- Japan Gold Cup icing on the Pacific Cup cake (November 10, 2002)
- Engineers lift the Pacific Cup third straight year (November 9, 2002)
- Engineers overpower the stubborn Wombats to enter the JGC final (November 4, 2002)
- Engineers make a clean sweep of the Pacific Cup league matches (October 27, 2002)
- Engineers make three in row in the Pacific Cup (October 20, 2002)
- Engineers thrash the Aussie Wombats in JGC decider (October 14, 2002)
- Engineers wallop the Kytes (October 13, 2002)
- Engineers keep hope alive in the JGC tournament (October 6, 2002)
- India win YC&AC Sixes Tournament (August 25, 2002)
- Tokyo Giants wallops the Engineers | Scorecard (August 11, 2002)
- Engineers push YC&AC to D-II (August 4, 2002)
- Batting fails Engineers yet again (July 28, 2002)
- Engineers take first match of Pacific Cup with ease (July 20, 2002)
- Engineers take sweet revenge on Millennium | Scorecard (July 14, 2002)
- Robb robs the match with a fine century (July 7, 2002)
- Gunma repeats the feat (June 10, 2002)
- Engineers subdue YC&AC (May 26, 2002)
- Gunma too good for the Engineers (May 3, 2002)
JAPAN GOLD CUP ICING ON THE PACIFIC CUP CAKE
ENGINEERS ACHIEVE THEIR BIGGEST VICTORY WITH A BRILLIANT 78 FROM NIRANJAN DRAVID
By Biju Paul
If retaining the Pacific Cup on Saturday was the cake, lifting the Japan Gold Cup on Sunday was the icing. This is the first time ever in their history the Engineers came out victorious in a multi-team tournament. It was a day the Engineers could do no wrong as they batted according to the plan, bowlers bowled to their field and fielders excelled in their job, although a couple of catches were grassed. The highlight of the match was the calculated innings of Niranjan Dravid who scored a brilliant 78 off only 83 balls and that of Viswa Ghosh who took only 38 balls to score an unbeaten 41runs, to set up a victory. Eventually, chasing 217 proved to be a tall order for the Gunma Eleven Star, who had beaten the Engineers twice earlier this year, including the league match, in which they successfully chased a target of 200 runs. Apparently, the Gunma had got a wrong information from Tokyo sources that the Engineers had only one bowler – Ashok Kumar – to watch out for. As it turned out, the Engineers proved that they have 10 more players in their team to reckon. Also, one should not expect a different result when 8 batsmen, 3 of whom are all rounders themselves, are packed in the lineup.
Japan Gold Cup tournament was competed by the Indian Engineers, Edogawa Falcons, Pakistan Eaglets, Gunma Eleven Star, Sri Lankan Lions and the newly formed Aussie Wombats, held in Tokyo’s Edogawa ground. The game, governed by two neutral umpires, started 25 minutes behind schedule at 10:25 a.m, under excellent weather conditions. It was sunny, a bit warm compared to the previous day’s cold and windy conditions. The Engineers gleefully elected to bat first under those perfect conditions after this writer won the toss 4th consecutive time. The openers put up 29 runs in 7 overs before Prasad Pooppully was out caught behind off Nawasish. That brought Niranjan Dravid to the crease to join Sanjeeb Sahoo. The duo put up 77 runs in 17 overs. Zahir, the Gunma captain, opened up the field as early as in the 10th over of the innings as the batsmen went for their strokes. But the deeply set field then allowed a lot of singles and twos while it didn’t really hinder the batsmen from scoring the boundaries. These frequent singles and twos put a lot of pressure on the fielders resulting in overthrows, one such overthrow finding the boundary rope on the other end, helping Sanjeeb with a useful 6 runs. Niranjan was particularly sever on anything loose, one such delivery was sent over the head of the bowler and deposited straight in the river. Not a pleasant sight for any fast bowler. At the drinks break, the scoreboard read 88/1 in 20 overs. With wickets in hand, the scoring rate was accelerated after the drinks and as many as 129 runs were scored in the next 20 overs. In his effort to accelerate the run rate, Sanjeeb perished in the 24th over for a well made 38. Ashok Kumar was sent in as a pinch hitter but for a change he couldn’t get going this time and was caught at mid-on for 1. The ever reliable Viswa Ghosh then joined the well set Niranjan and these two batsmen put up 44 runs in 8 overs for the 4th wicket. Viswa was frustrated by the deeply drawn boundary lines as his powerful strokes consistently failed to reach the ropes, which prompted the batsmen to ask, “where are the boundary lines drawn, in Washington?”. However, the frustration to hit a single boundary in his 38 balls stay at the wicket resulted in a huge six over mid-wicket. Well, if you can’t hit a 4, the next best best thing is a 6! Viswa eventually remained not out on 41. The only one person who gave Viswa a hard time was, well, not anyone from the opposition, but his batting partner Silvester Pereira! His team mates back in the pavilion were surprised to see how the Inzamam-ul-Haq of the Engineers made Viswa look like a tortoise. Grapevine has it that the batsman was practicing for his impending marriage…! Anyway, Silvester ended his innings the way Inzamam usually ends his, a run out in the second last ball of the innings. Well, by that time the scoreboard read 216/6. With the determination to win the match, Ashok Kumar opened the bowling with a beauty, the ball finding the edge of the blade but Dinesh Singh in the first slip dropped it after almost securing it. Ashok, however, accounted for the other opener in his next over, caught behind, a low catch brilliantly taken by the ‘keeper Niranjan and in his third, he accounted for the beneficiary of the first chance by clean bowling him. Gunma had lost the game before it actually ended when their top 5 batsmen were sent back for 39 runs by the 15th over. In fact, a comment from the opposing captain to this writer at the drinks break said it all, “you guys are playing well. Bowling and fielding is too good”. It was the seam bowling that kept the Gunma under pressure. Dinesh finished his quota of 8 overs in one go while Ashok took a break after 4 superb overs which accounted for both the openers while conceding only 4 runs. His replacement, Rahul Kumar started off with a maiden and kept up the pressure on Gunma. It was a testimony to a good seam bowling that a slow bowler was brought in only after 25 overs. It was the 7th wicket partnership of 48 runs that put Gunma beyond 100 runs and a last wicket partnership of 42 runs saw Gunma reaching 161 runs before Ashok clean bowled number 10 Javed for 26 in the 5th ball of the last over of the innings, thus giving the Engineers a really great victory. Something to cherish for a long, long time(at least, until the next loss!). Brief scores: IECC 216/6. N Dravid 78, V Ghosh 41*. Gunma 161 (39.5 overs). A Kumar 3/21. D Singh 2/29.
