Understregth Predators no match against the confident Engineers
By Silvester Pereira
The day had begun as usual at this time of the year – bright, clear and sunny weather – but probably no one would have thought it would end the way it did. Although a win was expected of the Engineers against their KCL opponents, Tokyo Predators, the manner in which the Engineers went about their task was very pleasing (Predators excluded). The game began around 11:30 am with the Engineers stand-in captain Anurag Singh, winning the toss and electing to bat. Masood and Ritesh opened the batting for the Engineers to face Saijash and Robin of the Predators. The Predators had only 10.5 players (0.5 being a 11 year young and enthusiastic Liam Hunt). It was rumored that the key player for Predators didn’t make it for the game which added to their misery. The openers gave a good start to the Engineers scoring 33 runs before Masood was out caught for 12 runs.
Ritesh didn’t last long before being out lbw for 10 runs (score being 42). Harsha, our newcomer, joined Yogesh on the other end before he too, was bowled around his legs of the bowling of Saijash, their only and good bowler of the day. Raju joined Yogesh with score reading 49/3 (in 10 overs) and the mayhem started. The two carried along making merry, enjoying their luck (dropped catches) and scoring from a weak bowling attack for a long and well deserved partnership. Raju was first dropped in his 30s and then once more before he reached his century and a further three more times. There were plenty of fireworks, mainly from Raju, who was well supported by Yogesh on the other end. The pair batted together for almost 25 overs setting up a new 4th wicket KCL record partnership of 251 runs, eclipsing the unfinished 177 between Mayank Dabral and Ken Wadano of Tokyo Bay against Chiba Sharks in 2003. This has also became the highest partnership for any wicket. The previous one was 240 runs for the 6th wicket between Aamir Ali and Shakir Khan of Friends XI against Myoden in 2006. While the fireworks were going on, there was agony off the field too.
Anurag, the stand-in captain, was padded and kept waiting for almost 25 overs. His chance came only in the 37th over when Yogesh was bowled by Greame Gardiner after a respectful personal best score of 65 runs with the team score at 300. The Predators, at this stage, having almost given up the game started experimented by bringing in the young Liam, who gave 25 runs in his 2 overs. Raju remained not out for169 at the end of 40 overs with 46 extras in the Engineersscore of 310/4. Saijash was the only bowler who looked like doing anything for the Predators. He bowled a continuous 8 over spell starting from the first over, gave just 16 runs and took 2 wickets. The Engineers, after having a good score behind them, started to take charge of the bowling with Biju opening the attack and Rajeesh at the other end. Gardiner and Chanukha opening the batting for the Predators before Chanukha was beautifully caught at point by Ganesh of the bowling of Biju with the score reading just 8 runs.
Saijash joined Gardiner and the two gradually built a good partnership hitting some great shots before Gardiner, the danger man, missing the line, was bowled of the bowling of Anurag for 13 runs. Saijash, trying for a pull shot, went immediately caught by Raj at mid-on again of the bowling of Anurag for well made 25 runs (highest for the Predators). The rest of the batsman didn’t last long, falling at short intervals of some really good bowling from Ganesh, Rajeesh and Shailaj, most of them being “clean bowled”. Due to absence of our regular wicketkeepers, yours truly was asked to do the honors of keeping wickets, something not done for 16 years since the club was formed! With fading light, the Engineers wrapped up the Predators innings for 110 runs (33 of which came from extras!) with a victory margin of 200 runs paving the way for an excellent start to the KCL tournament.
Overall it was a good team work from the Engineers in all departments of the game with good batting, luck, bowling and being able to take over 95% of the catches whereas the opponents surprisingly appeared weak in all departments! Hopefully we can maintain such a momentum for the upcoming games.
Brief scores: IECC 310/4. Yogesh 65, Raju 169*, Saijash 2/16 Predators 110(26.4 ov). Anurag 3/24. Click here for the full score card.