Deep lost the toss but the outcome was what we would have sought for anyway. We batted first with Faisal stepping in as Arun's partner to open while Bahubali took some time off to wallow on the Slovenian beaches. What unfolded next was a pleasant surprise. Within a couple of overs the run rate got up to almost double digits and kind of hovered around that mark for a steady run. The first change bowler (Kruijk) broke the opening stand by having Faizi feather an edge in the 6th over but we had already got to our first team milestone of 50 by the end of that over.
The purple patched Hari, all resplendent with sunscreen even inside his ears ("I am dark there too"), joined the party at that stage and before we could say much the score motored along to 100 in the 12th over. Did I mention that his first scoring shot today was a 6?
After triple digits were on the scoreboard in record time, Arun and Hari focused on consolidation thus easing the frenetic pace. This saw the run rate stabilise much lower then the unearthly beginning but steady progress was made before Hari got out for a well made 52 at the total of 167 in the 24th over. Arun at that time upped the ante and despite having batted from the beginning hustled the runs with some sweetly timed shots before eventually finding himself LBW for 77 in the 30th over at 216. In between, Rakesh had come in played his own version of the fiddle with a smart 28. On Arun's fall the guys who most people can't seem to get out walked in with his Dev Anand style head shrugs but there was no acting in the way he thrashed the ball all over the place. A fifty stand was brought up in 5 overs with Deep who had rotated the strike well for his 22. Our lefty Nakul came in swinging to complement Sajju and sacrificed his wicket in the interest of quick runs. Aayush stepped in for the few balls to keep things moving and off the penultimate ball, amidst some drama among the spectators, Sajju got to his quickfire 50 (ended the game with a Bradmanesque overall average this season of 100!) while propelling the team total to 317. S Witteveen was the pick of the bowlers having snagged 4 wickets although the others were not nearly half as effective.
Lunch was warm and tasty and must have been received as a big respite for the Quick boys after the hammering from our batsmen. Very nice environment and friendly service, I must admit.
The Quick batting innings could not make much of a meal of the daunting target. Aakarshit had joined Aayush to open the bowling. Regular wickets were being picked up by the Concordia bowlers among a few good shots here and there. None for 13 became 3 for 18 very quickly amid the vociferous Concordia boys. The first fifty runs cost them 5 wickets but the last 5 wickets were spread over only 14 runs. Through the carnage, T Versteegh was head and shoulders above the rest of his team mates and was seventh out for his personal score of 42 while no one else scored more than 6. There were as many as five ducks, four of which were off Adithya's bowling. Adi was the gentle giant among our bowlers today smiling along his run up all the way to prising out a 6 wickets for only 23 runs off five and a half overs. Aayush, Aakarshit and Sajju bowled well although the figures paled in comparison to Adi's sweep. Once the floodgates opened, this innings was wrapped up by the 21st over. The proverbial fat lady sang at the somewhat less than decent total of 79 for Quick who the author appreciates have been having a bit of a wretched season thus far.
I wish for their team to gain some momentum for the last few games they have as it would be a shame to see good natured, cricket spirited teams fizzle out of the KNCB competitions. We come across too many must-win-at-all-cost-by-hook-or-by-crook teams in the leagues these days for us not to appreciate the cricket and it was very enjoyable playing this team.
Overall a very clinical performance by a motivated team with their eyes on a potential top spot at the end of the season. Let's continue to put our best feet forward and I have every confidence the rewards at the end of the season will show for themselves.
Arun's sheet anchor role while still maintaining a high strike rate
Hari scoring his fourth fifty on the trot
Adithya's 6-fer in 5.3 overs for 23 runs
Sajju's late innings momentum (is there any point in sending him earlier if he can still do a fifty in the last few overs?)