Saturday Cricket Club Blog

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Winning start to TCA Open 2006

Saturday CC began their quest to win the TCA Open 2006 tournament on Saturday 12th Aug 2006 against Koogu 11. Saturday CC has performed admirably in the Open tournament the last 4 years.

While our form has been largely indifferent this year, this is a team of proud individuals who have set high standards for themselves and for the team. Winning the tournament is the only way that we will consider our season a success. Given these goals, it was extremely important to begin the tournament on a winning note. Saturday CC did just that, thanks to a supreme batting effort from Nadeem.

Koogu 11 won the toss and put SatCC into bat. Viral and Nadeem opened for SatCC. Both of them started carefully, getting their eye in and not taking any undue risks. They did a very good job of moving the score card with some wonderful running between the wickets. However Viral lost his wicket with the score on 31. Abhay was sent in next but he got out without troubling the scorers. Kedar M who went in next was looking solid and SatCC reached the 10 over break with the Score at 36 for 2.

Instructions for the two batsman were to accelerate without loosing wickets. Kedar M and Nadeem stepped up the tempo with some very good shots. Nadeem was looking very solid. He used the Offside field intelligently picking up gaps regularly with taps, cuts and drives. Both were looking solid when Kedar M backed up too far and was run out unnecessarily with the score on 53. Madan walked in next and continued the run scoring with Nadeem. The two ran hard and converted 1s into 2s and 2s to 3s on few occasions. The score had moved nicely to 75 when Nadeem lost his wicket trying to throw his bat. The score had reached 75 in the 17th over when Nadeem got out. But by then, he had done a wonderful job of holding the innings together. He scored 39 important runs. After his wicket, SatCC lost their way trying to up the ante and were all out for 83. The last 5 overs only fetched 21 runs while 7 wickets fell down. Had it not been for Nadeem's vigil, the innings could have folded even sooner.

83 was about 10-12 runs short of what we wanted, and the onus was now on the bowlers to make sure that Nadeem's innings would not be a lost cause.

Shantanu ensured that would not happen with a wonderful bowling performance. He got SatCC bowling attack to a wonderful start with a wicket in his very first over. Some alert fielding by Karthik at Fine Leg resulted in another wicket and Koogu 11 was pegged back immediately. The score had moved to 18 when Kedar M got Koogu 11 captain Gane Sugali caught behind by Shiv. Shantanu realized the importance of keeping the upper hand SatCC had gained and tightened the screws further with 2 quick wickets to have the opposition reeling.

Gyanesh came to the party and got a wicket with his first ball as he shattered the middle stump of another clueless batsman. Some fielding magic from Kedar Bapat and another wicket for Gyanesh had Koogu reeling at 24 for 8 wickets.

There were some late innings fireworks from the remaining Koogu batsmen but the final result was never in doubt. Koogu 11 innings folded for 52 after 14 overs. Shantanu returned superb figures of 3 wickets for 6 runs in 4 overs, while Gyanesh was equally impressive with 2 for 4 in 2 overs. The overall fielding effort was also very good and it was a convincing victory in the end.

Nadeem was rightfully named Man of the Match for his 39. This is a good start to the tournament for the team. The shortcomings that were apparent will be discussed, dissected and overcome in the due course of time. I will not go into the problem areas in detail here. But there's a long way to go in this tournament and it will require continuous improvement in all aspects of the game for us to go far in tournament.

Here's hoping that this start is a sign of times and will lead to even better results as we move on in the tournament.



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