Engineers dedicate their victory to the Mumbai terror victims
Seasons ends with a BBQ
By Sanjeeb Sahoo
An inspirational email, that included a bait of post-match BBQ, from the president did serve well to gather an eleven for the match by Tuesday. However dropouts, as usual, on the day of the match ensured that the Engineers travelled to Shizuoka on a cold morning with only ten to field. But since most of the key players were available, the captain was hopeful to end the season on a high note. Masood rented an 8-seater for the Tozai-Yakuzas, from the place who gives him a discount , thinking Masood still works for Lehman :). Biju had kindly agreed to put his BMW to service, for the Saibu-Saints, must have gone through some difficulty to convince his life-partner :). The Engineers were supposed to play the match with black arm-bands to honour the victims of Mumbai terror victims but the president blamed a temporary lapse of memory for(not)getting it. At the ground the team observed a one minute silence before the match commenced.
It was a fantastic day to play cricket. Both captains agreed to play a 32 Overs game. Toss was taken around 10:45AM, and Engineers skipper called it right, and elected to bat first. In the absence of regular opener Santosh, Vijender was promoted to open with Vimal. Kytes a new bowler, Maywen, who started the bowling was able to generate good pace and bounce and occasionally swing too, from the pitch. But both openers did well to keep there wicket and played sensibly to post a score of 47 in 10 overs without loosing their wickets. Vijender was the first one to fall on the 13th over trying to accelerate the score. Bye that time though he had already proven himself as an solid opening batsman.
Ritesh, playing after long time given a chance to walk in next. He was initially tentative, then became aggressive and finally became over aggressive and fell to a good catch at log off. In-form batsman Raju walked in next and soon enough, the fire-works started. Both Vimal and Raju were playing the pacers quite easily, but were having some trouble against the flighted deliveries of Kytes captain Neil. Vimal fell next, clean bowled, trying to hit one of those deliveries out of the park. Captain Sanjeeb walked in next and joined Raju. Since 7 wickets were in hand and only 12overs were to go, both batsmen decided to put their feet on the Gas-pedal and, started accelerating towards 200. Both batsmen were quick between the wicket and were scoring boundaries almost at will. However Sanjeeb fell quickly trying to steal a non-existent single. Raju on the other hand kept going till the end and scored a marvelous 40 not-out, should have been a 50 if there were no scoring errors. One six, that he hit over the long-off was undoubtedly the best shot of the day. Biju, Bikash and Masood fell in quick succession and we were in the danger of getting all-out. However Deepak playing for the first time for the Engineers, showed immense potential and courage, and hit some glorious boundaries in the process, and we managed to post an imposing total of 207/8.
208 is a safe score, especially when some of the Kytes’ regulars and big hitters were absent. So Captain decided to satisfy the bowling ambitions of some of the devoted players and decided to bring in his key bowlers later in the innings. So Masood was trusted with the new ball along with Rajeesh. Rajeesh’s pace was too much for the Kyte’s opners and on his 2nd over he dislodged Kytes captain Neil’s leg stump. Masood on the other end was surprisingly bowling with great accuracy and with some swing. It may be interesting to note that there was an agreement between the Captain and Masood that if he gave more than 11 runs in 2 overs he will be taken out of the bowling. But safely, Masood’s first 2 overs went only for 4 runs and was rewarded for his accuracy eventually taking the wicket of the other Kytes opener, Bikash doing well to hold on to the catch at short-leg.
Rajeesh removed the next batsman, Deepak held on to a Sharp catch behind the stumps. Sanjeeb(fielder)-Rajeesh(bowler) managed to remove the next batsman Lalith, thanks to a brilliant fielding at cover. The batsman later blamed on the Indian greed for running an old man out and not giving him a second chance. Captain then decided to do a double bowling change after the 10th over and bring in his main bowlers Biju from one end, and emerging spin bowler Bikash from the other. Biju showing no sign of his previous ankle injury bowled with lot of aggression and removed two of the Kytes batsmen in quick time, one of which was with a beautiful inswinging yorker. It could easily have been 3 had Rajeesh held on to the chance that came his way. Bikash on the other-end was trying to perfect his flighted deliveries, and the traditional rivalry between him and Nick started to unfold. In the end both had their times, Nick hitting Bikash for a six and later Bikash manging to take his revenge after few balls, Masood taking a well judged catch at mid-wicket, strategically placed there for that specific shot.
The next batsmen went into a defensive mode and were in no mood to take any risk and the daylight began fade out. Sensing the danger of a bad light and smelling the flavor of already cooking barbeque :), Captain decided to finish the match quickly and brought in slow bowlers Vimal and captain himself and they removed the next 3 batsmen almost in no time and Kytes were all out for 113 in 23 overs.
The traditional season-ending Barbeque was fantastic, and we enjoyed it a lot along with our hosts. We thanked our hosts in the end, and head back home. Bikash’s “Kaun-Banega-RoadPati” game did help to keep the Yakuzas calm during the 35KM-long week-end traffic jam.
Brief scores: IECC 207/7. S Raju 40, N Harrison 3/40. Kytes 110 (22.5 overs).