Category: 2012

Engineers prevail in run-fest chase at YCAC

Shailaj and Dinesh help make it 5 in a row over YCAC

 By Sanjeeb Sahoo

     A late call from the YCAC had the Engineers skipper, yours truly, scamper for a quickly assembled team. Given that the Engineers had 100% win record over YCAC in their last four encounters, your writer was cautiously optimistic of making it five in a row, but he was also aware of the rival captain Karman’s ability to gather quality players and leveraging the home advantage well. The team had at least 5 players playing first time at this ground as the older regular players chose summer vacation, some also had complained that the heat these days turning their hair white 🙂

     Sanjeeb lost the toss and expectedly Kamran choose to bat first. Rajneesh was given the responsibility to attack from the pool-end while south-paw, Karthik, from the far-end. YCAC openers Mark and Anton started cautiously but soon started opening up their shoulders from the 3rd over onwards seeing that the pitch has nothing to offer to the bowlers and balls coming nicely to the bat. Rajneesh was not getting the swing he normally gets as the ball(BDM) was not of good quality, apparently. He was replaced by Anurag who was instructed to bowl full length with all the pace he has, that which restricted the scoring from one end. But Anton was in a very aggressive mood and was clearing the rope almost at will. Sensing danger, captain brought himself to try and remove the batman with some planned bowling and un-orthodox field placement. He finally succeeded to get Anton to edge one to the short third man where Anurag took a well judged catch. Anurag who also got tired quickly from bowling full throttle was also replaced by Dinesh, who just arrived(late by an hour)from the other end. He replied the night duty related questions(taunts?) 🙂 from his team-mates well with a brilliant first over. He used all his previous experience at YCAC and bowled his 8 overs on the trot from the pool-end while bowlers kept changing at the far-end. At the Drinks the score was 145/1.

     After the drinks on the 20th over YCAC tried to step on the gas pedal a little more, but Dinesh clean-bowled Mark with a Malinga-like yorker, not relying on the sleepy catchers who had already missed several chances. That brought part-time Engineer, Prashant Kale, to face his own team-mates in other matches and scoring rate even accelerated further as both Kamran and Kale made sure they take at least 12 in an over. However in the 27th over Dinesh’s brilliant throw found Kamran short of his ground and that brought down the scoring rate a little bit. Rajneesh also removed Kale with a similar direct throw in the 30th over and then removed batsman no. 5 in the next over, skipper taking a sharp catch at the short leg. These quick wickets restricted YCAC to 307 otherwise the score would have been around 350.

    YCAC must have thought that they had an un-beatable score and some of their players even started relaxing with beer during lunch break. They never knew what was coming up in the afternoon. With only regular opener in Shailaj being present, captain checked with couple of guys if they would like to open, only Kaushik was enthusiastic about it. Also he being a lefty captain thought it is worth a try. Both batsmen started steadily, running between the wickets was bit of a problem as both batsmen are not the quickest when it comes to it. With the score around 30+ by the 5th over captain asked Shailaj to be more aggressive as the ball was not doing much and the next over changed the complexion of the game. 22 runs were taken out of Prashant’s over which had 5 boundaries in it(never play against your own mates, Prahant 🙂 ). Shailaj hitting 3 of those and rest Kaushik. Runs started flowing after that with at least 8 in an over with Shailaj unleashing his whole range of shots. YCAC must have regretted not being able to hold on to couple of sharp chances that came in their way initially. Kaushik got out when the score read 103, but by that time the Engineers were on top. Dinesh fighting with the cold he contracted from late night party at Roppongi went in wearing a jacket in the hot sunny day. He was a bit shaky to begin with, to the screwed-up bowling of Kamran. But captain gave Dinesh few yoga tips during the drinks break to bring down the fever immediately and after that balls started disappearing all around the park.