ENGINEERS LIFT THE PACIFIC CUP THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR
DINESH SINGH STARS WITH A 5-FER
By Biju Paul
On Saturday, the Engineers made sure that the Pacific Cup remained with them for one more year for safe keeping by defeating the British Embassy in the final of the triangular. This was the third consecutive year the Engineers won the tournament and the Cup, which was with them since its inception, will be with them for another year. Earlier, Shizuoka Kytes had conceded the second league match to the Embassy which enabled them to qualify for the final. The Embassy had beaten the Kytes in their first encounter. In the face of tight bowling, the Embassy batsmen did not pose a great threat to the Engineers’ cup ambitions. Chasing a target of 162, their top 4 batsmen were back in the pavilion by the 6th over with only 25 runs on board. In his first over, Ashok Kumar clean bowled opener Noel for 3 and got rid of Andy Pritchard and Andrew King in his second over off successive deliveries. In the 5th ball of his second over, Ashok trapped Pritchard plumb in front and then clean bowled King with a swinging beauty, the batsman being stunned by the way he was bowled. From there, it was Dinesh Singh all the way. He went for 11 runs in his first over but claimed 3 wickets in the space of 4 deliveries in his third over. When he came back for his second spell of 2 overs, he claimed one more wicket to take his tally to 4. In the only over of his third spell, he claimed his maiden 5-fer with the wicket of Kris Burkhardt. The feature of his splendid effort was that all his victims were clean bowled. While wickets were tumbling at one end, David Envall kept going at the other end and eventually remained not out with 33 runs. It was his partnership of 41 runs with Chris Thomson for the 7th wicket that put the Embassy beyond 100 runs. With only two overs remaining and an improbable 45 runs required for a victory, the ball was lobbed to Prasad Poopppully, a decision which left the vice-captain red faced, to bowl the 39th over. Prasad conceded a boundary in his first ball which then followed by a no ball and then a single and this correspondent was already looking for a hole in the earth to escape someone’s(!) wrath. But Prasad, who had vowed never to bowl again two years ago, saved yours truly’s face by pegging back last man Martin’s middle stump. However, One person who would be disappointed with that wicket could be Bikash Mohanty, who would have bowled the last over. The Embassy were handicapped by the absence of one payer as well. Earlier, yours truly won the toss and elected to bat first. The openers didn’t trouble the scorer nor did they give headache to the opposing captain as they were back in the pavilion by the end of the 4th over with only 6 runs on board. One down Ashok Kumar was in his usual attacking mood and scored a valuable 23 off only 28 balls. But it was the 82 runs partnership in 15 overs for the 4th wicket between Silvester Pereira(48) and Dinesh Singh(31) that put life into the Engineers innings. After both these batsmen were out, there was not much resistance from the Engineers and Embassy brought things to an end in the 36th over for 161 runs. For the Embassy Andrew King was the most successful bowler with 3/24 off his 8 overs, while Brent Kinninmont claimed 2/24 off 6 overs. An interesting coincidence to note: There were 4 bowlers who conceded 24 runs each during the match. A King 3/24, B Kinninmont 2/24, A Kumar 3/24 and D Singh 5/24. Brief scores: IECC 161(35.4 overs). S Pereira 48, D Singh 31. A King 3/24. BECC 132(38.3 overs). D Envall 33*, A Kumar 3/24, D Singh 5/24.
ENGINEERS OVERPOWER THE STUBBORN WOMBATS TO ENTER THE JGC FINAL
ENGINEER A THRILLING VICTORY UNDER TRYING CONDITIONS
By Biju Paul
Although a close match is not good for one’s heart, it does give one immense pleasure when the victory is finally achieved. Last Sunday’s Japan Gold Cup semi-final against the Aussie Wombats was one such match where the fortunes of both teams seesawed both ways during the course of the match. But the grit and determination of the Engineers saw them emerging victorious in a pulsating finish, thus making sure their place in the final against the Gunma CC, who has not lost a match yet in this six team tournament. Personally, this victory was more satisfying for this correspondent as it was closely fought throughout the innings what with both teams refused to say die at any point of time, as opposed to some of the recent victories which were almost one sided, and had its share of umpiring controversy. The victory was achieved under trying conditions as the cold wind blew from the river making playing very difficult in normal clothing.Full marks to the Wombats for making a match out of a seemingly easy target of 184 runs off 40 overs. Engineers had an inauspicious start on the auspicious day of Diwaali, the Indian festival of lights, losing both their openers by the fourth over with only 16 runs on board. But the Engineers then fought back with a 43 runs partnership for the 3rd wicket between Niranjan Dravid and Dinesh Singh. The partnership was broken when Niranjan, playing beautifully until then, spooned a catch to mid-off. Then followed the biggest partnership of the innings between Dinesh(43, 2×4) and Ashok Kumar(46, 4×4, 2×6) for the 4th wicket. The duo added 90 runs in 13 overs which put the game beyond the reach of Wombats. Of the two, Ashok was more punishing as he took only 36 balls to score his runs. His dismissal, however, was completely against the grain of the play. The batsman was out of the crease when he tried to hit a ball out of the ground but unfortunately it hit him on the pad and went towards point. The alert fielder threw the ball back to the keeper who promptly removed the bails but not before the batsman regained his ground. As the appeal for run out was rightly rejected by the square leg umpire, the batsman was terrified to see the dreaded finger going up at the other end as the main umpire upheld an appeal that was made earlier. With only 35 runs required to win and 14 overs remaining, it seemed that the victory was a forgone conclusion but the Aussies had other plans. They claimed two more wickets and the Engineers were soon reduced to 155/6. But a 19 runs partnership for the 7th wicket between Silvester Pereira and Rahul Kumar took the Engineers within 10 runs of victory. But the Aussies were in no mood to give up as they claimed Jagan Panda for 4 to reduce the Engineers to 179/8 at the end of 35 overs. With 5 runs required for the Engineers and two wickets for the Wombats for a place in the final, both teams were giving it everything. All fielders surrounded the batsman in run saving positions, leaving the outfield wide open. All that the batsmen had to do was to hit the ball over the top of the fielders and that is exactly what the number 9 batsman Santosh Ghadge did. He kept his cool under pressure and lifted a bad ball from Pete to long on boundary in the 36th over to tie the score and take all the pressure away. Fittingly or unfittingly, yours truly hit the winning run in the 37th over to take his team to a thrilling victory. It must be said that the Aussies really tried hard to snatch an improbable victory but apparently, it was not their day. Earlier, Jarred Shearer, the Wombats captain, won the toss and elected to bat. The Engineers broke through the Aussie innings in the 7th over by way of claiming Bird’s wicket, clean bowled by Ashok. One drop Chuck didn’t last long as he was run out after scoring 2 runs. The skipper, who opened the innings then put on some good partnerships in the middle with other batsmen. He ran his singles well, putting the fielders under a lot of pressure. To the frustration of his opposite number, even the fielders positioned at single saving positions did not deter him from stealing cheeky singles. Many a times, singles were smartly converted into risky twos. Even a slight misfield was run for, throwing caution to the wind. One such run resulted in the first controversy of the day. After being declared run out going for his second run, the batsman complained that Prasad, who was backing up a throw from mid off, obstructed him. The umpire upheld his complaint and interpreted it as having willfully obstructed the batsman and declared him not out. This obviously drew a lot of protest from the Engineers and the experts from the pavilion(batting side) came into the field of play to brush up the umpire with the law. This writer tried to argue that it was not a willful obstruction and the fielder was trying to do his job but the umpire would not agree and stuck to his decision. The Engineers then had no choice but to continue the match. Jarred remained undefeated 64(6×4) at the end of 40 overs. Shuffling of bowlers failed to ruffle him. Even Niranjan, who was instructed to bowl both spin and medium pace in the same over as a surprise element, could not unsettle him. With him at the crease and wickets in their hand, a total of 200+ looked possible. However, both Santosh and Jagan bowled very well in the death to restrict Wombats to 183. Brief scores: Wombats 183/6 (40 overs). J Shearer 64*. IECC 184/8 (36.3 overs). A Kumar 46, D Singh 43.
