Issue #98 Japanese season in full swing

Newsletter


July 9, 2009                                                                                              Issue #98

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Japanese season in full swing
  • The fine print
  • Asia & EAP news –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • Shizuoka Youth Cricket development
  • Announcements
  • IECC poll results
  • Reader’s corner
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Japan scores a consolation victory in WCL-7

The Kanto Cricket Leage is seeing the usual suspects in the possible semi-final line-up with probably one exception – Serendib, the young Sri Lankan team, has almost ensured a place in the top 4 barring any NRR calculation that throws them out. They have won 4 out of their 5 league matches and is sitting pretty on top of Group A with 16 points. The other teams vying for the 2nd spot are Shizuoka Kytes(12 points with one match to go) and Nagoya (8 points with two matches to go).

In Group B, the unstoppable Giants secured their spot with all wins and YC&AC is behind them with 10 points. But a team that can pip the YC&AC is Al Karam who have 8 points out of 3 matches and two more to go. Meanwhile, Gunma withdrew from the tournament mid-way through (when was the last time they played through the season?).

KCL results are available here

Tokyo Ashes

Tokyo Wombats retained the Tokyo Ashes, a title they have been holding since the the inception of the bilateral series, when they defeated the British Embassy on May 23. Set a target of 372 to wrest the title, the make-shift Embassy was bowled out for 231. Wombat’s Rob Ferris starred with both bat and ball, having scored 97 in their innings and then claiming 5 Embassy wickets.

Pacific Friendship Cup

YC&AC became the first team this year to qualify for the Final of PFC after beating the Indian Engineers in the semi-final. YC&AC scored 255 in their innings, riding on Prashant Kale’s century(124) but the Engineers could not reach anywhere near the target in their chase and succumbed to 112 all out in 24 overs. Report: http://ieccjapan.com/2009/07/ycac-storms-into-pfc-final/

Earlier, the Engineers had defeated Shizuoka Kytes and YC&AC had defeated Adore to qualify for the semi-finals.

The matches yet to be played are Tokyo Giants vs. Paddy Foleys and Tokyo Wombats vs. Indian Tigers. The wiiners of these matches will play the second semi-final, the winner of which will meet the YC&AC.

The history of the PFC can be read at http://ieccjapan.com/competitons/pacific-cup/

The Fine Print

Twenty-over cricket has changed, for good, the interest in cricket in Japan, according to renowned cricket columnist, Peter Roebuck. “Twenty-over cricket is working wonders for the game…Focus instead upon the broader picture, cricket’s place in a wider world. To that end, sense the sudden, growing excitement of youngsters glued to television sets in Papua New Guinea, Japan, Sierra Leone, Vanuatu and Afghanistan. Nor were these countries chosen at random. All have risen strongly of late and will be mentioned in this dispatch.” Roebuck wrote in Cricinfo column.
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De Telegraaf, the newspaper with largest circulation in Holland celebrated the incredible victory of its national side over England in the World Twenty20 tournament with a headline that read: ‘Sensationele zege cricketers’. The daily reported how Schiferli held his nerve to score the two runs required to score of the last ball to win the match.

Holland’s second largest newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad gushed over the victory of its national cricket team. Its report is accompanied with a rather largish photograph of Schiferli celebrating the stupendous win with a raised bat after completing the last run. Crestfallen Stuart Broad, the unfortunate bowler who bowled the last over, can be seen on his knees ruing the defeat in the background.
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The English press reacted with glee on to the news that Australia was knocked out of the World Twenty20, ahead of the Ashes series between the two countries. “What do you call an Aussie at the Twenty20? A spectator,” joked the ‘Daily Mirror’, after what was Australia’s fifth successive Twenty20 defeat. One commentator wrote: “Since they touched down in England 12 days ago, Australia’s tour has gone exactly according to plan… England’s plan.” “The Aussies now have two weeks to fill before the Ashes tour begins. So throw another shrimp on the barbie, Ricky!” the Sun mocked. The ‘Daily Express’ remarked on how the Australians would spend their time, suggesting a theme park or even the London Eye, saying there was only so much “net practice and thumb-twiddling” a team can do.
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Cricket fans in the Indian cricket captain and city boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s home state burnt his effigy to protest India’s exit from the ICC Twenty20 world cup following successive defeats in matches against the West Indies and England. “Dhoni took the T20 world cup lightly. It seems Dhoni is more fascinated by glamour world instead of cricket,” said one of the protesters.

Not to be outdone, at least in this case, the Bangladesh cricket fans harangued their national captain Mohammad Ashraful when he returned home after his team crashed out of the World Twenty20 tournament in the first round. The furious supporters rallied at Dhaka airport, carrying placards and chanting “resign, resign” at Ashraful, who apologised for Bangladesh’s failure.
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Before the tournament began, the ICC boasted that the Twenty20 World Cup will be seen in 218 countries around the world. But Stephen Brenkley of the Independent of the U.K has pulled up the ICC for out of the world predictions saying there are only 194 recognised countries on the planet.

Comment**: Much like the Indian parliament election prediction. When you add up the total of seats each party claims that they would win, the total comes to more than the total number of seats in the parliament.
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Ray Torrens, Ireland’s manager, has been appointed an OBE (Order of Brititsh Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to cricket. It is due recognition for Torrens’ work with Irish cricket, first as an opening bowler in an era when the sport had yet to flourish in Ireland and then as cricket administrator, selector and manager, trying to inspire a new generation of youngsters to take up the sport. 
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A young Australian cricketer who was playing for Clayton West Cricket Club at Huddersfield in England has lost speaking power after his skull was fractured in an apparently unprovoked attack outside a nightclub. The 26-year-old Chris Thomson, who was on a night out with other players after a match, came under attack while leaving the club. He was punched on the face and hit his head on the ground during the bashing in Leeds.
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A 72-year old umpire was killed on duty during a Welsh cricket league match. Alcwyn Jenkins, who was described as a “smashing guy” by another umpire, died after being struck on the head by a ball.
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Source: Various web and print media

Asia & EAP News

PNG claims EAP Under-19 title

Papua New Guinea defeated Vanuatu by 172 runs in the final at Amini Park, Port Mores to claim the East Asia-Pacific Under-19  title. Siaka of PNG scored his maiden century helping his reach 276 for 8. In return Vanuatu was bowled out for 103 after 34 overs.

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1       Tokyo Giants (1)
2       Nagoya (3)
3       Tokyo Wombats (4)
4       YC&AC (5)
5       Serendib (6)
6       Wyverns (7)
7       Al Karam (2)
8       Kansai Lions (9)
9       Indian Engineers (10)
10      Adore (11)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

Shizuoka Youth Cricket development

Robert-Gills Martineau reports:

After 4 years of existence, Miwa Primary School coaching is going on in full swing. Incidentally, this is the first ever registered primary school Cricket Club in Japan. (Coach: Robert-Gilles Martineau). Peter Timmings is coaching the Tokoha Primary School and this this the third year of its program.  The latest addition to the Shizuoka Youth Cricket development program is the Ryunan Primary School where the coaching started in May this year with great support from the school itself (Coach: Robert-Gilles Martineau). Shizuoka Prefectural university Cricket Club which started last year is being currently coached by Yosuke Yamazaki.

We are planning a day of cricket for all Primary schools to participate in November this year at our Shizuoka Kytes ground. This will gather all primary schools in Shizuoka to play out a small tournament, with parents watching.

Kytes member, Takuma Shoji, who recently majored from Waseda University, is helping develop Cricket in the Tokai Area with the help of Shizuoka Kytes CC. Originally dispatched by the JCA, Shoji decided to take the help of the Kytes after he was disappointed by the JCA’s methods.

Announcements

Beer for Books events

Lunch Trip for Beers for Books @ Zest, July 18, 2009 from 7pm to 10pm – Zest Nishi-Azabu.

A really interesting group of young professionals created a fun social group called Lunch Trip, which has a weekend lunch event which “travels” to a different country every month. In July, they’ve decided they’d like to have a night-time event to support Beers for Books and they will welcome both members and non-members of their club to join in the fun. Zest has kindly offered to host the event and we’ll be more details shortly. In the meantime, mark your calendar and plan to be there!

Editor **
You may recall that the the Indian Engineers cricket club became a sponsor of “Beers for Books”, a casual networking event that helps raise money for Room to Read. The idea behind the concept is a regular social networking event which will be held in a bar/restaurant in a casual setting. For every drink you order, the bar/restaurant will donate 100yen to Room to Read. One beer = 100yen = 1 local language book for a child in a developing country where Room to Read operates (Nepal, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Zambia). So all you have to do is to drink a beer!

We encourage our readers to attend the events to help promote literacy and education in developing countries. We will be publishing the event details in this Newsletter as well as on our website regularly.

Readers’ Corner

Good article on the JCA and their performance in ICC division 7 . Good points made about the lack of inclusion of talented foreign players and coach drafting himself in.

I think IECC is organising the Pacific Cup matches is that right? But those details seems to be very scarce on your website. if you are organising then you should give it due importance by adding pictures and match reports of all matches to make it interesting. It may take a little more time on the weekends update your website but I think the IECC website is the most accessed cricket site in Japan. Please make sure  that it is best captured in all areas.

Prashant Kale
YC&AC

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Will India retain the T-20 World Cup?

Yes 58%
No 33%
Can’t say 8%
(This result was before India crashed out)

Take the new poll:

Can England wrest the Ashes?

Best of the Web

An amzing presence of mind

In the recently concluded T-20 World Cup in England, Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka displayed an amazing quick thinking, which got the experts split in their opinion on the validity of the catch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44MeAzjcqUY

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“An overrated bowler” – Mathew Hayden’s recent take on S Sreeshant

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Wicket keeper Budhi Kunderan opened both batting and bowling for India in the 1967 Birmingham Test (Farokh Engineer was the ‘keeper in that Test).

2. France is the current Olympic silver medallists in cricket. England had defeated France at the Paris Games final in 1900, the last time cricket was played in Olympics.

That’s all in this edition!

YC&AC storms into PFC final

Engineers continue their wayward batting

 By Vijeder Khatri

     It was the same story for Engineers as the previous encounter between the two teams. Same opposition batsman hitting a century and then every Engineer eager to go back to pavilion made the story exactly same and boring. This time we encountered a new Flicx pitch and colorful astro turf outfield at the YC&AC. It was a lovely colorful ground to have a cricket match. Engineers were high on confidence following their fighting win in the last match against the Indian Tigers. All guys were pretty much on time and match started at 11:10 AM with Engineers were asked to field first after losing the toss.

     Engineers opened bowling with Biju Paul and Ashok Kumar. Both bowled a tidy spell with a lovely line and length that made the YC&AC openers difficult to rotate the strike. Engineers were pretty happy about chipping 2 precious wickets inside 10 overs for just 31 runs. Engineers had their plan well executed for all batsmen until the wicket of YC&AC skipper, Kamran Ali, who was out to a frustrated shot after the Engineers blocked all his scoring areas. YC&AC 40 odd runs for the loss of 2 wickets. But then enter Prashant Kale, the most valuable batsman of YC&AC. We all knew we have to get him out as early as possible to restrict YCAC to a moderate total. Dinesh had a perfect plan to get him out and it would have worked to perfection if yours truly had not have been wondering about something and not looking at the playinf field standing at long-off. I was feeling guilty(I’ll buy everyone a beer!) and I tried to repair the non-repairable damage by running hard and fielding well but my team-mates weren’t impressed. Anyway Dinesh created one more chance when Prashant was at 40, this time to mid-on to Bikash but he also fumbled the precious chance even through he held a great catch earlier to get the YCAC captain out. On the other end Riaz, the YC&AC opener was batting beautifully with patience and occasionally hitting the odd boundaries but finally got out to Sanjeeb’s bowling at 40.

     At drinks break after 20 overs YC&AC was at 88 for loss of 2 wickets. But then some violent hitting by Kale (124) and some useful knock from other batsmen YA&CA set a target of 256 for the Engineers to chase with the help of some dropped catches to win the Pacific Friendship Cup Semifinal. As the outfield was pretty fast and ball was nicely coming on to bat, we were pretty confident to make a successful chase if we bat full overs. After having a 25-30 mini lunch break Engineers started the chase with Atul and Santosh but to be disappointed soon with the score reading 15/2. Skipper Kamran started the slide when he trapped Atul plumb in front in the 3rd over of the innings. Yours truly was sent to bat in at 1-down position but was soon bowled by a lovely in swinging delivery from Farhan, which clipped the off stump bail. With the ‘Keeper standing up to the stumps, the main umpire and batsmen had some doubt about whether it was bowled or stumped but the square leg umpire confirmed that it was clean bowled.

     Ashok and Sanjeeb started sensibly to repair the damage, playing cautiously but soon Sanjeeb was out to Neil’s inviting delivery to give a simple catch at mid-on. By Now the Engineers had lost 4 batsmen for score of 38. As soon as some partnership was building between Ashok and Dinesh, Ashok (16) was given out LBW as he left a straight-forward delivery off Neil’s spin bowling. Now Dinesh and Raju were sailing the drowning boat to give the chase some direction. Raju entertained the crowd fully by hitting three huge sixes, one of those almost landing in the swimming pool. But soon Dinesh was left alone on the pitch when he tried to cut a wide delivery for six to shortest part of the boundary but only succeeded in gaving simple catch at point which made score line 82/5. Soon other batsman followed the same pattern with the Engineers getting all out for 112 in 24 overs. This was yet another disappointing batting performance by the Engineers. “Catches win Matches” and we made it true again where as the YC&AC caught all of the chances that came their way in sharp contrast to us. View photos and score card at http://iecc-japan.blogspot.com/

Brief scores: YC&AC 255/7 in 40 overs , Prashant Kale 129, Ashok 3/31, Raju 3/39 IECC 112(24 overs). Raju 24, Dinesh 24, Riaz 3/8

Details

DateLeagueSeason
Jul 5, 2009Pacific Cup2009

Match Summary

TeamRunsWickets LostOversBPOutcome
YC&AC255740Win
IECC112100Draw

YC&AC

BattingRunsHSB4s6s10050InnNO
Nick Horton 8-000--1-
Riaz 40-000--1-
P.B.Kale 12900000000
Avinash Jadhav 29-000--1-
Chetak Halageri 0-000--1-
Farhan 1-000--1-
Neil Lawrence 21-000--11
Sturges John 1-000--11
Kamran Ali 0-000--00
Total 255        

Did not bat: Kamran Ali

BowlingOMRWbbf

IECC

BattingRunsHSB4s6s10050InnNO
Biju Paul 000000000
Ashok Kumar 000000000
Mohan Govindasamy 000000000
Dinesh Singh Rawat 000000000
Sanjeeb Sahoo 000000000
Bikash Mohanti 000000000
Total 112        

Engineers trump Tigers

Escape an embarrassment with a huge margin

By Biju Paul

When duty called, only two Engineers answered it and answered it in style. It was almost going to be a one-sided match (in favour of the opposition though) what with only 8 Engineers available until as late as less than 12 hours before the match but thanks to some last minute work by the captain, even forcing one of the Engineers to take absence from work to play, Engineers managed to get an eleven. After blowing their chances for a KCL semi-final berth by irresponsible bating against the Kytes the previous week, Engineers this time arrived Shizuoka with hope of an easy win against the Indian Tigers.

Nursing hopes of posting an imposing total by batting out all 40 overs, skipper elected to bat first after winning the toss but as it turned out the hopes turned into embarrassment within the first 30 minutes of the play. Tigers’ opening bowler Anil trapped Engineers’ open bat, Atul Joshi, in front of the wicket in the 2nd ball and set off the damage. In his second over Santosh drove one into the hands of Rajeev, who was stationed at the cover. The batsman stayed at the crease telling the umpire that the fielder might have grounded the ball but the umpire rightly disagreed. It was a great catch indeed taken just centimeters above the ground. But from the other end skipper Udayaraj was leaking runs and he replaced himself with Bala which turned out to be a smart move. Bobby, The Wall, went on to flick a straight delivery off Bala but was clean bowled. Engineers 3/27 in 4.2 overs. No. 4 Dinesh pushed the score with some beautiful pulls and drives to the fence but he too fell to Anil- Rajeev combination with Rajeev producing yet another fantastic catch. Skipper Sanjeeb got off the mark with a flick, the exact same shot Bobby tried off the same bowler but he too fell two balls later to Anil, his 2nd victim in the same over and 4th over all. Engineers 35/6 in 6 overs. The Anil-Bala bowling combination damaged any hope of recovery, or so it seemed, for the Engineers with Bala clean bowling Silvester for naught. Engineers 35/6 in 6.2 overs.

The way out of the hole the Engineers dug for themselves was to bat out and last at least 20 overs so a few nudges and pushes and then hope for the greatest friend under these circumstances, Mr. Extras, to come to their help. Targets were soon revised and a score of 120 was thought to be reachable, not really defendable. However, the pair at the crease was the most dangerous of the Engineers line-up. The calm and composed Sidde Raju and the teen-aged Anurag with fire and brimstone. While the Tigers were relishing an opportunity of a rare and long awaited victory, the batsmen bid their time to see off the bowlers. After withstanding the probing spells from Anil and Bala, Anurag teed off with élan once the second-stringers came on who were palpably ineffective. The duo took the sore past 100, and continued with poise and elegance bringing smiles and cheers to the Engineers camp. Raju hit the first 6 of the innings, a ferocious one that was, over midwicket, off Rajeev, with the ball landing in the river, an occasion Bobby used to take an anticipatory bail – in case things went wrong still – saying “this will save our face even if we lose this match”. Tigers tried every bowler available to them but the duo at the crease was not willing to let the advantage slip. They batted almost like a conjugal couple, clearly understanding the one at the other end. Raju did give a chance, after reaching his 50, but skipper Udayaraj, standing at mid-off spilled a relatively easy one. By then the horse had bolted the stable anyway. The rest was all clean hitting, too clean for Tigers’ comfort. Raju departed first after scoring 66(4×4, 5×6) with the score at 186, contributing to a massive 151 runs partnership in 21 overs, which took the match out of the reach of the opposition. Newbie, Merwin Frank, replaced him but lasted only a few balls as he was cleaned up by Bala, returning for his second spell, handing him his 3rd wicket. But in the span of those few balls, Anurag had helped another cameo partnership of 25 runs. Having lasted 30+ overs, Anurag stepped up the attack but fell soon to Udayaraj for 76(12×4, 1×6). After the fall of these two, Engineers didn’t trouble the Tigers much as the innings folded up in the 36th over when Masood pulled Udayaraj but succeeded only in sending the ball up in the air, with keeper completing the formality.

Having been in similar situations before, Engineers knew exactly how Tigers would have had their lunch. Tigers started their chase at 3:20pm with Anil NT and skipper Udayaraj, both former Engineers, opening the innings. Opening the bowling along with this writer, Dinesh did early damage in a long spell of 7 overs, claiming 3 wickets, almost as if to make up for his failure with the bat. With a few quick wickets, but not the way Engineers batted, soon the resistance of Tigers fizzled out. The sights of Raju and Anurag coming at them again would not have been pleasing at all. Anurag bowled with fire in his belly and sent in deliveries with fierce pace which batsmen could only poke at. Raju’s slow run up deceived the pace he generated and both claimed two wickets each. With match almost in the kitty, skipper threw the ball to Merwin, who was full of beans, bubbling around and Masood. An expensive 1st over from Merwin followed with a c&b wicket of the opener Anil(20). Masood’s over too produced a wicket when Gijo lofted one over the head of the bowler but this writer running some 30 yards from long off, defied every fielder’s expectation of a dropped catch, held on to one. Engineers soon ended the Tigers’ innings in the 27th over for 119 runs.

The significance of the partnership Raju and Anurag built can only be gauged when one looks at the score card. The next highest score was 11 by Dinesh, besides the eternal friend of every team, Mr. Extras(42). More than the sum total of this partnership, or the intrinsic value it brought in, it was the way they tore the attack into smithereens which must have destroyed the Tigers’ morale. It has been long since the Engineers has taken the attack to the opposition in such strident fashion but it still leaves the Engineers with a gaping hole(The Wall not withstanding) at the top with successive batting failures which results losing matches that should have been won.

To be fair to the Tigers, their fielding great and they played with the same enthusiasm as they started the innings. They just missed some of their bowlers, who could have helped reduce the damage Raju and Anurag caused.

View photos and score card at http://iecc-japan.blogspot.com/

Brief scores: IECC 231(35.3 overs). Sidde Raju 66, Anurag Singh 75. Anil Nair 4/19. Bala S 3/28 Tigers 119 (26.5 overs). Dinesh Sing 3/28.

