Saturday Cricket Club Blog

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Winning Start to 2nd Round of Open 2006

Saturday CC made a good start today to the Second Round of TCA Open 2006 tournament. There are going to be 3 matches in this round and we will probably need to win all 3 to advance to the next round. Today was a fine way to begin that quest.

SatCC was facing Dunford Devils today at Gill Park, a ground where we have suffered two embarassing defeats during League games in the last 2 years. So there was added pressure to perform well. The pitch looked dusty with heavy grass in the outfield. It looked as if scoring would be difficult on this ground. With that in mind, Dunford Devils won the toss and put SatCC into bat.

In the absence of Nadeem, Shiv opened the innings with Viral. However, he was soon back in the hut Run Out for 1 with the team score on 5. It definitely was not an ideal start to the innings, but we have to be ready to play through such hiccups, and that is exactly what Viral and Naresh did. Both took their time to get their eye in, not taking any undue risks, but still moving the scorecard at a decent clip. After 5 overs, SatCC had made 18. Soon Viral found his groove and started playing some powerful pulls, hooks and flicks. He regularly cleared the baseball fence on his Leg side to collect 2s with minumum risk. The opposing bowlers kept bowling to his strength and it was easy pickings for Viral. Naresh did the smart thing by picking up singles at every opportunity and rotating the strike. At the break the score had reached 44. The two batsmen managed 27 runs in 5 overs before the break.

After the break, Viral continued in the same vein and the score had moved to 57 when Viral was done in by a very fast and well directed Yorker. But before he got out, he had added 36 chanceless runs. His 36 contained 12 doubles. An amazing innings. Naresh and Viral put on 52 runs for the second wicket. Naresh soon was run out for a well made 16 with the score on 64 in the 15th over. Mayank and Madan played out a couple of overs not taking risks and the score reached 70 after 16 overs.

The last 4 overs saw plenty of fireworks from the two batsmen. The running between the wickets was frantic, and 1s were converted regularly into 2s. Mayank hit two wonderful boundaries in the Midwicket region. Madan survived a dropped catch and hit a Six after a long time. The innings finally closed on 109 as 39 runs were plundered in the last 4 overs. The two had a partnership of 45 runs in 32 deliveries. Mayank made a brilliant 27 in just 23 deliveries, while Madan contributed 19 to the cause.

With such a big total to chase, the task was never going to be easy for Dunford Devils. And Abhay made the task doubly difficult for them in the First over. Of the very First delivery, Abhay got Sriram cleaned up behind his legs as the ball hit the root of the leg Stump. Of the third delivery, a surprisingly fast but low full toss, the next batsmen hit all around it and was clean bowled to leave Dunford Devils tottering at 2 wickets for 0 runs.

With such a start, the task kept becoming increasingly difficult. Shantanu bowled a tight spell and frustrated the next batsman into a rash shot to give Madan an easy catch. Gyanesh joined in the fun and picked up 2 wickets. Naresh plucked a thunderous drive at short mid-off of his bowling, while Hardik held onto a nice catch at covers. Dunford Devils batsmen then swung their bats to collect a couple of fours and a Six but the final result was never in doubt.

Naresh made a diving stop and effected a run out. Shiv affected a smart stumping of Mayank's bowling. Abhay and Shiv had 2 more runouts and then Mayank finished off things as Shantanu held on to an easy catch at square leg. Dunford Devils innings closed on 72 giving SatCC an easy 37 run victory.

While the bowling was not upto the mark today, the victory was all but sealed by our top order batsmen. Viral, Naresh and Mayank played impressive innings to help build a big total, while Madan chipped in with a cameo, albeit a lucky one.

Viral was named Man of the Match. He is really setting the tone for us every match and is putting us in a position to win almost every time. Now with Naresh and Mayank also finding form, the top order looks good. We will have to tighten up our bowling a bit and make sure that the rest of us are also able to make useful contributions with the bat.

In the end, a very convincing win. And we need to keep up the efforts and performances.



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