Category: 2006

Engineers lose Pacific Cup

End of a disastrous season

 By Vimal Vikrant

    The Engineers crowned their disastrous season with the loss of their brainchild, Pacific Cup, an annual series between their friendliest rivals, the Shizuoka Kytes and the British Embassy along with a guest team. The guests this year Tokyo Wombats after they retained their spot in the series last year due to weather and other reason. However, by virtue of winning the title, they have invited themselves again into the series next year. Well done Wombats!Given the relative form of the teams, the Engineers were definitely up against it. And the news in the morning was hardly encouraging with a couple of players dropping out. One replacement was found, but that still left the Engineers one man short. Ol’ Cap’n Bobby won the toss and elected to bat. Maybe not the best of decisions in retrospect, but then, one lives and learns. A wet outfield greeted the teams though it was nice to see a sprinkling of greenery on the outfield, quite unlike the usual sight that greets us at the Ageo grounds.

     Yours truly opened the batting with Ramakrishnan and the progress was slow, hardly steady and at times maybe a bit painful to watch. The ball was skidding off the pitch and the batsmen were hardly able to time their shots. The uneven bounce on a freshly laid out flicx pitch on a wet ground (sorry for the offcolour connotations:) contributed to the difficult goings on. But the opening partnership was 50 odd before Ramki dragged one innocuous looking delivery onto his stumps. Chaman walked in a started throwing his bat around almost from the word go. He was connectting a few too and looking good with every ball. Your truly continued living a charmed life with chances being put down left, right and centre but finally managed to make a mess of it by playing all over one that maybe kept a touch low and the ball crashed into the stumps. Terribly out of form Sanjeeb walked in at his usual batting number hoping for a turn around but and out as was the situation with him more often than not this season, falling LBW again to one that skidded throug straight.

     Second consecutive LBW but this time it wasn’t a golden duck! Raju walked in this situation that was not exactly tailor made for a pinch-hitter. To be fair though, he stuck it out, playing an almost uncharacteristic knock, knuckling down and playing as straight as possible down the ground. Chaman made a hash of things that were going well at this point and playing all over one to see his woodwork disturbed. Next man Sangan immediately seemed to find the pace of the pitch as well as the pacers to his liking. He started tonking the ball all around, intelligently using the pace when the bowlers pitched it short and playing straight when it was pitched up. There were quite a few well run singles as well. Raju fell trying to accelerate, again bowled. Bobby and Sangan went for a while rotating the strike well, but Bobby fell, missing the line. Sangan fell to a slower one, guess what, bowled. Jude and Praveen had a useful last wicket partnership and Praveen connected a couple but Jude fell at the other end to a premeditated shot to a slower ball. The innings closed at 161. Not a bad score, given the supposedly uneven nature of the pitch and the 3 bat strength of the Wombats. However, what the Engineers didn’t bargain for is what the Wombats call “ring-ins”.

     In hindsight, Aamir Ali would have saved the day for Engineers as he was available to play! Ring-in Gavin Beath and Ian Gason opened the batting for the Wombats. But the new ball attack has been a bit of a problem for the Engineers this year. Sangan and Biju took up the responsibility this time around, but there was nothing special, either in the air of off the pitch. Suddenly the pitch seemed to have become a batting beauty. Sangan kept things relatively quiet, but Biju went for a couple of big hits when pitching it short. The bowling changes were brought in thick and fast the ball kept disappearing with similar speed. Raju though, seemed to have some sort of control on the ball and kept the batsmen honest. Bobby tried Praveen to try to take the pace off the ball and it paid immediate dividends when Ian Gason skied one to fine leg where Sangan took a nice running catch.

     Almost immediately Sanjeeb got another one and again Sango was the one who held onto another skier of Beath. The Engineers felt a sniff of a chance but the score was already nearing a 100. There were a few steady overs and Sanjeeb got the ball to do a bit. Yours truly came back after the initial hammering and this time found a better line and got 2 wickets in the same over and suddenly the Wombats were 6 down and the noisy pavilion went quite. What seemed to be a walk in the park suddenly looked like a mountain to climb. But Wombats played sensibly from then on.  Too few to defend it the end, especially after the big opening partnership at a decent clip for the Wombats. Probably that was the biggest difference. The engineers were definitely 30-40 runs short and they ended the season as they began it, with a loss. Here’s hoping for a better season next year, with a steadier team and better contributions from everybody. Farewell, 2006 and bring on the 2007! Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.

Brief scores: IECC 161(37.3 ov). C Jagadeesh 31, Dawson 4/39 T Wombtats 162/6 (28 ov). G Beath 46, S Sahoo 3/36.

Peaking at the right time!

Victory a morale booster before the Pacific Cup final

 By Bobby Philips

      A beautiful day brought in an equally beautiful result for Team IECC. And the result came just a week before the all important Pacific Cup match. Engineers surely peaking at the right time!We delivered after an extended break away from the limelight. History can’t be changed but it begs us to ask questions and my crystal ball tells me… “We can continue our way of winning with holding on to the baggage of loss” Time to grow up friends and push for that extra mile and that is precisely we did. The game started for me a day before the actual match. My verbal duel with GS Dragons team manager was something that kept reverberating within my head.

