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Washington Cruise into Semis !!
25 Sep 2013
Washington Cruise into Semis !!
This game was no different for Washington when it came to be at the ground on time. Most folks arrived late but it was nice of Gladiators to set the ground up. Not all teams going forward would be as nice. Most importantly majority players coming late to such BIG games also plays in the mind of the Captain during the game. So let us all try to be at the ground at-least half hour before the toss and let our leaders focus on more important things.
This part of the excellent match-report is provided by Shounak !!
The playoff day arrived with cloudy skies and a nip in the air. Gladiators had come in hot to the playoffs winning all 4 of their previous games and could not be taken lightly. This writer did not arrive in time for the toss (due to Palash abdicating his duties of bringing the proper beverages as a member of playing 11 and the first few overs. Washington lost the toss and was fielding first. However, the first glance at the bowling and the ground showed that the pitch was good and the outfield was freshly cut and was lightning fast.
By the time the writer arrived, Gladiators were already two wickets down with the first wicket down by a fortuitous run out by Ravi and Jagan cleaning up the other opening batsman. With Jagan and Ravi opened the bowling and both were hostile and quick and the Gladiators, perhaps with 2 wickets down were trying to consolidate. Ravi in particular kept pushing the batsmen onto the backfoot with his pace and short of length bowling. Their best batmen, Richard and Emon were at the crease. After giving Jagan an opening spell of 3 overs, Jagdish was brought into the attack from the fence end of Oxon Hill. Perhaps nervous since this was a playoff game, Jagdish was both wayward and also unlucky in his first over. He bowled a few hit me balls and was promptly taken off for runs in his first two overs. However three catches; two of Emon and one of Richard were also missed in his first over when he did pitch the ball right. At the other end, Ravi was kept for a five over spell where he still forced the batsmen to play circumspectly.
Viral smartly brought Sameer into the attack from Jadgdish’s end and he put a halt on the scoring rate with his dibbly dobbly outswingers and brought Jagdish from the other end. Jagdish finally got his bouncer on the correct line and Emon had no choice but to hook it; and he did do so straight into the safe hands of Ankit at fine leg. At the other end Sameer forced a nick from the new batsman into the safe hands of Ravi at slip with a beautiful outswinger. This brought Nadeem at the crease and he promptly dispatched Sameer to the long on boundary. Richard at the other end was still playing well within himself taking no risks. Ankit was then brought in from the woods end and he was hit in his first over by Nadeem who was blocking the good balls and hitting anything within his zone. Viral came in for Sameer and he too was hit in first couple of overs to leave Gladiators in a very good position of 124/4 after 22 overs with Nadeem on 39 at more than a run a ball.
The smartest captaincy move of the day came when Viral called Mr. Dependable, Jagan back into the attack and he responded with a fiery ball that Nadeem fended to the keeper ending the dangerous partnership. Sameer brought back from the other end cleaned up the new batsman to the leave the score at 139/6 after 30 overs. Some tight bowling afterwards by Ankit and Sameer and Ravi, restricted the batsmen to singles and regular wickets kept falling via runouts. Richard opened out against after reaching his 50 and hit a few meaty boundaries until Jagan came back and cleaned up the No. 11 batsman to leave Washington with a score of 179 to chase.
Again the joys of being the 12th man meant that the writer was out shopping to fill the playing 11 bellies, and missed the first few overs. With Raj and Ravi opening, the score was already at around 40/0 after 4 overs. A glance at the scorebook showed that Raj was in no mood to take singles with 5 boundaries in his 23. Ravi was in the same sort of mood effortlessly timing the ball to the boundary. After a 50 run partnership, Raj in two minds, chased an outside off ball to edge to the keeper. With Anil and Ravi in, the scoreboard was kept ticking over with Ravi hitting the odd boundary with gorgeous drives and a couple of pulls off the spinners. Ravi (39) then timed (timed being the key word) a short ball from Richard straight to man right at the edge of the midwicket boundary. The writer having not ever seen Ravi hit a ball in anger ever, thinks that had Ravi smoked it, we would have hit the top of the trees.
This brought Vijay in, who promptly started hitting everything thrown at him to the boundary. One shot in particular remains in memory where he opened his left hip and smoked an on drive to an offspinner into the trees. Anil at the other end wanted to hit Richard and came down the track to hit a ball well, but flat and straight. The fielder at long off ran to his left and dove forward to take a magnificent catch to end his innings. Anil came back ruefully shaking his head, understandably so. Kal being the next one in kept giving the strike to Vijay who was looking murderous until he tried to hit Richard too and was caught at long on. This is when the rain forecasted came in and with the score at 138/4 after 22 overs, WCC was well ahead of the runrate.
After the rain relented, Palash joined Kal and kept the score ticking over until they both managed to get out with 12 runs needed. Sam and Viral finished the game off and the writer demonstrated the cunning required to entertain people by bringing a high alcohol percentage beer. Anil managed to do just so at the after party at the restaurant. ;-)
Next up: Damascus.
Thanks Shounak!! For the Excellent Report.
Damascus have a very disciplined bowling attack and reliable batsmen to chase down 200+ scores. So both our departments need to click and our fielding needs to be much more Agile!!
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