Month: April 2007

Myoden makes light of a competitive target

Engineers struggle to make an eleven

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

It was a windy day at Edogawa and there was some doubt whether the ground will be in a condition to play. The surrounding area of the pitch was indeed wet and the Engineers has to justify their name by doing some innovative repairing work with the help of Myoden. By the time the writer reached the ground the match had already started. Fortunately the Engineers had won the toss and had decided to bat. Had we lost the toss it would have been difficult to set the fielding, with only 9 Engineers at the ground. Batting Make-shift openers Nissar and Jude set out to open the innings in the absence of the regulars. Vinod and Rahul opened the bowling for Myoden. Their precise line and the gutsy wind prevented us from cutting loose. Even dangerous looking Nissar, was having trouble hitting the ball out of the ground. Jude and Nissar did the sensible thing of trying to play according to the merit and kept rotating the strike. The first wicket fell at the 12th over, the score reading 58 at that time. Nissar played over an in swinging yorker from Vezly and got bowled.

     The openers have once again provided a great lunch pad as we have seen is all the matches this season. Ajay was given a chance to bat up the order but was unlucky to get out of the first ball. It was a bad ball going down the leg and Ajey played the right shot of flicking it only to find the ball landing in the hands of the backward square leg. The catch that was taken by Sanman was superb. Ajey could not believe his bad luck considering that Sanman had dropped simpler catches earlier at least on two occasions. Bikash was next and batted for few overs before getting out LBW trying his favorite leg glance. How many times I have to tell the umpires that there is no LBW in a friendly matches. We try to be honest but dose the opposition return the favor? We should remove LBW from the friendly matches. Sanjeeb went in and started cautiously following his “10 balls first” rule. Jude on the other had seen enough balls and decided to become more aggressive and hit several good shots that reached the boundary. After being asked to step up the rate, he charged the bowler, Kedar, trying to put a flighted delivery into the river. Selfless display Jude! You will get your 50 next time.

     Anurag walked in next. Sanjeeb and Anurag had a good partnership and the projected score was looking to cross 200 at that time. But Anurag got ran himself out trying to a take a quick second run. Biju joined. Sanjeeb started going for the big hits seeing that not many wickets left and hit some spectacular shots to impress his wife , who had kindly come to cheer him up. Biju also joined the action and hit some good shots , one of them being a cover drive that Sanjeeb is still trying to learn. After Biju was out Amol came in but was given LBW out by Nissar. He was bit unlucky as the bowler did not appeal at all. Sandeep came in started swinging the willow like Bhim and went back after playing and missing a few deliveries. Last man Shailesh came in and ran himself out backing up too far. By that time Sanjeeb had reached his 50. Engineers 164. Fielding Biju and Ajey started the bowling. They were bowling well and was able to generate bounce from the wicket which troubled both Myoden openers Sanman and Vezly. Sanman was hit on his shoulders and deliveries went past his nose, all by Biju.

     A nervous looking Sanman was finally clean bowled by Ajey, going for a big drive, when the score was reading 27. Big hitting Vezly also got out cheaply trying to drive a super fast Nissar delivery; Bikash managed to hold on to a sharp catch behind the stumps. Myoden was in trouble , score reading 4/58. But Kedar(31) and Sagar(39) put up an 87 run partnership to bail them out and possibly put the game beyond the Engineers. Skipper changed bowlers, in vein, in the hope of breaking the partnership but nothing seemed to work. Kedar started like a Test batsmen but grew in confidence and played some brilliant strokes. Once the partnership was broken in 28th over by Nissar by clean bowling Kedar, Engineers sensed a chance and tried various things. Skipper brought himself back in, which produced immediate results when Rahul who had just arrived was clean bowled by a yorker. However, Sagar held one end and saw them through.This match has again underlined the Engineers poor bowling strength. Last minute drop out by two players didn’t help them either.

     None of the bowlers were particularly impressive except the young Anurag. Engineers were missing their star bowler Ritesh’s absence at all the time. Bikash did a descent job behind the wicket trying to fill in for their missing keeper Bobby. Also lot of work need to be done in the fielding arena. Hopefully Practice manager Jude will look into these in near future. Nevertheless this was a great day of Cricket at the bank of Edogawa.

