Month: July 2001

KCL-Engineers upset the Friends’ Apple Cart

Victory rekindles the hopes for a semifinal berth

By Biju Paul

The Engineers pulled off a sensational three wicket win over the Friends XI, the two time champions of erstwhile Kanto Cup and the front runner of KCL Cup this year, on Sunday in their last league match. The magnificent victory put an end to the Friends’ undefeated run this season and threw open the contest for the semi-final berth from Group A.

For the Engineers, this victory was the icing on the cake after a series of high profile wins since last year – against Edogawa Falcons, YC&AC, Lala and a close run chase against the Fuji Far East – underscoring their might in the Tokyo cricket.

The humdinger, with both the Shizuoka Kytes and Engineers have a total of 18 points each from 6 matches(4 wins, 2 losses) having won two matches each, is fraught with ponderables. But the Engineers have a healthy Runs/Wicket average of 19.26(886 runs for the loss of 46 wickets) as against the 12.67(583 runs for the loss of 46 wickets) of the Kytes.

The other two top performers in Group A – Friends XI and the Sri Lankan Lions have 15 points each from 5 matches(3 wins, 1 loss and a wash out) with one match each remaining for them. If any result other than a win – a wash out or a defeat – in their respective encounters will be the end of road for them as far as KCL is concerned while throwing open the possibilities for the Engineers to qualify. Some of the engineers are already out to perform special poojas but no one is sure if the weather Gods will listen to their prayers!

For the Engineers, everything went as per the script. Yours truly won the toss and with some successful run chases recently to go by, inserted his opposition into bat. After some initial wayward bowling by both this correspondent and Jagan Panda, the other opening bowler, the Engineers systematically began tightening their grip on the game. Jagan drew first blood by having Asad Ali caught at the wicket. First change Ashok Kumar, who eventually captured 4 wickets, was almost impossible to play beating the bat many occasions. He produced some gems, all of which were rewarded. Amir Ali, this correspondent’s opposite number, having faced just two deliveries, stood in disbelief at the crease as a faint edge flew to the ‘keeper. While the Engineers were systematically destroying the Friends batting lineup, opener Naeem Qureshi stood tall amongst the ruins at the other end and top scored with 65. For the Engineers, Ashok was ably assisted in his task by Ganesh Tajave who returned a figure of 3/34, including the wicket of Naeem. At 106 for 9, the Friends didn’t seem to score more than 120 odd runs but thanks to the last wicket partnership 46 between Jamshed Ali and Zafar Iqbal, they managed 152 in 20 overs.

Chasing 153 against the Friends is not an easy task. And they showed that they are no pushovers. At 81 for 7 in the 20th over, the Engineers needed a bit of hard work. And there they were! A perfect chaser(of runs, I mean..) and a man of not outs. Silvester Pereira and Rahul Kumar. Silvester has showed that his batting is at its best while chasing(runs!) and Rahul has remained not out in all his matches this season so far, this time being no exception. The two together took the attack to enemy camp. While Silvester raced to his carefully crafted maiden half century, Rahul with a couple of lusty sixes was virtually unstoppable. One of his shots went up in the air like a rocket but only about two miles, but Naeem at mid-wicket could not judge the flight of the rocket on its downward journey to earth and allowed it to land safely on the ground without causing much damage to the ground or the launcher, a sharp contrast to a similar catch taken by Viswa Ghosh while the Engineers were fielding.

Amir did whatever he could to dislodge the partnership. While Rahul was fire and brimstone, Silvester was calm at one end. They went about their task of gathering runs with consummate ease. While they were at the crease, the bowling looked palpably ineffective. In the process, the duo established a new record for IECC, an unbroken 72 runs partnership for 8th wicket which in the end led to a magnificent win. Silvester remained not out 61(9×4) and Rahul on 31 not out(1×4, 2×6).

Last but not the least, the ‘keeper Balasubramanyam Kaleeswaran(Balu) who has an entry in the Guinness Book of world records for having the shortest name in India, was a real entertainer both on and off the field. Apart from collecting the bullets of Ashok Kumar at chest height, this hard hitting middle order batsman hit Amir Ali out of the attack. He even managed to annoy one of the fielders while at the crease by singing his favourite Tamil rhymes loudly, prompting the fielder to say “urusai yo”.

Issue #13 Cricket in Kimono

Newsletter


July 11, 2001                                                                                              Issue #13

Welcome to this edition of the IECC Newsletter.

Cricket in Kimono

Read the confessions of a Japanese woman cricket buff, who currently lives in Hong Kong, which appeared on Rediff Cricket, a cricket news web site.

Kanto Cricket League

In major upset, the resurgent Shzuoka Kytes defeated the Sri Lankan Lions. The Kytes bowled out the Lions for 89 and then romped home by 5 wickets. This is the second upset victory in the KCL so far, the first being the Wyverns defeating the Kytes earlier this season. In their other match against the Friends, the Kytes almost caused an upset when they bowled out the Friends for 99, their lowest ever total, but the mighty Pakistanis were able to hold on to themselves and win the match by bowling Kytes out for a paltry 33.

With all but a few games remaining, the Group A is tantalisingly poised. The Friends XI, with their mighty wins in all their matches are almost a certainty for the semi-final berth. With two matches each remaining, the Sri Lankan Lions and the Indian Engineers will be battling out for the second spot from Group A. Assuming that the Engineers breeze through the next match against their traditional rival, the Kytes, their do-or-die tie will be against the strong Friends. A win in this match is a passport to the semi-final berth with a handsome 21 points, beating the Lions(19 points), even if the Lions win their reaming two matches. But if the Engineers manage to lose that, then their qualification depends on the results of other matches in the group. Weather also can play a part to help them.

