Paddy Foley’s new recruits let Engineers make merry
..but not without the familiar middle order collapse
By Vimal Vikrant
A hot and humid summer day, peak of summer and time for cricket! The opposition was the beer guys, Paddy Foleys:). The schedule mail said that match was at 9.30 and so I got there at 9 to see a lone new Engineer, Vijay, and nobody else. The opposition came in as a bunch at around 9:20. But our team is a firm believer in IST standing for Indian Stretchable time:) It was almost 10 by the time all of us were there. Anyway, game got underway at 10 after captain Sanjeeb won the toss elected to bat. Self and Santosh walked in to face the music. The start was very up and down with the bowlers throwing in some pies and some jaffas. Most of the scoring was through the copious amounts of wides and noballs that our dear opponents gave us. But they probably had a sly plan of making the batsmen lose concentration by doing that, and then throwing in some on-target rockets. One of those that landed on good length shook my castle and I took the long walk back. Sanjeeb and Amol also walked in and out though Amol scored a few. But a few careless shots sank the Engineers temporarily and for a while it looked like they won’t go beyond 150 but Santosh was solid on one side, keeping the scoreboard ticking with the occasional big hit. He found some support in Jagan with whom a 100+ runs partnership was built. They kept the scorer busy with brisk strokes. Santosh eventually fell, more to fatigue than good bowling and missed the century by 8 runs. The new look lower order Amit, Sandeep, Vijay and old hand Jagan etc contributed some quick runs and we ended up at 264/9.
The Paddy Foley’s innings started slow with Biju getting some early breakthroughs but Jagan was generous in giving away extras with a few jaffas as a side dish. In a slight change of strategy, yours truly has started bowling spin this year and this was a time that it came off, thanks in no small measure to the opposition batsmen who kept blocking my tossed up deliveries. Amol and me bowled a bit during the middle overs and the scoring rate came down and the asking rate went up. Paddy’s Anil threatened to do some damage along with Andy, who kept blocking even the bad deliveries. Skipper brought back Biju for a second spell to control Anil but that moved seemed to fail until the 5th ball of his come back over when he had Anil caught at long off, Santosh taking a good running catch. 4 balls in that over cost 14 runs but the wicket was worth it. The match was effectively over once Anil got out but Paddy’s Suleiman, as an umpire, kept hopes as he kept checking where the boundary lines are marked and the exact point where the ball stopped. With more than 100 runs to score with only 3 wickets and 10+ overs left, a bemused Andy remarked to Suleiman, “if we lose the game by four runs, let us worry about the boundary line”.
New man Vijay said he was a keeper-batsman, but bowled beautifully when given the chance. Most in the team got a chance to bowl and almost nobody disappointed. New man Amit Sharma matched up with some of the opposition bowlers and gave away 28 runs off 2 overs by way of elephantine wides but, hey, hang on…, he came home with 3 wickets!
Lot of good laughter on the filed made the game very interesting for both the teams and the spirit was excellent.
Brief scores: IECC 264/9. S Ghadge 92 P Foleys 162. A Sharma 3/28.