     Needless to say, our team played the whole season with a relatively inexperienced side and an equally inexperienced captain. Our team made it to the ground as promised but the opponents was not to be seen. Toss was done around 10:15 and game slated to start off by 10:30. Unfortunately toss was lost and GS elected to bat. Playing without Jayesh Rana who called in sick the previous night, we fielded 10 on the said day. Yours truly donned the keeping glove and made plans to pursue with his experienced guys in the bowling category. New ball was handed over to Ajey. He continued with his impressive bowling performance from where he left off last year and got into the groove of things from word GO. Being miserly, he did his captain & team proud with his scintillating performance. Good job Ajey! The other end was guarded by Biju himself and he too got off in style.

     The Ajey – Biju pair was great and was persisted for 8 straight overs and two wickets till yours truly decided to hand over the baton to Anurag our new pace find! He along with Sanjeeb too got into the groove till we hit the drinks break of 17 overs. Anurag with his fiery pace and accuracy and Sanjeeb with his gentle mediums brought us obvious success as did the earlier combo did. Post drinks the cherry was handed over to Partha and Santosh. Partha bowled with good accuracy and a hint of swing but Santosh was not upto his mark in the field of slow bowling. Too many wides, combined with fours forced his captain to rethink the strategy a bit. By this period GS was loosing wickets too and your truly went for the kill by putting back his best bowlers into action and not running the risk of giving away any extra runs. Pick of the bowler was Anurag for his lethal accuracy. Good Job Anurag and looking forward of better outing with you in future. The statistic tells volumes of what our bowlers achieved on the field. GS Dragons was all out for 126 in 25 overs. Lunch was taken and the Engineers went in to bat around 1:15 PM. The opening pair of Bobby and Anil brought in some fun with yours truly trying to force runs from word go ultimately falling to a rash stroke as always. This was followed by Raj and Sanjeeb falling in quick succession – the middle order collapse when chasing relatively easy targets is what makes the Engineers  going – which brought in Anurag once again in the midst. After playing sensibly for sometime, Anurag too fell for a rush of blood stroke which brought in form batsman Santosh to the crease.

    Anil and Santosh played sensibly and build up a partnership which brings us to the question – is partnership essential to release pressure from our team mates. YES!!! We need to build on partnership from batsman number 1. Check out the Champion Trophy match between WI and Aus as an example. Fast scoring is good and thrilling but partnership and sensible cricket is the key to success. As the beautiful day passed by the in form duo accumulated runs at will and the extras too came in plenty to ultimately hand our team a great win before our next encounter with the J1C cup lifters for 2006 “Wombats”. Good luck team and I hope the positive attitude will prevail and great partnerships established on 11th November so that we can beat the much fancied opponents at Shizuoka.

Brief scores: T Dragons 125(25 ov). G Gardiner 72, A Singh 4/24 IECC 129/5(28.5 ov). Anil 28, S Ghadge 22.

Myoden blows away the Engineers

Engineers add one more to the list of losses

By Partha Sarathi

The friendly match against Myoden was scheduled on 21st Oct. The Diwali Day. The match started at 10 in the morning, 30 minutes late than the scheduled time. Both the team had 10 players each. After the Engineers were left rudderless for the past few months with the non-availability regular officials and and the stand-in captain, Bikash, withdrew himself from the match the day before the match, the heavy responsibility of turning the Engineers’ losing track fell on the next available choice, Biju. After winning the toss of the coin, Myoden elected to bat first.

    Biju set the field and the openers of Myoden were on their way to the field when suddenly it was realised that you need to have 2 sets of stumps on both ends to play cricket! A fielder was sent to the pavilion to fetch one set of stumps while Biju himself disappeared into the jungle of the Edogawa river bank to prepare some make-shift stumps for the bowler’s end. The thin sticks, just about the size of the sticks school masters use back home, less to scare the pupils and more to use it actually, were put up at the bowler’s end with the support of huge stones collected from the river. Innovation at tit best! went toweren’t set up.Biju and Sangan opened the bowling and kept the openers calm and also produces couple of chances. Myoden ring-in opener Graem was clean bolwed by Sangan in his first over and Biju trapped Karthik, Gream’s replacement, in front of the stumps in his second over. Myoden was 11 for 2 after 4 overs. The opening bowlers did a good job of containg the Myoden in their spell, giving away only 15 runs after their opening spell of 3 overs each. After the loss of two quick wickets, Kedar and Sagar put up a solid partnership of 97 runs. They were batting quite comfortably and the Engineeers’ bowlers couldn’t capitalize on the good start that Sangan and Biju gave. Loose bowling aided by poor take behind the wicket made the batsmen’s task easy. The dismissal of Sagar, brought Myoden captain Vezly to pair with Kedar. They kept scoring easily with lots of singles and occasionally clearing the boundary. Kedar was tired and was not able to steal the fast singles which upset his captain, who did not conceal his displeasure. They put up a 120 partnership. Biju tried all his options, but nothing worked out. Biju, brought himself in the attack, only to see his initial excellent bowling figures going for a toss. After yielding only on 7 runs in return for a wicket in his first 3 overs, his next second spell of 3 overs went for 30 runs while Sangan maintained his good show in his second spell as well. At last Biju tried the debutant, Anuraag Singh, the 19-year old rookie. Although he went for a few runs, his raw pace surprised everyone.  He bowled with good pace and kept the ball in place. In the end Myoden set a target of 234 to win. Partha and Anil opened the inning for the Engineers. The asking rate was very high 6.68 per over. To chase such a big total, one needed a good start. But, it turned out to be worst, when Partha was dismissed in the very first ball, given out LBW. Anil(38), put a good show and was playing freely, mainly concentrating on singles and doubles. No other batter could stay long and the Engineers reduced to 64 for 4 after 14 overs. Sangan and Anil put up a 41 run partnership. Towards the end of the innings, new blood Anuraag(35*) and the old fox Santosh(35*) started freeing their arms and hit the ball hard often clearing the rope. The Myoden bowlers didn’t have any answer to rampaging Anuraag and Santosh. But, there were not many overs to win the match. Eventually they put up a unbroken partnership of 70 runs but that could not help the Engineers. The scoreboard read 188 for 6 after 35 overs. One more defeat for the Engineers, which is not hard to digest these days. It was a friendly match and none of the teams had all their key players. But, still, some points must be noted. The Engineers conceded too many extras, 77 (45 wides, 32 byes/legbyes) while Myoden bowled 32 wides and 1 bye. That was the difference between the two teams. Nothing went in the Engineers’ way, but there is one good aspect. The match saw rise of a teenager who could be a valuable asset for the team. And of course, the Engineers their full quota of overs.

