Dragons last pair secures an unlikely victory
By Javed Jamadar
Number of overs to be played is always a bone of contention when we play the Dragons. The Dragons are not great fans of 40 over cricket and they would rather like a quick 20-25 overs and go home where as the Engineers do not want anything less than 35. This time, however, the Dragons agreed to play a 35 overs. The match, by itself, had some uncertainties as to who were going to play and in the end it was Dragons who came up with a team. But the Engineers were still one player short. Skipper Sanjeeb won the toss and promptly elected to bat first in pretty hot and humid weather so that the church-attending Biju can join in time for fielding. Engineers openers Masood and Santosh started with a bit of cautious approach. As both of them were looking forward to build a good partnership, a short boundary on the leg side lured Santosh to go for a shot, which he mistimed straight to point fielder. Masood also felt shortly after playing short steady knock of 11.
The pair of inform Raju and Rasib steadied the innings thereafter. With some solid hitting Rasib accelerated the run rate a bit. In the middle order Javed added quick fire 19 runs to further accelerate the scoring rate. On one end Rakesh kept the scorecard ticking with excellent running between the wickets. Though at point the Engineers were looking set for 170 plus, wickets kept falling at regular intervals and the Engineers were bowled all out for 146 in 33 overs. Biju and Sanjeeb lead the Engineers attack in well controlled manner. Dragons were troubled in all corners by Biju’s superb accuracy in line and length and well directed bouncers. On the other end Sanjeeb was bang on target. Biju accuracy immediately gave a break-through for the Engineers when opener Ivan was caught behind in the third over. Biju and Sanjeeb didn’t gave any chance for the openers to settle in and soon the dragons openers were back. This superb tight spell restricted dragons to 19/2 after 10 overs. As the key bowlers were rested for this match it was left to part timers to defend the total. Part timers did show their might by taking regular wickets but scoring became bit easy and dragons middle order lead by Gardiner was looking set for a comfortable win. To break the set pair Sanjeeb brought in Javed, this move paid well as Javed gave a breakthrough with first ball he bowled with a prized wicket of well set Gardiner.
This breakthrough followed by wickets from Rakesh while Bikash kept the encounter on for fighting finish. Some fine fielding and solid wicket keeping by Rasib made it difficult to score runs even though part times were bowling. Biju again struck in his second spell and all the time kept the pressure on Dragons batsman. Biju and Sanjeeb were as accurate as in their first spell. But after both of them bowled out their overs it was left to Part timers again to pull off the win. They almost succeeded in that lead by some fine bowling by Raju. With Dragons 130/9 the Engineers smelt victory but there were no bowlers left. As Javed bowled a few wides in his over, the opposition team kept encouraging him to bowl more. Every wide was cheered and chants of J-a-v-e-d rent the ground. Last pair Naveen and Murali went through some nervous moments of hit and miss but managed to guard their wickets. As Murali hit the winning runs of Javed, the Dragons ran into the ground, which, for a moment, the Engineers thought was to congratulate the last pair of holding their nerve and securing an unlikely victory. But to their surprise, the Dragons ran towards the non-striker’s end, hugged the bowler and lifted him up in the air for his help :-).
Brief scores: IECC 146 (33.2 ov) T Dragons 147/9(32 ov). G Gardiner 30, B Paul 3/15.