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Washington dispatches Damascus storming into the Finals for a third consecutive year!!
29 Sep 2013
Another nippy and cloudy day dawned and Viral winning the toss elected to bat. Two changes were made from the team that played the quarterfinals. Tarun came in for Jagdeesh and Palash stepped aside for the writer. The game was delayed with Viral’s consent a bit in order to allow two players from Damascus to make their way to the ground. The outfield was slower than last week and the boundaries were placed 10-15 feet further back from the usual Oxon Hill boundaries. In short, they were HUGE!
With Prabhjot and Ankur opening the bowling, the openers Raj (05) and TC (37) found the going tough early on. The opening spells from the both the bowlers were tight and disciplined and the batsmen were hard put to get the scoreboard moving along. After six overs, the score read 7/0. In the seventh over, Raj tried to flick a ball on his legs but the turned the face too early and the resulting top edge popped to point for a sitter. Anil (37) came in and Ankur took himself off after three overs, perhaps mindful of the (rightly) ferocious firepower in WCC’s middle order.
With the score at 9/1 after 8 overs, Anil came in and started knocking the ball around to take cheeky singles, pushing TC to start the scroreboard moving along. Given the lack of depth in Damascus’ bowling, as soon as Maqsood came in, Anil danced down and smacked the ball into the top of the trees over extra cover. Tarun started to open up as well and drove Thoufiq over the covers twice, one of them for a beautifully timed 4. In between all the strokes, Anil and TC kept running well to score 59/1 at the water break.
After the break, the free scoring continued with the occasional boundary and hard running, when Anil called Tarun for a risky single after the ball hit Tarun’s pad and dribbled to the leg side. The alert keeper rushed threw the ball at the non-striker’s end to run-out Tarun with him being just a bit short. The score was 92/2 after 20 overs. Ravi (85) came in and a brief period of lull resulted as Ravi played out a few balls to get himself set in. Damacus, sensing an opportunity to get a couple of wickets, brought Prabhjot back in to create some pressure. Anil, believing that WCC had enough batsmen on the day tried to accelerate and skipped down the wicket to Prabhjot and hit him over cover. Unfortunately he only managed to sky it to the fielder inside the circle at cover in the 22nd over.
Vijay (13) came in next and started to time the ball well as usual and runs began to flow again. Vijay hit a couple of boundaries off Karan and Ravi found his feet and started to open up a bit until Vijay holed out to long on off Ibrahim. Suffice to say, if it was a usual Oxon Hill boundary, it would have been a six. Viral came in and smacked the first ball over cover for four. In the next Ibrahim over, Viral hit a huge six and yielded the strike to Ravi who hit even a bigger six that landed on the top of trees. Viral finished the over with another six over cow corner. The next over found Viral playing over a full length ball to get bowled and once Sam came in, Ravi well and truly started to go berserk. No bowler was spared as he pulled, drove and flicked to and over the boundary. Damacus bowling truly had no answer to the assault. Sam, Jagan and Kal all perished trying to up the run-rate. Icing on the cake was Ankit coming in with two balls to spare and hitting a boundary to finish the innings at 244/9 with the writer holding up the spine of the batting for one ball.
Damascus started their innings sedately with Avinash and Ravi. Ravi hit a couple of boundaries over cow corner before Viral and Jagan placed Anil perfectly for Ravi to oblige with catch straight into the lap of Anil. With Viral coming in as the first change, Avinash played 4 dot balls before (benign) sledging from Anil prompted him to step down and Kal finished with a neat stumping. In Viral’s next over Ankur slogged across the line to get bowled and that well and truly broke their spirits. Thoufiq proceeded to get some batting practice before holing to Viral off Sam’s bowling. Karan and Prabhjot pottered around for a while hitting the odd boundary before Karan perished off Ankit’s bowling. Vijay proceeded to get a couple of wickets before the writer (Shounak) came and enticed the last two batsmen to hit into the safe hands of Viral at long on.
Championship game – VA Lions.
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