ENGINEERS MAKE A CLEAN SWEEP OF THE PACIFIC CUP LEAGUE MATCHES
ELIMINATE THE KYTES FROM THE FINAL
By Biju Paul
The Engineers defeated the Kytes in a one-sided affair which was the last league match of the Pacific Cup for the Engineers. Having qualified for the final already, this match was of only academic interest for the Engineers but for the Kytes, a victory in this match would have kept their hopes alive for the other spot in the final berth. However, as fate would have it, the Kytes lost the match by 71 runs. After the defeat, the Kytes conceded the remaining match in this triangular, against the British Embassy, to them as a Kytes victory in that match would have only enabled them to earn a draw. British Embassy had won the first encounter between the two. Thus the Embassy, having won one match and this walkover, will play the final with the Engineers, the title holders, who have a clean record of wins, two each against both the teams. There was an uncertainty about the match as it had rained almost all day Saturday but trusting the Japanese weather bureau, both captains decided to play on Sunday, with Neil Harrison, the Kytes captain, stating that if the weather bureau proves to be correct, then the ground would not hold water from the overnight rain as the grass was cut on Friday by himself. The Kytes lost the toss(Neil could not recollect the last time he won it) and yours truly elected to bat first. Unlike the last encounter, the openers began cautiously this time with Matthew Sharpe starting with a maiden over and Rajeev from the other end also threw in a decent second over. As things looked steady for the Engineers, Prasad Pooppully was run out in the 4th over by a brilliant direct throw from fine leg by Rahul Kumar, one of our own players who was on loan to the Kytes as a substitute. From then on, things didn’t exactly look up for the Engineers as one down Ashok Kumar fell in the next over, clean bowled by Sharpe and the Engineers soon found themselves in a precarious state of 5 down for 48 at the end of 13 overs. However, a very useful 6th wicket partnership of 50 runs in only 6 overs between Dinesh Singh(30, 1×4, 2×6) and Narayanan Ram(43, 5×4) and 29 runs for the 8th wicket between Narayanan Ram and Bikash Mohanty(7, 1×6) made sure that Kytes will have some work to do in the afternoon. The Engineers lost their last wicket for a total of 147 when Narayanan attempted to reverse sweep a medium pace bowler. The 12 year old Arthur Harrison, who was on loan from the Kytes, remained not out on 0. Thanks Arthur! For the Kytes, Sharpe, as accurate and dangerous as ever, was the most successful bowler with figures of 3/20 off his allotted 8 overs. But his opening partner Rajeev was at the receiving end, having gone for 52 runs off his quota of overs while claiming two wickets, one of which was the result of a brilliant running catch at deep mid-wicket by Reynolds when Sanjeeb Sahoo attempted a pull shot. Nick Shannon was surprisingly(!) very tidy in his first over but went for 20 runs in his next two overs but claimed two wickets. After a really brief lunch interval of 10 minutes, Ashok Kumar opened the bowling with a maiden over while Dinesh from the other end maintained a good line and length. Dinesh produced the breakthrough when he clean bowled Sharpe in the 6th over, his 3rd. The same over saw one more wicket falling to Dinesh. Ashok claimed two wickets in his 5th over, 9th of the innings to put Kytes under tremendous pressure and they never really recovered from this two double blows. Although, this correspondent replaced Ashok, he soon replaced himself as his 3rd over went for 10 runs. Nari and Rahul, however, kept the pressure on the Kytes, with Nari being at his stingy best, conceding only 3 runs in 3 overs. Although his first over went for 10 runs, Ashok Sharmaji kept his cool and enjoyed one of the rare good days in the field as he cleaned up the tail in his next over, claiming all three remaining wickets. Figures of 3/10 look good, really. And he decided to celebrate his best match haul by buying an SS bat for JPY 12,000 from Dinesh! Brief scores: IECC 147(26.4 overs). D Singh 30, N Ram 43, M Sharpe 3/20 Kytes 76(26.3). A Sharma 3/10.
ENGINEERS MAKE THREE IN ROW IN THE PACIFIC CUP
SECURES A BERTH IN THE FINAL OF THE TRIANGULAR
By Silvester Pereira
Bad weather conditions before the start of the game had put doubts whether a game could be playing. The lineup to the pitch was wet(due to morning dew). The bowler’s run-up was equally worse with wet patches of soft mud close to the bowler’s end. With hopes of a match that could be played(assuming the weather stays cloudy), we won the toss and elected to bat first. The British Embassy bowlers, exploiting the damp conditions, bowled very well especially their first three bowlers Andrew, Brent and Envill. We lost two quick wickets for 14 runs in our third over. However, some good sensible batting partnerships from Prasad Pooppully, Jagan Panda and Narayanan Ram saw us through to 150 in 30 overs. Prasad batted sensibly and beautifully, scoring five boundaries in his well made 44. Jagan made an excellent comeback since his break from ricket(recently married) and proved his worth in the presence of his wife!! Both Jagan and Prasad were supported well on the other side by Nari, our new member and a promising allrounder in the team. The Embsaay openers had a good start scoring almost 40 without loss before Envill pulled a hamstring in his right leg while taking a run. His retirement was a blessing in disguise as it triggered a batting collapse loosing seven wickets for another 40 odd runs. Our strength was in keeping the batsmen tight, allow them to make mistakes and push the runrate higher. Thanks to some good bowling from Ravindra Kuvalekar, Sanjeeb Sahoo and fielding especially taking all the catches which came our way, we managed to get wickets at regular intervals. At the fall of seventh wicket around 80, we turned the match in our favour. Before we could realise what had happened, the umpire signal that was the end of the match(as two of their players were injured and couldn’t bat and one had to leave early). This victory put us through to the finals in Pacific Cup with one game yet to be played and make us firm favourites to clinch the Pacific Cup of 2002. Brief scores: IECC 152 All out(30 overs). P Pooppully 44, J Panda 32 Brtish Embassy 83/7
ENGINEERS THRASH THE AUSSIE WOMBATS IN JGC DECIDER
SECURES A BERTH IN THE SEMI-FINAL
By Silvester Pereira
A beautiful and sunny day in Edogawa greeted both the teams. We lost the toss and the Aussie Wombats captain, Jarrad, elected to field first in a 40 overs game. We lost two wickets in the ninth over for 28. Ashok Kumar and Vishwa Ghosh added 42 runs for the third wicket partnership before Ashok was out with the score 70 for 3 wickets in 17 overs. Rahul, who joined in at the fall of fifth wicket for 77, together with Viswa scored steadily at 4 runs per over and build up a good sixth wicket partnership of 48 runs before Vishwa was out for a well made 44 runs. Our tail contributed well towards the end, with Rahul scoring a well made 38 runs, to reach a respectable total of 194 All out in 38 overs. Ashok Kumar and Dinesh Singh opened our bowling attack and the Wombats were in touble right from the start loosing three wickets for 8 runs. Rahul Kumar and Narayanan Ram took over from Ashok and Dinesh and the two bowled beautifully to get rid of the next six Aussie batsmen. Nari was exceptionally good taking four wickets, all clean bowled. Girish completed the scorecard entries with the last Wombat wicket who managed to score only 72 runs in their entire innings. We won this game rather convincingly than I had expected and qualified for the semifinals of the JGC tournament. Brief scores: IECC 194 All out(38 overs). V Ghosh 44, R Kumar 38, N Ram 21 Aussie Wombats 72 All out. N Ram 5-1-19-4 A spectator’s comment: Although it was not Rajkumar who marked the boundary this time around, it still looked like the first ever chappathi that Prasad claimed to have made!
