Month: November 2001

KCL-Engineers qualify for Division I

Viswa’s century helps post a mammoth 322

By Biju Paul

This match report can be summed up in one sentence.The Indian Engineers have qualified for the Division I of Kanto Cricket League.

But it will be a travesty of justice to two great batsmen if I did that. The two batsmen who took the honours in the late autumn day match are Viswa Ghosh and Dinesh Tashildar. Viswa’s third century(147*, 16×4, 8×6) but the first with the Engineers and Dinesh’s blitskereig(79 off 29 balls, 5×4, 8×6) helped the Engineers to pile up their highest total ever, 322/5.

So to stretch the story further, this was the last match of the season in Kanto and possibly in Japan too. This correspondent elected to bat first after his opposite number lost the toss. The decision had a lot to do with the previous Sunday’s Pacific Cup match against the Kytes where the Engineers were asked to bat first and notched up 250+ runs in 30 overs. So with history to go by and in-form batsmen in the middle to compensate any disastrous start(which normally is the case), the Engineers handled the first over well. That gave the no. 3 batsman some relief and just as he started to lean back on his chair came the bad news. The first wicket fell for 9 runs in the second over. In the 7th overs the Engineers lost the other opener too for a score of 19, which brought in Sriram Sampath to give company to Viswa Ghosh at the crease. There is no prettier sight than these two class batsmen at the crease and handling the bowling with consummate ease. Sriram, after a futile trip to Philippines where he was led to believe that he could play in the Sixes tournament but was only asked to drink beer and watch all day the lucky ones play, was in a belligerent mood as if to make up for the lost opportunities. As both batsmen pulled and drove with felicity and put up 54 runs for the 3rd wicket, Rahul remarked, “what a wonderful couple!”. One is not sure the pun was intended or not. The pull shots that Sriram has been playing with power and beauty resulted in his downfall too, giving a simple catch to the strategically placed short fine leg fielder. By the way, the advise from Sriram is not to go ever for the Philippines Sixes tournament as it is very badly organised.

The fall of Sriram brought in the hard hitting Dinesh and the swashbuckling innings he played took the steam out of the Embassy attack. Dinesh in the company of Viswa changed the course of the match in a matter of few overs. While raising a partnership of 158 runs for the 5th wicket in just 14 overs, the duo severely punished the Embassy bowlers, who were without some of their regular members. Singles and twos were hard to come by but fours and sixes were plenty, giving a hard time to the scorers and the opposing captain as well. Denis Perry suffered the most at the hands of Dinesh, who once hit him for three successive sixes and ultimately the bowler had a nightmarish figures of 6-0-105-1. Viswa completed his third century in style by hitting a four. By the time Dinesh departed in the 28th over, the Engineers had a comfortable 231 on board, which gave the following batsmen the license to go after the bowling which they did. Jagan and Viswa remained unbeaten on 14 and 147, respectively, in a total score of 322 in 35 overs, the last 5 overs yielding 72 runs. For the Embassy, Andrew King was the most successful bowler claiming 2/21 off 7 overs.

The Embassy didn’t start their innings well as Jagan clean bowled their make-shift opener for a duck. An umpiring oversight allowed Ashok Kumar to bowl 7 balls in an over which resulted in the sad(but to Engineers’ joy) dismissal of the dangerous Brent Kininmont. An offer to call the batsman back was politely turned down by their captain, who came in as the replacement. Thereafter, there was not much resistance from the Embassy and were ultimately bowled out for 98 in 20.3 overs. Skipper Thomas Goodwin top scored with 11, while Jagan Panda, who claimed 3/28, was the most successful bowler for the Engineers.

To be fair with the Embassy team, they were without some of their regular players and had difficulty in finding an eleven for the match.

The victory gave the Engineers a place in the elite Division I of Kanto Cricket League and a great season. Calls for grand celebration is being met with positive response from the treasurer.

Tokai win All Japan Sixes Cup

Cricket, Wonderful Cricket-Tokai win All Japan Sixes Cup

By Viswa Ghosh

The cricket oval. The mown down green square turf in the middle. The sets of stumps at the two ends of the cricket pitch, with white lines marking out the popping, the return and the bowling creases. The lush green field, gently sloping down from the center square with the boundary marked out by a rope going round in an oval. The sound of the red cherry striking against the willow.

These are all dream-like in the land of the rising sun! Still dream-like, but quite soon, one hopes, will be a reality in this land of sumo wrestlers.

