Month: September 2016

[KCL] Engineers need a Kundalini Awakening to secure a KCL semi-final berth

Date: Sep 18, 2016
By: Biju Paul

Mid way through the Engineers innings on a day marred by persistent rain, a feeling of déjà vu gripped them. It’s the all too familiar middle order collapse. From a formidable position of 92/0 in 18 overs the Engineers literally handed the match in a platter to the Men in Blue just 16 balls later when their score read 110/7 and eventually finished with a score of 143/8. Engineers now need some sort of Kundalini Awakening to fire them up for the remaining two matches if they don’t want to be shut out of the knock out stage of the KCL.

It was a day no team would have liked to play due to the overnight rain and the forecast rain all day but the MIB forced the Engineers to the ground thanks to the walkover the Rising Stars gave to the Pakistan Stars in the other match on the same day. That concession by RS threw MIB in to a dire situation of winning as many matches as possible in their remaining outings. So both teams arrived at the ground, Engineers reluctantly though, and both were pedantic about KCL rules under such situations and of course the D/L Method.

Afterthought may question the wisdom of playing a match under constant drizzle throughout the day but both teams having full strength team at the ground, the captains decided to go ahead anyway. After winning the toss, under the constant drizzle, the MIB put the Engineers in first.

Masaomi Kobayashi accompanied his skipper Vinay Mohan to the crease to open the innings. Both the openers did a tremendous job of forming a solid opening partnership under wet and slippery conditions. They carefully constructed the partnership with scoring most of their runs behind the wicket towards the third man area. In fact, MIB didn’t bother to plug that hole throughout the innings and the openers scored their 1s and 2s in that area with élan. MIB openers Abhishek and Manvi, both former Engineers, posed no threat, whatsoever, to the openers. Kobayshi hit the first boundary over third man off Manvi in his second over which went for 9 runs. There was a brief stoppage of play at the end of 6 overs for 30 minutes. What initially started off as a 32 overs per side was then reduced to 28 overs as per the D/L Method.

After the break, MIB skipper Gurdeep Dua, another former Engineer, introduced himself to the attack but only for one over. Gurdeep then replaced himself with yet another former Engineer, Karthik M, and the other end saw Karthik V walking – literally – and bowling. As bowling looked innocuous and openers well set it was time for the skipper to up the pace of scoring and he obliged the need of the hour. Vinay hit his first boundary in the 2nd over of Karthik M. Two overs later he hit Karthik V inside the batsman’s V region on the on side. In between the hits to the boundary, runs kept flowing in 1s and 2s and at the end of 10 overs the score read 43/0 and at mid innings break at the end of 14 overs saw the Engineers sitting pretty at 62/0.

The first over after the break witnessed the first 6 off the innnigs, Vinay taking advantage of a loosener from Karthik M and the ball disappearing the surrounding jungle in the long off region. Vinay hit his second six in the following over to long on this time, taking his score to 47. Anticipating his 50 with a boundary or a six, the Engineers kept themselves ready in the pavilion with the trumpet to celebrate but the skipper didn’t fall into the trap of aggression. With a level headed approach he played innings well for the next few balls and scored his well deserved 50 off only singles.

Meanwhile, Kobayashi on the other end played a perfect foil to Vinay and scored his runs at the same rate at which his opening partner was scoring. He let his captain play his aggressive shots while he continued to eke out singles and twos.  The turning point of the innings came when Sushil Kumar was introduced into the attack. His first ball was hit to the boundary by Vinay, but in the very next ball he was caught at deep mid-off by Sanket, a man who chirping a lot all the time. Fall of that wicket opened the flood gates. In an attempt to improve the scoring rate, Prakash Jayara was sent in as a pinch hitter only to return one ball later, run out at the bowler end having backed up too much. That brought the cool and calm Pavethy to the crease. Sensing blood after two quick wickets, Gurdeep brought his ace bowler, Manvi, back into the attack. The moved seemed to have produced a counter effect when Manvi was hit for a huge six by Kobayshi but the bowler had the last laugh two balls later as Kobayshi was caught at deep mid wicket. Manvi then clean bowled the next batsman and his former mate, Ashok Kumar, the very next ball. Manvi’s bowling figure of that over looked 1,6,2,W,W, dot.

Panic stricken Engineers had one last hope in Prashant Kumar, who always showed what a player he can be. Given the circumstances, he played gem of an innings to steady the ship while wickets fell at the other end. He stood tall amongst the ruins at the other end. His flicks off the pad showed his class and maturity in handling the situation. He played wonderful shots; flicks through mid-wicket were played with panache.