IECC lose one of their very best

Vimal who played for IECC about 8 years had been a key member of the squad. Apart from being a rock solid opener he was a very good bowler and fielder. Also he was a very good friend and his gentle , friendly and selfless natures had made him really popular within the team. His 156* against Kytes is among one of the most memorable innings he has played for IECC.

He will be soon moving to Denmark on his new job assignment. IECC is hopeful that he will be back in Japan sometime in future and will be again playing for us.

Here are few pictures from the farewell party.

Issue #97 Japan scores a consolation victory in WCL-7

Newsletter


June 5, 2009                                                                                              Issue #97

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Japan scores a consolation victory in WCL-7
  • The fine print
  • Asia & EAP news –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • Neil Harrison’s memoir
  • Announcements
  • IECC poll results
  • Reader’s corner
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Japan scores a consolation victory in WCL-7

Japan managed a consolation win in the recently concluded ICC World Cricket League Division 7 tournament at Port Soif, Guernsey, which, otherwise brought disappointment to fans back home. The consolation win – against Suriname – was powered by a dream spell by fast bowler Patrick Giles-Jones, whose outstanding figures of 7/9 helped Japan beat Suriname by 8 wickets. Giles-Jones, an Australian playing for Japan, had helped reduce Suriname to 7/8 at one stage but a rear guard action from Surinamese batsmen helped them score 66. Japan overcame the meager target in 29.4 overs, losing two wickets in that process. Japan had earlier lost to Nigeria and hosts, Guernsey and later lost the last match against table toppers, Bahrain.

Nigeria recorded their two-wicket victory over Japan in the penultimate over, despite a reasonably healthy target Japan set for Nigeria, powered by an unbeaten 55 from Ko Irie.
Japan 187/8 (50 overs, K Irie 55*)
Nigera 188/8 (48.1 overs, G Beath 3/20)

In the second match against Guernsey, Japan’s score of 150 for 8 was easily overcome by the hosts with 11.3 overs to spare. Ko Irie followedup with his previous performance and made a valuable contribution to Japanese innings with an aggressive 49.
Japan 150/8 (50 overs, K Irie 49)
Guernsey 152/3 (38.3 overs)

The left-arm fast bowler Giles-Jones starred again in the last match with an outstanding bowling spell that saw Bahrain collapsing to 24/4 before recovering to post an imposing 260 runs on the board. Giles-Jones initiated a top order collapse by catching three of the first four batsmen in front of the wicket. Although Giles-Jones went on to claim 5 wickets Bahrain’s total proved too heavy for Japan and they were eventually bowled out for a paltry 64 runs in 26 overs.
Bahrain 260 (49.3 overs, P Giles-Jones 5/39)
Japan 64.

Source: various cricket websites

Patrick Giles-Jones and Ko Irie were Japan’s shining stars and provided the only silver lining in an otherwise lacklustre foreign trip for the Japanese players. With three losses out of their four matches Japan’s poor show outside the EAP region continued, highlighting the low domestic standards and underscoring the need to further open up JCA’s attitude towards the foreign players’ community in Japan in order to spur an inclusive development of playing standards. By limiting themselves to deal with only a small section of the foreign cricket community, the attempts to improve the standards by the JCA can only meet with limited success. Japan’s problems in the Guernsey tournament was compounded by the fact that two of their Pakistani origin players were rejected visa resulting in the original squad of 14 being reduced to 12, prompting their coach to draft himself in all the matches. But the moot point remained whether it was wiser to play one of their Japanese players than to draft in an aging coach (not that his performance was bad). One would hope that the generous grant ICC provides to Japan would be spent more wisely to improve the domestic playing standards. As an Associate member, Japan receives USD200,000 or more annually, depending on the grade they are placed inside the Associate grouping.

+ Kansai Cricket +

Jason from Kansai reports:

The games are on but there is no sign of competitive matches yet. We have a big problem with grounds, only me and the KRAC have any and they are few and far between. Ashiya looks hopeful every year though.

KCL results are available here

The Fine Print

A controversial SMS game introduced in the IPL, which evoked strong criticism for promoting to gambling, was discontinued with the games’ inventors taking note of the apprehensions expressed by Sports Minister M S Gill and many former cricketers. Gill had denounced the SMS game in which fans made ball by ball predictions for cash prizes, saying it amounted to gambling.
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Javed Miandad thinks that all is not well with the IPL that is underway in South Africa. He thinks IPL is a joke but at the same time worried about some of the results. “There is a definite smell of match-fixing coming from the IPL where strange things are happening. I don’t consider the IPL as cricket, it is a joke. It is strange that players who are not regular bowlers have taken hat-tricks in the league. Teams are losing matches from winning positions,” Miandad said.
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Bollywood diva and co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, Shilpa Shetty praised her captian as a a wonderful guy. She also is set to share Bollywood screen space with her team’s coach-cum-captain Shane Warne. “I understand the whole former nemesis thing between Shane and South Africa but I think he’s a wonderful guy without prejudices. He has a sense of fair play and he’s a good sportsman. And as captain and coach of my team he’s also an example of what I appreciate in players: consistency and dedication, irrespective of what career phase they’re in,” Shetty told You magazine of South Africa.

Comments: Meanwhile, Shilpa’s sister Samita Shetty is causing ripples in the tabloid newspapers. Read the Best of the Web section elsewhere in this Newsletter.
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IPL umpire Daryl Harper wanted to wear a helmet on a few occasions, apparently. “In one of the games Sanath’s [Jayasuriya] shot hit me so hard that I was feeling breathless for a while. And Hayden’s hits have brushed my ears a few times as well,” Harper said. “I was talking about this to some of the other umpires and they were also of the same opinion. Given the pace with which some of the players hit those shots, it’s becoming really dangerous for us. I guess it’s just a matter of time before you see us using those baseball helmets.”
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A cricket kit ordered from Pakistan by Dilawar Hussain, of Blackburn, U.K., was ruined by over eager customs officials searching for explosives. Eight of his bats and a few pairs of pads arrived with holes drilled in them! Neither the Pakistani nor the UK government has owned up the damage.
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In an incident what the accused described as related to “matters of the heart”, Bermudan fast bowler George O’Brien had been charged with using a Taser stun-gun against a “love rival”. Incidentally, O’Brien was handed a two-year suspended ban in 2005 after reportedly punching an opponent during Bermuda’s Cup Match, the biggest game of the year. In 2006 he was dropped from the national side after he missed a number of training sessions. That led to him being excluded from the 2007 World Cup squad, and days after being left out he broke his leg playing football.
###

Former England international Chris Lewis has been found guilty of cocaine smuggling and has been handed a 13-year jail sentence. The former all-rounder was found with more £140,000 worth of cocaine hidden in his luggage late last year at Gatwick airport when he returned from a trip to St. Lucia. He had cocaine in liquid form hidden in tins of fruit and vegetable juice inside a cricket bag.
###

Former Ausralian fast bowler and current Delhi Dare-Devils player, Glenn McGrath, rues that he has not been getting any game in the IPL. “It has been hard to be a part of the bench, and I was hoping for a game during the league stage. I have asked a couple of people about why I was not being played, and I get the sense that they were worried about my fitness. I feel fitter than I did last year, but I guess I will not get a chance to prove that now.” McGrath said.
###

After promising to reveal his identity at the end of Kolkata Knight Riders’ Indian Premier League campaign, the blogger, who calls himself a Fake IPL Player, has left everyone guessing by not coming out with the much-awaited disclosure in what is ostensibly his last post. In a video post titled ‘FIP RIP’, a shadow declares himself to be the fake IPL player.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzWIqbkuqEM
###

Javed Sheikh, 53, a former first-class cricketer died during a veterans Twenty20 match in Pakistan, leaving organisers contemplating a ban on players with a history of cardiac problems. Sheikh collapsed during the match at Asgher Ali Shah stadium in Karachi, having complained of chest pain after bowling three overs.
###

Source: Various web and print media

Asia & EAP News

+ Japan’s young colts unimpressive +

Japan’s U-19 team, currently taking part in the 2009 Pepsi EAP Under-19 trophy in Papua New Guinea (PNG), have lost all their matches. In the first match against PNG, Japanese boys were bowled out for 55 and in the second match Fiji bowled Japan out for 59. Japan could not cross 50 runs in the third match against Indonesia. The boys, however, did a good job of bowling out Indonesia for 103 runs with Raheel Kano claiming 5/21.

Results are available at: http://cricket.resultsvault.com/common/pages/public/rv/draw.aspx?id=RVFIXTURE&entityid=31029

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of May 31:

One team slowly slipping down the ranks is YC&AC while the Wombats are clawing their way back to top with an awesome winning record of 5 out of 5 matches this season.

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1    Tokyo Giants (1)
2    Al Karam (5)
3    Nagoya (2)
4    Tokyo Wombats (6)
5    YC&AC (3)
6    Serendib (4)
7    Wyverns (7)
8    Sano(10)
9    Kansai Lions (11)
10  Indian Engineers (9)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

Neil Harrison’s memoir

We requested Neil Harrison, Japan’s international umpire from the EAP Umpires Panel, to share with us his personal experiences in the
international circuit this year. Harrison’s biggest assignment (so far!) was to umpire in the Women’s World Cup early this year in Sydney,
which was telecast live and involved third umpire decisions.

Harrison writes:

For me, 2008 was a quiet year on the umpiring front, with no international activity in the East Asia Pacific region and a lot of washouts down in Shizuoka. That turned around somewhat dramatically in 2009 with a surprise invitation to umpire in the Women’s World Cup in Sydney as my first appointment in the year of any sort. This was the biggest and best organised tournament I’ve been involved in, even if the level of cricket turned out to be substantially lower than news reports had led me to expect. As it was so long, I didn’t have enough paid holidays so I had to take unpaid leave from work to attend the tournament.

Two of my colleagues on the EAP Umpires Panel were also invited (Shahul Hameed of Indonesia and Lakani Oala of PNG), and we were joined by Cathy Cross of New Zealand, Sarika Prasad of Singapore, 5 members of the Aussie first class panel, Tony Hill, Brian Jerling and Tyron Wijewardene of the International Panel and Steve Davis of the Elite Panel. Not a bad selection of umpires.

In all I got to umpire 7 games on field, with an additional 2 games as reserve umpire and one game as TV umpire (not a single referral in
close to 90 overs of cricket!) We umpired on some beautiful grounds, including Bowral (Don Bradman’s home ground – the umpires’ changing room was the store room of the Bradman Museum) and Bankstown (the Waugh twins’ home ground), and all the while we had the chance to observe and pick the brains of some of the finest umpires around.

Australia were clear pre-tournament favourites to win, and from the 3 rounds of warm-up matches it quickly became clear that Australia,
England, India and New Zealand were streets ahead of Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. The tournament results didn’t quite go as the hosts had planned and hoped, however, with the Australians unable to qualify for the final due to insipid performances against New Zealand and India. England defeated New Zealand in the final and India beat Australia in the 3rd place play-off, which I think fairly represented the performances of the teams over the 3 weeks of play.

While in Sydney, I was invited to umpire in the Vanuatu vs Fiji Bi-Lateral Series in Vanuatu in May. Being neighbours (relatively speaking),
Fiji and Vanuatu play each other fairly regularly, and Fiji traditionally run out easy winners, but Vanuatu have a reputation as one of the
most improved teams in the region and this time there was the added incentive of potential promotion from Affiliate to Associate member of the ICC (joining PNG, Fiji and Japan as EAP Associate members). Vanuatu had already fulfilled other Associate requirements (for example, logistical and administrative structures) but had been told they also needed to prove they could beat existing Associate members in a competition format. The ICC effectively gave Vanuatu two bites at the cherry by dividing the week into two 3-game series, with a winning majority in either series being sufficient to meet the ICC demands.

As it was, the ICC need not have worried as Vanuatu comfortably outplayed Fiji in the first two matches (winning by 6 wickets and 97 runs), rendering the remainder of the series something of a damp squib. Fiji bounced back to win match 3 by 32 runs, closing out Series A. Series B
was then designated friendlies only, but after Vanuatu took the first match, the second and third matches were cancelled due to the death of a local cricket stalwart on the morning of the second match. A consolation T20 match was played on the last day.

The good news from Japan’s point of view is that Fiji are (temporarily at least) on the way down, but the bad news is that Vanuatu are most definitely on the way up. The EAP pecking order has long been PNG followed by a big gap, then Fiji followed by another big gap, then Cook Islands, Japan and Vanuatu followed by a smaller gap, then Indonesia, Samoa and Tonga. PNG remain a long way out in front, but the gap between Fiji and the pack is closing. Fiji have appointed a respected new Kiwi coach and Aussie manager with a view to stopping the slide. We’ll have a chance to see how they fare in the next EAP senior tournament in Samoa in September.

Announcements

Beer for Books events

THANK YOU to everyone who came out to the Beers for Books event organized by InterNations.org 5/28 at The Pink Cow. We had a great time while creating 449 books for kids.

With the addition of the 2,831 books from the event with John Wood on May 14th we created well over 3,000 books in May. Beers for Books is truly gaining momentum as word spreads about how fun it is to organize and participate in B4B events.

The next scheduled events in Japan are 5/31 at IUJ in Niigata, 6/5 at Benny’s Place in Yokohama, 6/8 at Arterra in San Diego, 6/18 at The Pink Cow in Tokyo, and a VERY special event 7/4 in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture. See the events section of this website for all the details and see you there!!

Editor **
You may recall that the the Indian Engineers cricket club became a sponsor of “Beers for Books”, a casual networking event that helps raise money for Room to Read. The idea behind the concept is a regular social networking event which will be held in a bar/restaurant in a casual setting. For every drink you order, the bar/restaurant will donate 100yen to Room to Read. One beer = 100yen = 1 local language book for a child in a developing country where Room to Read operates (Nepal, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Zambia). So all you have to do is to drink a beer!

We encourage our readers to attend the events to help promote literacy and education in developing countries. We will be publishing the event details in this Newsletter as well as on our website regularly.

T-20 World Cup live on HumTum TV

HumTum TV, an Osaka based internet TV company, has obtained exclusive internet telecast rights in Japan for the upcoming T-20 World cup in England. The whole series is available for subscribers for JPY 7,000. Readers of this Newsletter is entitled to a 500yen discount if you mention the campaign code “IECC” when you subscribe it. www.humtuv.com

Readers’ Corner

This is in response to your news item in the last issue in which the KCL Committee was forced to announce new guidelines for claiming umpiring expenses. Can we really be talking about cricket when we have players arguing decisions with umpires? Do we really have members amongst us who will cheat their fellow cricketers with fraudulent expense claims? It may be a good time to remind our fellow cricketers just exactly what makes a “cricketer” and how the game should be played. The very fact that this ruling is necessary is an appalling indictment on those whom it is designed to censure. This is not the game of cricket that I was raised to play.

David Todd
YC&AC

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Your take on England-WI series?

England will win 67%
West Indies will win 33%
Draw 0%

Take the new poll:

Will India retain the T-20 World Cup?

Best of the Web

Collection of some of the best catches

It is learned that the friendship between Bollywood actress Shamita Shetty and Warne grew close during this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) tour. Reveals a source, “Warne is known to be a ladies’ man. He met the younger Shetty just once before the IPL. Read here.

Gorillas play cricket, a promotional ad for the ICC World Twenty20 released by ICC

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“You help us in cricket and we will help you in soccer!” – Message from Indian president Pratibha Patil when she visited Brazil in 2008.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. France is the current Olympic silver medallists in cricket. England had defeated France at the Paris Games final in 1900, the last time
cricket was played in Olympics.

2. Malaysian born Lall Singh played for India in 1932 against England at Lords.

That’s all in this edition!

IECC Winning streak broken by Serendib

Sarendib won the toss and elected to bat first.
We opened the bowling with Ashok and Anurag and Vijender took care of the keeping in absence of our regular wicket keepers.
We bowled well but Sarendib capitalized on the occasional bad balls.We also dropped several simple catches to let them of the hook. The weather also played its part. We had 3 breaks due to rain and each time we came back to bowl after the rain, we had a hard time dealing with the slippery pitch and ball. Sarendib batted intelligently mixing caution with aggression and post a challenging total of 248.

We had a packed batting line up and we knew 6 runs per over at Shizouka is gettable. We started promisingly reaching 50 in just 5 overs. Fresh from a 150+ partnership in the last game, Vimal and Viswa were batting brilliantly but both got out to some brilliant fielding and accurate bowling. At that stage we were still sitting pretty, but then some poor running between the wickets and some bad luck with the decisions took the game out of our reach. Finally we got all out for just 188 on the 31st over.

Brief score card….
Dhanuka(73), Ashok 4/39
Dinesh(29),Vimal (26), Ashanka 2/35

2009-05-31_CIMG14672009-05-31_CIMG14652009-05-31_CIMG14662009-05-31_CIMG1461    2009-05-31_CIMG1468

IECC defeats Predators convincingly

Since the conditions were not good for KCL match the captains and the umpires agreed to reschedule the KCL match. IECC and Predators decided to play a friendly 20/20 instead in the rain.

IECC batting first scored 213/6 in 20 overs. Viswa(85) and Vimal(65) had a 150+ opening partnership.

Predators crumbled under pressure of chasing such a high score and got all out for 113 in the 19th over. Predators captain Andrew(46) was the top scorer from their side.

2009-05-19_TakingOutThePitch 2009-05-19_CIMG1442 2009-05-19_CIMG1460

2009-05-19_CIMG1455 2009-05-19_PredatorBatting 2009-05-19_IECCBatting

Issue #96 Japanese season gets going

Newsletter


May 7, 2009                                                                                              Issue #96

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Japanese season gets going
  • The fine print
  • Asia & EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • Announcements
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Japanese season gets going

Various cricket tournaments in Japan kicked off in April heralding the arrival of a new season. Kanto Cricket League, the most prominent of them, got going with results along the expected lines. Tokyo Giants, the defending champions won all their matches so far, with one of them being a surprisingly one-sided match in which they handed a massive 175 runs defeat to the YC&AC. With both teams being the finalists of KCL last year, what was expected to be a replay of the final turned out to be a damp squib when YC&AC lost quick wickets in their chase of 261 for a win. Although Nick Lawrence(3/31) and Farhan Ullah(3/54) claimed most wickets, they could not cause any significant damage to the Giants, whose cause was helped by Japan international Chino(61) and Hamid Syed(51) and in no small amount by the extras(49) conceded. Hamid then came back to claim 3/13 to rout the YC&AC for 85.

In other matches, Serendib continued their good show with back-to-back wins over a weekend of cricket at Shizuoka when they defeated Indian Tigers and Shizuoka Kytes. Yet another interesting match of the tournament so far was the one between Nagoya and Indian Engineers, in which the latter defeated the former in a tightly contested match. Nagoya, who used to have the upper hand in the contest between the two, could not maintain their victory run and the Engineers chased the target of 167 with the loss of 8 wickets and 2 overs to spare.

On the other hand, KCL is not without its usual troubles. The match between Al Karam and Lalazar was marred by umpiring controversy and the losing team refused to accept the result blaming it on unfair conditions and decisions. After studying the matter, the KCL Committee ruled the match between Lalazar and Al Karam null and void and promulgated new guidelines for umpires. The KCL Committee decision can be read online here.

KCL results are available here

The Fine Print

France, the current Olympic silver medalists in cricket, wants a return game in Lille ahead of the London Olympics in 2012. England, had defeated France to win gold at the Paris Games in 1900. “Cricket is advancing quickly in France but it needs a match like this to capture the imagination of the public. France v England is always a big event in France, whatever the sport.”, said Maxime Parent, spokesman for France Cricket. Cricket in France has come a fair way since it was banned as an “alien” sport in 1940 by the Vichy government. There are now ten clubs in France’s super-league and about one-third of its players are French.
###

An England-based group is planning to stage a cricket match at Gorak Shep, a plateau which lies in the foothills of Mount Everest. The proposed game site is 5,160m (almost 17,000 ft) above sea level. A group of 50 will gradually acclimatise themselves to the conditions over an 11 day climb to the plateau. It is hoped that there will be 22 fit players left to take to the ice for a 20 over game. At that altitude oxygen levels are 65% of normal. If successful, the group will set a record for the highest altitude sports match ever staged. The goal is to raise $550,000 for a children’s charity and another charity dedicated to environmental preservation and poverty elimination in the Himalayas. The expedition, which consists of 51 people includes two squads of 15, two umpires and a support crew of cameramen, photographers, medics, lawyers and environmental experts. The teams are named after the first two men to conquer Everest – Hillary and Tenzing.