Perhaps, with these dreams and visions the organizers of Japan Cricket Association organized the first ever all-Japan cricket tournament that brought foreign and native cricket lovers from all over Japan. The setting was as idyllic as you can get.

Set in Chiba, in the midst of a resort run by the Nihon Aerobic Center, the field looked big and green. And, the participants, all very enthusiastic. Some had flown in from as far as Kyushu! With such enthusiasm, it Just ideal for cricket!


Match 1 (Nov. 23rd) As with any event in Japan, the six-a-side tournament started off bang on time. The inaugural match was played between Minami Kanto A and Minami Kanto B. The former managed 43 runs in their allotted 5 overs. Minami Kanto B, led by “Junior” Takahashi had no trouble knocking off 45 runs with 4 balls to spare.

Match 2 (Nov. 23rd) Tokai, led by Kamran, won the toss and elected to bat. In the allotted 5 overs the team piled up 73 with Munir and Mahen remaining unbeaten with 32 and 16 respectively. Chasing such a formidable target Tohoku & Kita Kanto succumbed but managed a very-very creditable 57.

Match 3 (Nov. 23rd) Minami Kanto B, choosing to bat first ran up a fairly big score of 66 with some good batting performance from everyone. Kansai, in reply, could not go beyond 36 because of some great bowling efforts by “junior” who bagged 3 for 8.

Match 4 (Nov. 23rd) Electing to bat first, Tohoku & Kita Kanto managed just 39 in the allotted 5 overs. Kyushu brought about a pulsating one-run victory off the last ball due to some fielding panic displayed by their opponents.

Match 5 (Nov. 23rd) Last match of the day, Tokai went into and equaled their previous score of 73. This time the two contributors were Viswa (24 not out) and Kamran (15 not out). In reply, Kansai could manage only 34, with Shahed returning wonderful figures of 2 for 4.

End of Day One. And, time for fun and ohuro! The JCA, assisted by some sponsorship from Nihon Aerobics Center, organized a great evening full of fun, frolic and feasting. As a result, many players ended up going to bed late, but that did not prevent the organizers, ably supported by the umpires, from starting the next morning’s proceedings promptly at 8:30.

Match 6 (Nov. 24th) Another nail-biting finish under a bright blue sky! Kyushu batted first and managed 56 in 5 overs. Their opponents, Minami Kanto A, was able to score the winning run off the last ball thanks to some great batting display earlier by Yato, who retired after having scored a quick fire 32.

Match 7 (Nov. 24th) Third nail-biting finish of the tournament! Kansai batting first scored 57 in the allotted 5 overs. Tohoku & Kita Kanto managed the winning run off the last ball, thanks to some great team effort.

Match 8 (Nov. 24th) Batting first, Kyushu managed just 45 in 5 overs. In reply, Minami Kanto B scored 49 with one ball to spare. Banjyo of the winning side made a wonderful contribution of 30 not out.

Match 9 (Nov. 24th) Tokai, by now rated as the tournament favorites, batted first and managed a paltry 39 in the allotted 5 overs. However, the match turned out to be hard fought due to some wonderful bowling by Kamran and Mahen. Nonetheless, Minami Kanto A won the match with 3 balls to spare. Tokai learnt a good lesson: NEVER TAKE THINGS EASY IN CRICKET!

By now, the lineups for the Bowl Final, the Plate Final, and the Cup Final had been decided.

Bowl Final: Tohoku & Kita Kanto vs. Kansai Plate Final: Minami Kanto A vs. Kyushu Cup Final: Minami Kanto B vs. Tokai

Match 10 (Bowl Final – Nov. 24th) Kansai was restricted to 49 off 5 overs due to some good bowling by Orita (2 for 6) and Yano (1 for 3). In reply, Tohoku & Kita Kanto scored 50 in 4.4 overs. Miyazawa scored an impressive 22 not out for the winning side.

Match 11 (Plate Final – Nov. 24th) Kyushu batted first and managed 43 in 5 overs. Minami Kanto A ended the game earlier than was necessary by scoring 45 in just 2.4 overs. Some fine batting by Yoshioka who remained not out with 21.

Match 12 (Cup Final – Nov. 24th) Unfortunately, the Cup Final turned out to be more of an anti-climax. Batting first and having learnt some lessons from their previous outing, Tokai piled up 72 runs in the allotted 5 overs. Everyone contributed to the score, with Munir and Robert remaining not out with well made 21 and 19 respectively. In reply, Minami Kanto B could manage just 43 in their 5 overs.