Hard hitter Vivek Singh came in at the fall of Ashok and he did hit hard by dispatching the first ball he faced, off Sushil Kumar, over long on for a huge six. For some unknown reason – will we ever know it? – he tried to repeat the same shot the next ball only to see the timber behind him rearranged. In walked Rajneesh Shukla and out he went the next ball, clean bowled by a fast yorker by Sushil. MIB clawed back in the game with 7 wickets in the span of just 18 balls. A score that threatened to put the MIB out of the KCL this year at one point suddenly seemed like the Engineers were going to fold up for a meager total. The score read 110/7 at the end of 21st over.

Having wrested the initiative back, MIB was not to be blamed if they thought that the immediate closure of the Engineers innings was a foregone conclusion. Your writer came in as the next batsman determined to hang around to give company to Prashant Kumar at the other end. The one noisy player of the MIB tried his level best to dislodge both the batsmen with his tasteless comments but Prashant’s innings of 19 off only 23 balls and the partnership of 33 runs for the 8th wicket with yours truly took the score to a respectable 143 at the end of the innings in 28 overs.

The D/L method said the MIB needed to score 148 of 28 overs.

MIB opened their innings with both Karthiks – may be MIB skipper can explain why both of them are always paired together – and Engineers opened the bowling with Rajneesh and Vivek. While the former was all line and length, the latter was wayward in both departments in the first over while trying to achieve express pace. Rajneesh produced the first breakthrough in the 5th over when Karthik M tried to hoist the bowler out of the park only to be holed out in the long off by an amazingly judged catch by Basava Manu. In what can be nominated for the catch of the season, Kobayashi took out Karthik V in the next over in the deep cover point, covering a good 30 yards, running in from wide long off and diving at the last moment with outstretched arms and the ball securely sat in his hands. It was a remarkable athleticism by the national team captain.

Next man Md. Thouseef was stumped by ‘Keeper Prashant off Vinay for 13 which brought Sanket to the wicket. Engineers didn’t make the batsman’s stay comfortable at the wicket as the batsman was given his own medicine. The unexpected, targeted chirping by the Engineers probably unnerved the batsman as he attempted many shots only to miss the ball. Finally, his agony at the crease was put to end by a nalla throw from the deep cover by Pavethy which caught the batsman short of his crease.

In came the skipper, Gurdeep. In his inimitable style Gurdeep tried to muscle the bowlers and he did not go without success. His stay at the wicket produced a crucial partnership of 41 runs in 5 overs with steady hand, Amit Jain, at the other end. Gurdeep was finally caught plumb in front by Manu for 18 off 19 balls. From 81/6 in 18.5 overs MIB had progressed to 122/7 and by that time the Engineers had sensed the danger. With Amol Vaidya – yet another former Engineer and one who could play an anchor role – at the crease giving company to the well set Amit, it was game that could have gone either way.

Needing 24 to win off 24 deliveries, the air was thick with tension and could have been cut with the proverbial butter knife. With the maverick batsman Manvi still behind, the only way the Engineers could come back into the game was by putting pressure on the batsmen by denying runs; wickets didn’t matter at that point. Quick conferences on mid pitch was followed by elaborate fielding changes. The pressure indeed had a telling effect on MIB. With 6 runs needing off 8 deliveries Amol was run out attempting to sneak a non-existent single and both batsmen ended up at the striker’s end. Next two balls went without any runs being added to the score. That brought 6 runs to win and 5 to tie off the last over. Skipper Vinay took the job on himself and boy! he almost produced a wicket. Amit, the well set batsman, edged one to short third man but the man who was positioned there was at least 5 steps too front and the batsman scored 2 off that delivery. That set the drum rolls going in the MIB camp and why not! Singles off next two deliveries put the match in a classic situation. 2 balls to go, 2 runs to win, 1 to tie. With all the fielders guarding singles Amit hit the ball over the mid off fielder to score two runs the next ball, bringing a raucous MIB to the ground to celebrate a stunning, come-from-behind victory that took them one step closer to the KCL semi-final berth at their first attempt.

Amit Jain anchored the innings with a classy 32 off only 35 balls. In addition to the Engineers middle order collapse, it was perhaps, Amit’s innings that made a difference for the MIB. If this result was any indicator, then opponents will be spending a far greater time second-guessing the MIB. Well done, Men In Blue!