Comment: The only thing lacking is some spectators.
###

India’s intelligence agencies said to have intercepted a call to one of India’s most wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim’s four unidentified hirelings in Mumbai, hired to bump off IPL boss Lalit Modi. Electronic surveillance records intercepted by Intelligence Bureau indicate that Chhota Shakeel, Ibrahim’s right hand man, has asked his shooters to target Modi in Mumbai or South Africa. “Usko khatam kar do India ya South Africa mein,” (finish him off, in India or South Africa) is the diktat. The theory doing the rounds behind the reason is that Ibrahim and his gang are upset with the fact that the IPL matches were moved to SA which will cause huge losses in the order of millions of dollars by way of betting. Regular contacts between bookies and tainted cricketers are necessary as most bets are laid in sessions, in common parlance betting results up to five overs. Sometimes, it is important to contact a cricketer at very short notice so that he can be coerced to under-perform.
###

A Newspaper crew was greeted in Hindi by the gatekeeper when they visited an IPL stadium. “Namaste, tum kaise ho (Hello, how are you)?” that was how the lady manning the gates of the stadium greeted the journalists. When asked where she had picked up the language from, the girl named Percy said: “During the 2007 T20 World Cup.”
###

The Shah Rukh Khan-owned IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders is said to be spending sleepless nights over a blog -http://fakeiplplayer.blogspot.com/ – that is providing insights on the team’s dressing room talk, strategies and other details. What is worrying the KKR management is that the perpetrator, who goes by the name Fake IPL Player, is either a player or a team official.

Comment: Either way, the public gets to know the truth.
###

An American entrepreneur who hopes to establish an international Twenty20 tournament in New York has signed up former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq [Images] and six other Pakistan players for his project scheduled to be launched later this year. President and CEO of American Sports And Entertainment Group Inc, Jay Mir, has drawn up plans for a six-team American Premier League to be staged in October on a converted baseball field in Staten Island, New York. A spokesman for the Yankees confirmed that they were in talks, adding that they were “very excited” at the prospect of bringing cricket to the city.
###

The latest allegation against Andrew Symonds is that the Australian cricketer used his autographed bat to get a seven-figure loan sanctioned from Commonwealth Bank of Australia before investing the money in a failed company. “The Australian Financial Review reports that a Storm Financial Services company adviser offered the autographed cricket bat in 2007 in order to waive the cost of mortgage insurance for Symonds. The cricketer is believed to have lost about US$ one million when the company collapsed in January,” reported The Sydney Morning Herald.

Comment: Australia recently reported that it entered into recession.
###

Pakistani off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who has been reported for a suspect bowling action by ICC match officials, feels Australian all-rounder Shane Watson might have complained to the umpires about his ‘doosra’ delivery. “I saw Watson speaking to the umpires who later spoke to me and said there was a problem,” he said.
###

We’ve heard of tyres being used for many purposes, but this one beats them all. The groundsmen at the Newlands for an IPL match keep tyres on the pitch covers to keep them grounded. Strong gusts of winds take the covers off but the tyres help in keeping them on the surface.

Comment: Sometimes the elementary methods help.
###
Afghanistan, the newest ICC country to be inducted into their enjoyably competitive list of one-day nations, have won their first ODI. Well, sort of. That’s what the Afghans will tell you after thumping an English village XI. Ditchling Cricket Club, captained by former Kent and England allrounder Jamie Theakston, were walloped by 124 runs at a heavily-secured NATO base in Kabul.
###

The Bangalore Royal Challengers’ Jacques Kallis had to endure the unsettling sight of his sister dancing to celebrate his wicketas he trudged back to his team’s dugout. Kallis’s sister was signed up as a cheerleader for Chennai Super Kings. “I don’t mind really…except she really did seem to be doing her job very well when I was out. She didn’t have to look so pleased…!”, remarked Kallis.
###

The prisoners in Kolkata’s Alipore Central Jail have gone on a hunger strike in protest against not being allowed to watch the IPL tournament. The protest by the 500 prisoners began after the jail guards rejected their demands, on the grounds that the matches are being broadcast on a private channel – security concerns allow only state-run television to be shown in Indian jails.

Comment: talk of the IPL fan base!
###

Chelsy Davy, former partner of Prince Harry, has been “spending time” with South Africa’s captain Graeme Smith. Davy seems to be strikingly similar to Smith’s previous high-profile girlfriend, the model Minki van der Westhuizen, reported the U.K’s Daily Mail. Chelsy is still very fond of Harry but she can’t go on waiting for ever, added the daily.
###

According the United Kingdom-based brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance, the two-year-old IPL is worth a whopping $2 billion and in 2-3 years, the IPL clubs may get listed on the bourses just like the popular English Premier League football teams. Here’s how the 8 IPL teams rank in terms of valuation.
1. Kolkata Knight Riders – Value: $42.1 million.
Franchise fee: $75.1 million.
2. Mumbai Indians – Value: $41.6 million.
Franchise fee: $111.9 million.
3. Rajasthan Royals – Value: $39.5 million.
Franchise fee: $67 million.
4. Chennai Super Kings – Value: $39.4 million.
Franchise fee: $91.9 million.
5. Delhi Dare Devils – Value: $39.2 million.
Franchise fee: $84 million.

6. Royal Challengers – Value: $37.4 million.
Franchise fee: $111.6 million.
7. Kings IX Punjab – Value: $36.3 million.
Franchise fee: $76 million.
8. Deccan Chargers – Value: $34.8 million.
Franchise fee: $107 million.
###

Source: Various web and print media

Asia & EAP News

No updates this month..

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of February 28:

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

Results as of April 30:

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Nagoya (2)
3 YC&AC (3)
4 Serendib (23)
5 Al Karam (4)
6 Tokyo Wombats (6)
7 Wyverns (5)
8 Adore (8)
9 Indian Engineers (11)
10 Millennium (7)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

Announcements

Beer for Books with Room to Read Founder John Wood @ Genius in Ginza 5/14

We’re pleased to welcome Room to Read Founder and Chairman John Wood to Japan for a very special Beers for Books event at Genius in Ginza! We’ll be starting from 6PM, with a short presentation and drawing at 8:30PM, then going late into the night to create books for kids. For you beer lovers, Andrew of Nagano Trading will be serving some of California’s finest craft beers from Speakeasy, Ballast Point, Bear Republic, and Green Flash so you can create books in fine taste and style!

Entrance is FREE before 9PM and normal club prices after that (3000 for Men, 2000 for women).

NOTE: Due to space limitations of the club we have to take reservations and we max out at 300. If you plan to go, please RSVP as “Attending” on this event page, on the B4B Facebook site, or by sending me a message and we’ll make sure you’re on the list.

Room to Read Fund raising event

Room to Read, a charity organisation working for the education of underprivileged children in the developing work, is organising a fund
raising event on Friday May 15 at the Academy Hills Library at the Roppongi Hills. This event is geared to raise finds for the organisation’s
chapter in Nepal. John Wood, the founder of Room to Read and Pushkar Shresta, the Country Director for Nepal will be attending the event.

http://www.roomtoread.org/involvement/events/2009/05_15_japan/invitation.html

You may recall that the the Indian Engineers cricket club became a sponsor of “Beers for Books”, a casual networking event that helps raise money for Room to Read. The idea behind the concept is a regular social networking event which will be held in a bar/restaurant in a casual setting. For every drink you order, the bar/restaurant will donate 100yen to Room to Read. One beer = 100yen = 1 local language book for a child in a developing country where Room to Read operates (Nepal, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Zambia). So all you have to do is to drink a beer!

We encourage our readers to attend the events to help promote literacy and education in developing countries. We will be publishing the event details in this Newsletter as well as on our website regularly.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

India won the Test and ODI series in New Zealand because:

India is strong and emerging 50%
New Zealand was young and inexperienced 50%
This just a one-off success for India 0%

Take the new poll:

Your take on England-WI series?

England will win
West Indies will win
Draw

Take the new poll:

India won the Test and ODI series in New Zealand because:

Readers’ Corner

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

When Obama met Lara

Cricket breaks down Israel boundaries

Picture of the month

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“I always wanted to meet the Michael Jordan of cricket” – U.S president Barack Obama to Brian Lara when the two met in Trinidad at the Summit of the Americas.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Invention of leg glance shot is attributed to Ranjith Singhji.

2. Ranjith Singhji, after whom India’s top domestic competition, Ranji Trophy, is named, lost his right eye in a hunting accident in 1914.

That’s all in this edition!

Engineers kick-off their KCL campaign with a strong show

Skipper’s all round performance seals the match

 By Anurag Singh

     The engineers headed off to Shizuoka early morning to play their first game against Nagoya. With Bobby ‘Sobers’ (he has given up booze, believe me) behind the wheel, as expected, we reached the ground a good a good thirty minutes early. The Nagoyans had already laid down the pitch by then, and the venerable Robert-Gills Martineau, probably the only lively French human being on earth as the umpire for the game, was trimming the grass.

     The weather was perfect for a nice cricket game and it did turn out to be a good one. Sanjeeb, the Chaser(?), won the toss and decided to field first, no surprises there. The captain gave the new ball to Vimal and Anurag. Vimal started the proceedings from the bridge end with his off spinners and got the opening batsmen trapped in front on his first legal delivery. He bowled with great accuracy and had batsmen in trouble all the while. He got another success after a couple of overs as he trapped the opposition team’s captain Saqib in front of the wicket. Anurag was denied a wicket because of a dropped catch in his first over but after that he produced no chances. He also bowled a few wides, although some of them were pretty harsh decisions, so the bowler says. After the first ten overs the captain threw the ball to Dinesh while he himself joined from the other end.

     They bowled great in tandem and kept troubling the batsmen every now and again. Both of them bowled with great accuracy, giving very few wides and asked a lot of questions. Sanjeeb soon got rid of both settled batsmen, Raja and Shehenshah. The latter was caught beautifully by Dinesh at first slip. After the drinks break the captain called back Vimal for the second spell and he responded by disturbing Ali’s timber with a beautiful flighted delivery. Dinesh also got into the act by getting rid of Gul and Butt. And later, Raju and Anurag cleared the tail by picking one wicket each, ensuring no comeback from the Nagoya batsmen unlike previous games. The Nagoyans were bundled out for 167 in 30 odd overs, with extras being the highest scorer at 46. There were a few dropped chances but the ground fielding was of pretty good quality. There were some very good diving efforts by Javed, Masood Jholi and Dinesh. Sobers was initially a bit rusty behind the stumps but changed back to his usual agile self later in the game. He managed to pull off a blinder off Dinesh’s bowling which, alas, was turned down by the umpire. All the other fielders did a good job too.

     Vimal and Viswa opened the batting for the engineers and were going slow and steady. Vimal looked in good touch as he played a spanking straight drive which almost took away RGM’s head with it. But he soon fell for a rash shot, scooping the ball in the gully region. Vijender walked in to replace him. Both the batsmen played some good shots but were unable to find gaps through the packed off side field. And they both fell in succession to some caught behind decisions, which left the engineers at 37 for 3. In walked Raju and Dinesh to replace them. Raju was his usual aggressive self as he hit a big six over over the long leg region, but soon fell to Hasrat trying to smack him over his head(too aggressive maybe).

     Dinesh on the other hand, played magnificently giving no chances to the opposition. He cracked a couple of spanking back foot drives through cover off Shaheen, their premier bowler. Hasrat picked up his 4th wicket in the form of Anurag who had a brief partnership with Dinesh and then 5th on the next ball as he trapped Javed in front of the wicket. In walked Sanjeeb, who along with Dinesh steadied the innings. Together, they piled up 47 runs for the 8th wicket. Dinesh’s wicket was probably the most dramatic and controversial one(believe me there were others). After defending the ball, he got out of the crease to pick up the ball and give it to the keeper, but the keeper purposely outran him and then threw the ball on the stumps, before he could get back. The Nagoyans started appealing and Vijender (Harish Chandra), the leg umpire, had no option but to raise his finger. The decision was correct but was it the correct sportsmanship? Jholi walked in after the whole drama and played sensibly along with Sanjeeb. They both played good shots, aggressive when necessary and took Engineers home.

    The chase may not have been convincing but still a win is a win. Great way to begin this years KCL campaign. P.S. If you don’t like the nicknames you got, I can think of some better ones 🙂

Brief scores: Nagoya 166(29.5 overs). Shahensha Hussain 34, V Vikrant 3/40, S Sahoo 3/28. IECC 169/8 (33 overs). S Sahoo 41*, Hasrat Ali 4/41.   Scorecard

Issue #95 Japanese season warms up

Newsletter


April 10, 2009                                                                                              Issue #95

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Japanese season warms up
  • The fine print
  • Asia & EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • Announcements
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Japanese season warms up

The Japanese season kicked off with friendly matches last month as clubs started preparing for various tournaments ahead of them. Rusty and lazy over winter months, except those who love snow sports, players took advantage of the warm weather in March to get back into the grove and some light exercises. One team even underwent a name change, probably not wanting to limit themselves to a small town. Ichihara Sharks, based in the Ichihara city of Chiba prefecture changed their name to Chiba Sharks. Their new homepage is accessible at http://www.chibasharks.com. Another team, Al Karam, who were rumored to be considering a name change a few months ago, apparently decided continue with the old name.

According to the reports we have here, the following friendly matches took place:
Tokyo Wombats defeated Tokyo Predators
Shizuoka Kytes defeated Paddy Foleys
Chiba Sharks defeated Tokyo Predators
Tokyo Predators defeated Paddy Foleys
Serendob defeated Indian Engineers

The KCL matches took off in the last week of March with Al Karam defeating Gunma and defending champions Tokyo Giants bulldozing Lalazar.

Alkaram: 197/10 in 36.2 overs. Gunma: 158/9 in 35.3 overs.
Lalazar: 156 in 31.4 overs. Tokyo Giants: C.C – 157/5 in 25.3 overs
Gunma: 137. Lalazar: 138/5

KCL results are available here

The Fine Print

During the rain break during final India-NZ Test a reader came with this trivia fact. “The first testicular guard was used in
cricket in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. It took 100 years for men to realise that the brain is also mportant!”
The species has to continue even if produces mad people. The priority is perfectly fine!
###

Mark Greatbatch, the coach of Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor reckons Taylor’s power and his hitting technique could have come from Kilikiti, the Samoan version of cricket. Kilikiti is played with a heavy rubber ball and a long three-sided bat, which makes it difficult to predict
the direction of the hits. Taylor’s mother was from Samoa.

Comment: Some of our readers may recall that this Newsletter had run an article on Kilikit in our 43rd issue, http://www.ieccjapan.com/newsletter/newsletter43.htm, which was later used by Wikipidea as a reference.
###

Niranjan Shah, who was India’s tour manager for the one-day series in New Zealand recently was labelled as a ‘travelling goon’ in the New Zealand media for the veiled threat he issued just before he left New Zealand against using anyone (and more likely Craig McMillan) who has something to do with ICL doing commentary in the India-New Zealand series.

Comment: Hard to disgree with the label.
###

Umpire Steve Bucknor claimed that the BCCI used its financial might to sack him from the Perth Test in 2008.”I have survived for a long time. Had it not been for strong-willed people within the ICC, I might have been out due to negative reactions from certain quarters”, Bucknor said. “So, I was expecting these things to happen because on earth … there are some people who are more equal than others. Because they are more equal, they seem to have more say. And what they say, especially influenced by money, they seem to have their way. So, I’m not too surprised”, he said.

Comment: Mr. Bucknor should perhaps watch this on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R29I2Wh_XOg
###

Australia’s latest batting sensation, opener Phil Hughes, prefers to be called Phillip rather than Phil in print. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this seemed a bizarre request, given Hughes is unshaven, a fan of shorts and thongs, the son of a banana farmer, vertically challenged, and a country bumpkin to the bone.
###

Hitting out at authorities for using cheerleaders in the cricket field to “seduce” crowds, a prominent Hindu political party leader said that the sanctity of cricket has been lost as the promoters have turned the field into a dance bar. “I am a lover of good sports and music. It is the secret of my cheerfulness. I have a special affinity towards cricket. But till now only cricket was played in the field. However, now things are changing with the bringing of cheergirls to seduce the crowd,” Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said. But now one does not know whether people are coming to watch the cricket or to see the cheergirls, he said adding it has degenerated cricket. Thackeray also questioned Maharashtra government’s reluctance to stop, the “naked dance” when farmers in parts of Maharashtra were committing suicides.
###

Sachin Tendulkar is a god to millions of Indians who worship this sport but now his fans apparently have plans to turn him into a real Hindu god. Some of his fans in Delhi have hired artists to create icons of Tendulkar as the Hindu monkey god Hanuman but this Tendulkar god will be holding an MRF bat instead of the mace.
###

The IPL is not just a money spinner for sponsors, players and franchises but also for Government which earned a whooping Rupees 910 million (US$20m) as income tax from first edition of the Twenty20 cricket tournament. The revenue was received by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) after it categorised the tournament under the ‘professional services’ in 2008.
###

Disgraced former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin is rumoured to be standing for election in the upcoming parliamentary elections in India as a candidate of ruling Congress party. The reactions from the public were mixed with one calling him a thug and a man who disgraced cricket.
###

Bruised and shaken by the terror attack in Pakistan, Sri Lankan cricketers are breathing easy after undergoing yoga and meditation taught by Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Kumar Sangakkara, the dynamic and optimistic new captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, said that he felt relaxed and calm after just two sessions of the “Sudarshan Kriya” breathing. It was “a really pleasant experience”, the sports ministry quoted him as saying. “The Sri Lankan cricketers have now found a new direction to be relaxed, calm and still be dynamic and alert,” the ministry said. Vice Captain Muttiah Muralitharan said he felt “a new calmness” after learning the breathing technique, which Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living has taught to millions around the world.
###

South African batsman Ashwell Prince was furious when he was told that his No. 5 position was taken by A. B. de Villiers and Prince will be asked to open the innings against the Aussies. Prince, who was appointed as captain, for the 3rd Test wanted to review the decision but Cricket South Africa quikly put an end to the problem by replacing Prince with Jacques Kallis as captain. The reason for his objection is rumoured to be that one of the openers will be dropped when actual captain Graeme Smith returns and in case Prince failed to score and the debutant Imraan Khan scored runs, Price would have to wait.

Comment: Prince scored 150 in the 1st innings. That is determination for you.
###

Source: Various web and print media

Asia & EAP News

No updates this month..

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of February 28:

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Nagoya (2)
3 YC&AC (3)
4 Al Karam (4)
4 Wyverns (4)
5 Tokyo Wombats (5)
6 Millennium (6)
7 Adore (7)
8 Kansai Lions (8)
9 Indian Engineers (9)
10 Ichihara Sharks (10)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

Announcements

Room to Read Fund raising event

Room to Read, a charity organisation working for the education of underprivileged children in the developing work, is organising a fund
raising event on Friday May 15 at the Academy Hills Library at the Roppongi Hills. This event is geared to raise finds for the organisation’s
chapter in Nepal. John Wood, the founder of Room to Read and Pushkar Shresta, the Country Director for Nepal will be attending the event.

http://www.roomtoread.org/involvement/events/2009/05_15_japan/invitation.html

You may recall that the the Indian Engineers cricket club became a sponsor of “Beers for Books”, a casual networking event that helps raise money for Room to Read. The idea behind the concept is a regular social networking event which will be held in a bar/restaurant in a casual setting. For every drink you order, the bar/restaurant will donate 100yen to Room to Read. One beer = 100yen = 1 local language book for a child in a developing country where Room to Read operates (Nepal, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Zambia). So all you have to do is to drink a beer!

We encourage our readers to attend the events to help promote literacy and education in developing countries. We will be publishing the event details in this Newsletter as well as on our website regularly.