– Biju Paul
ENGINEERS WALLOP THE KYTES
SECOND STRAIGHT WIN OF THE PACIFIC CUP
By Biju Paul
It is always a pleasure to have a good batting lineup that can win matches any given day. And it was the awesome display of batting that won the match for the Engineers against the Shizuoka Kytes on Sunday. With two consecutive wins and two more matches to go in this tournament, the Engineers are more likely to qualify for the final than not. Incidentally, the British Embassy had thumped the Kytes the other week to keep the Embassy team’s final hope alive where as it will take some doing for the Kytes’s in order to revive their hope. After a two month hiatus due to a knee injury, this correspondent led the team which had the usual suspects but failed on numerous critical occasions. While it was the bowling that has been winning the matches this year so far, it was not to be this time. Electing to bat after winning the toss, the Engineers piled up a mammoth total of 274 runs off 40 overs. The foundation for such a massive total was laid by the openers Prasad Pooppully(52) and Sanjeeb Sahoo(58) who put up a record 140 runs partnership off only 18 overs. At last they converted the 10s and 20s they have been scoring all these years to their respective maiden half centuries. Instructions to play one’s own game seemed to have paid off. Until now, while this pair looked good for their 10s and 20s, they were getting out to over ambitious shots in order to boost the run rate after being over cautious in the beginning. Initially, Prasad led the run riot while Sanjeeb was content with holding the other end up. But things changed in a matter of a couple of overs and Sanjeeb also joined the fest by lofting the Kytes first change bowler Todd Philips for a 6 and two 4s in his first over. There was no looking back after that for the Engineers. In the absence of any penetrative bowling, runs continued to flow in 4s and 6s until the Kytes skipper Neil decided enough is enough and brought the deceptive tweaker Matsuura. Prasad was lured for a wild sweep but the ball kept low and slow and good enough to reset his stumps. The first wicket fell at 140 runs but not before he completed his half century. At last Prasad has got something to write home about, literally! But the platform was set and the Engineers were looking at a small total of 300 plus runs when Sanjeeb was trapped infront of the wicket by none other than Matsuura in his second over. Second wicket goes down for the addition of just one run. The fall of his partner seemed to have affected Sanjeeb’s concentration. With Viswa Ghosh joining the hard hitter Dinesh Singh, things still looked easy and rosy for the Engineers. But the Kytes spinners had other plans. From 140/1 off 18 overs, Engineers added 68 runs in the next 10 overs while losing 5 more wickets, Takeshi Matsuura and Alan Hamer being the bowlers who applied the brakes on Engineers with 4 and 2 wickets, respectively. Leggie Alan Hamer seemed to begenuine leggie and seemed to extract a lot of turn on a lose mat pitch. Quite impressive. While wickets continued to fall at one end, Viswa kept going in his own aggressive style with a runs on either side of the wicket. Once again, he looked set to score another century but was unfortunately run out, the only way he could have been out on that day, for a personal score of 53 in the 34th over. But the tail wagged for Engineers as number 9 and 10 batsmen, Govind Sachan and Narayanan Ram, scored 10 and 15 runs, respectively to take the score to 274 runs. The major other contributor to the Engineers’ cause was Mr. Extras who made a useful 54 runs. With a decent total to defend and with smiles on their faces, Engineers came back to the ground to send back the Kytes batsmen, clinically. Ashok drew first blood in his second over, third of the innings, when the dangerous Rob McKenna tried to cut a ball outside the off stump but failed to keep the ball down. Govind at point gleefully accepted the catch. While Dinesh took a little bit of stick from the other end, Ashok was too hot for the Kytes to handle. He took care of the top 4 batsmen in his opening spell of 6 overs. Then yours truly struck twice in the space of 4 balls to send back Philips and Hamer. The remaining 4 wickets were shared by Narayanan and Rahul to send the Kytes back home for a paltry sum of 68 runs in 22 overs. With this the Engineers are at the top of the Pacific Cup table. One more win will ensure a certain place in the final. Brief scores: IECC 274. P Pooppully 52, S Sahoo 58, V Ghosh 53, Extras 54 S. Kytes 68. A Kumar 4/24, R kumar 2/11, B Paul 2/8, N Ram 2/0
ENGINEERS KEEP HOPE ALIVE IN THE JGC TOURNAMENT
REGISTER THEIR FIRST WIN IN THE JGC
By Prasad Pooppully
On Sunday 6th October 02, the Engineers won its match against the Pakistan Eaglets in the third match of the JGC at Edogawa oval in Tokyo. With this victory the Engineers keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the semi-final of the tournament. A great display of teamwork, accurate and controlled bowling and disciplined fielding(by our standards) helped the Engineers come out victorious in this closely contested encounter. Our Stand-in captain Rajkumar lead the team, which on paper, was less glamorous with the absence of some of our key players – Sriram, Vishwa , Balu & others, not to mention our captain Biju & vice-captain Silvester. Seems like the new captain had the strategy including, what to call to win the toss, batting line up, bowling & field positions, who-should-field-where, etc. fully planned. The rumour is that he even studied the opponents batting and bowling through some secret Tehelka type recordings). Anyway, IECC won the toss and opted to bat first. Yours truly and Sanjeeb Sahoo(also know as Sehwag – for his bowling) opened the innings. After the usual prodding and blocking, scoreboard kept moving slowly and while the score was on 18, Sanjeeb (12) was out lbw off a ball which unfortunately kept low. Ashok Kumar came in at 1 down and played some great shots including a huge six towards the square leg area. However, the bowler had his say in the next ball when Ashok was bowled while trying for another mighty hit. Ashok was the top scorer with 24 valuable runs and IECC had scored 46. Next was Dinesh’s turn and he batted sensibly as usual with some quick running between the wickets. Meanwhile I was out for 15(can also be read as fifty) in the 15th over while the total score was on 62. Santosh, who talked himself up in the batting order, was caught brilliantly at short fine leg and Dinesh soon followed – given out lbw by the umpire – to say the least – Eaglets’ wicket keeper was surprised and the bowler was celebrating the bonus. Rajkumar and Bikash was bowled for 3 and 2 respectively. Rahul steadied the innings with some great shots and good running. He scored 19 and while he was out the score read 114/8. Narayanan and Akshay scored 5 and 2 in that order and Ashok remained not out with 1. The final IECC score was 135 all out in 28 overs. Considering the batting line-up we had, it was a respectable score with the outfield being slow and with very few boundaries(sirf do chowka or ek chakka – two 4s and one 6), thanks to Rajkumar’s boundary markings(the shape resembled my first ever chappathi – all part of the big game plan though…). Ashok K and Dinesh opened the bowling for the Engineers and took two quick wickets. The batsmen were playing cautiously and taking occasional ones and twos. Rahul and Narayanan came in next and both bowled tight spells. At the end of 16 overs, the Eaglets were also evenly poised at 61/3. Santosh started after the drinks break and picked up a lucky wicket on his first valid delivery(first one being a wide – apparently, he has been told by a cricket astrologer that he should bowl his first ball wide always). After having tasted a wicket after a wide delivery, he was bowling them very often before Rajkumar decided to change his game plan on the advice of wiser counsels. Ashok Sharma(ji) bowled one over and had yours truly been a Kaif or Yuvraj (or may be a Dinesh or Rahul, in Tokyo), Ashok would have been able to record a wicket under his name, by picking a low catch. Narayanan and Rahul continued the bowling and although the Eaglets were not scoring as fast as they would have liked to, they were progressing with ones and twos without taking much risk. And it all came to the final 8 overs with just 36 runs needed. At this crucial stage our Sanjeeb Sehwag bowled a maiden over and put pressure on the Eaglets. Narayanan and Rahul also completed their excellent spells by picking 2 and 1 wicket respectively. Eaglets had to score 30 runs off 6 overs and Ashok and Dinesh came back and like their blistering opening spell, built the pressure on the batsman. Eaglets were still in the game picking runs off occasional edges and sometimes forcing shots. Their captain played a commendable role and was one of the last few batsman out having come in at one down and seemed like taking the game away from the IECC. But the bowlers kept calm and the fielders were on their toes trying to restrict every run. The Eaglets batsmen, under pressure were trying to play forcing shots and one of them was aimed at yours truly’s head which I managed to block from reaching the boundary(many say, and I personally believe, it was actually a dropped sitter). But it did not cost much because in the next ball the batsman aimed for a passing Eagle in the sky which after traveling quite a bit up in the sky landed in safe hands on Rahul. A very well judged catch, which won the match for IECC. The Eaglets were finally out for 124 runs in the 31st over. Dinesh picked up 2 wickets each in his two spells to win the match. To summarise the bowling, it was Ashok’s (1 wicket) fearsome bowling, Narayanan’s(2 wickets) consistent line and length, Dinesh(4 wickets) and Rahul’s(1 wicket) intelligent and accurate bowling and good contribution from Santosh(1 wicket), Sanjeeb and Ashok Sharma that sealed the victory for the Engineers. But the best bowling figures were shared by Akshay, Rajkumar, Bikash and myself- all of which read 0-0-0-0 with an economy of 0.00 per over. Bikash did a good job behind the wickets and took some good catches. Akshay also contributed in the field when the ball was really chasing him. To sum up – A good victory in a closely contested match. Great work guys – and some work for Biju to update the winning percentage in our website. It’s nice to win and so let’s keep winning… And kudos to the Pakistan Eaglets team and their captain who were very professional and put up a stubborn resistance and fought till the end. THREE CHEERS TO the IECC.
