Team effort in a sweet victory !
If at all there was a time when the gloominess of this week decided to take a break, that was only for our 4th game of the OVB Klasse….Maybe losing track of that, the so called strict umpires of Overgangsklasse (whom we are slowly getting used to) probably OVERSLEPT, and were kind enough to send an email saying that they would not be available for the game :P. I think everyone can guess what followed…
Henceforth..Tiggy won the toss and chose to bat. The AGAM style kicked us off quite well, as he produced a flurry of well struck boundaries to a quick 17, before skying one of his pulls into the hands of mid on. Manu and Tiggy calmly went about the first 10 overs, with some well timed strokes (such as Manu’s flat batted slap over the bowler’s head) and some good running between the wickets. Manu’s innings ended in the 11th over when the score read 55, as he was bowled by a quick, close-to-yorker length delivery..but by then, we had a solid platform to launch upon. Sricharan joined Tiggy and was getting into his zone straightaway with some well timed shots into the gaps.The pair made a solid 60 run partnership with sensible 1’s and 2’s ( Yes…Tiggy was panting in between..Never mind )and strike rotation, as they weared down the bowlers of Quivive. After a well made 40, Tiggy was out to a leading edge from his leg glance back to the bowler Amit Rode. Sricharan who was looking good, also followed suit quickly, as his pull was well judged and caught by Rode. Vikram and Sid looked in control to take it across the middle phase, before Sid, after a start, mistimed a pick-up shot to Rode at Mid-on. Girish joined Vikram, who was slowly get his eye in. Sensing that they were gaining an upper hand, the Quivive medium bowlers settled into quite good rhythm of bowling a stump-to-stump line, without extras. Girish hung around and drove a couple of boundaries in the cover region, before being undone by a slower delivery, LBW trying to flick. It was the last quarter of the innings and Vikram began his part along with Shukla. Vikram was able to score quite freely in the V, thereby unsettling the bowlers. Of course the big shots also kept coming, such as the monstrous straight hit beyond the club house, raising the ‘insurance topic’ again in the dugout. Playing positively, Shukla was the perfect foil to Vikram, as he rotated the strike brilliantly, and also found the odd boundary with some well timed shots over cover and mid-wicket. The pair made 67 runs in a little close to 7 overs which brought the score to 233. Trying to push the total, Shukla was bowled by Rode after an important 33. Vikram smacked a couple of 6s to reach his 50, but eventually holed out to Rode(agaaainnnn), !!! Srijith and Anthony did their bits with some quick foot in the last 2 overs, and the innings ended with CONCORDIA – 253/8 in 40 overs, a commendable score.
Quivive were smart in taking all the chances that came their way, restricting the already high score in a way. It looked like there were 2 or 3 Amit Rodes in the field, as he was Quivive’s best fielder, taking 4 catches, one of which was off his own bowliing.
254. Yes..A formidable target..And we were yet to let an oppenent score more than 200.
The batsmen came out determined and it nearly worked. Srini and Hasrat started off proceedings for Quivive with some quick runs. Sid earned Hasrat’s wicket, edged to the keeper Manu, after some consistent bowling in the corridor of uncertainty. Inspite of that, the run rate was quite steady as Dinkar and Srini scored 60 in the first ten overs. Anthony castled Srini’s timber in the 12th over. The middle overs were still quite productive for Quivive as Dinkar and Akre made plenty of suicidal running, all of which could have been a wicket, but jinxed, as the score read 113 in 18 overs. Akshay even made a sensational running catch, just to fall into the boundary. Eventually, Akshay was the lucky charm to break the jinx, as he removed Akre to a SCREAMER of a catch from Vikram ( Glossary: The context is just that Vikram was SCREAMING as he took the catch, nothing else :P. Chalo ! Still, credits to Vikram, he covered quite a good distance from deep mid-wicket and pulled it out of the annoying cloud backdrop). Agam was brought into the attack and he quickly removed the settled Dinkar, caught and bowled, and Devdas, caught behind ( It was the slowest of balls, and the batsman was even Slower ..or Lazier..whatever you call it :D). At this point, Quivive required 114 runs in 17 overs with 5 wickets in hand. The phase was pretty dodgy as there were a few missed chances, catches and runouts, also aided by the umpiring, as the batsmen rode their lady luck and kept scoring. Finally, the moment came in the form of a runout after 7 overs, as Sricharan received Shukla’s throw from point, to break the stumps on time. Anthony then came back for his second spell, and worked out 2 more quick wickets to break the backs of Quivive in the run chase. The required rate was close to 9 in the last five overs with 2 wickets in hand. Srijith (with a wicket in his last over) and Sid, with economical and accurate end spells ensured that there was no anti-climax and sealed the victory with 16 runs to spare.
· Tiggy’s running innings of 40.
· Vikram’s monster six beyond the club house.
· Shukla’s attempted flick to the leg side from the wide-line outside off stump ( As Vikram claims it to be) :P
· Akshay’s nice catch at the boundary (though unfortunate) and Manu's grabs flying around behind the stumps.
· Good, satisfactory ground fielding.
· Rode Rode .. Everywhere on the scoresheet !!
· Agam’s sensational reverse switch shot during catch practice. (Which didn’t miss his own face by much ! )
REFLECTION: Considering the result, the day was successful and we are table toppers again (Lesser number of games, though).A little more work on the field(3 drops), grabbing all the chances and catches, will make us a force to reckon with.
For now, Let us relish this Victory, Before the DOUBLE DHAMAKA Next weekend !