     Shailaj reached the milestone of 100 first. His innings was filled with 15 boundaries that included copybook shots and was a treat to watch. Diensh was around 60 at that time. Shailaj was looking exhausted by then and captain sent a message asking Shailj not to throw away his wicket and let Dinesh to take the chances. Karthik who has been the scorer all these time was not letting the batsmen fall behind the required rate by advising them the exact no. of runs needed in each over. About 60 runs were needed in last 10 overs and Dinesh exploded with couple of huge sixes, one of them when he was on 99 to reach his 100 in style. Then both batsmen threw caution to the wind and overcame the score in 5 overs. Both batsmen remained not out at the same personal milestone of 113. Engineers celebrated the great victory, which was their 5th straight win over YCAC with some beer, orange juice and pizza and ended the day on a high note. Thanks to the sponsors Dinesh, Shailaj, Anurag and Karthik. Brief scores:

YCAC 307/5 (40 ov). Prashant Kale 78*, Anton 62  IECC 308/1(35 ov). Shailaj 113*(15×4), Dinesh 113*(9×4, 5×6)

 

Engineers flatten Tigers

Semi-final berth all but sealed

 

 By Biju Paul

The weather all week preceding to the match was giving an impression that the match was going to be played in furnace like atmosphere. Fortunately, by the weekend, the low pressure in the Pacific Ocean brought cooler air to the land but that didn’t ease the pressure on the Tigers as they were under high pressure to win and keep their chances for a berth in the KCL semi-final alive.

     After having been involved in two eventful matches earlier, due to umpiring decision disputes at the square-leg, where normally a neutral umpire is not present, Tigers were justifiably wary about batting side umpire’s impartiality. To aggravate their fears, the neutral umpire appointed for the day didn’t turn up either, which caused consternation in their camp. Tigers’ skipper went on overdrive even to suggest that the match be not treated KCL but a friendly. Arguments for and against playing without a neutral umpires continued for a significant amount of time, with various suggestions such as removing the LBW decisions all together which was the main sticking point for the Tigers, trusting the umpire and playing in the right spirit and so on. While the Engineers seemed unfazed by the absence of neutral umpire the Tigers didn’t share that view and some of the Engineers felt that a mountain is being made out of a mole.

     A suggestion from the Tigers asking the Engineers to accept one of the non-playing Tigers on that day as a neutral umpire was initially rejected by the Engineers as it would have appeared that Engineers trust Tigers but not vice-versa. But in the end, skipper Sanjeeb relented and agreed to their suggestion to give them a level of comfort. To make up for the loss of time in the morning, the match was reduced 30 overs per side. Engineers elected to bat first after winning the toss – skipper has made this a habit now – and in the absence of regular opener Shailaj, veteran Ashok Kumar was sent in as a partner to Sanman, who is yet to convert his reputation of explosive batting to some tangible performance. Sanman returned for a duck in the 2nd over after being caught in front of the stumps.  Dinesh Singh went in next but good bowling from the Tigers kept him quite for a few balls and then he too returned without troubling the scorers. In came the ever dependable Prashant Kale.

    Both Prashant and Ashok brought in some semblance of balance in the game. The pair batted with common sense and temperament and runs started coming. Prashant was particularly severe on anything lose and dispatched a couple of such balls over the boundary which brought cheers to the Engineers camp, who were a bit worried when two quick wickets were lost in the first two overs. Prashant departed when the score was 46, to a superb low catch at short extra-cover by Rajeev. Srikkant, the leg spinner, is a good prospect for the Tigers if he can control his loose balls. Karthik, the Engineers new find of the season, walked in and walked back quickly after hitting Srikant for a six but falling to the same bowler in the next ball, trying to repeat the shot. Hopefully, the batsman has learned his lesson from the past three matches that he cannot score all his runs in one single over.

    Patience is the key. Rahul Yeskar, the debutant, showed his potential with some stylish defense and a shot over the bowler’s head but he too did not last long as he was cleaned up by Balu. Vezley, another veteran, playing his first match of the season, tried to rebuild the innings again along with Ashok, who was waging a lone battle at the other end. As the pair looked settled and skipper watching them in the pavilion remarked, “Ashok will remain not out today”, the batsman fell LBW to Rajeev Nair, claiming his second wicket. Someone in the pavilion then replied, “keep your mouth shut captain!”. With the added pressure, after getting his own batsman out from the pavilion, skipper had to put in extra effort to rescue the team. And did he. The pair put on 33 runs and took the score past 100 in the 20th over. Engineers heaved a sigh of relief  as they knew that anything above 100 runs is a score that the Tigers would struggle to chase. Vezley soon returned with a personal score of 26 but not before inflicting some damage to Tigers and destroying the rhythm of Srikkant and in that process helped the Engineers post a defendable total.