INDIA WIN YC&AC SIXES TOURNAMENT
REGAINS THE TROPHY AFTER SIX YEARS
By Sriram Sampath
Yesterday the Indian team defeated the YCAC team and regained the International sixes trophy after 6 years . It was sure a dream come true !!! I would like to congratulate the other members in this mailing list – Rahul , Dinesh and Ashok for their spirited performance which saw us in control of every match and especially the finals which surprisingly resulted in a one sided game. Our matches with the Japanese and the International team earlier showed that with our disciplined batting (Dinesh and myself scoring the 25’s) and tight bowling attack, we were well capable of defeating any side in the tournament ..also with the YCAC team (another international team in fact !) defeating the Pakistanis in the semis, it seemed more a matter of nerves. Dinesh , Rahul , Avinash and myself played well in the finals to post a total of 75 runs in the allotted 5 overs and it was always going to be a tough target to reach. Rahul hardly gave runs in his first overs and with two crucial wickets falling in Dinesh’s over ( one bowled and another run out), the Indians knew it was time to celebrate. Ashok as always was tight and sure had fun in his final over with close in fielders to ensure that the opponents were in fact all out!!!. I was adjudged the ‘Best Batsman of the tournament’ and Rahul was praised for his fielding – did a crucial run out in the semis and took a brilliant catch of Naeem in the finals whose skier never ever seemed to land!! All in all , it was a great teamwork and a well deserved victory for the Indian team to remember … cheers.
TOKYO GIANTS WALLOP THE ENGINEERS
MUMTAZ(57) AND TAUSEEF(4/14) SET UP A FANTASTIC VICTORY
By Silvester Pereira
A beautiful sunny morning to play cricket. Unfortunately due to Obon holidays and expected traffic rush, both teams had to leave Tokyo/Saitama very early in the morning for Fuji and due to unforeseen circumstances, we were able to reach the ground only around 12:15 noon. The match was curtailed to 35 overs/innings to makeup for the lost time. It was a do-or-die match for both teams and a victory for any team would ensure a place in the finals of Division I. We lost the toss and Mumtaz (of Tokyo Giants) elected to bat first. Sajjad and Tauseef opened the innings (batting) for Tokyo Giants whereas Ajey and Ganesh opened the bowling for IECC. The Giants opener had a good start putting on 36 runs in just 4 overs before Tauseef was out caught by Santosh of the bowling for Ajey for 7. The Giants slowly kept on scoring but wickets fell at intervals and midway through their innings (18 overs) they were 125-5 with Mumtaz still around. After the drinks break, Mumtaz and the rest of his batsmen continue attack our bowling, scoring runs at ease and they put up a very good score of 253/8 in 35 overs especially due to a very good knock of 57 by their captain Mumtaz We went to bat and had a disastrous start loosing our two openers, Prasad and Sanjeeb Sahoo in the very first over due to run-outs. Ajey was sent in earlier to join Vishwa and prevent a batting collapse and he together with Vishwa did well for a 50 run third wicket partnership before Vishwa was bowled by Razzak for 30. Ajey got out immediately to a good catch taken by Naeem, running to the ball behind him. Rest of our batsmen failed to hang-on to the wicket and we lost wickets at interval with the asking run-rate always above 6 per over. Among the bowlers, Tauseef was effective taking four wickets with his steady pace and line. We folded up at 145 All out to give Giants their much wanted victory and a repeat of having to face the Friends in the finals of Division I(Giants had won the match last year against Friends). We wish them all the best in the final. See Score card
ENGINEERS PUSH YC&AC TO D-II
DEFEAT YC&AC IN FOURTH SUCCESSIVE MEETING AND SECURE THEIR PLACE IN D-I
By Viswa Ghosh
Our captain, Silvy (with Biju cooling off in the backwaters of Kerala), won the toss (for once getting out of his habit of losing tosses but winning matches) and chose to bat. In our team meeting we discussed and decided that our target should be 240+ because any total less than that may not be a winning one on this YCAC ground. The openers were to hold on to their wickets for, at least, 5 overs even if the run rate were low. Following our previous debacle – batting collapse, which has become our trait this 2002 season – the name of the game was “just stick”. IECC Inning Sunil and Prasad opened the innings and pushed the score along, with some dogged defense, to 33. Prasad, once in a while, would come out of his shell and loft the bowlers over the fielders and get some boundaries to his credit. Sunil was bowled at the Swimming Pool end by one that kept ankle low. In went the old man of the team, Viswa, with butterflies in his stomach doing all sorts of gymnastics (because he has had a good run of single digit scores this season – 1, 4, 0 in five matches). Fortunately, things went according to plan with the scoring rate picking up past 4 runs per over and wickets intact. At 74 Prasad lost his wicket after a very good knock that seemed like he will soon get to his half century, which was, however, not to be. Dinesh, the well established all-rounder of the team entered the arena and soon had Tony pushing his fielders to the boundary line. A six over the mid-wicket fence, that landed in the tennis courts below, was a treat to watch. Tony was forced to bring back his main bowler, Kamran, to stem the run rate, which was now close to six per over. But Kamran, too, was dispatched to the fence twice in one over. This pair pushed the score to 127 when Viswa received the juiciest of full tosses one can ever imagine from the YCAC bowler, Alok (who had, incidentally, and quite unfortunately lost his wallet that very morning en route to the match), with six written all over it. But six it was not to be. The catch was taken at deep Mid On and IECC were now 3 down for 127. With Sriram walking in to join Dinesh it seemed like the YCAC would soon be on a leather hunt. Unfortunately, Dinesh got out to a stroke he will certainly not like to relate to his grand children and IECC were now 4 down for 138. Silvy joined Sriram and the two literally took the YCAC bowling apart with some great shots coming from both batsmen. It was an inning that Silvy will boast about for years to come. On the verge of getting his half century Silvy bowled by a decent ball that clipped the bails and IECC were now 5 down for 200 and more than 8 overs still to be bowled. No one could complain on the way the things had turned out. This was truly great going and seemed that a total of 250+ will be posted with wickets in hand! With the score on 220, Sriram looking very good for a century, got out to a shot that he will want to forget. He missed his half century by just a run! The rest of the story? The IECC tail enders will surely want to forget – one after another wickets tumbled in quick succession! From 6 down for 220 (after Sriram got out) IECC was soon 9 down for 220. A score of 250+ looked like a remote possibility. Someone had switched the light(s) off at the end of the tunnel. Bibhas and Ajey added another 3 runs before the IECC inning folded up for 223 (in 37.1 overs) – not a very safe total but one that could be defended with some good bowling. For a change the IECC top order batted with more muscle: Sriram – 49 Silvy – 41 Viswa – 37 Prasad – 28 Dinesh – 27 It must be recorded here that Tony, the YCAC captain, marshaled his bowlers and fielders quite creditably given that they were two fielders short of eleven! YCAC Inning Post-lunch YCAC started the chase with Santosh helping