Brief Scores:
IECC: 143/8 (28 ov). Vinay Iyer 55, M Kobayashi 36, Prashant Kumar 16. Sushil Kumar 4/28
Men in Blue: 148/7 (27.5 ov). Amit Jain 32*

[KCL] Travel Agony and Thumping win over Rising Stars

Math report by Suresh  

Details

Date Competition Season
Sep 4, 2016 KCL 2016

Match Summary

TeamRunsWickets LostOversOutcome
Rising Stars1531030Loss
IECC154618Win
Peregrination to Sano:

      IECC’s travel plans were organized in such a way that half of the team would reach the ground directly and the other half were supposed to reach via Pavethy’s car. It all started with Pavethy’s car which wanted to have a weekend nap and doesn’t want to get started on a rainy Sunday morning, the battery was down. May be Pavethy has over used his battery, I meant the car battery guys! Half the team who were scheduled for Pavethy’s car had to commute by train. So Manu, Pavethy, Suresh, Vinay and Anurag were on the train station with their heavy kit bags. The next surprise in store for us was the train service had been interrupted due to some freakish accident.

      The frustration started to mount. The troop had to do some analytical thinking (Analytical variables = rent a car / look for alternate train route / keeping in mind the rain forecast at Sano) and worked out that the best way to reach the ground was by train via different navigation and finally reach the ground by 11:30am (Earlier schedule was to reach the ground around 10 am). Even some of the Opposition team Rising Star club lads joined us on the midway. With both the captains riding the train together, we could have easily had the toss on the train, only to find the umpire strangled at the ground with no players. 

     Finally both squads arrived at ground on 11:30am and match was rescheduled to start by 11:45 am and was reduced to 30 overs per side. FYI, we haven’t even started the match report yet, without further due let’s get started.  Meanwhile the other players reached ground on time (Biju, Rajneesh, Prakash Jayara, Prashant Kumar, Prashant Kale, Prem S.) Taking the opportunity of delay, Biju and Rajneesh did the center wicket practice. After middling few balls to middle of the bat, they wished to open the batting and bat freely. (New contenders for opening slot).

Toss time: The toss was won by RS captain and without any hesitation he decided to bat first.
1st Innings:

     Weather became hot & humid due to showers earlier in the day. With a long and treacherous journey, the players already lost most of their energy. With some energy still left in store IECC had the new ball in hand and skipper Vinay had plans to restrict the opposition within 150 Runs. The proceedings started with our spearhead Biju and Rajneesh. Rising Stars had come up with some aggressive plans. Their openers Maqbul & Abu went after the bowling from ball one and gave them a good start. 

    Our veteran bowler, Biju used all his experience and bowled some excellent change of pace deliveries. He claimed the 1st wicket of Abu caught at square leg by Rajneesh. In came new batsman Shankar but Biju countered him with an away swinging delivery and all he could do was chop the ball back onto the stumps without troubling the scorers. IECC got the 2nd breakthrough, with wickets falling at one end the RS batters continued to score at a brisk run rate. It was during the 6th over of the match Anurag chased and attempted to stop a mid-wicket boundary but ended up using his soccer skills to kick the ball beyond the boundary line (should be considered a self-goal in cricket). His extraordinary footwork skills brought some funny comments on the field.

     Meanwhile Rajneesh had made the ball to talk and took the important wicket of Maqbul caught at mid-wicket by Vinay. In the same over, Rajneesh also managed to remove the Rising Star veteran player Murad with a gem of a delivery. He couldn’t do much but to nick it back to the keeper Prashant Kumar (P. Kumar).  Rising Stars were losing wickets in a hurry.   Vinay brought about bowling changes on the both the ends by introducing Anurag from the river end and Prakash from the riverbank end. Anurag showed his baseball skills by bowling two beamers and was generous to give a few runs on his first over. Prakash was a touch off line bowling on the leg side and Batsmen soon capitalized on them. Anurag in his 3rd over got back to what he does best and took the important wicket of Naimul (28 runs) clean bowled with an absolute peach of a delivery (thanks to some own team sledging this time too). Next was Rising Stars captain Mr. Dependable Razaul (Sumon), their team needed him to play a captain’s innings and he delivered it. Razaul settled soon and used the pace of our bowlers very well and got quick runs. Mostly nudging them to third man and square boundaries.

     Rising Stars started to get quick runs without any risk (104/5 in 15 overs), so Vinay decided to bring himself and Prem after the mid-innings break. Both of them bowled with lots of discipline and put the brakes on the scoring rate. Prem with his hawk eye line & length and Vinay with his loopy off cutters dried the runs, both the batsmen were struggling to score against them. With boundaries getting dried up, pressure was mounting on the batsmen and finally Prem got the much needed breakthrough wicket of Fayaz, thanks to some quick hand skills by P. Kumar who made a wonderful stumping standing up. Soon Vinay took his counter-part (Sumon) who scored a wonderful knock of 47, again stumped from P. Kumar. The combined bowling spells from Vinay and Prem had turned the sails in favor of IECC. Both Prem and Vinay bowled one of the most economical spells in IECC history: 1/ 9 runs in 6 overs and 1/15 in 6 overs respectively.

