40 over season restart at Oxon Hill versus United CC. WCC won the toss and to their captain's awe we chose to field :) For the newbees UCC prefers to chase.
The dangerous Sajid Bhai and McKenzie opened their innings and we also had all cylinders firing, Surprise surprise !! Sameer and Ankit opened the bowling !! They were 10 odd runs in 8 overs as Sameer bowled an impeccable line and was unplayable. Ankit on the other hand had Sajid Bhai at bay. UCC seemed over cautious at this stage and some action was on the cards. Sameer took care of Sajid Bhai with a safe catch to Rajiv. Jagdish came in as the first change and ruffled the stumps of Mc Kenzie who was left clueless on what had just happened. Anoop and Raj Meena started building up a good partership with a high risk quotient. Raj Meena fell soon trying to slog Viral out of the park and Rajiv picked a very well judged skier. Not to mention how many runs Rajiv stopped before and after this happened !!
Anoop and Varum kept chipping well till we had our comeback kid Vijay giving them a hard time. Eventually the unthinkable happened Anoop decided to go
after Vijay and Ankit caught an out-stretched blinder at the edges of the boundary !! Catch of the Match !! Vijay later got rid of their entire middle order, two with his bowling and the other two with his excellent ground fielding. The game seemed to be over by then and WCC were in a good position. UCC was 106 for 6 in 30 odd overs. But then came their pinch hitter Manoj who had his work cut-out. Got lucky a few times till Palash caught him off Jagdish's disciplined bowling. Nevertheless another cool customer called Selva came in and hit our spinners out of the park towards the end. Finally Ankit got rid of him and it was all over. UCC were 183 for 10 in 39 overs and we had a good game on hand.
Sameer and Raj started the proceedings for Washington. Sameer (0) was back in the very first over holding up a dolly to UCC. Anil Bhai went in next and looked good right from the start. Raj (09) looked in fine touch till he tried a lofted drive only to find their best catcher Sajid at mid-on. Mr. Dependable Tarun (20) was next and was greeted with a full toss on his legs. All bets are off for guessing where the ball went ?? ;) Another bad ball on his legs found a fielder at unorthodox square leg. Kalyan (05) joined Anil but soon perished trying to hit their spinner out of the park. Palash joined Anil (29) and a terrible mix-up resulted in Anil getting run-out. But another well played innings by Anil. Viral and Palash played carefully as we were five down and 90 more runs to get. UCC believed it was their game !! Can't blame them as they have never seen our middle order bat ;)
They tried their best to get under Palash and Viral's skin by some serious sledging but we survived. Viral played a captain’s knock !! Took singles every now and then thrashed the bad balls all over the place. Eventually Viral (29) gave in but by then the damage was done. A fifty run partnership was good enough to reduce the game to ashes from a UCC standpoint. But there was still some work to be done as the trash talking continued.
Last year, around the same time when UCC beat us courtesy Sajid Bhai's ton and Anoop's 90 odd. I still remember how bad we felt yet how hard we all clapped for Sajid Bhai's Century as if he was one of our own!! Why did we do that ?? Not only because that innings was special but there is tremendous amount of respect for guys like these !! Today we beat UCC second time this season. Nevertheless rest all UCC players played the game in the right spirit.
Anyway getting back to the game a ball before the 30th over water break Palash (12) played a silly drive to wake their WK up. At the break we needed 35 more runs in the remaining 10 overs with 3 quality wickets in hand. Vijay (23) along with Rajiv (17) played some cracking shots. Vijay hit the shot of the day !! An on-drive six off Manoj who was later thrashed by Rajiv for three fours in an over. Vijay perished to a waist high full-toss and Ankit alongwith Rajiv saw us through and it was all over for UCC.
Hope this game teaches Washington a lesson.
Washington's lesson :
We gifted them all our wickets. And we don't do a clean job when it comes to chasing. Our depth in batting has always saved our chases but that needs to change. Given their bowling we should have won this game by 5-6 wickets in hand but a WIN is a WIN !! Well played all..