Brief scores: Myoden 233/4(35 ov). Kedar 50*, Sagar 50, Vezly 51 IECC 188/6(35 ov). Anil 38, S Ghadge 35*, A Sing 35*

Engineers make losing a habit

Post record 9th loss of the season

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

     Alhough Biju managed to put together 10 names for the team, on the match day we only had 9 players, 3 of them being debutants and new prospects for the next season. In absence of captain, vice captain and assistant vice captain, Biaksh Mohanty, the next in line of the throne,  was handed over the difficult task of turning the fortune of the Engineers, who has until the day posted a record 8 losses, around. This makes me wonder if it is at all possible to have a more regular captain. Looking couple of years back, there was hardly any need of a vice captain.8 of us left Tokyo around 8:30 AM but due to huge traffic on Tomei we reached Shizouka around 12:30PM. Sandeep Balaji had made the wise choice to use the train and was the only Engineer to reach ground in time. Number of overs were reduced to 30, drinks and lunch breaks were cancelled.

The Batting

Stand-in skipper Bikash won the toss and decided to have the first use of the just rolled out flicx. Anil and Sangan opened the batting and did well to survive a hostile opening spell from Sharpe and a more friendly Chamberlain. But attempting a misjudged 2nd run, Sangan got run out on the last ball of the 8th over. By that time he has scored a solid(!) 12 and was looking good for many more. Sanjeeb walked back as soon as he walked in, attempting his favourite leg glance, ball hitting the edge of the bat and looped in the air towards the bowler, where Nick made no mistake hanging on to a simple catch. Udayaraj was the next man in and started batting in his natural aggressive style. Runs were coming easily at that point, but soon misfortune struck the Engineers. Another run out , and Anil was on the receiving end this time. Raju went in and was welcomed by a hostile over from Ashley. Ryan was also bowling well from the other end and Raju eventually edged one to the keeper. Bikash was next man in and it was immediately apparent that he was out of game for couple of months, but was lucky to survive several close calls. Raj on the other end continued to play aggressive and eventually miss hit a short pitched delivery from Ryan, and a simple catch was taken at midwicket. Nitin Dafraik walked in and after a shaky start gathered confidence and played confidently for rest of his innings. Bikash and Nitin partnered well to see us past 100, both hitting couple of good boundaries in the process. However Bikash’s luck finally ran out as he edged an swinging Ashley delivery to the keeper. At this point Kytes skipper Neil showed the magnitude of his magnanimity by letting any two batsmen to bat again to compensate for the two missing batsmen in the lineup. Sanjeeb and Raju were chosen and were advised to go for big hits. Knowing that there are 3 more wickets to follow, Nitin tried to accelerate the score and hit few boundaries before getting out LBW to Ashley. Sandeep followed and hit a superb straight drive, but only to see a superb return catch taken by the bowler Shoaib, who normally drops simpler chances. Bad luck Sandeep! Sanjeeb went in again and was standing at the bowler’s end only to witness Jayesh getting out LBW. Raju went in and was lucky to be still standing at the end of that over. Sanjeeb on the other end went for the big hits and got bowled after hitting couple of boundaries. The Engineer ended up with 148, extras being the top scorer followed by Raj and Nitin. Thanks Neil for the gesture.