Suresh & Manu chipped in with a few overs. Manu cleaned up the tail with his gentle off spin and contributed a team hat-trick. RISING STARS were all out for 154 in their 30 overs. IECC were more than happy to have restricted them  to about 150 odd, comparing to the fact that they were 105 in 15 overs.

Bowling Chart:

Biju: 4-0-22-2

Rajneesh: 5-0-23-2

Anurag: 3-0-25-1

Prakash: 2-0-17-0

Prem: 6-1-9-1

Suresh: 2-0-16-0

Vinay: 6-1-15-1

Manu: 2-0-15-2

 

2nd Innings:

               After restricting Rising Stars for 154/10 in 30 Overs on a hot & humid day, we wanted to chase the target with a good run rate to get the bonus points. 

Captain Vinay decided to change the batting order and sent in Kale and Pavethy.  Kale looked tired in the field earlier, but with the bat in his hand and his favorite opponent he started to hit some lusty blows and some of the shots were breath taking. Every time the fielders had to search for the ball into the bushes and they soon got tired of it. He dispatched 3 balls which were lost forever. On the other end, the ever dependable Pavethy played a steady innings; both of them scored at a good rate. The drama during the 3rd over is worth a note here. Rising Star pace bowler fired in a bouncer that struck Prashant Kale flush on his helmet. Kale paid his due respect on the next delivery by dispatching the bowler with an excelling pull shot and the ball went out of the park. Joy, jubilant scenes in the dugout. Kale had the last laugh, it was a good contest within the game.

           At the other end, Pavethy was picking the right balls and sending them to the boundary at will and in particular two leg glances of the same over were classic shots. The partnership was broken in 9th Over by Fayaz trapping Pavethy LBW for a well-made 36 in 26 balls and the partnership was broken at 97 runs. They both had maintained a healthy run rate of 10 run/over and doing that while chasing was incredible.  Anurag came in next and started his innings with caution, Kale at the other end was hitting the balls out of the park with ease. Soon IECC fielders had to be dispatched in boundaries to watch over the ball going into the bushes. Kale soon reached his half century with a straight six. Trying to repeat the shot he perished the very next delivery, caught at long off for a well made 55 in 36 balls.

     Suresh was the next batsman and he soon tried to hit a wide ball and was caught at mid-on. Anurag started to time the ball well and hit a huge six and followed kale by trying to repeat the same shot again. Manu and Prakash were soon new at the crease. Rising Stars bowlers wanted to capitalize on this crucial moment and tighten the noose but the pair was cautious and started to build a little partnership, Manu soon perished trying to cut one and was caught at point, trying to score during the pressure moment.  Kumar walked in next. But Prakash had other plans, he decided to cut loose and played a little cameo (23 off 14 balls) and demoralized the opposition with some lusty hits towards deep extra cover boundary. The target was within reach now, Prakash tried to finish the match in Dhoni style with a six but he missed the ball and lost his timber. Vinay walked in with his cool head and finished the formalities with a stylish leg glance for a two and the formalities were done and dusted.

IECC took the game away from Rising Stars along with bonus points and moved to the 3rd Position in the points table.

Batting summary

P kale: 55 (36 balls), Pavethy: 36 (26 balls) , Prakash Jayara: 23 (14 balls)

Scoresheet

Rising Stars

Batting Match Runs HS B 4s 6s 100 50 Inn NO
Abu Hasnat 0 000000000
Imam Hossain 0 000000000
Naimul Sayeed 0 000000000
Kazi Murad 0 000000000
Total  0        
Bowling Match O M R W bbf

IECC

Batting Match Runs HS B 4s 6s 100 50 Inn NO
Prashant B. Kale0 55-3664-11-
Pavethynath Velusamy0 36-266---1-
Anurag Singh0 8-11-1--1-
Suresh G.V0 0-5----1-
Manu B.0 8-141---1-
Prakash Jayara0 23-1331--1-
Prashant Kumar0 2-5----11
Vinay Mohan Iyer0 2-1----11
Rajneesh Shukla0 0-0----0-
Prem Samuel0 0-0----0-
Biju Paul0 0-000--0-
Total  134        

Did not bat: Rajneesh Shukla, Prem Samuel, Biju Paul

Bowling Match O M R W bbf
Biju Paul0402220
Rajneesh Shukla0502320
Anurag Singh0302510
Prakash Jayara0201700
Prem Samuel061910
Suresh G.V0201600
Vinay Mohan Iyer0611510
Manu B.0201520

 

The Science of hitting the ball:

Usually in baseball they use this technique, you don’t need to swing at every ball you face, and if you try to swing in your sweet zone you have more chance of success.  We need to figure out our sweet zone and improve our temperament and shot selections.

Think about it until we meet again at the field.

Regards,

Suresh