Brief scores: IECC 164 (33 ov). J Joseph 36, S Sahoo 51*, Vezley 4/28 Myoden 167/7 (32 ov). S Kamble 39

Dragons blown away

Bowlers have a field day

By Partha Sarathi

    The Engineers continued their winning note in the second match of the season. It was yet another friendly match against Dragons. Although the match was supposed to start at 9:30 am in the morning and the Engineers were asked to reach the ground at 9 am “sharp” by the new President and Captain (2 in 10 Biju Paul). But it was delayed as the captain himself arrived after 10 though the rest of the team already had arrived and had warm up sessions. Blame it on the navigator!!Biju won the toss, second time in a row in this season. After deciding to test the bowling skills of his new team in the previous game, skipper decided to test his batsmen this time and elected to bat first. The scarcity of good batsmen in the enemy camp probably influenced the decision. Vimal, who scored a half century in the last game opened the inning with Partha, two batsmen the skipper himself earmarked as the regular openers this season. Ashish and Vaibhav opened the bowling attack for Dragons.

     The ball moved a little in the beginning and both the batsmen played through the opening spells carefully and concentrated mostly on singles and doubles. While the opening partnership kept flourishing on the field, there were plenty of fun going outside with Santosh and Sangan playing a major part in that. Recent failure of the Indian cricket team in WC and the controversy of too much endorsement and of course “the attitude of the senior players towards the team” were the main topics. In the mean time, Dragons skipper Chaman brought Sandeep was brought into attack, replacing a luckless Ashish. The very first ball from Sandeep found the keeper’s forehead and a subsequent hospital visit caused 14 stitches on his forehead. Thank you Anurag for taking up the translator’s job in the hospital. After couple of unsuccessful overs Sandeep resorted to a clever way of producing the first break through. He removed the bails off at the non-striker end while running to bowl seeing Partha already out of the crease thus making Partha part of the  cricket history after the South African Kepler Wessels, who was given out in the same fashion. This ended the 48 run opening partnership and brought Bobby out in the middle joining Vimal. Bobby was in no mood to give Dragons any opportunity to tighten the pressure. His cuts, pulls, aggressive running, kept Dragon at bay and hit a huge six to the delight of the Engineers(obviously!), when the run rate was not up to the mark.

     Having a tough time to dislodge the settled Vimal and a free hitting Bobby, Sandeep again played the same trick to get Bobby out. At this moment, things were not friendly anymore, due to constant sledging from some player from Dragon and the dirty tricks played by Dragon bowler to get rid of the batsmen. The  Engineers captain had to rush into the field to handle the situation and to control an “emotional” Bobby. After a lot of discussion and arguments, Bobby was given out and the fine, entertaining inning of 31 runs from 26 deliveries came to an abrupt end (later reference to experts reveled that the Partha’s dismissal should have been called no-ball while Bobby’s a dead ball) . The partnership was a huge 88 runs. Soon after, Vimal completed his second half century. Rest of the batsmen also added some valuable runs to help the scoreboard reading 192/6 in 30 overs. New comer but old hand Sandeep Casi showed some glimpses of his talent but by that time the allotted overs had come to an end.

     Dragons needed 193 to win in 30 overs which needed a solid opening partnership. But Sangan and Biju, opening the bowling, didn’t have any intention to keep Dragons’ hope alive. They bowled in a tight line and produced early break-throughs. Ashish perished in the second over going for a booming drive off Sangan succeeding only in letting the ball go between his bat and pad to rearrange woodwork. One down Vaibhav then cover drove Biju almost giving a diving Santosh a chance (lack of diving practice!). Vaibhav then flicked the next delivery into hands of Anil at square leg, who could not really hold on to it. But his luck ran out in the third delivery when he was held out in the point by Nissar, giving some respite to the exasperated bowler. Nissar and Ajey then replaced Biju and Sangan which produced immediate results. Nissar’s 3 overs brought 3 wickets, including a hat trick chance while conceding only 5 runs. His bowling figures read 3-0-5-3. The wicket of Sandeep, who could have given the Engineers some hard time, for a duck, caught magnificently by Bobby behind the wicket when the batsmen went for a cut deserves special mention. That reiterated a wide spread belief in the Engineers camp that there no competition for Bobby behind the wicket.

     The Dragons were 5 down before the score board accumulated 50. That gave the skipper an opportunity of testing all his armory when it was certain that the Engineers will walk away with the match. All the bowlers got some bowling practice as they were given a quota of two overs each. Dragons reached hundred due to some good batting performance from Chaman who remained not out on 48 while his team collapsed around him. Over all, it was a good outing and both the teams gained some valuable match practice.

