match in the 3rd over when he flicked an overpitched delivery to the right of the deep midwicket fielder for a one bounce boundary.

SCC was helped by some inconsistent bowling as there were wides and No balls aplenty. But it was the opening pair that did all the damage. Parag and Nadeem displayed tremendous understanding in running singles and twos and put constant pressure on the fielding side. They literally took the match away as opposition shoulders started dropping. The two put on 39 in 8 overs, thus ensuring that there would be no dramatics to follow. Parag was out, immediately after the break for a well made 13. SCC needed just 15 runs in 7 overs at that point, with 9 wickets in hand. This stat should provide you with a clear picture of the dominance of the SCC openers.

Madan, greedy to bat, begged his captain to send him next, and was granted his wish. But he did not look confident and was finding it hard to rotate the strike. Nadeem was his composed self at the other end, collecting singles where-ever available.In the end, the target of 54 was never a daunting one, and SCC sauntered home with 3 overs and 4 balls to spare.Nadeem was unconquered with 15, while Madan chipped in with 9 runs. All in all, a very easy victory.
The wonderful form of both the openers should bode well for SCC in the upcoming matches.

But this victory, however convincing, still does not hide some of the weaknesses and/or shortcomings on display. Dropped catches, the inability to stem singles and twos in the later overs, not getting lower order wickets quickly enough are some of the problems that need to be addressed while bowling. The other problem is new batsmen not displaying the ability to get singles, not rotate the strike and thus put pressure on the other batsmen.We need to iron out these things as the quality of opposition will only improve henceforth, and there lie tougher tests ahead. So lets prepare ourselves to improve our Knock-out tournament record, one match at a time.



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