them along somewhat bowling a first over that might win him a Guinness award in terms of the number of balls bowled per over. At the other end, Dinesh got into his act immediately with some good, fast stuff and had Avinash trapped lbw and YCAC 1 down for 18. Captain Silvy, quite judiciously, replaced Santosh with Ajey who bowled a most innocuous looking, short-pitched ball that had the batsman, Burgess (who was looking good with over-the-fielders’ heads-stuff) swinging hard, but too early! The bat was well past the midday mark when the ball rocked the off-stump back. The YCAC were 2 down for 18 in just the 3rd over! Ferris walked in to join Kamran. Kamran was looking quite dangerous with his fluent off side strokes. Ajey soon produce a good delivery that trapped Ferris lbw and YCAC were 3 down for 29. Once again Ajey produced a delivery that Kamran wanted to dispatch over the Long Off but just managed to spoon a lollipop to Sriram at Mid Off: YCAC were 4 down for 42. Ajey, after a good spell that fetched him 3 valuable wickets, was replaced by Supratim. He must have imagined playing on a shorter pitch and produced some stuff that pitched almost at the 11-yard mark. But whatever it was, he was rewarded with the wicket of Rahul who was trapped lbw. YCAC were now 5 down for 67. Coles came in and decided to give some fielding practice and lofted Supratim’s full toss straight to Dinesh at the square leg boundary. At the other end, Dinesh came back for his second spell and clean bowled Cameron, Alok and Blamire in quick succession to reduce YCAC to 9 down for 114. Captain Tony joined Manoj, who was doggedly defending his end. While the match appeared to be heading for a quick finish both Manoj and Tony had other ideas. They batted with grit and pushed the score passed 175 and suddenly it looked that YCAC will either pull off a victory or get the match abandoned due to rain because dark cumulous fluffy stuff had now built up overhead. Of course, the two batsmen were aided by some poor bowling and some not-so-very-sharp fielding by Viswa in the slips: a lesson for any IECC captain not to place a fielder who needs 24 hours to respond to an edge! Supratim came back for his last spell and produced another 11-yarder and trapped Manoj lbw, with the ball kissing the ground after pitching till it hit the batsman’s foot. Anyway, the outcome matters more than the means. YCAC were all out for 186 (in 32.4 overs) and IECC posted a much needed victory. And, the bowling figures look pretty impressive, barring a few, of course: Dinesh 8-0-27-4 Ajey 8-0-34-3 Supratim 3-0-30-3 Ganesh 4-0-19-0 Viswa 3-0-11-0 Bibhas 3-0-27-0 Santosh 2-0-26-0 This match will go down in the annals of IECC as one in which Silvy won both the toss as well as the match! Usually, he loses the toss but wins matches.
BATTING FAILS ENGINEERS YET AGAIN
FALCON HUNTING – II ENDS IN DISASTER
By Silvester Pereira
As has been the trend this year so far, the Engineers slumped into yet another defeat after restricting the opposition to a low score. The opponents captain Sheikh won the toss and elected to bat on a bright sunny day. Our opening bowling attack, comprising of Biju and Ashok was good and we managed to get early wickets. We managed to break the back of the Falcons with some good cricket and reduced the Falcons to 6/48 in less than 20 overs. However, the Falcons then steadied the innings with some good solid hitting by Qamar Dar, who hit boundaries or over the fence even when we had fielders around those area. Fortunately we managed to get them out and with Sheikh finding it difficult to find eleven people(I heard someone who was not originally in the playing eleven and went to get food was asked to come at bat at no. 11!!) The team folded up at 128 runs all out thanks to some good fielding and bowling from IECC. All bowlers came good with Biju, Ashok, Supratim and Viswa taking 2 wickets apiece. A reasonable target to achieve, we started the innings again on a bad note with myself being run-out in the second over through a horrible mix-up with Prasad. Prasad and Vishwa followed quickly. Sriram too didn’t last long and in the fifth over we were struggling at 23/5 thanks to some great bowling by Adil Butt who did most of the damage to IECC. Ashok Kumar was sent up the order to disrupt the collapse and he along with Dinesh started to build up a partnership. Dinesh was out (caught at slips) trying to hit a ball outside the offside (he was beaten twice in the same fashion in the previous two balls). Wickets fell at intervals and we were all out for 103. Only Ashok managed to score runs for IECC in double digit whereas none of the top five batsmen managed to scored more than 10 runs. We lost the game with some poor batting (something which we have done before) and definitely need to work out a good solid strategy if we have to win important games in the future. Brief scores: Falcons 128 (30.2 overs). IECC 83 (23 overs).
ENGINEERS TAKE FIRST MATCH OF PACIFIC CUP WITH EASE
HAT TRICK DENIED FOR GANESH
By Silvester Pereira
We won the first match of the Pacific Cup tournament with relative ease as the British Embassy team, playing their first match of the season(!) didn’t offer much resistence. A beautiful day at Edogawa and surprisingly all the 22 players were present on the ground by 10:40 am which was good enough to start the game by 11:00 am. We lost the toss as British Embassy captain Andrew King called it correct and elected to bat first on a rather wet outfield. Our opening bowlers Ashok Kumar and Dinesh Singh Rawat(DSR) bowled well with Ashok being extremely dangerous, taking two quick wickets, opener kinninmont(2) and one down Prtichard(0), both the batsmen being bowled by the pace!! Back in the pavilion, Kinninmont was heard saying, “he always gets me!”. When this was conveyed to Ashok during the lunch break, he quipped, “I have one more bunny. Mark Ferris of YC&AC!”. DSR on the other end maintained a tight line. Runs were hard to come by as field placing was good, bowlers bowling to a good line and batsmen unable to break through the good field placing. First change Santosh and Rahul too bowled a great line and at the end of 20 overs, the opponents were only 40/2 averaging at 2 runs per over. After the drinks interval, British Embassy tried to push up the run rate and in the process lost wickets at regular intervals thanks to some good line and length from Ganesh, who picked up 4 wickets towards the end to wrap up the Embassy innings. Three of his four victims came in one over, which incidentally was the last over for the Embassy as they folded up for 73 in exactly 34 overs. Ganesh’s 3 wickets came in the 2nd, 5th and 6th balls respectively of the 34th over. An easy target to achieve for the Indian Engineers. Having lost Raj Kumar our early in the innings, a good solid second wicket partnership of 51 runs from Prasad and Vishwa(43*) put the Engineers in the driving seat. The unfinished tth wicket partnership of 27 runs between Viswa and DSR wrapped up the match in our favour in the 25th over. So for the loss of just three wickets, we reached our target convincingly and earned our first victory and full points in this triangular tournament which also involves the Shizuoka Kytes. For the Embassy, Hugh and Pritchard took some excellent catches at cover and slips to dismiss Prasad and me respectively. A great victory and team work with excellent bowling, fielding and batting once again brings us closer to building our confidence for our future matches and adding one more to my memorable list of victories under my cap. Brief scores: BECC 73 (34 overs). N Mathews 44, A Kumar 5-2-4-2, G Tajave 5-1-12-4 IECC 74/3 (24.2 overs). V Ghosh 43*.