Bowling

Sangan and Raju opened the bowling attack for us. Offside was packed with 5 fielders while only 2 fielders servicing the leg side. Both opening bowlers bowled controlled deliveries with pace and swing, but Sharpe and Chamberlain made good use of their feet to hit boundaries at will. Also lack of fielders meant that any ball on the leg side is asking for trouble, also it meant several catching chances being dropped. In several occasions Sangan caused much trouble for both batsmen, and was finally rewarded with Chamberlain’s wicket, who had to walk to a controversial LBW decision. After that, no more wickets came the Engineer’s way for very a long time. Sharpe and Ashley had a good partnership and Sharpe, as usual, was severe on all the bowlers. Finally Raju had Ashley, caught at long on, and Sandeep bowled Sharpe out on 61 , but by that time Kytes were already in a position from which they could not loose. Sandeep in his next over had Prelis caught at mid off ,thanks to a good jumping catch by Sanjeeb. Jayesh got Ryan bowled in the next over and in the process showed some good potential as a bowling talent. Nick came in next, and made sure that Kytes are home safely without loosing any more wickets. Afterwards we joined Kytes for a drink at the Kytes home restaurant, and had some good discussion about some key points of the game. Nick Shannon, as usual, was at his best at the drinking session and named Bikash, Cat and fed him fish. The way back was also packed with traffic and we managed to reach Tokyo around 11PM. This was record 9th loss for us in this season and the team think tank must do some brain storming to pull the team out of this new low.

Brief scores: IECC 148(27.3 ov). Udayaraj 24, A Harvey 3/22 S Kytes 149/5(20 ov). M Sharpe 62, A Harvey 34

Dragons-Myoden mix upset the Engineers

Engineers on their way to record number of losses

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

     Delayed Start One couldn’t ask for a better weather for a cricket match. The Engineers reached the Edogawa ground by 9:15 as advised by their captain Bobby earlier only to see a couple of Dragons until 11AM when 9 Dragons including call-ins from Myoden arrived. Bobby won the toss and elected to bat first. To make things even Engineers loaned their new find and spinner Nitin Dafraik(bad decision in hind sight) to Dragons so both teams have 10 players each. Ultimately as history would say it proved too expensive for the Engineers.The Batting Anil and Udayaraj opened the batting. Based on the previous mauling the Engineers handed to the Dragons in a serious KCL match earlier, skipper set an ambitious target of 300 in 30 overs. But soon Anil got out edging a delivery from the 2nd bowler to the keeper. In form batsman Sanjeeb, who has scored a century in the last encounter against the same opponent, went in and was back after couple of deliveries , a miss hit went to the leg gully and the fielder managed to hold on to a superb catch.

    Raju was the next man in and was also back soon , first of the many run outs to follow. At 3/23(the Aussie Violet Crumble), the Engineers, as usual by now, revised their target to 150. Bobby went in and provided some stability. Raj in the other end was looking good and hitting 4s and 6s at will. But he also perished soon trying to hit an aggressive shot missing the line completely. Next man Santosh was run out as soon as he went in, in a similar fashion as in his last match at YCAC, responding to Bobby’s call for which he took off like a bullet, not watching the ball properly as the ball went to square leg. Unfortunately, the speed of the return throw was faster than the old legs of Santosh. He returned back to pavilion as a dejected soul cursing Bobby :-).

     New man and new comer Sandeep Balaji went in and tried hitting all shots that exist in the cricket book but connected only a few, thanks to lack of practice and too much beer the previous night at Roppongi. However, Bobby and Balaji’s partnership saw us past 90, thanks to many extras from Dragons. Balaji was eventually got himself run out. That brought in Jagan to the crease. He seemed to be in good nick and batted well to see us past 100. Bobby was next to go , trying to negotiate the final deliveries before drinks break. Last ball of the last over before drinks, he stepped out of his crease to defend one from the on-loan Nitin. The ball spun and the keeper did a neat job behind the stumps. Nitin bowled a decent line and length throughout his spell and was rewarded with three wickets, not to speak of the run-outs he effected. Bikash was the next man and provided vital support to Jagan. However a straight drive went straight to the bowler and the bowler did well to grab on to a very low return catch. Bad luck for Bikash and the Engineers. Last man in was Amit. He tried to hang on to one end but was unable to do so for long time, and the Engineer were bowled out for 147. Not a bad score under circumstances and given the original target. Raj, Jagan and Bobby made some valuable contributions. The majority of the runs came by way of extras though. The Bowling In the absence of the opening bowlers, Sanjeeb was given the new ball. But he surprised (did I?) everybody bowling about 6 wides in the first over. The beer and smoking the previous night night had its toll(a convenient thing to blame). Raju bowled from the other end and had one of the Dragon openers run out , thanks to a superb fielding effort from Balaji. Sanjeeb got Dragons captain caught behind in his 3rd over and the Engineers were sensing a possible win at that point. But the next batsman Veslie and the other opener had other plans in mind. They played cautiously and were not in any mood to take any serious risks considering the low asking rate and the abundance of wides offered by our bowlers. Santosh bowled couple of good overs for a change.

      It was great to see Santosh bowling with great control after a log time. Veslie was severe on any bad balls bowled at him and hit some superb boundaries during his stay. Dragons were sitting comfortably at 95/2 by the end of 15th over. After the drinks Bobby decide to bring back Sanjeeb even though he bowled more wides on that day, than his entire carrier total of wides. Sanjeeb obliged by getting the danger man Veslie bowled in his 2nd ball and the Engineers started fancying victory chance again. But the wides kept on flowing and the Dragons didn’t need to do much except defending the occasional good balls. Raju got the opener out LBW but by that time Dragons needed just 15 runs to win, which they eventually won with 5 wickets to spare. Brief scores: There was no score book available so Bikash improvised it using a plain sheet. However, at present we are not sure who finally took those sheets. Below is the approximate scorecard from my memory…

IECC 147/all out (25th over)Udayaraj 24, Jagan 24*. GS Dragons 148/4 (21st over).

