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