ENGINEERS TAKE SWEET REVENGE ON MILLENNIUM
BIJU’S BLISTERING OPENING SPELL SEALS THE MATCH
By Silvester Pereira
The Engineers took sweet revenge on Millennium, who became the first and only Japanese team to qualify for Division I by defeating us in a thriller last year which almost put paid to our hopes of qualifying for the D-I. The script almost repeated this time but we emerged victorious ultimately to keep our hopes alive for a place in the final of KCL! Actually, no one was sure until Friday if the match would take place as the mower broke down and couldn’t fixed until Thursday. Thankfully the part arrived from Australia in time and thanks to a wonderful job by Mark and gang, the ground was ready in time. Thanks, mates! A beautiful morning to start the day from Tokyo. All members were full of high spirits wanting to win the match to gain four full points(obviously, the loss last year was rankling us) and also to boost our confidence which we lacked in the last few games. Some parts of the outfield was a bit wet in the morning but the bright shining sun would make it dry in a few hours. Millennium won the toss and elected to bat first. There is no better way to start a match than taking a wicket in the first ball of the match, isn’t it? Opening the bowling, Biju charged in from the river end from a shorter run-up(from 30 yards to 20 yards!) – as suggested to him in the post-match analysis in the earlier games – sent in one, well, down the leg side and correctly called a wide. With the wind assisting him enormously, he pitched the next one a shade outside the off stump which took the outside edge of Naoki Saida’s blade and flew to the ‘keeper where Bibhas Roy completed the formality. Millennium 0/1 off 0.1 overs! Leighton replaced Saida and immediately lifted Dinesh, who opened from the other end, for a massive six over long off. But before he could do any damage, Biju in his second over produced a faster delivery that pitched on the off stump. Leighton tried to cut it but succeeded only in directing it to the first slip where Santosh took a sharp catch at his shoulder height. In his third over Biju took care of Shu Kanzaki, the other opener, who was caught at short mid-on by Ajey(a great catch indeed). At the end of 20 overs Millennium found themselves tottering at 58/5. But the sixth wicket partnership of 36 runs between Matsubara(17) and skipper Testsuo Fuji(15) brought the total to 94 when Matsubara was clean bowled by Ashok Sharma(ji) who returned with 2/12 off 5 overs. Meanwhile, Bibhas who handed over the keeping duty to Sriram cleaned up the rest from the Shinkansen end and had match figures of 3/8 off 5 overs, leaving Millennium at 102 in 37.5 overs. Full marks to them in lasting that many overs. The bowlers were economical throughout the match. The Millennium were wise in just hanging on to the wickets and taking ones or twos. Prasad and myself opened the batting for IECC. Prasad got out early trying a pull to mid-wicket. In walked Vishwa who got out quickly trying to pull at backward short leg. Two quick wickets and memories of last year, where we were reduced to 5/7 in the third over, immediately came to everyone’s mind. Dinesh and myself tried to steady the innings by not taking major risks and just staying at the wicket. I was out with the score at 28/3(tenth over) missing the line and bowled(lack of concentration I guess!!). In came Sriram who along with Dinesh produced a great rescue partnership of 52 runs for the fourth wicket to take the score to 80 before Sriram got out going for a big hit at mid-on. Dinesh fell immediately resulting in pressure on our remaining batsmen to score the remaining 15 runs needed for our much wanted victory. Ajey, Ganesh and Bibhas slowly and cautiously scored the remaining runs and we won the game in in 31.3 overs with 4 wickets in hand. A low scoring match and 40 runs out of our target came from extras!! We should have won this game more convincingly but at the end of the day we managed to get the desired result – victory and 4 full points. Two more victories and we are in the finals, guys!! Brief scores: Millennium 102(37.5 overs). B Paul 3/15, B Roy 3/8, A Sharma 2/12 Engineers 103/6(31.3 overs). S Sampath 22
ROBB ROBS THE MATCH WITH A FINE CENTURY
KCL MAKES HISTORY WITH A 12 YEAR OLD MAKING HIS DEBUT AND FATHER AND SON BATTING IN THE SAME INNINGS!
By Silvester Pereira
Arthur Harrison, a 12 year old boy, made history in Japan by making his first class debut in the KCL match between Indian Engineers and Shizuoka Kytes. There is no information available to suggest that he is not the youngest ever to make first class debut in the history of the game. You may have heard about the Flower brothers of Zimbabwe or the more famed Waugh brothers of Australia but this may be the first time a father and son duo batted in the same innings! Is the ICC listening? There is something special with a KCL match, Shizuoka Kytes and Indian Engineers. Every time we meet for a KCL match they go back home smiling and all other times we come back home smiling and this time was no different either. Rob Mckenna’s fine century helped Kytes with 4 points and in that process he destroyed us once again as he did a few years ago(1998?) when he was playing for Tokyo Bay. A bright sunny day in Tokyo together with a surprising “arrival before time at Yoga” by the vice-captain was the highlight of the day! An over-estimated calculation by Santosh (who turned up 30 mins late) was further dampened with a traffic jam on the way to Shizuoka resulting in us arriving at the ground around 11:30 ( 3hrs from the meeting point in Tokyo). The match started late around 11:45 am (not to forget that it did rain in Shizuoka early morning and stopped around 10:00 a.m. just in time for the start of the game) with us loosing the toss but still achieving our objective of putting our opponents to bat first. The first few good overs resulted in Shizuoka loosing two quick wickets. However the danger man Rob was still at the crease. As he stayed on the crease and to our surprise, the weather improved, was very sunny and hot, the runs kept flowing easily and it was only Rob who was scoring. We managed to get Rob and the Kytes out but not before Rob scored his century and Kytes reached a respectable 195. The value of his innings can be understood only if you take a peek at the scorebook. While he scored 109 runs out the Kytes’ total of 195, the rest of the batsmen together contributed only 40 runs of which 26 were scored by Vipin Kumar with whom Rob had a fruitful partnership of 88 runs for the 5th wicket after being down with 79/4 in the 16th over. The man – in fact, the boy – who was making history came as the last man after Biju clean bowled no. 10 Takeshi. Arthur in his cricketing armour of helmet, gloves and full size bat and pad didn’t look as innocent as he does without them. However, he lasted only three balls before Biju clean bowled him in the 4th delivery of the last over of the innings while his father looked on smilingly but helplessly from the other end . A proud father but the father-son partnership unfortunately didn’t put any runs on the board. Chasing a target of 196 was achievable especially when we have a great team on paper. However things didn’t go smooth for us right from the first over. We lost two wickets, including that of Viswa Ghosh, in the first over itself to the ever swinging Mathew Sharpe. Although Sriram showed the touch of his class and looked good for his 16 with a ferocious pull for six and a couple of 4s, wickets fell frequently and soon we found ourselves 51/5 in the 6th over. Well, the run rate was more than the required rate but so was the wicket falling rate too! Although Sunil and myself put up a 42 runs for the 5th wicket, the tail didn’t last long and we lost the game easily. Mark Wilson(3/18) and Sharpe(4/41) were the most effective bowlers for Kytes while for us Biju Paul took 3/53 and Dinesh had superb figures of 8-4-6-2. We could have the game but all said and done Shizuoka picked up four points. This was our first loss in this year’s KCL tournament. We still have a chance to make up for this loss if we play well in our remaining games. Let’s hope for the best. See you all in the Pacific Cup, mates! Brief scores: Kytes 195(39.4 overs). R Mckenna 109, B Paul 3/53, D Singh 8-4-6-2 Engineers 103(20.3 overs). M Sharpe 4/41 Read another report by Neil Harrison
GUNMA REPEATS THE FEAT
DEFEATS ENGINEERS IN THE SECOND STRAIGHT MATCH
By Biju Paul
