Loss put paid to Engineers semi-final hopes
After riding on a wave of a few impressive wins this season so far, the Engineers lost a match that was very crucial for their qualification for the semi-final of the KCL. The Shizuoka Kytes defeated the Engineers by two wickets on Sunday.
Although it was bright and hot in the morning, the Engineers expected a rain when they saw Silvester sipping his coffee – before time – at the pick up spot at Yoga. Silvester on time…? Something is cooking..! As it turned out, it didn’t rain but the first sight at the Shizuoka ground was a pleasant one for the Engineers. Kytes captain Anton McCloy unable to hold on to himself, staggering all over the ground, which he vows was not because of the previous night’s drinking but five nights before. But their joy was short lived when they saw all others in perfect senses and on their respective legs.
At the toss, yours truly, the captain of the Engineers, called wrong but his counterpart, surprisingly, was able to recognise the correct side of the coin and inserted his opposition. The Engineers hopes of breezing through their opposition vanished quickly in the breeze after Mathew Sharp was able to get some sharp swings in the air. One typical delivery was by which the opener K. Balu was clean bowled by a ball he thought was going out side his leg but came in at the end to uproot his leg stump. In general, Kytes bowling was impressive. They gave away very few extras. In fact, this was the first time ever this correspondent has seen the Kytes fielding with so many close-in fielders and an umbrella like slip cordon. So much for their confidence in their bowlers.
It was a match lost by the Engineers’ inability to score enough runs to defend after being inserted by the Kytes captain. There was no substantial partnership worth its name, there were no big hits. In fact, after 3 wickets were gone for 18 runs in the 5th over, the only point of interest was if the Engineers would be able to establish a new record of scoring more than 99, the highest any team has scored this year against the Kytes, which apparently, they did not. They were all out for 97 in 20.1 overs.
When the Kytes came to bat, the Engineers gave them a tough time, with regularly taking wickets, four of them were sent back for a duck. On two occasions, the Engineers thought they caught two batsmen behind and the entire close-in fielders went up in unison but the umpire thought otherwise. But ultimately, the 26 wides conceded in a total of 38 extras proved decisive while defending a paltry total of 97.
With this, the Engineers are all but out of the KCL. All that they can hope for now is to win a play off later this year to decide the third member of the proposed Division I for 2002.
In all, it was very good game with fortunes swinging either way throughout the innings but at last won by the better team.