Brief scores: IECC 192/6 (30 ov). V Vikrant 52, B Philips 31 Dragons 121 (20 ov). C Jagadeesh 48*, N Ahamed 3/5


Engineers kick-start the season with powerful batting display

Season starts on a winning note

By Vimal Vikrant

     It is not in the memory of this author that the Engineers have managed to start off the season on a winning note anytime earlier. Also not in the recent memory is a good, solid opening partnership that the Engineers managed this tiime. But it happened, this year. 2007. All fools day, but I fool you not. The match almost did not happen. First there was the weather, with rains on Saturday. And then there was the small problem of not having a XI. Some last minute phone calls and both issues were sorted out. But then there was the Tomei traffic doing its bit to slow the Engineers on their way. A diversion, some highway help, some car navigator confusions, some wrong turns later the engineers finally reached the Shizuoka greens to see that it was pretty close to noon. The captains decided to go ahead with a 35 overs a side match. The Engineers’ back-as-captain president Biju Paul won the toss and decided to field, partly to use whatever little help was available from the conditions and mainly to give bowling and fielding practice to his boys, who had little or no net or match practice this season. Of course, given the number of bowling options available on the day, it was, at least in theory, a good decision. Ritesh opened the bowling and struck in the first over with his second legal delivery, a peach of an off cutter that spread the opening bat’s stumps.

      The captain started from the other end and after a few looseners sent one a little wider, a little fuller and Arbab could not resist having a go at it. The slash went straight and fast to Ajey stationed at point who took a nice, low catch in front. 2 down in the second over but better was to come as Ritesh managed one more act of “spread the stumps” in his next over. 3/12 and the engineers were already dreaming of a quick finish. But next in was the the old war horse Sharpey. And what followed was a long 132 run partnership with Angus. Both endured some moments of uncertainty, some variable bounce and some bowling of varied pace and style. But they stuck it out, punishing the bad balls, keeping out the good ones and were helped just a little bit by the rusty Engineers’ fielding which let a few catches go down. Anurag bowled with good pace and had both batsmen (and the keeper too) in trouble time and again with his searing yorkers, but was unlucky not to get any wickets in his kitty.

     The drinks interval came and went and the batsmen started opening their shoulders and heaving a few shots all around the wicket. But finally, your truly managed to get the breakthrough, as Sharpey top edged one, while going for a pull and Ajey again took a very nicely judged catch at square leg.  Some wickets fell towards the end of the innings as is to be expected, but not before Nick “the cannon” Shannon blasted a few out of the park, Ajey mostly being the “cannon fodder”. Ritesh ended up with 3 wickets. Sanjeeb pulled off a couple of very fine outfield catches, leaving some of the Engineers’ new comers wondering how he was doing it, given that last season he hardly seemed to have held any. Anyway, the innings did finish off with one of those catches, Sanjeeb running in about 20 yards from long off and picking off a fine catch, which took out Nick (quickfire 39 of 20 balls) with the last ball of the innings. The Kytes finished up with 217 off 35 overs. Given the start and of the match and then again, the fall of Sharpey at 144 and Angus at 163 the total was still a reasonable bit more than what the Engineers liked. Anyway, the runs were on the board and they had to be chased down. A quick changeover of about 15 minutes and yours truly and Partha were back in the middle with bat in hand. The Kytes bowling was steady, but even the usually threatening Sharpey was slightly off-pace.

     The ball did move around just a bit, but the openers managed to keep out the good stuff, and punished the bad stuff. Some fielding let-offs helped. Almost within no time the opening stand went past the half century mark. Both batsmen were looking comfortable in the middle when Harvey produced one of those quick jaffas that went thru Partha’s defences and knocked the stumps over. Ritesh walked in was troubled by Harvey’s pace. He got hit on the foot with a yorker and that seemed to unsettle him. He lashed out at one, after walking down the pitch and got a boundary. But he fell next ball, playing across to another full york-length delivery and was hit again low on the shoe. Sanjeeb walked in and things again seemed to be going the Engineers’ way when your truly patted back a ball back to Nick who could not believe his luck, yelling in glee “You ****-ing beauty” while accepting the catch. I headed for the hut, a reasonably comfortable 52, but it was just when I thought I could get a few more easy runs. Anurag joined Sanjeeb in the middle and there was another productive 51 run partnership. Anurag and Ajey fell in quick succession after the drinks break and it suddenly looked like it would be the all too familiar “so near yet so far” story, but Sanjeeb kept going. The score went past the 200 mark. A sudden rush of blood and Sanjeeb fell, bowled for 45, playing across to a Sharpey indipper and missing the line. But thankfully for the Engineers, Bikash and Biju then saw the team across the mark with some simple basic batting strategy, of running the singles and putting away the bad balls.

     In the end, it was a pretty nerveless batting display by the Engineers. They were of course helped to an extent by a well-below-par fielding performance by the Kytes. But all that matters is that the season has been kick started in an unheard of fashion for the Engineers. Hoping to see more such days in the field this season.

Brief scores: S Kytes 217/7 (35 ov). M Sharpe 73, A Liley 53, R Kakar 3/36 IECC 217/6/6 (30 ov). V Vikrant 52, S Sahoo 43.