It is long way for speculation for Group B with half of the teams played only one match each. Find below the points table of each group. Brief results are also available at http://www3.ewebcity.com/iecc/. Follow the link ‘Kanto Cricket League’.

Points Table

Win – 4, Loss – 1, Abandoned – 2, Tie – 2, Walkover – 4

Group A
Team Played Won Lost Abandoned Tie Total
Adore 4 0 3 1 0 5
Friends XI 4 3 0 1 0 14
Fuji Far East 4 1 3   0 7
Indian Engineers 4 3 1   0 13
Shizuoka Kytes 5 2 2 1 0 12
Sri Lankan Lions 4 2 1 1 0 11
Wyverns 3 1 2   0 6

 

Group B
Team Played Won Lost Abandoned Tie Total
British Embassy 3 2 1   0 9
MAX 1 0 1   0 1
Millenium 2 0 2   0 2
Tokyo Giants 2 2 0   0 8
Tokyo Bay 1 0 1   0 1
YC & AC 1 1 0   0 4

Flicx Pitch

For the first time in Japan, a Flicx pitch(an artificial, portable pitch) was used in a a game thus sending the Indian Engineers and Adore to JCA’s records. The KCL match between the two teams were played under foggy and wet weather conditions thus making a true assessment of the quality and feasibility of further usage impossible. For a report on the Flicx pitch, visit: http://www3.ewebcity.com/iecc/ and follow the link ‘Match Reports’. For more information about Flicx pitch and other stuff, visit: http://www.Flicx.com.

KCL club to be penalised

The KCL Organising Committee(KCLOC) is believed to be actively considering deducting 4 points from one of the participating clubs in the competition for transgression of its rules. If KCLOC actually imposed the penalty, this will be the first time ever in the history of the tournament a club would be peanlised for its intransigence.

The incident that prompted this action occurred when the offending club played an unregistered player in of their KCL matches. According to KCL rules, all players must be registered with the Registrar at the beginning of the season and any new player must be registered at least 48 hours prior to the match in which he/she is expected to play.

IECC records impressive wins

The Indian Engineers registered impressive wins against the YC&AC and Edogawa-Lala, a combined team of Edogawa Falcons and Lalazar Sports, in friendly matches. It was the first time the Engineers defeated both the clubs in many encounters.

Sriram Sampath of the Engineers scored his maiden century in the match against YC&AC and remained “technically not out”(but declared out for hitting the ball out of the ground into the residential area. This is a local rule at YC&AC).

In a tense finish, the Engineers defeated the Edogawa-Lala by three wickets with only three balls to spare in the allotted 35 overs.

Read the reports at http://www3.ewebcity.com/iecc/ and follow the link ‘Match Reports’

KCL-Kytes manage a tight win

Loss put paid to Engineers semi-final hopes

By Biju Paul

After riding on a wave of a few impressive wins this season so far, the Engineers lost a match that was very crucial for their qualification for the semi-final of the KCL. The Shizuoka Kytes defeated the Engineers by two wickets on Sunday.

Although it was bright and hot in the morning, the Engineers expected a rain when they saw Silvester sipping his coffee – before time – at the pick up spot at Yoga. Silvester on time…? Something is cooking..! As it turned out, it didn’t rain but the first sight at the Shizuoka ground was a pleasant one for the Engineers. Kytes captain Anton McCloy unable to hold on to himself, staggering all over the ground, which he vows was not because of the previous night’s drinking but five nights before. But their joy was short lived when they saw all others in perfect senses and on their respective legs.

At the toss, yours truly, the captain of the Engineers, called wrong but his counterpart, surprisingly, was able to recognise the correct side of the coin and inserted his opposition. The Engineers hopes of breezing through their opposition vanished quickly in the breeze after Mathew Sharp was able to get some sharp swings in the air. One typical delivery was by which the opener K. Balu was clean bowled by a ball he thought was going out side his leg but came in at the end to uproot his leg stump. In general, Kytes bowling was impressive. They gave away very few extras. In fact, this was the first time ever this correspondent has seen the Kytes fielding with so many close-in fielders and an umbrella like slip cordon. So much for their confidence in their bowlers.

It was a match lost by the Engineers’ inability to score enough runs to defend after being inserted by the Kytes captain. There was no substantial partnership worth its name, there were no big hits. In fact, after 3 wickets were gone for 18 runs in the 5th over, the only point of interest was if the Engineers would be able to establish a new record of scoring more than 99, the highest any team has scored this year against the Kytes, which apparently, they did not. They were all out for 97 in 20.1 overs.

When the Kytes came to bat, the Engineers gave them a tough time, with regularly taking wickets, four of them were sent back for a duck. On two occasions, the Engineers thought they caught two batsmen behind and the entire close-in fielders went up in unison but the umpire thought otherwise. But ultimately, the 26 wides conceded in a total of 38 extras proved decisive while defending a paltry total of 97.

With this, the Engineers are all but out of the KCL. All that they can hope for now is to win a play off later this year to decide the third member of the proposed Division I for 2002.

In all, it was very good game with fortunes swinging either way throughout the innings but at last won by the better team.