The Engineers lost an exciting match on the weekend, their second straight loss to the same team, thanks to some lusty hitting by the Gunma middle order. On winning the toss, Engineers decided to bat first. After the now-customary disastrous start and a mini middle-order collapse, Engineers were tottering at 84/5 at the end of 15 overs and then 113/7 at the end of 20 overs. But the sixth wicket partnership of 38 runs between Rahul Kumar and Dinesh Singh, eighth wicket partnership of 41 runs between Murali Reddy and Dinesh and then the blistering tenth wicket partnership of 30 runs between Ashok Kumar and debutante Jayant Kumar, of which Ashok was the dominant partner with an unbeaten 22, saw them post a respectable 199 off 35.3 overs. Dinesh was in murderous form with hitting every one all over the ground. His swashbuckling innings of 57 was brought to an end by an umpiring tragedy in which umpire gave him out lbw with only a slip fielder appealing while the ‘keeper and the bowler chose not to. The bowler realised that he got a prized wicket only when the batsman started walking! Earlier in the innings, the hard hitting ‘keeper Balu was given out lbw for 25 to a delivery pitched on the leg stump and going out. It must be noted that it was a neutral umpire who was doing the job all the time. For the Engineers, a new slogan – aaj jeetna hai(We must win today) – was introduced in this match and every one shouted it aloud with the hands stretched forward before going into the field. With all the confidence in the world and believing that they can win the match, Ashok started off with a maiden over. The second and third over bowled by this correspondent and Ashok Kumar respectively saw all the close-in fielders appealing vociferously for lbw as they thought that they had both the batsmen plumb in front but the umpire was unimpressed(perhaps not knowing the rules properly). This is not to take anything away from Gunma’s well deserved victory but to highlight the standard of umpiring. In fact, both the teams had similar complaints, particularly of lbw decisions, giving out when it was not and not giving out when it was. In contrast to the Engineers, the Gunma openers put up 53 runs before the first change bowler Satish had the opener, who had scored 94 in the previous encounter, lbw. From then on until the break(20 overs), the game was within the control of the Engineers. The run rate was kept below the required rate, fielders were agile preventing singles thus frustrating the batsmen. The frustration was visible from the fact that time and again the batsmen stepped out and tried to deposit the ball into the nearby Edo river, in vein. They scored odd boundaries but that wasn’t enough to keep up with the run rate. However, after the drinks the batsmen came back with renewed vigour and started hitting out this time with a some success and a lot of luck. A crucial run out chance was missed when both the batsmen ended up at the non-striker’s end. The ‘keeper failed to collect an excellent throw from long on by Murali Reddy, which was blamed on the ball not bouncing on the freshly laid soil around the wicket. The dropped catches(about half-a-dozen of them in the whole innings) also didn’t do any good to the Engineers’ cause. All this while, the Gunma batsmen stepped up scoring and they coasted home in the 37th over with the loss of eight wickets.Over all, it was a well contested match, with the fortunes doing a see-saw through out the day. But at the end, a better team won the match. Brief scores: IECC 199(35.3 overs). Dinesh Singh 57, Balu 25, Ashok Kumar 22* Gunma 200/8(36.2 overs). Dinesh Singh 3/24
ENGINEERS SUBDUE YC&AC
…AND MAKES IT 3 IN A ROW AGAINST YC&AC
By Silvester Pereira
A beautiful sunny Sunday morning to play cricket or any sport for that matter. The opponents captain, Tony Fordyce, was very curious to know who is playing for this game. Probably worried about our well known players who could turn the match our way :-). Anyway after a minor hiccup on number of overs to be played, it was decided to play 40 overs a side. We won the toss (thanks to some great magic from our captain!!) and elected to bat. Bibhas and Raj opened the innings for IECC and were doing well until Bibhas got out, clean bowled. Balu and Sriram were on the crease with the score around 20/2. This pair once again had a great partnership especially with Sriram playing some glorious shots. His timing was so great and a treat to watch. He raced to his fifty in just seven overs!! Soon after his fifty, Sriram was declared lbw with the score 90/3 and in came the captain ( or should I say His Majesty! ). I’d some initial luck struggling to get into my form. On the other end Balu picked up the pace playing some great shots and the pair put on 50 runs partnership before I got out caught. The scorecard was still healthy at 140/4 in 22 overs. Then followed the middle order slump while Balu held on one end until he was out for a well deserved 56. The tail did provide some good batting to carry the score to a defendable 187 all out in 35 overs. Ashok and Santosh opened the bowling against a formidable Ferris and Coles pair. Ashok was simply great in his opening spell and way he clean bowled Mark Ferris was a beauty. YCAC lost another wicket quickly and was 20/2 in 7 overs. Avinash, the danger man from YCAC played well scoring some boundaries from short-pitched deliveries and some full tosses. We however managed to keep a tight field preventing as many boundaries as we could and were in with a chance when we managed to restrict YCAC to 93/4 in 20 overs with all the key wickets taken. At this point Kamran was the danger man for us. Ajey Kulkarni continued to bowl well except for his first over and was supported by Rahul and Subhash on the other end. We contained the runs rot to put pressure on the batsmen especially with Rahul bowling a clever line and had a good spell taking some key wickets in the process. At 120/7, YCAC tail pair did provide a scare trying to snatch a likely victory from IECC. However bringing in Ashok changed all that. We managed to get the remaining wickets quickly before the rains could come down and had our first well deserved victory for this season. The key to our success in this game was team work. We took all the catches(not a single one we dropped), batted, bowled, fielded well and managed well too! No words to complain but praise to all members including Ganesh who came to cheer the team. We also identified some good spots/find with Bibhas doing well behind the wickets and Ajey looking to be a very prospective bowler. This victory should put us in high spirits in the matches to come and I’m personally satisfied with the results especially with me maintaining a clean record in my captaincy!!!
GUNMA TOO GOOD FOR THE ENGINEERS
NEW TALENTS UNEARTHED
By Biju Paul
After two consecutive wash-outs, which was getting on to the nerves of some of the members, the Engineers got to play their first match of the season on May 3rd. The day being in the middle of Golden Week, Engineers were under-strength(can’t think of any other reason for losing the match) and went with only two middle order batsmen to support the ever vulnerable top order and a long tail. Since the Edogawa Falcons could not muster an eleven, Gunma CC agreed to come down to Tokyo to play the Engineers on a short notice. It was the first encounter between the two. As expected, they came in late and lost the toss. This correspondent elected to field first anticipating a batting collapse if batted first, which would have left the bowlers not enough overs to turn their arms. The Gunma openers started off well without giving any chances at all giving their team a solid foundation. The first chance went begging after the fielder failed to judge a skier(nothing official about it) after the slow medium pace of spinner(off or leg, whichever way the ball turns) Ashok Sharma lured one of the openers into a wild swing. The first breakthrough came after 18 overs and 115 runs when Ganesh Tajave went through the defense of one of the openers and found his the middle stump for taking. After that the Engineers didn’t really let the opposition settle as they went about their task of taking wickets regularly. But that didn’t stop Gunma from slowing down the run rate with a lot of wides contributing to Gunma’s total. The fierce pace of neither Ashok Kumar nor Dinesh Sigh did anything to stem the run flow and they went for about 6 runs per over as well. As per Jagan’s suggestion(“This match is inconsequential and we are getting hit anyway, so why don’t you try the new faces?”), this writer tossed the ball to debutante Subhash Nair, who was earlier identified as a potential threat to other bowlers in the team. And he didn’t disappoint either. He took a wicket in his very first over and bowled three neat overs. Although he didn’t take any wickets, Supratim Mukhopadyay, second of the four debutantes, also bowled very impressively and proved why he could become a good bowler with some good practice. By far, Subhash was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2/12 off 3 overs. At the end of the allotted 35 overs, Gunma found themselves sitting pretty with 232 to defend. The Engineers didn’t start off well, losing the first wicket in the fourth over of their innings. Only the 4th wicket partnership of 40 runs between Ganesh(20) and Supratim(22) helped them prolong the innings which lasted till the 30th over, when they were all out for 125 runs. None of the other batsmen crossed 10 runs. The match, however, threw up some new talents in the form of Subhash Nair, Supratim Mukhopadhyay, Dinesh Singh and Bikash Mohanti(a willing ‘keeper at last!). Remember our motto: Try and try and try until you succeed!