Cricket Club Invitation

Gretchen McQueen from Australia writes:

My father has built a cricket ground just out of Melbourne, Australia, and shares the same passion for the game. I thought that if you
intended to ever tour Australia, that your club would really enjoy playing on the beautiful oval, that has turf wickets, set in the Australian
bush. If you are interested, the website with pictures and news is www.humeandhovell.com.au

They hold coaching camps for junior groups, social cricket games, and the ground is complete with white picket fence and club pavilion with Don Bradman signed bats and so much memorabilia. It is a cricket lovers dream. Contact me at Gretchen.McQueen@lion-nathan.com.au.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Can Australia reclaim its top spot any time soon?
Yes 67%
No 0%
Yes, but will take time 33%

Take the new poll:

Do you think the new T-20 in Japan that carries JPY100,000 as the prize a good idea?
Yes 96%
No 0%
May be 4%

Take the new poll:
India won the Test and ODI series in New Zealand because:
India is strong and emerging / New Zealand was young and inexperienced / This just a one-off success for India

Readers’ Corner

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

The Guardian of the U.K. says how BCCI and ECB who were hardly on speaking terms last year, except when it came to trading barbs and threats
are now throwing themselves face first into the deep end to host the IPL. Read here.

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“I love playing cricket in India, particularly one-day cricket. I’ll miss the crowd.” The 1.5 million dollar baby Andrew Flintoff on IPL being shifted out of India this year.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Ranjith Singhji, after whom India’s top domestic competition, Ranji Trophy, is named, lost his right eye in a hunting accident in 1914.

2. Sunil Gavaskar’s only Test wicket was that of Pakista’s Zaheer Abbas when Abbas was dismissed on 96.

That’s all in this edition!

Issue #94 T-20 in Japan Comes of Age

Newsletter


March 12, 2009                                                                                              Issue #94

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • T-20 in Japan Comes of Age
  • The fine print
  • Asia & EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • U.S. T20 Cricket Tournament
  • IECC becomes supporter of Beers for Books
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

T-20 in Japan Comes of Age

The Kanto Cricket League seems to have found its own Allen Stanford, in terms of sponsorship, that is – let us be clear. In a dramatic announcement, Saqib Khan of Cricket Club of Nagoya proposed to run a Twenty-20 tournament under the auspices of the KCL at the end of the 2009 season that carries a winner-takes-all cash award of JPY 100,000 for the title and various other cash awards for individual performers, all sponsored by C.C of Nagoya. The KCL AGM accepted the proposal unanimously. The tournament is likely to be held at the Shizuoka ground in the months of September and October. The invitation to participate in this unique venture will be limited to the top 8 teams of the KCL tournament.

This is the first time ever in the history of cricket in Japan that a domestic tournament carries a cash prize. It may be recalled that KCL ventured into an unsuccessful T20 competition in 2007 with a grand scheme of making it into an all Japan competition but it fizzled out due to Tokyo based teams’ unwillingness to travel to grounds as far as Shizuoka for a 20 over match. Khan was the main driver behind that tournament and had invested considerable time to draw the plan and schedule. Although a few games were played, KCL eventually abandoned the idea when the reality struck and concentrated on the ODI version in 2008.

Given the unsucssful foray into T20 two years ago, it takes a certain level of chutzpah to organise such an event but Khan was not to give up. He decided to run the tournament on his own, a.k.a Allen Stanford, with the blessings of the KCL to make his pet project a reality and in the course writing an important chapter in Japanese cricket history. Undoubtedly, this is something the Japanese cricket has not seen before. Many  people loathe the concept when money is mentioned in amateur cricket countries. True, money can turn one nasty and ugly but at the same time it is difficult to attract publicity and interest without monetary benefits. We have seen what T20 can do in many countries, especially in India, with its official IPL and its rival ICL, and the now defunct Stanford series between England and the West Indies.

Any tournament that involves cash has high stakes and requires meticulous planning, especially when it comes to umpiring, where professional umpires are scarce and players often have grouses about umpiring decisions. However, Shizuoka being home to two of Japan’s international umpires, this may turn out to be a non-issue. We hope that this is the beginning of a different level of cricket in Japan and evolve into something that attracts the attention of the media, overseas players and teams thus help spread the awareness of the game in Japan.

KCL Adopts a mission statement

The KCL 2009 AGM held on Sunday February 15 adopted a mission statement for KCL for the first time. One of the important points in its stated mission is expansion of cricket in Japan both, in the foreign and local communities.

Mission Statement:
“The Kanto Cricket League (KCL), now in its 15th year and 3rd year in its present format, exists to provide the opportunity for all cricketers in the Kanto and neighbouring areas, regardless of their age, ability or nationality to play competitive cricket. The KCL places great importance on the playing of cricket in the proper spirit and in a friendly manner and with strict adherence to the laws of cricket.
The KCL is also committed to the expansion of cricket in Japan, both in the foreign and local communities, and the sourcing of new cricket grounds and training facilities. The KCL wishes to maintain and improve its relationships with other cricketing organisations inside and outside Japan, and to expand itsactivities accordingly.”

The AGM also decided to divide the KCL Consitution into two parts – Constitution and Match Rules with the Match Rules subject to be changed periodically. The constitution and match rules can be downloaded from http://www.ieccjapan.com/kantocup.htm. The AGM also elected the following people as the new Committee members for 2009:

Bobby Philips
Mumtaz Alam
Tony Fordyce
Robert Gilles-Martineau
T.J Udayaraj
Saqib Khan
Javed Niazi

The Fine Print

Arjuna Ranatunga revealed that he never appeared in commercial advertisements because of his mother’s advise not to sell his talent and face for anything.
###

Playing at Lord’s is the dream of many, but the privilege of a few. However, a new breakthrough could perhaps help you create the feel of “the home of cricket” in your own backyard. Or even splash it on yourself before your next club match. Perfumers at Procter & Gamble have captured the essence of Lord’s, according to the New Scientist. A technology called headspace analysis was used to take in the odours of freshly cut grass, cricket bats, laundered cricket kit and the players’ changing room (minus the players, thankfully), and these will be used as the starting point for a fragrance. “Perfumers need inspiration, and this can come from people that surround them, places they’ve visited, or things that they love in the world,” said Will Andrews of P&G.
###

Veggie lovers voted Indian pace bowler Sreesanth the Sexiest Indian Vegetarian Alive, along with Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor, in PETA India’s annual online poll. The website describes him thus: “as easy on the eyes as he is hard on his opponents. “A young and exuberant player who has got the moves on the pitch and on the dance floor, it’s no wonder that ‘The Prince of hat-tricks’ has been crowned our king of veggie Valentinos!”.
###

Tourism Auckland has invited Mahendra Singh Dhoni to bungee jump off the Harbour Bridge as a way to “see the city in all its glory”. Graeme Osborne, Tourism Auckland’s chief executive, said he wanted the Indian players to “experience the best of what Auckland has to offer” when they tour the city for a one-day game in March. The BCCI has, however, included bungee jumping among the activities that are banned for the players while they tour New Zealand.
###

The Indian team that arrived New Zealand last month was furious when they found out that there were no one to carry their luggage.

Comment: Spoiled brats.
###

Britain’s schools secretary, Ed Balls, waxed lyrical about the game’s ability to cure many of the nation’s education defects. He said that cricket helps develop skills such as managing statistics and working out sums under pressure, could boost children’s grasp of science, and help their maths skills. It is also an aid to history when studying the Commonwealth. “Cricket is one of the most popular school sports and I’m convinced it can have benefits across the curriculum too. Cricket is often called an art and a science. It’s time for schools to demonstrate that”, he said.
###

A former chief operating officer of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Shafqat Naghmi, is sueing PCB chairman Ijaz Butt for damages worth one Pakistan rupee (approximately US$0.012581). Naghmi is taking Butt and other officials to court for levelling charges of financial mismanagement against him. “I will claim a public apology from them and one rupee in damages to show these people what I think they are worth”, Naghmi said.
###

A researcher from the Australian National University’s department of English and theatre is to be believed, a poem written in 1553, attributed to John Skelton, refers to Flemish weavers, who settled in southern and eastern England in the 14th century, as “kings of crekettes”, effectively disputing the widely held belief that cricket originated in England.

Comment: England’s claims up in the smoke?
###

After watching the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, Allan Border thinks it’s possible for underprivileged kids to improve their lives through cricket. Coaching children rescued through an anti-child labour campaign in Mumbai, Border said he’d like to see a “Slumdog cricketer” come through the ranks. “When you come as a cricketer you stay in five-star hotels and get looked after incredibly well and play at great stadiums. On those trips you don’t see the real India but through these programmes you get to see the real India or a different side of India. It’s different from where we come from”
###

The Hindustan Times reported that a helicopter pilot landed his chopper in the middle of a Ranji Trophy one-day match between Punjab and Services at the Indira Stadium in Una, Himachal Pradesh. The pilot apparently mistook the letter ‘H’ painted in the corner of the ground for landing pad and a fire near the ground for smoke signals. The ‘H’ actually stood for the name of the home team, Himachal Pradesh.

Comment: Will anyone want to fly if they find the same pilot in the cockpit again?
###

Source: Various web and print media

Asia & EAP News

Cricket in next year’s South Asian Games

Cricket will be included in next year’s South Asian Games to be staged in Dhaka, a regional Olympic official said. “India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have already agreed to participate in cricket,” Kutubuddin Ahmed, secretary-general of the Bangladesh Olympic Association, told Reuters after a meeting in Kathmandu last month. A Twenty20 competition at under-21 level would feature in the games for the
eight-nation grouping, to be staged from Jan. 29 to Feb.9 next year, he added.

Australia and New Zealand to host 4 EAP women cricketers

Cricket Australia (CA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC), in conjunction with the International Cricket Council (ICC) East Asia Pacific (EAP) Development Programme, have awarded 4 women cricketers from the EAP region the opportunity to be part of their respective ICC Women’s World Cup 2009 preparations. As part of an initiative to help with the development of the most talented EAP women cricketers, the selected players’ involvement will include attending and participating in training sessions, team meetings, recovery sessions as well as watching the clash between Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand Cricket will host the two Japanese players selected, Shizuka Kubota and Ema Kuribayashi. Kubota is a right hand number 4 batsman (batswoman?) and first change medium pace bowler. She is the Captain of L-Wyverns Cricket Club and represented Japan at the ICC EAP Women’s Cricket Challenge in 2006 in Papua New Guinea. Kuribayashi is a left handed top order batsman and right arm off-spinner and plays with the L-Wyverns Cricket Club. Ema is currently playing with the East Christchurch Shirley Cricket Club in New Zealand, where her highest score so far is 39 and her best bowling figures are 3 wickets for 28 runs. Ema averaged 50 in the ICC EAP Women’s Cricket Challenge held in Port Moresby, PNG in 2006.

U.S. T20 Cricket Tournament

Announcement from Cricket Council USA:
Cricket Council USA is poised to make Cricket history by staging the largest and richest 20/20 Cricket Tournament in North America. The name of the Tournament is THE US T20 CRICKET TOURNAMENT ’09.

A total of 48 Cricket Clubs will be competing for $100,000.00 in prize money that will be awarded to the winning Club. The Tournament will be played on April 5-12, 2009 in South Florida, USA . Eight Cricket fields will be utilized during the Tournament. The Semi finals and the Final will be played at the first ever Cricket Stadium in North America located in the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill , Florida . The other matches will be played in the cities of Miramar , Cooper City , Lauderhill and Cricket Council USA’s beautiful Cricket Field in Delray Beach.

Cricket Clubs that have already registered for the Tournament are coming from throughout the United States, Canada, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), US Virgin Islands, West Indies and Sweden.

The US T20 Cricket Tournament ’09 promises to be a wonderful CRICKET FESTIVAL with nearly one thousand Cricketers participating and thousands of Cricket fans cheering their favorite Clubs and Cricket players. You and your Organization are cordially invited to participate in the Tournament. Please refer to our website: www.cricketcouncilusa.com

IECC becomes supporter of Beer for Books

The Indian Engineers cricket club became a sponsor of Beers for Books – not that we are hard drinkers – a novel concept conceived by Gary Bremermann, an active networker and senior recruiter with Robert Leonard Consulting, Tokyo, to support the charity NPO, Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org). The idea behind the concept is a regular social networking event which will be held in a bar/restaurant in a casual setting. For every drink you order, the bar/restaurant will donate 100yen to Room to Read. One beer = 100yen = 1 local language book for a child in a developing country where Room to Read operates (Nepal, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Zambia). So all you have to do is to drink a beer!

We encourage our readers to attend the events to help promote literacy and education in developing coutries. We will be publishing the event details in this Newsletter as well as on our website regularly.

The Room to Read (http://www.roomtoread.org/) was founded in 1998 by John Wood, a former Microsoft executive. It was founded on the belief that “World Change Starts with Educated Children” – and that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Through their charity organisation, they provide access to education to children in countries with a desperate lack of resources to educate their children such as Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, South Africa, and Zambia. A complete history of the NPO’s birth is available at http://www.roomtoread.org/about/history.html. Room to Read is a 4-star rated (the highest) organization according the www.charitynavigator.org.

Event Announcement

The next Beers for Books event will be held at Nirvana New York, Tokyo Midtown, on March 18, 2009 from 7pm to 10pm. Come, enjoy a sumptuous Indian buffet and learn about the just-launched Beers for Books concept in support of Room to Read’s local language program focused on childhood literacy.

Cost is 5000 yen for a full buffet and two drinks included. For every beverage consumed 100yen will be donated to Room to Read, buying one book for children in India.

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of February 28:

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Nagoya (2)
3 YC&AC (3)
4 Al Karam (4)
4 Wyverns (4)
5 Tokyo Wombats (5)
6 Millennium (6)
7 Adore (7)
8 Kansai Lions (8)
9 Indian Engineers (9)
10 Ichihara Sharks (10)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Can Australia reclaim its top spot any time soon?
Yes 67%
No 0%
Yes, but will take time 33%

Take the new poll:

Do you think the new T-20 in Japan that carries JPY100,000 as the prize a good idea?

Visit our home page today to vote!

Readers’ Corner

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

A catch that probably won the match for Australia against New Zealand in the recent T-20 match

Aussie Vice Captain Michael Clark’s Sydney residence

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“My son is not for sale.” – Arjuna Ranatunga’s mother to a tea company who offered 250,000 rupees for an ad contract with Ranatunga after his debut in Test cricket at the age of 18. Incidentally, his match fees for the Test was 250 rupees.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Sunil Gavaskar’s only Test wicket was that of Pakista’s Zaheer Abbas when Abbas was dismissed on 96.

2. Four players served as captains of India in the 1958-59 home series against the West Indies.

That’s all in this edition!

Issue #93 Australia staying alive ?

Newsletter


February 12, 2009                                                                                              Issue #93

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Australia staying alive ?
  • The fine print
  • Asia & EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Australia staying alive ?

Op Ed:

After Australia won the third ODI against New Zealand in the ongoing Chappell-Hadlee series, which New Zealand lead 2-1 at that time, a headline in Cricinfo website declared, “Australia staying alive with a 31 run victory”. Australia staying alive? When was the last time you read something like that? Whether intentional or not by Cricinfo, the headline was a telling statement of Australia’s current state. Once a team that bulldozed their opponents by their body language which bordered arrogance that matched their on-field performance, they were outclassed in the first two matches by their trans-Tasmanian rivals whom, of all countries, they hate to lose. Last time the two met in New Zealand, the hosts blew away the visitors 4-0. Australia do not lose to New Zealand very often, but whenever they do, the Kiwis will keep reminding the Aussies of that for a long time. As the teams head to the title clash soon, the writing is clear on the wall. Australia is no longer the team that they were. Australia has the bench strength, or so we were told. The bench strength was tested occasionally when one or two main players were rested in a dead rubber and Australia still won. Perhaps no one noticed or rather ignored the fact that even when the bench was tested, they still had one or two stalwarts playing, who could turn a match in their favour on their own. But with the likes of McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist and Hayden gone within months of each other and Symonds in disarray the bench came croppers. Australia needs to rebuild their team and it is going to be a long and winding process, the sort of which the West Indies has been going through for a decade now. For the West Indies though, the administration is in shambles most of the time, proximity to America and American sports, especially Basketball, lured many youngsters away from cricket and the board is almost broke until Allen Stanford came. Although the West Indies show signs of resurgence, it will be a while before we see someone bowls like Malcolm Marshall or Courtney Walsh or Curtly Ambros did.

Fortunately for Australia, they have a better administration and some good systems in place as compared to the West Indies and the recovery should be quicker but the series loss to South Africa has made a dent in their pride and the Kiwis just exploited that. Resting of skipper Ricky Ponting for two matches and then changing that decision in 24 hours to rest him only for one match clearly showed that the Aussie establishment is under tremendous pressure, if not panicking. Australian vice captain, Michael Clarke, said that it is “unthinkable” losing the series to New Zealand but New Zealand’s Kyle Mills aptly summed up Australia’s current state when he said “A year ago I was bowling to Gilchrist and Hayden and today I’m bowling to Warner and Marsh”. Well, it shows, doesn’t it?

With South Africa and India racing for he top spot, Australia for a change is playing the catch up game. The good news is that it is not a one horse race any more..

The Fine Print

The Hawaii Premier League (HPL) was successfully launched as Hawaii’s first Twenty20 competition in October last year. The league is scheduled to hold tournaments twice a year each November and May. The first three teams were comprised of all-star cricket players from Oahu and Maui. The tournament has plans to expand to include mainland cricket teams in 2009 before expanding further to include international teams from Asia and Oceania. The plan is to expand the Hawaii Premier League into an international competition, in a tournament structure beginning in May 2010.
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With South Africa bridging the gap with Australia and India breathing down the neck of both the sides, Test cricket is in the pink of its health, believes ICC President David Morgan. “The result of the series in Australia has set things up beautifully for the return encounter in South Africa starting in late February, with the winners topping the Reliance Mobile Test Championship table,” Morgan said.”And with India hard on the heels of those two sides we have entered an era of exciting competition at the elite level, something that has to be a great thing for our great sport,” gushed the ICC chief.
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Australian cricket columnist Peter Roebuck said that Kevin Pietersen let England down as he failed to act responsibly but coach Peter Moores was no better and lacked the spark to excel. “Kevin Pietersen has let down his adopted country. Given the honour of captaining the England cricket team, he failed to act responsibly. Instead, he tried to impose himself, using his power as a match-winning batsman and appointed leader to remove a lacklustre coach and install his own staff,” Roebuck said.
###

Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif narrowly escaped a two-year jail term in Dubai after Pakistan Board pleaded with the ruling family there to spare him in last year’s drug possession case but the pacer is still saddled with an astronomical bill of 6.3 million rupees.
###

In a live poll conducted on TV during the second Test between Australia and South Africa, more than 70 per cent said ‘yes’ to the question “Should Warne run for prime minister?”, with the current Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in the commentary box, along with Shane Warne himself. “Mate, it’s all in the wrist action,” said Rudd when Warne said he didn’t know how to do it.
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Former opener Adam Gilchrist has urged Australia’s newest batting sensation David Warner to stay calm and remain unfazed by the burden of expectations to retain the explosive form he showed on debut. Gilchrist said Warner should not think about his first knock when he steps on the field next time.
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Indian Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh credited the Indian cricket team’s meteoric rise in stature to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s positive captaincy and coach Gary Kirsten’s calming influence on the dressing room. “You can see the results of the positive attitude of our captain. The Indian team won almost all tournaments last year under Dhoni’s captaincy,” Harbhajan said.
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Bollywood super star Aamir Khan, who produced a superhit Hindi movie, Lagaan, based on cricket as a central theme several years will soon start working another cricket-based film as soon as he finishes his current assignment “3 Idiots”. The movie, titled ‘Ferrari Ki Sawaari’, has cricket as the central subject. The movies is about a young boy who gets attracted to a cricketer’s Ferrari car coincidentally, Sachin Tendulkar owns a Ferrari) and dreams of playing cricket in reality. Khan is a very selective actor and Perfectionist and normally acts and/or produces one movie in a year.
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A musical about Shane Warne named “Shane Warne — The Musical”, scripted by an Australian comedian Eddie Perfect has been a smash hit since it opened in Warne’s hometown of Melbourne last month, drawing in a blokey audience of sports lovers who Perfect says would not normally be seen dead at a musical. Chants of “Warney,  Warney” regularly erupt in the normally sedate Athenaeum Theatre as the crowd watch musical numbers such as “What an SMS I’m In” documenting the ups and downs of the legendary spinner’s career. “We’re getting guys dragging their girlfriends to the theatre, which is the opposite of how it usually works,” Perfect said. Warne himself initially lashed out at the unauthorised musical, fearful about how his ex-wife Simone and mother Brigitte would be portrayed. But he gave it his stamp of approval after seeing it in December, admitting that he squirmed uncomfortably as some of his past controversies were re-enacted on the stage.
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Retired Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden is exploring ways to work for the Aboriginal cricket programme and he has discussed it with none other than Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. “I want to be part of what I think can happen soon, and that is for the first indigenous Australian to wear the baggy green,” Hayden said.
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Former England cricketer Mark Butcher tipped Stuart Broad to make the breakthrough and establish himself as a senior England cricketer in time for the Ashes provided he seizes his chance during the tour of the West Indies. Butcher said the 22-year-old Nottinghamshire fast bowler could become a force to be reckoned with in the international game if he lives up to his potential with the bat.
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Source: Various web and print media

Asia & EAP News

Two umpires from Japan nominated to EAP Umpires Panel

The ICC EAP office has nominated Japan’s Neil Harrison and Anton McCloy to 2009 EAP Umpires’ Panel following a review of the EAP Umpires Panel (UP) and Supplementary Umpires Panel (SUP) while Chris Thurgate of Japan was nominated to the 2009 Supplementary Umpires Panel. The stated objectives of the EAP UP and SUP are to Acknowledge the importance of umpiring in the cricket development process, recognise the performance of leading umpires in EAP countries and increase the standard of umpiring at EAP tournaments.