Accurate figure to follow if Bobby manages to get the whereabouts of the scorecard. (Scorecard is with someone from Myoden and the captain of GS Dragons would be coordinating to get it back to us soon.

Engineers find their groove against the second string Kytes

..and post their first win of the season

By Parthasarathy Misra

     The Indian Engineers, as far as I heard, had been doing very well in the last season. A collection of competent players, will to improve and never-say-die attitude had earned good reputation for the team and had set a standard. But, this year, 2006, has something else in store for the team. Something they probably were not very much acquainted with. Seven losses in a row since the season has begun indicated something is not in place.

     Lack of practice, unavailability of the regular players, failure of big guns in need, inability of young players to take the pressure and defeat after defeat had lowered the team’s moral and confidence. All they needed was a big victory. At last the day came. 30th July, 2006. The team traveled 180 km south to Shzuoka, to play against the Shizuoka Kytes 2nd Eleven. The two teams have a long history of friendship between them and the Engineers always enjoyed playing the Kytes. They get along very well, like old friends and play competitive cricket, even the old man chipping in with his bit of cricket. When we arrived, the ground looked in a very good condition, with freshly cut grass around a 30 yard circle. A smooth outfield indicated the ball will roll faster. Players of both teams joined hands to put the mat out and made necessary arrangements for the match to start. Engineers captain Bobby won the toss and elected to bat first. Winning toss has become his breakfast nowadays. The openers played very carefully and denied any early break through for Kytes. Tomlinson bowled couple of very good overs and produced some chances, but the keeper and the slip cordon couldn’t give enough support to him to do justice to his bowling. At last, in the 9th over Partha parted trying to play a pull shot against Lalith Prelis,  the score reading 65 runs, the best opening partnership of the Engineers this season. Ritesh replaced Partha and started displaying his armory. He drove and cut Sharpy with ease despite Sharpy’s pace and swing.

     The team was ecstatic to see his array of shots. Bikash was jubilant and was very quick to admire his shots. His comment on an off drive from Ritesh, sent the team rolling on the floor laughing, when he uttered “classic cover drive” to himself, where as the ball went to long-off boundary. Finally,  Ritesh got out trying to defend Sharpy delivery, against the flow of his game. He had scored a quick fire 30 off 21 balls and set the pace for the things to come. Sriram, joined Vimal in the middle. At this moment Kytes captain Prelis introduced RGM in the attack to add some variety into his bowling lineup. Everybody was surprised and particularly Biju, seeing his old buddy taking the ball and giving it air and loop. Sriram facing  RGM… “It is going to rain sixes..” was the comment heard in the pavilion. Apparently, Sriram overheard it and tried to live up to the expectation by dancing down to RGM only to see that the old man deceived him in the air and the ‘keeper did the rest. This dismissal probably denied the KCL a record of 400+ runs and the Kytes might have heaved a sigh of relief. This brought in Nissar into the crease. Vimal started unwinding his range of shots and was scoring with ease. He started reaching the rope every now and then with his elegant cuts, drives and pulls. Nissar gave him very good support. They put on 60 runs on the board before Nissar was bowled by the one and only Nick Shannon.

     This gave skipper Bobby an opportunity to come out and join Vimal and show his much vaunted batting skills. Bobby played the first ball carefully but was adjudged LBW the next ball. Apparently disappointed, captain raised his bat, indicating that the ball took the edge before hitting his pad. But, the finger was already raised without paying attention to his claims. He looked at  the umpire in amazement for a minute and started walking towards the pavilion shaking his head and shoulders and murmuring something (can not be mentioned). Bikash was also given LBW in the same over. Quite an eventful over and the Kytes were restring the Engineers going berserk. Jagan joined Vimal after this dramatic over. Jagan also didn’t last long. He was caught by Sharpy at the boundary of Prelis. Sangan joined Vimal. This pair produced the best partnership of the match with 81 runs added in just 10 overs.  Vimal completed this maiden century during this partnership, and received applause from his teammates as well as from his opponents. They started hitting the ball harder in the slog overs and helped a healthy partnership of 81 runs. Sangan finally fell to Sharpy having 32 runs against his name in just 21 balls. Biju joined Vimal for last few overs. Vimal completed his 150 and hit a four on the last ball of the inning helping the team total to 327. He remained not out at 154. “It is a defendable score”, said Biju.

     As usual, the match against the Kytes is incomplete without a generous lunch provided by Kytes, a time honoured tradition of the Kytes. Lots of bread, bananas, apples and oranges served for lunch. Wow! The target for Kytes was 327 in 40 overs, which gave some of the Engineers a hope that the captain will call them in for bowling. Skipper Bobby was very much confident about the much desired victory. He made it clear to his team that he would like to win the match in style. Bikash wanted to wrap up the match before 5 pm so that he could beat the notorious Tomei traffic. Bobby, gave the new ball to Nissar. Sharpy and Liley opened for Kytes. Sharpy made his intentions clear by going for big hits right from the beginning. Liley gave him good support by rotating the strike. Nissar and Vimal bowled well initially but went wicketless. Bobby then introduced Ritesh and Jagan. Jagan obliged his captain’s trust upon him producing the first break through. Liley was given LBW. Tomlinsion joined Sharpy to take the attack to the enemy camp. They started hitting the ball everywhere and Sharpy was more aggressive.  But, a stunning catch by Jagan of Sangan sealed Tomlinson’s inning. Biju was brought into attack and he took the most valuable wicket of Sharpy. He was caught at the long off boundary by Sangan on 51. He played a very good and aggressive inning. His dismissal effectively ended any hope for Kytes for a successful chase. Kytes inning was wrapped up quickly thereafter. Bobby, Partha, Vimal, Nissar and Vinod claimed one wicket each. Their inning wrapped up at 130.