     Skipper stayed at the crease grinding his way, when the new batsman, Abdul Satar, another debutant, showed his aggressiveness by fearlessly stepping out to both slow and fast bowlers, ala Matthew Heyden. In the end the Engineers posted 129 in 25 overs. Knowing fully well that they have a decent total on the board, the Engineers set about their task of defending it, but with one player missing on the field. Grapevine has it that the missing player was bating somewhere else on easy pitch, after his failure on the grassy pitch :-). Karthik and your reporter opened the bowling. Tigers’ first wicket fell in the 2nd over, when yours truly claimed opener Anil to a juggling catch by Prashant in the first slip. Baiju, the other opener fell in the next over to Karthik’s pace and was clean bowled. Srikanth, the next batsman, stuck around for a few overs but fell to Karthik again when he slashed a wide delivery to third man fence where Vezley took a catch after a brief fumble. Soon the Tigers appeared to have lost any interest in chasing as none of their batsmen offered any significant resistance although some of them tried to play as best as they could. The anti-climax was when last batsman Ramki hit the first ball he faced to a huge six over the top of the bowler’s head. Indeed, no bowler likes that shot. But Tigers folded up for 62 runs in 23 overs with Dinesh, Vezley and Kathik picking up two wickets each. Brief scores:

IECC 129 (25 ov). Tigers 62 (23 ov).

 

Engineers score a decisive victory

Opens the KCL campaign in style

 By Siddharth Rawal

     It was a late start of the season by the Engineers, after 3 practice matches were washed out earlier. But the Engineers showed no sign of lack of practice in their comprehensive victory over Serendib in the KCL match. It was a beautiful day to be at Edogawa river to watch the fireworksdemonstration by Anurag and Prashant. Stand-in skipper Sidde Raju won the toss and elected to bat first. The new skipper tried his new strategy by sending his man with cool temperament, Shailaj Lal, and Ashok Kumar as openers. Jolly good Ashok contributed for a decent start but was caught at cover while trying to elevate the ball over the ropes after putting up 30 odd runs for the opening wicket. It seemed like Dinesh Singh, the next man in, had all going his way for the day before he was run out due to mix up with Shailaj.

     First lesson to learn, batsman at the crease communicate well and avoid run outs when runs are already coming easily. At least let’s not try getting Dinesh run out for the next game!! 🙂 Shailaj helped get the foundation for the day where duo of Anurag and Pradhant dominated rest of the inning. Couple of classic sixes and at least a dozen boundaries helped cross 150 before Prashant managed to crack his bat loosing momentum in the game for him and getting out for 43. I must repeat that we would love to such innings by Anurag and Prashant during rest of the season. It was not a great day for skipper Raju with the bat but his captaincy is well appreciated. With not much pressure on batsmen – score was 131/3 when skipper walked in – Raju’s debut innings as a skipper lasted only one ball. Yes, a Golden Duck, as his counterpart cleaned him up first ball. Add to the confusion in the dressing room, next wicket fell 2 balls later. All too familar situation for the Engineers, from 131/3, the scoreboard read 132/6. However, the last 5 wickets helped achieve a par score of 206 with Anurag staying unbeaten on 74.

     Serendib’s skipper Arosh Pereira was the most successive bowler with figures 8-2-17-4. After the batsmen put up a good score, the bowlers can’t be left behind and did they dominate the Serendib innings. Rajnish  Shukla opened the bowling with Biju Paul. Although Rajneesh’s spell did not earn a wicket he conceded only 14 runs in 4 overs helping rest of the bowlers build pressure on Serendib’s top batting order. The first wicket fell by way of a run out and not too late, the new batsman Sasanka was cleaned up by Biju for a duck setting up the expectations for the rest of the bowling squad. New batsman Shiron was run out when an accurate through by Biju to the keeper found the batsman short of his crease. Bowlers to watch: Ashok Kumar and M. Kartik.  Both bowlers were bouncing the ball to keep Serendib on back foot. But Ashok Kumar definitely delivered severe blows to Serendib’s top order batsman sending Lasith to Edogawa Hospital to X-ray his injured hand. Biju, Ashok, Dinesh and Kartik contributed a wicket each where as all rounder Anurag worked his magic with ball as well striking 3 wickets in 2.2 overs while giving away only 11 runs. Tip of the day: Sanjeeb who is working out these days for his muscles, don’t be surprised if he shows up on the crease with helicopter shot.

Brief scores: IECC 205 (39.4 ov). A Singh 74*, P Kale 43. Arosh 4/17. Serendib 88/9 (23.2 ov). A Sing 3/11