You may recall that the same men were part of the same panel as they are now in 2008 too. ICC EAP provides a suite of training resources to assist EAP UP and SUP members with the delivery of Introduction and Level 1 Umpiring Courses..

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of January 31:

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Nagoya (2)
3 YC&AC (3)
4 Al Karam (4)
4 Wyverns (4)
5 Tokyo Wombats (5)
6 Millennium (6)
7 Adore (7)
8 Kansai Lions (8)
9 Indian Engineers (9)
10 Ichihara Sharks (10)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Is it time for Matthew Hayden to retire? (we ran this poll before Hayden declared his retirement!)
Yes       60%
No         40%
May be  0%

Take the new poll:

Can Australia reclaim its top spot any time soon?

Visit our home page today to vote!

Readers’ Corner

Prasad Pooppully
++

As a regular reader of your newsletter I was disappointed to see the new rankings. Before I considered them to be a relatively accurate
reflection of the relative merits of teams across Japan….now they are inveterate nonsense. Any particular reason for this? Nagoya at two? Have you played them? I’m not so bothered but you should try to maintain some standards.

David Todd
++

Editor** When we cleaned up the old season data, we indeed noticed that some team’s position changed drastically such as Millennium jumped to 6th place from 19th and Adore to 8th from 20th. So we had a closer look at why it happened and found out that these teams had a better win ratio when we add the bonus points. For e.g., Nagoya had a total of 9.5 bonus points, the most of all teams, followed by Giants with 8. Nagoya got such a huge points when in one of their matches they beat a team which 22 places above them, so they got 5 points(22×0.25) in one match alone plus they qualified for the semi and final of Pacific Cup and got 4 points. In the case of Giants and YC&AC, their chance of earning bonus points are by qualifying for the finals of tournaments so both earned 2 points each for the KCL semi final and final. This is how it works.

One correction we have done this month is that any team that has not played at least 3 matches in a season will be automatically taken out of the ranking calculation and will be placed at the bottom. They will come into the reckoning when the total number of matches they played in the previous year and current year reaches 5. As a result, for e.g., Serendip, which played only 2 matches last year and was ranked 7 last month has been moved to the 20th rank. They will be reconsidered for ranking after they played their 3rd match this season. This way we believe some unevenness can be eliminated.

We do not claim that this is a faultless system of ranking but we are always working hard to make it as closer to accurate as we can. Your comments are always welcome.

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

No entries this month.

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“Show the aggro” – Former Australian pacer Glen McGrath to the current Australian players.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Four players served as captains of India in the 1958-59 home series against the West Indies.

2. In 1985-86 series India’s Kapil Dev was denied a glass of water by Allan Border after a shot of his killed a seagull.

That’s all in this edition!

Issue #92 Happy New Year

Newsletter


January 8, 2009                                                                                              Issue #92

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Happy New Year
  • The Fine Print
  • Asia & EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • IECC Poll results
  • US T20 Cricket Tournament
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Happy New Year

We wish our readers a very Happy New Year and an exciting and competitive season in 2009.

This Newsletter will celebrate the 100th issue this year. We are thankful for the support and continued feedback our readers provide, without which we could not have survived. Currently we have more than 300 subscribers and plenty of online readers. Your continued feedback and opinion are always welcome.

Kansai cricket:

Despite our best efforts we are unable to contact Kansai cricket to know the results down there, so any of the readers have any links to Kansai cricket, please contact us so that we can update the rest.

The Fine Print

Noting that Ricky Ponting was still setting fields to suit retired legends Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, former South African batting great Barry Richards advised the Australian captain to ‘dramatically change’ his thinking on placements for the current lot. “His thinking is still about setting fields for McGrath and Warne and he has not got the cattle to do that,” Richards said.
###

England skipper Kevin Pietersen has rubbed salt on Ricky Ponting’s wounds, claiming that Australia’s drubbing at the hands of South Africa in the first Test in Perth brought a smile in his face. “When I was batting I saw on the scoreboard South Africa had won – and it made me chuckle a little bit,” he was quoted as saying in ‘The Sun’.

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To facilitate his travel to China as a cricket ambassador,Pakistan Interior Ministry has decided to issue a blue diplomatic passport to newly-appointed Cricket Board Director-General Javed Miandad. “Miandad is a big name and respected figure in Pakistan and his role as cricket ambassador to China will help further cement ties between both the countries,” an interior ministry official said.
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In a unique response to terror attacks on the Chabad Centre in Mumbai, three businessmen from Los Angeles have decided to donate USD 125,000 to enable a Jewish cricket team from India to participate in the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel which attracts Jewish athletes from all over the world, a media report said. “This is our answer to the murderous rampage against Indian and Israeli citizens,” Steve Soboroff, founder of the ‘Committee of 18’ to support and publicise the Maccabiah games was quoted by ‘The Jewish Journal’ as saying. In addition to cricket, consisting mainly of 18-year-old players, Indian athletes will also compete in badminton and table tennis at the games. The games open on July 13 next year. The Committee of 18 consists of people from Los Angeles who are leaders in entertainment, media, marketing and business fields.
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The war-torn Afghanistan, known across the globe for its mujahideen, will move a step closer to qualifying for the 2011 Cricket World Cup when they fly out to Argentina this month, where first or second place in the International Cricket Council league and division three brings qualification for the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa in April. “I think, God willing, we stand a good chance,” Allah Dad Noore, the President of the country’s cricket federation and the father of Afghan cricket, was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph of U.K. Cricket was brought to Afghanistan by returning refugees from Pakistan from the Russian occupation two decades ago. The ruling Taliban at that time refused to accept cricket as a national game but relented after a senior Taliban official visited a provincial tournament and saw the support for the game. Cricket matches now command large crowds and Jalalabad city alone has 66 clubs.
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The Guardian newspaper’s ‘World Test XI of the Year’ (2008) did not include a single Australian. “This is brilliant; we do not really know which is the best team in the world. For a decade, it has been Australia and there has been nothing to argue about. Now there are three contenders as India and South Africa challenge Australia’s supremacy,” said former England all-rounder Vic Marks, who prepared the list. Vic Marks’ select XI contained six Indians, three South Africans and two Englishmen – Grame Smith (c), Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Sachin Tendulkar, A B De Villiers, Andrew Flintoff, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Dale Steyn.
###

Kevin Pietersen’s relationship with England coach Peter Moores was doomed from the very start as the skipper respects only South African coaches or those who have been world class players, claims his former county team Nottinghamshire’s Director of Cricket Mick Newell.

“Ideally for Kevin, the coach would be South African or someone who was once a world-class cricketer,” Newell told ‘Sportsmail’.
###

Source: Various web and print media

Asia & EAP News

Thailand to host ACC Trophy Challenge 2009

Starting from the 12th of January, Thailand will once again be buzzing with cricket as Chiang Mai plays host to the inaugural ACC Trophy
Challenge. Last year for the first time ACC decided to host the seventh edition of the ACC Trophy in two legs. The first leg (ACC Trophy Elite) held recently in Malaysia saw both Saudi Arabia and Qatar being relegated to the Challenge level thereby making room for the promotion of the ACC Trophy Challenge finalist. The eight teams will be split into two groups of four for the initial round robin stage, with the top two teams from each group proceeding to the semi finals. Oman starts the tournament as favorites with Bhutan, Maldives and Thailand vying for the cup.
Group ‘A’: Oman, Bhutan, Brunei, Myanmar
Group ‘B’: Thailand, Maldives, Iran, China
.

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of December 31:

Before you raise your eyebrows, let us tell you that the Rating table has been re-ranked. Basically, beginning of every year we remove the data that is two years old. So in this case we removed the data of 2007 season and the current ranking is now based on 2008 results only. As the season 2009 progresses, the results get added and in January 2010, the 2008 data will get dropped and so on. This is to remove undue weightage on the historical data and make the ranking based more on the current status/strength of each club.

So after removing the 2007 data, we got some interesting results such as Nagoya jumping to the second place and Millennium to 6th place from way down 19th. This happens mostly because of the ratio of their win as well as the bonus points a team accumulates by defeating a higher ranked team or qualifying the knockout stages of any tournament that involves more than three teams. The point system as well the each team’s total points are available at http://www.ieccjapan.com/jcrating.xml

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Nagoya (8)
3 YC&AC (2)
4 Al Karam (6)
4 Wyverns (7)
5 Tokyo Wombats (3)
6 Millennium (19)
7 Serendip (4)
8 Adore (20)
9 Kansai Lions (14)
10 Indian Engineers (16)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

US T20 Cricket Tournament

Letter from Jeff Miller, Executive Vice President of Operations:

Cricket Council USA is poised to make Cricket history by staging the largest and richest 20/20 Cricket Tournament in North America. The  name of the Tournament is THE US T20 CRICKET TOURNAMENT ’09. A total of 48 Cricket Clubs will be competing for $100,000.00 in prize money that will be awarded to the winning Club. The Tournament will be played on April 5-12, 2009 in South Florida, USA. Eight Cricket fields will be utilized during the Tournament. The Semi finals and the Final will be played at the first ever Cricket Stadium in North America located in the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida. The other matches will be played in the cities of Miramar, Cooper City, Lauderhill and Cricket Council USA’s beautiful Cricket Field in Delray Beach.

Cricket Clubs that have already registered for the Tournament are coming from throughout the United States, Canada, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), US Virgin Islands, West Indies and Sweden. The US T20 Cricket Tournament ’09 promises to be a wonderful CRICKET FESTIVAL with nearly one thousand Cricketers participating and thousands of Cricket fans cheering their favorite Clubs and Cricket players. You and your Organization are cordially invited to participate in the Tournament. Please refer to our website: www.cricketcouncilusa.com

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

After the battering by Australia, how will New Zealand fare against the West Indies at the home series?

New Zealand will win 75%
New Zealand will lose 25%
Can’t say 0%

Take the new poll:

Is it time for Matthew Hayden to retire?

Visit our home page today to vote!

Readers’ Corner

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

Sachin Tendulkar’s first interview (19 January 1989)

Brett Lee on “Rendezvous with Simi Garewal” (Indian TV Show)

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“Umpiring is all about seeing the ball and hearing the ball” – Umpire Billy Bowden.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. In 1985-86 series India’s Kapil Dev was denied a glass of water by Allan Border after a shot of his killed a seagull.

2. Former Indian ‘keeper Dilawan Hussain became one of the founding members of PCB.

That’s all in this edition!

Issue #91 Party Season!

Newsletter


December 11, 2008                                                                                              Issue #91

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Party Season!
  • The Fine Print
  • Pacific Friendship Cup result
  • ICC EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Party Season!

As far as we know, the last match of the season was played between the Shizuoka Kytes and Indian Engineers on November 30, which was followed by an on the ground BBQ. The Engineers won this match and dedicated their victory to the Mumbai terror victims.

In Japan, December is the month of bonenkai (farewell to the year) parties and for the cricket clubs, it is the annual party and award time. We have learned that many clubs have already held their annual parties, and our very own party is being slated to be held this Saturday. Usually, these parties include various awards for achievers of the season just ended and new resolutions for the members for the season ahead. Most clubs publish the award winners’ list on their websites. Happy surfing!

The Fine Print

Edison, a small city in New Jersey, USA offered land to the BCCI if it wants to build a cricket stadium there. About One third of the population of Edison is Indians and is home to five cricket clubs. Jun H Choi, the mayor, made the offer to BCCI vice president Rajeev Shukla, who was in New York as part of the official Indian delegation to the United Nations.
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The BCCI reacted strongly to Matthew Hayden’s comment about India being a ‘Third World’ country, saying such a remark was totally uncalled for from a player of Hayden’s stature. Hayden had said that poor ground conditions and inordinate delays during the matches that happen in Third World countries were behind Australia’s slow run rate in the 4th Test at Nagpur, which Australia lost.
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Reacting to Matthew Hayden’s comment, Wasim Akram said the Aussies were “sore losers” and get personal when they get beaten. Akram said that Hayden should have known that Indiawas now hundred years ahead of Australia “which is no more than a village”. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit back at the Australian opener saying the Aussies are always slow in going through their overs, no matter which part of the world they play.
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Sydney Morning Herald reported that a majority of cricket fans don’t know why Andrew Symonds was sacked by his teammates. Although the official reason given was he missing the team meeting, according to Herald, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland suggested that there were a lot of other issues.
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West Indies head coach John Dyson has criticised the standard of their domestic game after Pakistan completed a 3-0 whitewash of the one-day series in Abu Dhabi. Dyson watched as West Indies let strong positions slip in all three matches and told the media afterwards that he doesn’t think the inter-island tournaments in the Caribbean are producing players ready for international level.
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CricInfo reports that Cricket Zimbabwe have declined a tour by Kenya this month, on the basis that there is no room in their programme for it – despite there being no international fixtures scheduled for the month. It now looks like the tour may take place towards the end of January, ahead of a Kenyan trip to South Africa and between Zim’s FTP tours of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
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More than 10 years after saying that Sachin Tendulkar gave him nightmares, Australian spin legend Shane Warne now claims that he was never scared of the Indian batting maestro and his 1998 remarks were “no gospel”. “I think I might have said ‘I’m going to have a few nightmares tonight’ once and some journalists took it as gospel, but I was never frightened of anyone. And that’s not me being big-headed, I was just confident in my ability”, Warne said.
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The Dubai-based TEN Sports (Taj Entertainment Network) on Sunday signed a television rights deal with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) worth US$140.5 million for the next five years. But the deal will irk the BCCI because 60 percent share stake in TEN Sports is owned by Zee Television, which runs the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL).
###

England paceman Steve Harmison has stepped up the pressure on the England cricket board to allow players to sign for the Indian Premier League saying Indians have benefited from the Twenty20 event which was apparent in their domination of his side in the ODI series so far
###

Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh has a word of advice for all-rounder Andrew Symonds, who was involved in a bar brawl, to change his demeanour towards the public in order to avert such controversies which has been chasing the cricketer in recent times. “Most of the time the easier option is to give the person their autograph or have the picture taken. It takes longer to say no than just to oblige with a fan’s request – as long as the person is respectful,” Waugh said.
###

Ricky Ponting’s over-rate woes have cost the Australian cricket team a hefty 130,000 dollars in fines so far. Investigations conducted by the ‘Daily Telegraph’ found that the skipper himself has had to cough up 23,200 dollars to the International Cricket Council after getting fined in five of the 16 Tests that he has played following Warne’s retirement. Ponting now is level with South Africa’s Graeme Smith as the most penalised captain (15) since 2003.
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Comment: Some grapes are sour 🙂
###

Security around cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar was stepped up following Maharashtra Police receiving reports from Central agencies of a threat to him from Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. However, intelligence sources in Delhi said they had not received any fresh input about any threat to Tendulkar other than in 2002.
###

A day after creating a scare claiming there was a terror threat to batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, Nagpur Police did a complete U-turn saying there is ‘no specific threat’ to any individual player and there is ‘no threat input’.
###

Pakistan cricket authorities were shocked when they learnt from Yousuf’s wife that Mohammad Yousuf left for New Delhi to play in the Indian Cricket League, jeopardising his international career even as he was named in the national squad for series against the West Indies. “His leaving like this for India and confirmation he is going to play in the ICL has come as a shock to us,” PCB’s Director Cricket Operations Zakir Khan said. PCB has witnessed a series of defections to ICL in the recent years.
###

Source: Various web and print media

Pacific Friendship Cup Results

Tokyo Giants defeated Nagoya to claim the Pacific Friendship Cup, to make it two titles in a year. The final was played on November 9. Batting  first, the Giants scored 206/9 in 25 overs with the first wicket pair laying a solid foundation of 140 runs between Waqar Khan and Ashiq Hussain. In reply, Nagoya were bowled out for 164 in 24 overs. The Giants, thus, are automatically included in the tournament next year (we feel that with the way the Giants play their cricket, they are probably here to stay for a long time in the PFC!).

The PFC was originally started in 2000 and underwent various format changes over the years. In 2008 it was expanded to 8 teams, in a straight knockout format as if the teams are playing the quarter finals. According to the tournament rules, the founders and the winner of each year are automatically included in the tournament and other teams take part by invitation.

By expanding the tournament to include eight teams, the organisers hoped to bridge the gap created by the division of the old KCL into two leagues, which had the unfortunate result that many teams, including some of the best in the country, no longer meet in a structured competition.

For more details and history of PFC, go to http://www.ieccjapan.com/pacificcup.htm

Another link: http://goldenbat.wordpress.com/.

ICC EAP News

EAP Representative Squad announced

The EAP squad for the Australian Country Cricket Championships to be held in the Barossa Valley, South Australia in January 2009 was announced recently, which includes Masaomi Kobayashi of Japan.

The other members of the squad are:
Rarua Dikana (Capt. PNG), Andrew Mansale (Vice-Capt. Vanuatu), Josaia Baba (Fiji), Raymond Haoda Jnr (PNG), , Trevor Langa (Vanuatu), Simione Latu (Tonga), Sakaria Lomani (Fiji), Mahuru Dai (PNG), Ipi Morea (PNG), Vani Vagi Morea (PNG), John Ovia (PNG), Kila Pala (PNG), Assad Vala (PNG). The team will play a series of matches against the regional cricketers throughout Australia.

ICC expands World Cricket League

The ICC has agreed in principle to the launch of Divisions 6 and 7 of the World Cricket League, with the inaugural Division 6 tournament taking place in May/June 2009 in Guernsey and the Division 7 event in September in Singapore. Japan has been placed in Division 7.

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

YC&AC leaped into the second place riding on the back of an impressive performance this year that culminated in they reaching the final of the KCL. Tokyo Wombats are giving the YC&AC a good chase, having been behind them by fractions.

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 YC&AC (4)
3 Tokyo Wombats (5)
4 Serendip (5)
5 Kansai Fighters (6)
6 Al Karam (7)
7 Wyverns (8)
8 Nagoya
9 MAX (9)
10 Friends (10)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Virender Sehwag predicted India-Australia series as 3-1 in India’s favour. What is your take?

India will win                  91%
England will win             9%
Can’t say, will be close   0%

Take the new poll:

After the battering by Australia, how will New Zealand fare against the West Indies at the home series?
New Zealand will win
New Zealand will lose
Can’t say

Visit our home page today to vote!

Readers’ Corner

Thank you for a nice little mention about Indian Tigers in the IECC Newsletter #90.

Udaya Raj
Indian Tigers CC

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“Look at the scoreboard. You won’t see it again”, MS Dhoni to Rahul Dravid on seeing Australia struggling 22/0 after 13 overs in the 2nd Test at Mohali, an unusual start for the Aussies.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Former Indian ‘keeper Dilawan Hussain became one of the founding members of PCB

2. Sohail Tanvir’s 4-0-14-6 in IPL is the best bowling analysis in Twenty20 cricket.

That’s all in this edition!

Engineers dedicate their victory to the Mumbai terror victims

Engineers dedicate their victory to the Mumbai terror victims

Seasons ends with a BBQ

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

An inspirational email, that included a bait of post-match BBQ, from the president did serve well to gather an eleven for the match by Tuesday. However dropouts, as usual, on the day of the match ensured that the Engineers travelled to Shizuoka on a cold morning with only ten to field. But since most of the key players were available, the captain was hopeful to end the season on a high note. Masood rented an 8-seater for the Tozai-Yakuzas, from the place who gives him a discount , thinking Masood still works for Lehman :). Biju had kindly agreed to put his BMW to service, for the Saibu-Saints, must have gone through some difficulty to convince his life-partner :). The Engineers were supposed to play the match with black arm-bands to honour the victims of Mumbai terror victims but the president blamed a temporary lapse of memory for(not)getting it. At the ground the team observed a one minute silence before the match commenced.