So, Tokai took the cup home. But, thanks to some great organizing efforts by the JCA, the umpires, the players and the spectators CRICKET won that day. Everyone departed from the event with great hopes for the future of CRICKET in Japan. Perhaps, we all saw history in the making! We all look forward to bigger things, some CRICKET EXTRAVAGANZA in the near future in Japan.

PC-Engineers retain the Pacific Cup

Viswa rediscovers his form with a brilliant 53

By Biju Paul

The Engineers retained the Pacific Cup they won last year with a 1-1 series draw this year. The Engineers defeated the Kytes by 70 runs to earn the draw after Kytes had won the first match early in the season. The third match of the three series is abandoned due to lack of time this year.

Pacific Cup is a three match series between the Indian Engineers and the Shizuoka Kytes started last year, the first edition of which was won by the Engineers 2-1. Like last year, the Kytes had won the first match this year as well, which was also the KCL league match. After a couple of washouts, it was decided between the teams that only two matches will be played this season and a draw would enable the Engineers to retain the Cup.

The small bouts of rain on the way to the ground not withstanding, the weather turned out to be excellent at Shizuoka. The bright sunshine mixed with the cool weather of the late autumn day made the perfect foil for a great day of cricket.

The Kytes won the toss and stand-in-skipper Neil Harrison asked the Engineers to bat first on a somewhat damp pitch. The grass on the outfield was cut beautifully in oval shape with the amount of grass on the cut and uncut part so conspicuous that there was no need for any boundary marker. Nick Shannon claimed that he spent his last two weekends cutting the grass but Robert disputed the claim saying Nick did nothing but drinking loads of beer at the ground while he cut the grass and had the dual job of carrying the grass cutter and Nick back home at the end of the day.

The Engineers started their innings disastrously, which has become customary of late, by losing both openers within a span of couple of overs and two down Ganesh following the openers soon. Silvester came in to replace him, well protected with a helmet, arm guard and thigh pad in an innocuous pitch. Seeing the batsman in full battle gear, R. Hutton decided to have a go at him and tried bounce a couple of deliveries, which actually were called wide. Silvester immediately sensed danger and realised that batting on an occasional variable bounce pitch is not his cup of tea and promptly claimed hurt and was ushered into the team bus parked aside where he spent the rest of the day. With the star batsman incapacitated and three back in the pavilion with only 42 runs on board in the 9th over, there were fears of a collapse, as was the case in the previous few matches. But one down Viswa Ghosh this time did not disappoint, revealing his class with a brilliant 53(6×4, 2×6) and in the company of Jagan, 36(4×4, 1×6), put up 43 runs for the 5th wicket. In fact, none of the remaining batsmen disappointed. Each one of them enjoyed their time in the middle hitting the bowlers at will. Vikram 33(1×4,4×6) and Rahul 25(3×4,1×6) were the next best contributors. Yours truly added stability at the tail with a six over mid-wicket, the first one in recent memory(details available on request), but the explosive innings of 10 runs was curtailed by a delivery which Nick, the bowler, described as “f***ing beauty”, that caught him plumb in front. In all, eleven sixes were hit but surprisingly, no ball was lost. Engineers scored 215/9 off 30 overs. R. Hutton bowled impressively for the Kytes with 1/23 off 6 overs.

Engineers took to the field with ten players, having left Silvester in the cozy comforts of the team bus, away from the afternoon chilly breeze. The “French Indian curry” served for lunch didn’t seem to spur the Kytes much as Jagan broke through the opening partership in the 3rd over by claiming R. Hutton’s wicket. At drinks, Kytes were even(84/3 off 17 overs) with the Engineers who were 85/4 at the same stage, thanks to a 21 runs over by this correspondent. But a two wicket over after the drinks by Ganesh, including that of the dangerous Anton McCloy, more or less sealed the fate of the match. However, the Kytes didn’t give up, dispatching anything lose to the boundary with gay abandon. But in the end, the imposing total, which actually helped this writer to bowl an economical spell of 4-0-48-2, was proved to be beyond the Kytes reach and were bowled out for 145 in nn overs, Anton McCloy being the top scorer with 23 runs, the next higest being K. Ishikawa’s 20.

Surprisingly or otherwise, wides were kept less than 20 by both teams.

The Engineers thus retained the Pacific Cup for the second straight year.

A special thanks to Robert for the curry lunch.