     I just looked at the clock tower when the last wicket fell. It was one minute to 5 pm and I thought myself, everything went right, even the timing!! Does it indicate the losing days are gone??!! There were couple of things that should be noted. We batted very well; bowling and fielding were also good. But, we bowled too many wides again. But this time we won and so some facts are overlooked. There is ample space for improvement in bowling and fielding. After the match, Engineers and Kytes went for a small post match drinking. Kytes had arranged plenty of beer and food for everybody. Players from both the teams shared their best moments and highlights. I am personally thankful to Bobby, not listening to the public demand for skipping the gathering and going home. Only a minority wanted to go drinking but things don’t always go democratic :-).

    Everybody told their match highlight and Bobby’s dismissal was on the most popular topic in the post match discussion. It was a great day, playing with old friends, small things in the field that added spices to the match, a very scenic place, well maintained ground and warmth of friendship with Kytes and of course for a change the feeling being in the winning side made my day!!

Brief scores: IECC 327/8. V Vikrant 154*, R Kakar 30, S Kalgi 32 Kytes 130(22.3 ov). M Sharpe 51. Scorecard

YC&AC ensures their place in D-I 2007

YC&AC ensures their place in D-I 2007

Engineers go down fighting

By Vimal Vikrant

     It was a do or die situation for the Engineers to have a chance to qualify for the semis of the KCL but it was not to be as the Engineers went down, all guns… or at least a few, blazing, to the YCAC. The Engineers captain Bobby won the toss and, as is becoming his habit, elected to bat first. Yours truly opened with Partha Misra with me facing the well known allrounder of the YCAC, Mark Ferris. He took a couple of overs to find his radar and we got a few easy runs on the board. Partha took strike on the other side and in comes Shakir, with his offbreaks(?). Let me let you into a little secret.

     Partha does not like spin bowling and hence was ready for the openers slot. And the irony of the situation brought a little smile to my lips. Anyway Partha negotiated him allright. It was me who fell to Shakir, failing to keep the flick down and the strategically placed Abdul Rahim taking his first catch of the day. Engineers new-find Ritesh Kakar walked in but Partha soon walked out with a strange dismissal, clean bowled by Kamran Ali stretching forward a long way, only to find that the ball was an offcutter. was the bowler. Sriram walked in next and looked in decent touch in the couple of shots that he played. But he tried one shot too many and the ball ballooned to short covers for Abdul Rahim to take his second catch, much simpler than the first one. Another partnership nipped in the bud.

     Nissar walked in next, back from a long lay-off. He looked slightly rusty initially but was soon got into his stride, striking the ball well. One pull off Mark was especially pleasing to watch, as it sailed to the square leg boundary down into the tennis courht for a six. It was hardly short, but well picked up. Ritesh fell meanwhile, trying to have a go at the bowling of Kamran, but only managed to york himself and found his furniture disturbed. Sanjeeb Sahoo walked in at an unfamiliar position in the batting order. It seemed to work for him as he managed to top-score for the engineers with 22, though it was not as fluent as some of his innings that I’ve witnessed. Nissar fell to a soft dismissal trying again to pull a ball too many only to manage a top edge. Santosh practically committed suicide by calling for a quick single but Sanjeeb sent him back. After this it was a series of soft dismissals as the Engineers failed to last their 40 overs, folding up for 142. The Engineers have defended smaller totals against the YC&AC and it needed a good bowling performance to hope for a repeat. Things started off badly though, with Partha having a horror start to his spell with 7 wides in his first over. Nissar was more steady on the other side but could not make any breakthrough. Ritesh replaced Partha and produced immediate result, having trapped Abdul Rahim LBW with an incutter. Raju came in from the other end replacing Nissar and Kamran tried to go hard at him, got an edge and I stuck out my hands at slip to find the ball nestling in them. This is my first memory of a catch in the slips by anybody off a fast/medium bowler in all my time playing for the Engineers. Well, cricket is a strange game:) Anyway 58/2 and things were still pretty much in the balance, but Avinash and Rasith (Razz) Leelas had a long partnership which put the game firmly in YCAC’s grip. The bowlers failed to make much of an impression and there were a couple of dropped catches which did not help matters at all. But after reaching 41, Avinash tried an across the line hoick of yours truly’s dibbly dobblies but played too early and found his stumps disturbed. Prashant Kale, the next batsmen in had scored a century against us in our previous friendly game against the YC&AC, so he was pretty much seen as a threat, but one of my floaters caught him stranded in no man’s land off the second ball he faced and again the stumps were rattled. 116/2 to 116/4 in 3 balls. Engineers smelt something.