It was a fantastic day to play cricket. Both captains agreed to play a 32 Overs game. Toss was taken around 10:45AM, and Engineers skipper called it right, and elected to bat first. In the absence of regular opener Santosh, Vijender was promoted to open with Vimal. Kytes a new bowler, Maywen, who started the bowling was able to generate good pace and bounce and occasionally swing too, from the pitch. But both openers did well to keep there wicket and played sensibly to post a score of 47 in 10 overs without loosing their wickets. Vijender was the first one to fall on the 13th over trying to accelerate the score. Bye that time though he had already proven himself as an solid opening batsman.

Ritesh, playing after long time given a chance to walk in next. He was initially tentative, then became aggressive and finally became over aggressive and fell to a good catch at log off. In-form batsman Raju walked in next and soon enough, the fire-works started. Both Vimal and Raju were playing the pacers quite easily, but were having some trouble against the flighted deliveries of Kytes captain Neil. Vimal fell next, clean bowled, trying to hit one of those deliveries out of the park. Captain Sanjeeb walked in next and joined Raju. Since 7 wickets were in hand and only 12overs were to go, both batsmen decided to put their feet on the Gas-pedal and, started accelerating towards 200. Both batsmen were quick between the wicket and were scoring boundaries almost at will. However Sanjeeb fell quickly trying to steal a non-existent single. Raju on the other hand kept going till the end and scored a marvelous 40 not-out, should have been a 50 if there were no scoring errors. One six, that he hit over the long-off was undoubtedly the best shot of the day. Biju, Bikash and Masood fell in quick succession and we were in the danger of getting all-out. However Deepak playing for the first time for the Engineers, showed immense potential and courage, and hit some glorious boundaries in the process, and we managed to post an imposing total of 207/8.

208 is a safe score, especially when some of the Kytes’ regulars and big hitters were absent. So Captain decided to satisfy the bowling ambitions of some of the devoted players and decided to bring in his key bowlers later in the innings. So Masood was trusted with the new ball along with Rajeesh. Rajeesh’s pace was too much for the Kyte’s opners and on his 2nd over he dislodged Kytes captain Neil’s leg stump. Masood on the other end was surprisingly bowling with great accuracy and with some swing. It may be interesting to note that there was an agreement between the Captain and Masood that if he gave more than 11 runs in 2 overs he will be taken out of the bowling. But safely, Masood’s first 2 overs went only for 4 runs and was rewarded for his accuracy eventually taking the wicket of the other Kytes opener, Bikash doing well to hold on to the catch at short-leg.

Rajeesh removed the next batsman, Deepak held on to a Sharp catch behind the stumps. Sanjeeb(fielder)-Rajeesh(bowler) managed to remove the next batsman Lalith, thanks to a brilliant fielding at cover. The batsman later blamed on the Indian greed for running an old man out and not giving him a second chance. Captain then decided to do a double bowling change after the 10th over and bring in his main bowlers Biju from one end, and emerging spin bowler Bikash from the other. Biju showing no sign of his previous ankle injury bowled with lot of aggression and removed two of the Kytes batsmen in quick time, one of which was with a beautiful inswinging yorker. It could easily have been 3 had Rajeesh held on to the chance that came his way. Bikash on the other-end was trying to perfect his flighted deliveries, and the traditional rivalry between him and Nick started to unfold. In the end both had their times, Nick hitting Bikash for a six and later Bikash manging to take his revenge after few balls, Masood taking a well judged catch at mid-wicket, strategically placed there for that specific shot.

The next batsmen went into a defensive mode and were in no mood to take any risk and the daylight began fade out. Sensing the danger of a bad light and smelling the flavor of already cooking barbeque :), Captain decided to finish the match quickly and brought in slow bowlers Vimal and captain himself and they removed the next 3 batsmen almost in no time and Kytes were all out for 113 in 23 overs.

The traditional season-ending Barbeque was fantastic, and we enjoyed it a lot along with our hosts. We thanked our hosts in the end, and head back home. Bikash’s “Kaun-Banega-RoadPati” game did help to keep the Yakuzas calm during the 35KM-long week-end traffic jam.

Brief scores: IECC 207/7. S Raju 40, N Harrison 3/40. Kytes 110 (22.5 overs).

Issue #90 Japanese Season Ends

Newsletter

November 12, 2008                                                                                              Issue #90

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Japanese Season Ends
  • The Fine Print
  • Shizuoka Youth Cricket Development
  • ICC EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Japanese Season Ends

Almost all major cricket tournaments in Japan have come to a close, the last one being the KCL final played on November 9 between YC&AC and Tokyo Giants at Ageo.

The Tokyo Giants, the defending champions, defeated YC&AC in an exciting match to hold on to the prestigious trophy for a record 8th time. Batting first after being asked to do so by YC&AC, the Giants scored 226 for the loss of 8 wickets, most of them perishing going for the slog towards the end of the innings. Opener Tauseef Ahmed’s solid innings of 46 laid the foundation for the Giants’s total which was then enhanced by and two-down Hamid Syed’s aggressive 56, followed by Ahmed Kamal’s cameo innings of 28. For YC&AC, opening bowler Farhan chipped in with 3/35 and skipper Kamran Ali claimed 3/52.

YC&AC began their chase with a solid opening partnership of 93 runs between Abdul Rahim(45) and Nick Horton(35) but their middle order could not sustain the pace the openers had set and were bowled out for 195 runs. Tauseef Ahmed, who was earlier punished by the YC&AC openers, and Hamid Syed claimed 3 wickets each.

It was a fitting finale between two strong teams of the tournament, who have reached the final stage almost unscathed. YC&AC had lost only one match in the league stage and their win over the Al Karam in the semi-final was probably their best, while the Giants were unbeaten throughout the season. At the end of the match speech, the beaming winning captain, Mumtaz Alam, thanked his opponents for the game and praised his team members and senior partners of the opposition. He had a special word of praise for Kamran Ali, the losing skipper, for recalling a Giants’ batsman, whom the umpire had wrongly given out lbw, after the batsman complained that he had nicked the ball. Ali in his speech congratulated the winners and acknowledged the Giants’ match winning performance.

With this win, the Giants have reiterated their supremacy in the Kanto League circles although the Indian Tigers, a newly formed team this year, almost upset the Giant’s apple-cart in a rain affected match, which would have been humiliating defeat had the match been uninterrupted by rain.

Earlier in the semi-final, the YC&AC had overcome a strong chase by Al Karam in the race for the KCL final spot. YC&AC (196, Kamran Ali 55, Prashant Kale 44) defeated Al Karam (193, Kamran Ali 4/38)

The second semi-final was a one-sided affair in which Tokyo Giants (110/6) defeated Serendib 108 (Tauseef Ahmed 2/16, Mumtaz 2/22).

The KCL this year saw a record no. of washouts with 16 matches lost to rain. KCL is also the last tournament to end because of the increasing number of clubs playing in it.

Latest results are available here.

Other Tournament News

+ Tokyo Ashes +

The Tokyo Wombats retained the Tokyo Ashes, a local version of the more well-known series, between – you guessed it! – the local Aussie boys(Tokyo Wombats) and the British Embassy in Tokyo. Read the match report athttp://www.tokyowombats.com/matchreports.html.

+ Inter Port Cup +

The KRAC, Kobe won the annual Inter Port Cup between them and the YC&AC played on Oct 4 at Kobe. In a high scoring match in which YC&AC set a target of 220, the hosts chased it with the loss of 7 wickets. With 12 required of the last over for the KRAC, it could have been anybody’s match but in the end KRAC prevailed to retain the Cup.

+ A Gavaskar in the Making? +

In the last issue we reported Adore’s S Yamanouchi’s slow scoring. One of our reader threw some more light on the interesting innings of this batsman. Check out the Reader’s Corner for more information.

The Fine Print

Kapil Dev, Chairman of the Indian Cricket League alleged that the attitude of the BCCI towards the ICL is similar to
what the South African cricket team had during the apartheid period “During the apartheid period we were ready to play with South Africa, but they refused to play with us. The same thing is being done by BCCI with ICL. We are ready to play, but they are not,” said Dev.
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The MCC has introduced new laws on the manufacture of bats, in an effort to maintain the traditional balance between bat and ball. here main change is the outlawing of the carbon handle. The MCC felt that the carbon handle increased the bats power, giving batsmen an unfair advantage. Carbon on the back of the bat has also been banned at the highest level.
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A group of Australian spectators was hauled away from Mohali, where the 2nd Test between India and Australia were plyed, by police for wearing t-shirts with offensive slogans such as ‘Beer with Mahatma, Bets with Gupta, Dancing with Indira and still getting runs’”, etc. The group later said that they were having some fun and no offence meant.
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Miffed with the way New Zealand Cricket ostracised him for joining the Indian Cricket League, pacer Shane Bond says he will never play ODIs or Tests for his country again even if recalled to the side. “I still enjoy playing cricket. I am having a great time with the game, which has given me a nice career and financial security as well. But I was hoping to play for my country at least for a couple of years more. “I am disappointed with the way my country’s cricket board treated me. I don’t want to represent New Zealand in Test matches or One Day Internationals any more,” Bond, who is playing for the ‘Delhi Giants’ team in the ICL, said in an interview.
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The Guardian of U.K reported that the England XI got what they deserved in the Stanford 20/20 for 20. In simple cricket terms they were not even second-rate, offering an insipid, technically inept, strategically bankrupt and mentally flabby performance when the situation demanded excellence. The Independent said that from the start, England wanted the money – who wouldn’t want a million dollars? – but did not want to be seen to want it. They were painfully aware that the mood among many commentators was that the Big Match was an abomination of sport, existing only to fuel the ego of its architect, the Texan multibillionaire, Allen Stanford, and lacking context in a sporting sense. England coach Peter Moores said wondered, “Is it for England? Is it for money? You’ve got to be very clear as a team and as an individual, and I think we weren’t as clear as we could have been.”

Comment: Some grapes are sour 🙂
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Security around cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar was stepped up following Maharashtra Police receiving reports from Central agencies of a threat to him from Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. However, intelligence sources in Delhi said they had not received any fresh input about any threat to Tendulkar other than in 2002.
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A day after creating a scare claiming there was a terror threat to batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, Nagpur Police did a complete U-turn saying there is ‘no specific threat’ to any individual player and there is ‘no threat input’.
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Pakistan cricket authorities were shocked when they learnt from Yousuf’s wife that Mohammad Yousuf left for New Delhi to play in the Indian Cricket League, jeopardising his international career even as he was named in the national squad for series against the West Indies. “His leaving like this for India and confirmation he is going to play in the ICL has come as a shock to us,” PCB’s Director Cricket Operations Zakir Khan said. PCB has witnessed a series of defections to ICL in the recent years.###

Source: Various web and print media

Pacific Cup Results

In a thrilling semi-final match, the Tokyo Giants defeated Shizuoka Kytes to enter into the final of the tournament. The match, reduced to 32 overs per side due to late start and bad weather, saw some exhilarating batting and bowling performances from both sides with the Kytes almost taking the honours but the Giants held their nerves to record a thrilling win and a perfect dress-rehearsal for their KCL semi-final match.

Kytes bowled the Giants out for 162 runs in 28.5 overs with Suresh Navod claiming 4/28 and all-rounder Ashley Harvey taking 3/30 while Hanif Mohammed top scored for Giants with 46. In reply, the Kytes were 29/3 off 16 overs with Noman Iqbal bowling 6 overs for 0/9. But Ashley Harvey batted his team back into the game and almost caused a stunning come-from-behind victory but the Kytes fell agonisingly short by 5 runs in the end. Kytes required 27 runs in the final over bowled by Giant’s skipper Mumtaz and Harvey scored 20 of those in 5 balls and required a Miandad-like effort to score a 6 off the last ball to tie the game but could score only one run. His scoring sequence was 6,4,2,2,6,1. He remained unbeaten on 67.

In a not-so thrilling 2nd semi-final match, the Nagoya defeated the Indian Engineers by 69 runs. In reply to Nagoya’s 264/4, Engineers could only muster IECC 195/9 in 35 overs.

For more details and history of PFC, go to http://www.ieccjapan.com/pacificcup.htm

Another link: http://goldenbat.wordpress.com/.

Shizuoka Kytes Raffle Result

Report by Nick Shannon:

Shizuoka Kytes would like to thank all those people who made donations to the “Kytes raffle”. The winning tickets were drawn on October 26th by Matt Sharpe, who played his last (and losing game ) on that day.

The prize winners are as follows:
1st prize ( a full cricket kit!) Sanjeeb Sahoo (IECC)
2nd prize ( A cricket bat) James Hills ( Paddy Foleys)
3rd prize ( fine wine selection) Alex Koolhof (Wombats)
4th prize ( Top quality sake) Chuck Jones ( Wombats)
5th prize ( Not so top quality sake) Francis Newman( Shizuoka Kytes)
6th prize ( Dodgy sake) Nicholas Shannon (Shizuoka Kytes)
7th prize ( Bottle opener) Ashley Harvey (Shizuoka Kytes)
8th prize (fine teas selection) Larry Prelis (Shizuoka Kytes)

Congratulations and thank you for participating.

For those of you who are unaware of the purpose of the raffle, we collected donations for the upkeep of the lawn mowers( 3 of them) so that we could continuously cut and keep the ground in its excellent playing condition. We sincerely hope that all of you who played at Shizuoka this year could appreciate the playing surface and get full enjoyment from our ground. We will have another raffle next year
and your continued support will be greatly appreciated.

ICC EAP News

ICC EAP Centre of Excellence Squad Released

The International Cricket Council (ICC) East Asia-Pacific (EAP) Development Program has recently finalised squads for the ICC EAP Squad Camps to take place in November at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence(CoE) in Brisbane. Each squad will spend 1 week at the CoE to help develop their skills. The squad contains two Japanese players, Ko Irie and Masaomi Kobayashi.

The camp will include coaching sessions from some of Australia’s leading cricket coaches, the use of video analysis and physical testing facilities at the CoE, and strength and conditioning tips from CoE staff. The combined EAP squad will be working hard to impress in hope of selection for the 2009 Australian Country Cricket Championships to be held in the Barossa Valley in South Australia from January 14th and 13th 2009.

Jakarta International Cricket Sixes

Spirits Cricket Club from Singapore were crowned champions of The India Cements 13th Jakarta International Cricket Sixes 2008 defeating local favourites Senayan Cricket Club in the final played at the Ceylon Cricket Club in Cibubur, East Jakarta. 14 teams including 4 overseas teams from Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia took part in the tournament, hosted by Jakarta Cricket Association (JCA) in
cooperation with Cricket Indonesia (CI). The tournament this year was sponsored by new entrants to Indonesia, The India Cements Ltd. who also own the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and co sponsored by PT GAC Samudera Logistics, QTV, and supported by Jyppore Restaurant and Hotel Manhattan.

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of October 31:

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Osaka Tigers (2)
3 Serendib (3)
4 YC&AC (4)
5 Tokyo Wombats (5)
6 Kansai Fighters (6)
7 Al Karam (7)
8 Wyverns (6)
9 MAX (9)
10 Friends (11)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Virender Sehwag predicted India-Australia series as 3-1 in India’s favour. What is your take?

India will win – 35%
Australia will win – 62%
Draw – 4%
Can’t say, will be close – 0%

Take the new poll:

What would be the result of 7-match India-England ODI series ?

India will win
England will win
Can’t say, will be close

Visit our home page today to vote!

Readers’ Corner

In regards to your article, “A Gavaskar in the making?” in issue #89, the batsman in subject Yamanouchi plays for Adore. There must’ve
been an error when entering the score to the JCA website I think.

I shall also add that he has been the stone wall for Adore for quite some time. His accomplishment includes the inning played during J2C
semi against MAX when he scored 7* off 174 balls(SR of 4.02) and carried his bat in a process.
http://www.cricket.or.jp/new_jca/score_view.php?game_id=449. By then, all Adore players including the batting partner were asleep…

Shun Hashiba
Adore CC.

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

Cricket in Italy

Cricket is finally getting noticed in Italy. The lucrative new Indian Premier League found its way on to Italian satellite television in June and famed newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has carried stories about the game. Around 400,000 people from South Asia live in Italy and the Italian cricket federation estimates that further arrivals could lead to 1,000 new clubs. Cricket in Italy grew from four or five teams in the early 1980s to a three-division league today.

http://cricket.expressindia.com/news/asian-immigrants-fire-up-italian-interest-in-cricket/365342/

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“Look at the scoreboard. You won’t see it again”, MS Dhoni to Rahul Dravid on seeing Australia struggling 22/0 after 13 overs in the 2nd Test at Mohali, an unusual start for the Aussies.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Former Indian ‘keeper Dilawan Hussain became one of the founding members of PCB

2. Sohail Tanvir’s 4-0-14-6 in IPL is the best bowling analysis in Twenty20 cricket.

That’s all in this edition!

Nagoya dashes Engineers’ PFC hopes

Poor bowling, poor batting, poor fielding… anything else?

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

It was after a long time the Engineers got to the field for some real cricket (40 overs). At this time of the year it is normally a struggle to find an 11, but the team selectors were very happy to see 13 players available for this match. Best (available!) 11 was picked.

Biju and Santosh , two of our most experienced guides, were given the contract to drive the Yakuzas and the Saints in separate vehicles, and were instructed to avoid unnecessary fighting and chanting on the way, in order to reach the ground by 10AM. Engineers won the toss and elected to field first with Biju and Vimal sharing the new ball. Vimal, who have changed his bowling style lately, to make up for the lack of a spin bowler in the team, bowled fantastically and troubled both batsmen with his leg spin. He provided early breakthrough for us in his first over trapping Nagoya captain Saqib plumb in front.

Biju has bowled well throughout this year with the new ball , but this time he was having some trouble controlling the line and length, Heavy food on the previous night may need to be blamed here :). Some may call it a chance, but most of us think that Biju did well to get out of the way of a fierce uppish straight drive from Nagoya opener Madan at the last possible moment, that would have cut him into two halves 🙂

Vimal kept bowling beautifully at the other end and the batsmen were having trouble scoring. The pressure got to one of the batsman and he tried to take a quick single to arguably the best fielder(!!) in the team, 🙂 yours truly, who picked the ball at short-leg, diving to his left, and rocketed it toward the running end. Direct hit saw the 1st down batsman walking toward the river in disbelief. Engineers were on top at that stage.

However the other Nagoya opener Madan and the 2nd down batsman Raza batted steadily and easily managed to clear the boundary at will. When Raza retired due to a back injury, the score was around 160 in the 25th over. But then it started raining in sixes and had we kept our car near the river , we would have needed some kind of umbrella to protect them. Vimal had finished his quota and Sanjeeb had just one over left, all other bowlers had no clue how to react to the situation when the batsmen were trying to hit every ball for a six. Some dropped chances also contributed in the process of Nagoya reaching 264, even though in the 35th over we gave away only 2 runs. Madan top scored from Nagaoya side with a fine 96. A superb throw from fine leg by Vijender saw him walking 4 short of what would have been a fantastic century.

We had a solid batting line up but chasing 264 was a tough ask, the pressure got to most of our top and middle order batsmen. And at one point it seemed like we will get all-out by 25th over for about 120 runs. But the 83 runs unbroken 9th wicket partnership between Raju and Bikash saw us reaching a respectable total of 195. It was a treat to watch Raju bat like that. Unlike other matches where he normally gets a start and then gives away his wicket easily, in this match he made the most of the start. He kept his cool as the wickets kept falling around him, and mixed caution with aggression intelligently, to reach a carrier best personal score of 60 not out. All 3 sixes he hit were very clean and looked effortless. Engineers really had something to cheer about when he scored 23 runs from one of the Nagoya boy’s overs.

Bikash who has a habit of being part of record breaking partnerships, also did well to keep his wicket and remained not out on 13.

Now, Nagoya will meet the Tokyo Giants in the title match.

High lights of the match Vimal established himself as a fine leg spinner. Raju established himself as a very good hard hitting batsman. We can bat out the overs without getting all out.

Low lights of the match Our batting has improved a lot this year, however our bowling still remains a concern. Future practice sessions should put more stress on some bowling Strategy and training the bowlers what to do in tough situations.

Brief scores: Nagoya 263/6. Madan 96, Raza 56. IECC 195/8. S Raju 60.