    Ritesh came in from the other end and kept the line and length pretty tight and was rewarded with young Ankit’s wicket, bowled. I got Rasitha, again bowled of a floater for 24. Paul Blamire, the keeper was bowled by a super yorker from Nissar. YC&AC at 134/7 and not much batting left, it was anybody’s game at this point. But the experience of Mark Ferris made a big difference as he kept out the good balls and ticked off the score with singles rather than big hits and the YC&AC reached their target in the 34th over with the 3 wickets still standing. In the final analysis, the Engineers looked like a team for the first time this season with all the fighting qualities coming to the fore, but it was just not enough at the end.

Brief scores: IECC 142 (36.3 ov). S Sahoo 22. Kamran Ali 4/27, A Rakyan 3/19 YC&AC 143/7 (33.4 ov). A Jadhav 41. V Vikrant 3/26. Scorecard

Al Karam steamrolls the Engineers | Scorecard (July 9, 2006)

Engineers make it 6 in a row while Al Karam reserves a berth in D-I next year

By Jude Joseph

     The day dawned gloomy with more than 80% chance of rain. There was a doubt whether the match would ultimately take place. But as optimistic as ever Indian Engineers proceeded to Gunma. As usual things were sorted out and the match was reduced to 25 overs a side and got underway at 11.00AM. Captain Bobby won the toss and elected to bat which turned out to be a good decision considering the below points, Al- karam was short of players with just 8 fielders on the field and if the match had washed out , it would have provided the much needed batting practice to out of form Engineers.

   Captain came up with a new batting line up to utilise the 25 overs efficiently, regular opener Vimal Vikrant opened the innings with the newcomer Ritesh Kakar. Ritesh playing as an opener for the first time impressed one and all with his technique and temperament. Both of them started cautiously. Against run of play Vimal went for a big heave (which he later blamed on the skipper instigating him from the square leg umpire’s position) and got bowled with the score of 21/1. This paved the way for our batting sensation Sriram Sampath to the crease, after taking few deliveries to get settled, Sriram beautifully launched into Al-karam bowling attack. At the other end, Ritesh who was playing well by taking singles and twos promised to produce a good total with their partnership. As things were going well for Engineers, everyone thought that the time has come to accelerate the run rate further. Ritesh tried to oblige and produced a few good shots. In one such attempt, Ritesh tried to clear the long off fielder against their most successful opening bowler Manzoor Ahmad (5/12 in 5 overs) but the ball went straight to him. Engineers lost the second wicket at the score of 93/2 in the 16th over.

    This gave a chance to a debutant Udayaraj to show his batting skills, but unluckily he was adjudged LBW without disturbing the scorers. Next came Sanjeeb Sahoo, the situation was a tailor made for him to go for big shots. He played sensibly as at the other end Sriram was batting with ease but all of a  sudden situation turned bad as the runs were difficult to come by and Engineers started losing wickets regularly and ended up 146/7 in the allotted 25 overs, which was a good score as far as the Engineers were concerned, considering their past performances this season. But considering the situation at the end of 15 overs , 90 odd runs for the loss of 1 wicket, Engineers should have scored more than 7 or 8 runs in their last 10 overs which would have taken the score to 160 to 170 runs (but even that would not have made any difference to the result, as we will come to know WHY from the below). Most successful bowler for Al-karam was their opening bowler, Manzoor Ahmad, who dismissed Engineer’s top 3 batsmen and was most economical(5-0-12-3).

     In his first spell , Manzoor took the wicket of Vimal and in his last over, took the wickets of Ritesh and Udayaraj. As everyone knows it is easy to do a post match analysis and also no ifs and buts in Cricket but still it should be a learning experience for the coming matches and we should be aware of these situations. Ritesh went for a big shot against the most successful bowler who was in his last over, If we had played his last over without losing a wicket by playing singles and twos, things might have worked out better in the remaining overs with the partnerships of Sriram and Ritesh. According to our captain, Al-Karam was very happy with the score as they were confident of chasing down this target(skipper overheard their conversation, which must have terrified him!). At the same time, Engineers had their hope as they thought run making would be difficult with the heavy and wet outfield, courtesy slight drizzle. The Engineers opened their bowling attack with Sangan Kalgi and Vimal Vikrant but before the bowlers got settled down, Al-Karam took the bowlers apart and runs started flowing in 4s and 6s. Captain in no time went for the change and brought Ritesh into attack.

     Ritesh obliged captain’s call and produced a straight incoming delivery which rearranged the woods of the opener. It was a vital breakthrough as that batsman was scoring at will. The Engineers hoped that would provide some breathing space but it was not to be, The new batsman was more dangerous than the dismissed one. Their captain went for a powerful airy shot , ball went straight to Udayaraj stationed at short midwicket , but the ball popped out of his hand with the same speed as it came in. From then on there was no stopping of Al-Karam. Captain tried all his tricks by giving chance to each and every bowler but all received the same treatment. At the end, Al-karam reached the target with extraordinary ease with 8 wickets in hand and more than 10 overs to spare in a 25 overs match. This shows the strength of hard hitting Al-Karam batsmen. Final score 149/2 in 14.3 overs and in that only one over was bowled without giving a single 4 and less than 6 runs.