Issue #89 KCL BATTLE LINES ARE DRAWN

Newsletter


October 8, 2008                                                                                              Issue #89

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • KCL Battle Lines are Drawn
  • The Fine Print
  • Shizuoka Youth Cricket Development
  • ICC EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

KCL Battle Lines are Drawn

Well, it is time for the big boys to step up and stand counted. In one of the most keenly awaited contests, Group A leader YC&AC, who lost only one match on their way to securing the semi-final berth, will meet the Group B powerhouse Al Karam in the first semi-final of the Kanto Cricket League. The YC&AC’s allround performance this year and Al Karam’s well earned reputation of hard hitting batting style makes it a match to watch. Going by the standards displayed by both teams and the size of the Shizuoka ground, where the match will be held, it won’t be any surprise if the team batting first sets a target of around 250 runs. Our prediction is that slow bowling is likely to play a key role on the flicx pitch, a factor that can deflate YC&AC, who plays most of their matches on their home ground on a mat pitch, where as Al Karam plays most of their matches on flicx pitch. In any case, if you want to watch one of the best matches of the season buy your Shinkansen tickets to Shizuoka today!

In the second semi-final match, Tokyo Giants, another powerful team from Group A and the defending champions, will meet the less fancied and underdogs Serendib. Going by their records, the Giants should not have any problem going into the final but… but… the Giants had lost 5 wickets in their last league match against Nagoya last week, chasing a paltry 55 runs for the victory and Serendib, as underdogs they are, have caused quite a few upsets in KCL and other tournaments they played this year. Also, Serendib being absent from KCL for over a year, the opposition may be in for a surprise with their new batting and bowling strength.

Here are the details of the matches:

Semi-Finals – I

YC&AC vs. Al Karam
Venue: Shizuoka
Day & Date: Sunday, 19th October, 2008
Start Time: 10:00 AM

Semi-Finals – II

Giants vs. Serendib
Venue: Ageo or Shizuoka
Date: Sunday, 2nd November, 2008
Start Time: 10:00 AM

Latest results are available here.

A Gavaskar in the making?

Opening the innings of Fuji Far East in a tournament match recently, batsman S Yamanouchi carried his bat through full 40 overs to score 16 runs off 131 balls, spending 157 minutes at the crease to help his team score 105/6. Yamanouchi’s feat(!?!) comes after his team mate M Saito scored a duck off 31 balls in a KCL match in 2005 and more infamously, an ignominious 36 not out by India’s Sunil Gavaskar, carrying his bat through the full 60 overs against England in the 1975 World Cup match, leading the agitated Indian fans to confront him on the field.

P.S. You may recall that this Newsletter had run a trivia question in Issue# 58, asking our readers to name the slowest Duck (duck off 31 balls). To refresh your memory, visit Newsletter 58

In Gavaskar’s case, he defended himself saying he considered England’s 334/4 was unobtainable and had taken practice.

The Fine Print

Australian batsman Simon Katich reckons his team’s rivalry against India has become “bigger” than the Ashes in recent times and predicts the upcoming Test series in October will be tough for his side.
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Digicel, the Caribbean mobile phone rivals company and sponsor of West Indies cricket, wants Stanford 20/20 stopped because it has been sanctioned by the WICB and the Stanford Super Stars is de facto the West Indies cricket team. The match, scheduled to take place on November 1 in Antigua and potentially attracting a global television audience of 500m, is all part of Sir Allen’s grand scheme to raise the standards of West Indian cricket and bring the sport to the US. The series is putting up a $20m winner-takes-all prize for a Twenty20 cricket match between England and a West Indian XI called the Stanford Super Stars.
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ESPN-STAR Sports has won the exclusive Global Commercial Rights USD 900 million to telecast the Twenty20 Champions League matches for 10 years starting from the event’s inaugural edition scheduled to be held from December 3-10, this year. The League thus because the highest value Cricket tournament on a per game basis. It is reported that BCCI will keep about 50% of this figure, while Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa will earn 25% each. The three are the managing boards of the tournament.
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Sydney Morning Herald reported that a host of surnames at the under-18 talent camp in Australia this month will attrace some attention. Jack Boon, Alister McDermott, Mitchell Marsh, Andrew Tazelaar and Nicholas Buchanan. Most of these second generation cricketers have chosen their respective father’s trade. Jack, son David Boon, is a batsman, Alister, son of Craig McDermott is  a bowler with a long runup like his father, Mitchell, son of Geoff Marsh, is a batsman and Andrew, son of Dirk Tazelaar (Queensland bowler), is a bowler. Nicholas, son of John Buchanan, is playing as an allrounder though.
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VJD Method, a supposedly better method than D/L Method, was used for the first time in a match played under the ICC ambit – the rain-hit India A vs Australia A match at Hyderabad. V Jayadevan, an engineer from India, pioneered the method after identifying some loopholes of the D/L Method. BCCI uses VJD Method in domestic circuit so does ICL. IPL, however, uses D/L Method. An explanation of VJD Method is available at: http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/140859.html.
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“The last series(2003-04) over there(in India) that we won, I broke my thumb and missed the first three Tests and came back for the last one, and that was the only one we lost.”, Ricky Ponting said in a press conference.

Comment: Now we know the reason why Australia is losing in India.
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The BCCI has objected to top-class facilities being provided to Australian team by the Rajasthan Cricket Academy in Jaipur, where Ricky Ponting and Co are camping for a week before the start of Test series in India. Former India coach Greg Chappell, who is the chief coach at RCA Centre of Excellence and is presently touring with Australian team as the assistant coach, has arranged all facilities using his influential association with the RCA, which includes 10 practice wickets for Australia. “We won’t get this kind of facilities if India went abroad. RCA is being a little too obliging to the Australian team, they have done more than what a host country will do”, BCCI said.
###

Cricket Australia thanked the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) for the high standard facilities provided and hospitality shown to their team and promised to extend the same courtesies to India when they tour Australia next time.
###

Cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman’s first test cricket bat fetched a whopping USD 145,000 at an auction in Melbourne. Bradman’s bat was snapped up by an Australian bidder at a record price which was USD 25,000 more than the upper pre-sale estimate.
###

Source: Various web and print media

Shizuoka Youth Cricket Development

Robert-Gills Martineau reports:

After a few individual coaching sessions held in September and October this year for the leaders of the Shizuoka Prefectural University Cricket Club, the first official coaching session was held for the Shizuoka Prefectural University Cricket Club on October 13th with the help of the Shizuoka Kytes CC. 20 boys and girls attended the session from 11:00 to 17:00 including a 10-over mini match. A BBQ was held at the end of day at the ground by the students who invited their “coaches”.

Detailed report and photographs available at: http://2pat.wordpress.com/

ICC EAP News

Vanuatu Cricket Association provide aid to Vila Hospital

Community Cricket Manager Pierre Chilia recently presented over 350 fresh bread sticks to the kitchen of Vila Central Hospital. The bread sticks were originally intended for the lunches of children participating in the NBV Beach Cricket Championship but due to inclement weather the tournament was postponed.

Auckland Cricket Association in Samoa

As part of the Province Partnership between the Auckland Cricket Association (ACA) and the Samoa International Cricket Association (SICA), members of the ACA travelled to Samoa to focus on coach education and continue along the path to Associate Membership.
Early on in the trip the ACA staff played a one off Twenty20 match against Samoa’s Prime Ministers XI. Auckland Cricket with the help of SICA conducted a cricket coaching clinic at Nene (Tafatafa) Primary School which is located in the South Coast of Samoa (rural Area). The 100+ children that took part were from years 5-8. Tina and Ben Mailata took one group and Cricket Development Officer Sao Mulivai and Development Manager Kieran Mcmillan took the other group while the rest of the Auckland staff joined in to either of the groups.

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of September 30:

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Osaka Tigers (2)
3 Serendib (3)
4 YC&AC (4)
5 Tokyo Wombats (5)
6 Kansai Fighters (6)
7 Al Karam (7)
8 Wyverns (6)
9 MAX (9)
10 Friends (11)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Do you agree with the postponement of the Champion’s Trophy to 2009?

Yes – 29%
No – 65%
Can’t say – 6%

Take the new poll:

Virender Sehwag predicted India-Australia series as 3-1 in India’s favour. What is your take?

India will win
Australia will win
Draw
Can’t say, will be close

Visit our home page today to vote!

Readers’ Corner

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

Cricket in Italy

Cricket is finally getting noticed in Italy. The lucrative new Indian Premier League found its way on to Italian satellite television in June and famed newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has carried stories about the game. Around 400,000 people from South Asia live in Italy and the Italian cricket federation estimates that further arrivals could lead to 1,000 new clubs. Cricket in Italy grew from four or five teams in the early 1980s to a three-division league today.

http://cricket.expressindia.com/news/asian-immigrants-fire-up-italian-interest-in-cricket/365342/

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“I don’t care. I’m playing the one-dayers, unlike you”, Bangladesh’s Shahriar Nafeez to Mathew Hayden when Hayden kept reminding Nafees that he is still on zero after he took a while to open his account in the second Test in 2006.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Sohail Tanvir’s 4-0-14-6 in IPL is the best bowling analysis in Twenty20 cricket.

2. Sri Lanka has featured in all Asia Cup final matches.

That’s all in this edition!

Issue #88 Rain, a Party Pooper

Newsletter


September 10, 2008                                                                                              Issue #88

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Rain, a Party Pooper
  • The Fine Print
  • ICC EAP News –
  • Pacific Cup Results
  • Indian Engineers and YC&AC Start Annual Series
  • Pakistan Lifts YC&AC Sixes Cup
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

Rain, a Party Pooper

With fifteen KCL matches being washed out so far, the 2008 season is inching closer to establishing a new record of becoming the worst rain-affected season. The previous such seasons were in 2004, during which a record sixteen matches were washed out and 2003 with fifteen washouts. Friends XI in Group B is the most unfortunate team in the KCL with all but one of their matches washed out.

With only a handful of matches remaining in the league stage, the semi-final lineup is becoming clearer. Friends and Serendip are currently placed at the second place in Group B table with equal number of points but Friends is unlikely to make the final cut when Net Run Rate comes into play to pick the winner out of the teams with equal number of points. Having played only one match all season, Friends will clearly be a loser. With only one match left to play in Group B, between Ichihara Sharks and Serendip, it is a do-or-die match for both the teams. A win for Serendip will put them into the semis, a first for them and a sort of graduation for the former all -students club! On the other hand, a win for the Sharks will make them tied at 12 points each with Serendip and Friends but in the end
it will be an NRR comparison between the Sharks and Serendip. The stakes have never been higher for both. Al Karam is the other qualifier from Group B for the semi-final.

In Group A, YC&AC’s place in the semi-final is assured – a fact that may have contributed to their decision to forfeit their last match against the Shizuoka Kytes at Shizuoka – but the second qualifying team will be identified only after the Tokyo Giants vs. Nagoya match is played in early October. The Indian Engineers, who is currently on par with the Giants on points is harbouring a remote hope for qualification on Net Run Rate basis in case of an upset victory by Nagoya over the Giants. In that event, all three teams will have earned 14 points each. If Giants beat Nagoya, then the former will join the YC&AC in the knock-out stage.

New comers Toyama, who have almost disappeared at the end of the season, and Indian Tigers are two teams in either groups who have no win against their names. The sole win the Tokyo Dragons earned was without any sweat, when Toyama forfeited their game against the former.

Latest results are available here.

The Fine Print

Nimbus Sport, broadcast rights holders for BCCI-conducted matches up to March 31, 2010, has asked the Indian Cricket Board to provide improved facilities for its crew at the venues hosting India’s home Test series against Australia and Test and ODI rubbers against England. The complaints range from TV crew’s access to the control rooms, small sizes of the control rooms and commentators’ box sizes and water dripping from air conditioners to heights and positions of camera platforms, lack of enough toilets and leaking sewage pipes at some centres.

Comment: You are dealing with the BCCI, Nimbus Sport!
###

Controversial Australian umpire Darrell Hair says he does not trust the media. More so the British media as they always distorted what he said. Hair said he was willing to talk only if it was a live interview on television.
###

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla attributes the success of his England tour this year to the influence of his religion.
###

A film based on the life of late South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje, who fell from grace in the 2000 match-fixing scandal, is all set to release in September. Directed by Cronje’s brother Frans, ‘Hansie’ chronicles the 
former skipper’s life, that met a tragic end when he died in a plane crash in 2002. The film’s DVD is also ready and
features a documentary on Hansie and interviews of some of his former team-mates including current India coach Gary  Kirsten, Jonty Rhodes, Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Peter Pollock, Andrew Hudson and England’s newly-appointed captain Kevin Pietersen. ‘Hansie’ was shot in South Africa, England and India and Frans said, the film looks at the cricketer’s “internal journey from stardom to losing everything and then the journey to rebuilding his life.”
###

Former Australian coach John Buchanan said that Sri Lanka’s mystery bowler Ajantha Mendis needs to stand test of time. He expressed suprise at the failure of the Indian batsmen, especially the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and V V S Laxman against Mendis. The Indians were not unduly bothered by a genius like Shane Warne in his and their prime.
###

Steve Harmison has hit back at accusations that he only returned to England’s one-day team to cash in on the huge sums of money flooding into the game. “It feels like I’ve been criticised for everything, even for changing my socks. I’ve come back for cricketing reasons only.”, he said.
###

Flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi raised a voice of dissent against captain Shoaib Malik and said the dressing room culture in the current Pakistani squad is not ideal. Citing his own example, Afridi said he is consulted whenever he is in form but is conveniently forgotten at other times. “This should not happen. Even if a player is not performing, he must be backed and involved in everything,” Afridi said.
###

Shahid Afridi accused VVS Laxman, his captain at Deccan Chargers of the IPL, of lacking both aggression and leadership qualities. Laxman hit back saying Afridi lacked team ethics and criticised him for his outburst without any provocation. Tim Wright, Chief Executive of Deccan Chargers said that he will enquire into the verbal spat and necessary action will be taken after the inquiry.
###

An ambitious scheme to boost self-confidence and discipline among British children by reviving competitive cricket in state schools is thriving after three years and its founders are determined to sustain it. Chance to Shine, the Cricket Foundation charity has a 50-million-pound ($88.98-million), 10-year programme to reintroduce competitive cricket to two million pupils in a third of all state schools.
###

The real reason Andrew Symonds chose fishing over work was the reprieve that Harbhajan Singh received in the “Monkeygate” scandel in which Symonds and three teammates were convinced by Cricket Australia to downgrade a charge of racial abuse against Harbhajan Singh to one of mere verbal abuse. Symonds felt abandoned by the administrators.
###

Source: Various web and print media

ICC EAP News

Japanese Women’s team signs up a new sponsor

The Japan National Women’s team has received a huge boost with Altech signing up as Major Sponsor. Altech is an International company specializing in beverage packaging/bottling, technology and equipment, and have previously sponsored cricket tournaments around the world. The addition of Altech as Major Sponsor comes about as the Japanese women prepare for the Shanghai International Sixes Tournament later this year.

Cricket Victoria Regional Cricket Manager visits Japan & Korea

During late July and early August 2008, Regional Cricket Manager Daniel Trevillian traveled to Japan and Korea under a development partnership with the International Cricket Councils East Asia Pacific Region. In his report, Daniel says about Tokyo:
“Transport and ‘box like’ accommodation issues aside, both Charlie and myself went about our business with several days spent delivering coaching accreditation courses, working with the National Women’s team and delivering promotional clinics to school aged children. Our language barrier was overcome through the use of translators at times, lots of body language and if all else failed a ‘smile’, a universally recognised symbol. The amount of discipline towards practice and skill development that was displayed by the participants in Japan still impresses me now. With Baseball being a religious activity in Japan some of the fielding and throwing we saw from young children was amazing. Enough to make Mike Young at Cricket Australia salivate!”

Pacific Cup Results

Shizuoka Kytes. Tokyo Giants, Indian Engineers and Nagoya have qualified for the semi-finals of the 2008 Pacific Friendship Cup(PFC). Kytes defeated Paddy Foleys, Giants defeated British Embassy while the Indian Engineers walked into the semis without swet as their opposition, Adore, forfeited the match. In the last match, Nagoya defeated Wombats.

PFC has undergone many format changes since its inception 8 years ago as an annual 3-match series between the Indian Engineers and Shizuoka Kytes. In the latest edition of 2008 Golden Bat competition, PFC has eight teams that play in a straight knock-out format for the Golden bat. The name Golden Bat was added to the tournament’s name after the Executive Board of the tournament decided that the trophy will be a Golden Bat. All teams are allowed to fix their own schedule to play in this competition with the EB setting a date by which each leg of the tournament must be finished. The EB set July 31 as the deadline for the league level matches to be finished and October 31 for the semi-final matches.

In the semi-finals, the Indian Engineers will face up Nagoya and the Kytes will take on Giants.

For more details and history of PFC, click here

Another link: http://goldenbat.wordpress.com/.

Indian Engineers and YC&AC start annual series

The Yokohama Country and Athletic Club has initiated an annual one match series with the Indian Engineers. The first match of the cup, to be known as The Goodwill Cup, was played on August 24, which was won by the YC&AC under rains. The match was followed by a dinner party at the YC&AC wherein players mingled with each other over drinks, recounted on-field stories and joyous moments. Individual awards were given away during the dinner. Vimal Vikrant won the Man of the Match award from the Engineers side for his 76 runs and Prashant Kale from YC&AC for his match winning century.

YC&AC had batted first and scored 268 runs in 40 overs, thanks largely to Prashant Kale’s century and Engineers’ butter fingers. Chasing 241, Engineers only managed 222 in 37 overs, helped by a 100+ runs partnership for the third wicket between Vimal Vikrant and Sriram Sampath. It was after a long time the Engineers scored more than 200 runs at the slow YC&AC pitch. Happy chaps, they are 🙂

This series with the Engineers adds to YC&AC’s existing other annual series with the KRAC, Kobe and the Sri Lankan Lions. For the Engineers, this adds to their existing friendship series called Pacific Friendship Cup with the Shizuoka Kytes, which has now expanded to include 6 other teams on a rotational basis. A brief report of the match is available here.

Pakistan Lifts YC&AC Sixes Cup

The Pakistan team lifted the 18th YC&AC Annual Invitational 6-a-side Cricket Tournament. The One-day tournament, held at the YC&AC ground was contested by six teams. YC&AC and Pakistan played the final in which Pakistan set an imposing target of 87 runs from 5 overs but Y&AC could only reach 66 runs in 5 overs.

In the one-sided Plate final, Sri Lanka(94) defeated the Internationals(23) by 71 runs.

The Following individual awards were given away at the prize distribution ceremony.
Best Allrounder : Prashant Kale (YC&AC)
Best Batsman : Amjad Mirza (Pskistan)
Best Bowler : Sanjaya (Sri Lanka)

Check out the highlights of the final match on Youtube

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of August 31:

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Osaka Tigers (2)
3 Serendip (4)
4 YC&AC (5)
5 Tokyo Wombats (3)
5 Kansai Fighters (6)
6 Wyverns (7)
7 Al Karam (8)
8 MAX (9)
9 Friends (11)
10 KRAC (10)

See the full list here.

We encourage all teams to send us your result statistics regularly so that your team’s rankings remain as accurate as possible. We are in a position to obtain the results of the official tournament matches on our own but we are looking for the results of the friendly matches.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

Ricky Ponting fears for the future of Test cricket because of 20/20. Do you agree?

Yes – 36%
No – 61%
May be – 4%

Take the new poll:

Do you agree with the postponement of the Champion’s Trophy to 2009?

Visit our home page today to vote!

Readers’ Corner

Editor** We encourage our readers to write back to us with your articles, opinion, feedback and criticism. Feel free to write about anything related to cricket, in Japan or outside.

Best of the Web

McGrath vs. Hayden, A local rivalry.

Cricket in China

Administrators in various sports have long regarded China as one of the great untapped markets and cricket is no exception. Read here.

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“When you play Australia, you do not merely play against a McGrath, a Ponting, a Hayden or a Gilchrist. You play against a mindset, a system” – Harsha Bogle writing in the Indian Express.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. Sri Lanka has featured in all Asia Cup final matches.

2. Former West Indian fast bowler Courtney Walsh is called Duracell for his ability to bowl very long spells of 10-12 overs without getting tired.

That’s all in this edition!