     This shows that our bowlers lacked in consistency in bowling line and length. It is easier said than done but this can be improved only by sheer practice in the nets. If we look at the positives from this match, Ritesh batted well and Sriram showed that he is in good touch even after a long break. Lessons – Bowlers should bowl consistently well , 2 very good balls and 4 HIT ME balls in an over will not do any good to the team. Instead 6 straight, line and length ,good balls will be great. Fielders need to improve their catching and fielding. Half chances should be converted to win matches, all the fielders in the deep should be able to judge well and time the jump to perfection to catch few six going balls within the rope. As I said earlier its easier said than done, but practice makes perfect. In conclusion, Al-Karam played really well and Engineers was a no match on that day.

Brief scores: IECC 146/6 (25 ov). S Sampath 58, R Kakar 38 Al Karam (149/2) (14.3 ov). Adris 50, Haneef Niazi 51. Scorecard

Engineers tick off KCL 2006 with a dismal display with bat and ball

Engineers tick off KCL 2006 with a dismal display with bat and ball–Can’t bat, can’t bowl..

By Bobby Philips

     The outing of Indian Engineers on July 2nd can not be termed as the crescendo of their all time best dismal performance but they can surely stick it right amongst the top bracket ever. The match indeed started off a week in advance with the call in for members to provide their availability. Unfortunately the hands raised were lesser than what a team could play a limited over match. Nevertheless with few personal requests, Engineers could provide a team for the 1st fixture. The members put forward were low in experience in KCL standards but surely a team buildup for future of IECC. A drive through Kanetsu was blessed with few erratic showers and gloomy skies. As always(!) our team reached the ground by 10:15 AM and was greeted by ourselves. Gunma XI trickled in slowly. Due to overnight shower and the length of the grass, it was decided that the match would be played from one side only.

     It was decided that match would commence at 11:00 and a total of 40 overs per side would be played. Bobby walked in with umpire and Gunma captain Zaheer Ahmed for the morning rituals. Team had decided to elect for fielding had we won the toss. Promptly Bobby lost the toss and he was graced with his desire. Gunma chose to bat. We missed on the ploy as Gunma had only 7 members at that moment. As the match proceeded they could get 2 more players. The Engineers  took to the grounds at sharp 11 after a short speech by the captain to pep up the players. The cherry was handed over to Partha and Raju to get the act going. The idea was to give some chin music to the openers but unfortunately we gave away too many extras in the form of wides. Within 4 overs and more than 25 runs on board, both opening pairs were changed and Sangan along with Vimal was given the charge of bringing back the game into the Engineers’  control. Wickets started tumbling but Sangan too went in the same direction as Partha and Raju. More wides than required and a six and four of his bowling made the captain to switch bowlers immediately.

     Vimal and Sanjeeb bowled very well to get the run rate from 8 an over to around 5. Before drinks there was one more change attempted and Biju along with Ritesh was brought in to do the honors. Ritesh bowled with great accuracy while Biju tried his best to do justice. It would have been better at this stage to get Partha in for a second spell but the captain being new to this whole stuff lost the ploy a bit. Drinks were taken after 20 overs and that saw change in keeper. Yours truly donned the gloves for the next 16 overs when he decided that he too must take a swipe at the rampaging batsman. It backfired and the captain was hit for 13 runs in an over. In between all of this, the heavens exploded on us and the red cherry took the form of a hard sponge making it sticky in the palms. The game continued and the Engineers were looking for some kind of divine intervention. Like the heavens exploded, the runs off the bat of Ishafiq Ahmed too exploded. It has been said that the next day he was supposed to fly to Pakistan. The question asked amongst the Engineers were why didn’t he fly out oa day earlier? Ishafiq went on to score 120 runs with sixes and fours raining at will all around the ground. Applause must go to the batsman who played to his potential and maturity and the Engineers acknowledged the commendable display of batting while he was running out of partners. The highlight of the game while Indians fielded was a stunning one-handed catch taken by Bikash stretching low and diving towards his right, fielding at  cover.  

     Even now we wonder if it was the same Bikash who was collecting nothing behind the stumps while he kept in first half of the session. Lunch was taken with the score reading 252 to win for the Indians. As you see below nothing much happened during that period so shall try to keep it short and sweet. Captain tried to do a left / right combination for opening slot but the ploy failed to click with Sangan back in dressing room. Next was Ritesh to be in the middle with Vimal who was playing in superb style. The run rate shot high but wickets tumbled one after other. Playing over the ball was the norm of the day and shattering the stumps was the script deceived by the gentle pace bowlers. The sky was as bright as it could get making Indians wonder where did the rains go all of a sudden. By midway mark, the Engineers were looking down the barrel of the gun and the talk changed from “how to win” to “let’s get some valuable practice for next match”. Well, that too didn’t work out as Biju holed off a gentle catch to the cover region. Engineers prepared to go back home after a super display of bowling, batting, fielding and above all CAPTAINCY :-). Tucked between the legs were our tails and we drove back with pride with score board reading.

Brief scores: Gunma Eleven Star: 251 (39.2 ov). Ishafiq Ahmed, 120; Zaheer Khan, 36; Sanjeeb Sahoo, 4/20

                      IECC: 90 (26.4 ov). Zaheer Ahmed, 5/23. Scorecard