Engineers and YC&AC start a new era of friendship

Engineers and YC&AC start a new era of friendship

     Begin an annual one-match series By Sanjeeb Sahoo This marked the beginning of a new yearly one-match series with YC&AC and adds to YC&AC’s existing other annual series with KRAC, Kobe and the Sri Lankan Lions. For the Engineers, this adds to their existing friendship series called Pacific Friendship Cup with the Shizuoka Kytes, which has now expanded to include 6 other teams on a rotation basis. As usual, there is always trouble getting a decent eleven but Sanjeeb finally managed to get an eleven on Friday evening after some frantic phone calls. It was overloaded with batsmen and lacked a few bowling options. The weather was looking doubtful, though it was not raining in the morning of Sunday.

     YC&AC won the toss and elected to bat first. Captain and Vice captain thought it will be good to start the bowling with spin due to the nature of the wicket. Vimal started the bowling and it was obvious from the first over that the strategy is working. Dinesh from the other end was bowling with pace and variation. With the field set to perfection, runs were hard to come by and the pressure started taking a toll on the batsmen. Vimal had his first victim getting the batsman to push at one of his carrom balls. “Sharp Catch” , thought the captain, as soon as Satosh managed to save his face at slip 🙂 Next one was a beauty. Dangerous Avinash danced down the track to smack Vimal into the swimming pool, only to find the ball spin at 15 degrees, Rasib behind the stump was quick enough and even before Avinash realized that he was outside, the bails were removed.

     Next came in skipper Kamran and started hitting some splendid drives and square cuts and was threatening to take the game away from us. But Sanjeeb cut his stay short by devising a strategy that was executed to perfection. Santosh again took a good catch at slip. Don’t recall seeing so many catches taken at slip in recent years. At this stage the Engineers were on top, but next batsman Prashant Kale had other plans in mind. Missing chances also did not help our cause. We gave him at least five lives and he survived till the end scoring a splendid century and taking the score to 268 in 40 overs.

    Madhu can be considering most unlucky bowler here, most of the catches that came off his bowling were dropped. Though the score was looking daunting, we had still hopes of winning given that we had a strong batting side with former national player Sriram back in the team. But as soon as we finished the lunch break it started pouring down. Strategic decision was taken to push Vimal and Sriram down the order hopping the weather might improve latter, though it never did.

    Santosh and Masood started the proceedings. However Massod edged a beautiful out-swinger from Kamran and had to leave immediately. Dinesh, pushed up the order replaced him and started steadily. It was Santosh who decided to take the heat to the opposition. His Sehwag style lofted straight drives were a treat to watch and Kamran was on the receiving end of it. Runs were flowing freely at that stage, when rain started coming down really heavy and umpires decided to stop the play till it slows down a bit. We resumed after 15 minutes, but the break caused some loss in concentration and we lost 3 quick wickets . Dinesh, Santosh and Nitin got out in the span of 2 overs and balance shifted towards YC&AC. Vimal and Sanjeed started cautiously , too cautiously that the runs only came in odd singles which helped mount run rate steadily. Sanjeeb got out eventually failing to read an off cutter from the bowler. Sriram walked in and the difference between form and class was visible immediately.

     As the old saying goes “form is temporary, while class is permanent.” Sriram playing after almost a year, showed no sign of nerve or loss of form, and started timing the ball beautifully. Seeing this, Vimal on the other end grew in confidence and also started taking few risks. The runs started flowing freely again. But the rain kept pouring, visibility kept worsening and the outfield kept slowing down. More than 100 run partnership between Vimal and Sriram saw us cruising towards the respectable 200 runs mark. About 70 runs were required in last 8 overs. At this stage ground was completely wet and the pitch was like a small swimming pool. Ball was not rising at all. We could have stopped the play if we wanted, but we kept playing just for the spirit of the game.

     The conditions eventually denied us the win as we lost quick wickets, more due to the conditions than the bowling attack. Finally we managed 222/10 in 37 overs which under the circumstances can be considered a great score. Even the opposition appreciated the effort. Considering the weather and the way we managed to finish the game, I think it is fare to say that the spirit of cricket was the winner on that day. The game was played in a very friendly atmosphere and there were no conflicts to be noted. We attended the dinner and prize giving ceremony and thanked YC&AC for organizing the event and the beginning of a new era of friendship.

Vimal was adjudged man of the match from our side and Prashat Kale from YC&AC side. Both received a champagne bottle each.

Paddy Foley’s new recruits let Engineers make merry

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.

Dragons tail knocks Engineers out

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.

Friends grounded

Make-shift Engineers show their might

 By Sandeep Thakker

      What began as a cloudy Sunday morning at Edogawa, eased out into a good day and culminated in an interesting finish with a six of the last ball. The match was conceived only 2 days earlier and Engineers had a tough time putting up a decent team. In the end captain and president’s hard work bore fruit and an eleven were gobbled together on Saturday less than 24 hours before the match. Early morning drizzles caused the Friends captain to call off the match but a determined Engineers skipper was able to persuade the Friends to the ground. With 35 overs a side and the match starting at 12 noon, it was expected to be a tough fight but not without its ups and downs. Cleverly working out a winning strategy, the Engineers captain Sanjeeb Sahoo decided to bowl first against one of the strongest teams in Japan and KCL finalists for the last two years running.

     Having unknown entities in the side did not deter the skipper to take that courageous decision. Biju and Sangan opened the bowling for the Engineers against Friends’ usual opening pair of Asad and Saad. The script somehow did not have an auspicious beginning with the new comer Javed at long-off floored a skier in the 5th over off Saad, with Biju being the victim, robbing the Engineers of an early break-through. Engineers were quick to realise that there were more people with grease in their hands on the field as more than half-a-dozen catches went begging especially huge hits around the long off region. In spite of those initial hiccups, with fiery pace that Anurag generated Friends batsmen found it hard to handle the bowling. Soon the wheels started rolling and wickets began to tumble. With Ritesh on the other end not giving anything away the two pacers along with Biju gave the opposition much to think about and by the half way half way mark(17 overs), half of the batsmen were back in the hut with the score reading 79/5. But there was one more batsman the Engineers would have liked to see the back of earlier. Aamir Ali. The beneficiary of most of the dropped catches.

     Just when the Friends thought they had their feet in, came a good throw from point to the ‘keeper and with both the batsman stranded in the middle of the pitch the stumps were rattled resulting in a run out. But strangely enough, the decision went to the batsman’s favor, as the square leg umpire wasn’t convinced that the bails were taken off with the ball in hand. The exasperated Engineers continued without much fuss for the sake of the friendly game and maintained the discipline. It was as if one was inspiring the other and the good work done by Anurag and Ritesh were continued by Partha and Sanjeeb.

     On the whole the bowling appeared good, barring one over that went beyond double digits owing to a couple of high catches being dropped, butter fingers is what they say :-). Aamir, the captain coming lower down saved the day for Friends with some lusty hitting to finish with 69 and was the last man dismissed. Friends thus folded up at 173 well within 34 overs owing to some decent bowling performance by the Engineers, with Anurag being the chief destructor(4/17). The script could not have been better for the Engineers with Friends being quite contrast to the Engineers’ beginning in terms of discipline in bowling department. With at least a few wides in each over the task became easier for the Engineers and with a fluent 79 run opening partnership there was little to worry for the Engineers. After the fall of the first wicket Friends sniffed a chance and would have thought they would be able to cave their way back in whereas what happened was a total contrast.

    A hurricane by the name of Javed Jamadar came their way and they were swept off their feet with some lusty hitting. Its what pinch hitters are supposed to do, but none expected that boundaries would be cleared with such ease by this surprise package and last minute fill-in. Two of his hits landed in the river, prompting even the bowler to applaud. In fact even the Engineers did not expect this storm to hit the ground :). Though the Friends managed to get a couple of wickets but by the time they came it was too late for the Friends. In the end, an unfinished partnership of 49 between Raju and Sandeep saw Engineers home with Raju hitting a the winning runs by a six.

Brief scores: Friends: 173 (33.4ov.). Aamir Ali 69, A Singh 4/17 IECC: 174/4 . S Ghadge 39*, S Raju 30*.

Issue #85 Lively Cricket in Kanto & Kansai

Newsletter


May 8, 2008                                                                                              Issue #85

Hello and welcome to this edition of the I.E.C.C. Newsletter.

Index

  • Lively Cricket in Kanto
  • The Fine Print
  • Indian Engineers C.C on Wikipedia
  • Chiang Mai Sixes Report
  • ICC EAP News –
  • Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results
  • IECC Poll results
  • Best of the web
  • Snippet of the Month
  • Trivial facts from our Archives

 

Lively Cricket in Kanto & Kansai

As The KCL 2008 started with a bang, literally, when in the first match, Al Karam’s Chula Rodrigo banged a short one in, which, the Toyama captain,
Rizwan Mohammed, tried pull but only succeeded in not connecting it and ended up in the hospital with a broken nose. The match was eventually won
by Al Karam. Toyama CC: 146 (30 overs) (Amjad Mirza, 3/15) Al Karam CC: 146/2 (15.1 overs) (Hanif Mohammad, 80*; Javed Niazi, 32*). In other
matches so far, new comers Indian Tigers nearly pulled off a coup in their first match when they had the YC&AC at 92/5 at one stage. A couple of
lives granted to the YC&AC batsmen at that stage helped them post a formidable 257/8. The Tigers, however, could only manage 157 in their chase.
In the third match, the Indian Engineers defeated Shizuoka Kytes by 3 wickets.

In Kansai, the Kansai Cup kicked off as well with various matches being played in the month of April. Watch this space for more updates.

For Latest results are available here.

The Fine Print

Nearly half of the Australian cricketers contracted with their board are willing to give up their international careers for playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) or its rival Indian Cricket League (ICL), a survey conducted by the country’s Players’ Association has revealed.
###

A study by the St Andrews University in Britain has revealed that successful Test cricketers have an average life expectancy of 80 years – they are happier because of the acclaim they have received and are therefore less likely to suffer from illness even in old age. The researchers at the university came to the conclusion after looking at 418 cricketers who had played for England between 1876, when the first Test match was played, and 1963. The average life expectancy for those who played more than 25 Tests was 77.95, compared with 73.25 years for the others, found the study which considered players’ social backgrounds, that influences how long people live
###

The troubled Olympic torch relay run in India suffered yet another jolt with Sachin Tendulkar pulling out of the event a day before the event on medical grounds. The master batsman has been advised by his IPL team physio A Ijaz not to take part in the run in view of his groin injury, sources close to Mumbai Indians team said.
###

Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA) has warned that the ICC may be faced with the biggest players’ revolt in the history of the game if it continues to be “paralysed” by the BCCI and remains “incompetent” in its handling of issues facing the sport. FICA’s international legal adviser Ian Smith said the resentment among the players against the ICC’s handling of affairs is so strong that they are ready to break ranks and run the show themselves
###

Security officials posted at the Multan stadium for the fourth ODI between Pakistan and Bangladesh evicted a man trying to enter the host team’s dressing room posing as senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf. Mohammad Shafiq, who has a striking resemblance of Yousuf also styled himself on the batsman with the same flowing beard and cap.
###

The Vijay Mallya-owned Bangalore Royal Challengers of the IPL have employed Pompom-wielding cheerleaders from the United States. They roped in “Washington Redskins Cheerleaders” to be its official cheerleaders for the first four matches of the tournament. According to the Redskins’ website, 12 of their cheerleaders and two choreographers will spend 18 days touring the country and performing at major events, including the first four games of the Bangalore IPL team.
###

The taxman is knocking on the BCCI’s door on IPL windfall they earn under “business auxiliary service(BAS)”. Under the franchise model, the franchisees have to pay 10 per cent of the bid amount every year to BCCI, as a franchisee fee. With the auction fetching BCCI $723.59 million, BCCI will get $72.36 million each year. Since players, too, are not playing for the country, their purchase fees would be liable to service tax again under BAS. Broadcasting rights for 10 years went for over $1 billion in addition to their sale of time slots for ads. Naming Pepsi as the IPL official drink for five years went for a fee of $12.5 million in addition to the branding of stumps in DLF name. So the taxman is also laughing on his way to the bank.
###

Source: Various web and print media.

Indian Engineers C.C on Wikipedia

We recently found out that this Newsletter(issue #43) was cited as external resource in wikipedia for the definition of kilikit.

For a detailed information on kilikit, a Samoan national cricket festival, read our Issue# 43.

Chiang Mai Sixes

Ian Gason Reports:

The 21st Chiang Mai Sixes was held recently and again the Tokyo Wombats made the tour- all in the name of promoting Japanese cricket, of course.
Japan’s World Cricket League participation (Jersey, May/June) cost them 2 players, so re-inforcements were called in: Robin, from Somerset via
Chiang Mai, and Sri Lankan Test player Ravindra Pushpakamara. “Pushy” provided some big hitting and one memorable moment when a hard night saw him
walking a single, only to be run out when a Thai lad’s return from cow-corner rolled into the stumps! Pushy’s heavyweight support was matched by
internationals such as Trevor Chappell, Amal Silva and a few ex-Bangladeshi players too, and Tokyo early losses saw them qualify for the Bowl, 3rd
of 4 divisions.

Running around Chiang Mai’s many bars in traditional Japanese yukatas, and other nocturnal activities which hark to an era before dietitians and
conditioning coaches, left the Tokyo Wombats in less the prime condition. Despite the 8am start, TW won their semi-final on the last ball and took
on Amal Silva’s Silva Stars in the final. A late flurry of runs saw TW post 82, a challenging score. Sadly, for the 2nd time in a row, TW stumbled
on the final hurdle, after an errant opening over handed Silva Stars 42 runs!

The loss hardly dented the memories of another fantastic week in Thailand. Chiang Mai Sixes is one of many 6s in Asia, all working on the theme of
making friends through playing cricket. Thanks to the organisers and sponsors, and we will see you all next year!

Photos: http://www.tokyowombats.com/gallery.html
http://www.cricketsixes.com/index.htm

Three Japanese Umpires on the ICC EAP Umpiring Panel

The ICC EAP office has reconstituted the EAP Umpires Panel and Supplementary Umpires Panel recently, the first revision since it was first formed  in 2005. The Umpires Panel includes two of Japan’s most experienced and widely respected umpires, Neil Harrison and Anton McCloy. While McCloy was part of the Umpires Panel since its inception, for Harrison this a promotion from the Supplementary Panel. The Supplementary Umpires Panel included Japan’s Chris Thurgate for the first time.

Here is the list of the Panels:

2008 EAP Umpires Panel

Geoff Clelland (Vanuatu)
Clive Elly (PNG)
Shahul Hameed (Indonesia)
Neil Harrison (Japan)
Grant Johnston (Vanuatu)
Anton McCloy (Japan)
Lakani Oala (PNG)

2008 EAP Supplementary Umpires Panel

Sachin Gopalakrishnan (Indonesia)
Ioane Henry (Cook Islands)
Raka Ipi (PNG)
Nigel Morrison (Vanuatu)
Peter Poulos (Samoa)
Walesi Soqoiwasa (Fiji)
Chris Thurgate (Japan)

While there are no EAP tournaments scheduled for 2008, both the panel members will be considered for other tournaments including ICC World Cricket League events and domestic competitions in Australia and New Zealand. The ICC Associate & Affiliate International Umpires Panel was established in 2005 and umpires on this panel officiate in ODIs involving Associate members, Intercontinental Cup matches and other ICC events such as the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. Brian Aldridge of New Zealand and New Zealand Cricket provides a lot of resources to assist the development of panel
members with the delivery of Introduction and Level 1 Umpiring Courses.

Indian Engineers’ Japan Cricket Rating – New results

Results as of April 30:

There were a few changes in the ranking last month based on the few friendly matches played in March.

Here is the list of the top 10 teams(last month’s ranking in brackets):

1 Tokyo Giants (1)
2 Osaka Tigers (2)
3 YC&AC (4)
4 Wyverns (3)
5 Serendip (5)
6 MAX (7)
7 Kansai Fighters (8)
8 Tokyo Wombats (6)
9 Al Karam (11)
9 KRAC (9)
10 Osaka Bulldogs (10)

See the full list here.

IECC Poll results

Here is the last poll result:

In your opinion what should the the IPL and ICL players choose?

Country (and less money) – 71%
Financial Security – 29%

Take the new poll:

Judging by the media coverage IPL receives, do you think IPL has long term prospects or will it be short-lived?

Readers’ Corner

I liked the new addition to dictionary section in the last issue. Very funny!

– Bobby Philips

Best of the Web

Andrew Symonds pushes his coach during a shake hand session

Mainichi Shimbum report on Japanese Cricket

Snippets of the Month

Note: Beginning the Issue #39 (May 6, ’04), we bring you some interesting snippets from the cricket world, to celebrate the fourth anniversary this Newsletter and first anniversary of our popular “Trivial Facts” series. The same will be published on the front page of our website too.

“It was a shake hand at the wrong place” – Sreeshant about the alleged slap by Harbhajan Singh.

Trivial facts (from our Archives)

1. In ODIs, Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar holds the record for hundreds in successive innings(4). In Tests, Sanath Jayasuriya and Brian Lara share the
record with 3 hundreds in 3 innings.

2. In Tests, Don Bradman scored back-to-back hundreds on as many as nine consecutive Tests – easily the best effort by any batsman so far.

That’s all in this edition!

Tigers blown away by the Engineers with a fantastic display of all round cricket

Newbies show their potential

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

      There were a lot of doubt on Friday and Saturday if this match can be played considering the weather forecast. Though we had both Shizouka and Edogawa grounds available , weather forecast was not looking good at either of the places but in the end we decided to stick to Tokyo. Light drizzle posed a threat of cancellation but the captains decided to take the chance at the weather and decided to get to the ground, one eager to play its only second match since inception and the other salivating the prospect of easy four points against their compatriot rivals. But the presence of Japanese women’s team at the ground caused some confusion about who the ground was given to but soon sorted out with ladies agreeing to leave although the Engineers were tempted to take the help of the ladies to fill the no. 10 and 11 spot. You guessed it right, we had only 9 for the match, thanks to last minute drop outs with and without intimation. As heavy rain was predicted late in the afternoon, 35 overs-per-side match was decided. Engineers skipper called the coin right and elected to bat first given the inexperience of the newbies. Skipper spent his first 30 minutes on the phone making frantic calls to have 11 on the field while some weak hearted ones engaged in the conversation with the fairer sex.

    Skipper at last hit the jackpot when he convinced Ashish join an hour later. Vimal and Masood opened the innings but Vimal didn’t last long as he nicked one to the slip trying to drive the ball that pitched almost on the edge of the pitch. Amol then walked in to give company to Masood who was batting well and looking solid after hitting a huge six over square leg. Seemed like he was in an aggressive mood. Amol playing his first match of the season, nicked a slower ball to the keeper and had to walk back quickly. As the score reading 2/35 skipper promoted Raju to no 3 for this game and he made his aggressive intent clear from the beginning. But a poor calling between Raju and Masood resulted in the latter running himself out. Score reading 3/41 at the 10th over, captain walked in with the intent to stabilize things a bit. Raju and yours truly batted and used caution and aggression intermittently and bailed the Engineers out of a tight spot. By the time Raju got out the score was reading 4/102 on the 21st over. Raju sent the Tigers on a leather hunt and one of the best was a straight six over long on that almost landed in the river.

     After Raju got out, Dinesh and Anurag gave company to the skipper and they managed to add another 50 runs. Jagan walked in the score reading 6/151 and opened his account hitting a lovely square cut for 4. Just 2 overs were left and Jagan fell victim to a poor calling , sacrificing his wicket for his skipper. Biju was next, and the field being well spread they decided to nudge the ball around and run as fast as they can. In the last over 10 runs were scored just by running and by the end both Biju and Sanjeeb were gasping for breath. Final score was 7/194 with Sanjeeb remaining not out on 59 hitting 5 fours and a six in the process. After a quick 15 minutes lunch break Engineers borrowed some caps from the tigers to keep there head out of the rain and took to the field. Biju started the proceedings with the new ball. A 5/3 field was set considering that we had only 10 on the field. Biju on his 2nd over got the ball to bounce from the good length and Abraham the opener could only fend it awkwardly to Dinesh at the slip after it brushed the gloves of the batsman. Biju provided another break through again by claiming the Tigers no. 3 and vice captain and Engineer’s former mate Anil. I remember some one saying something which meant that the “after the pressure of captainship is gone, the bounce in the bowling is back”. All the bowlers bowled a tight line.

     Anurag was almost unplayable for the 6 overs he bowled. We took wickets at regular intervals and always kept the Tigers under pressure. In the end Jagan came in and took 2 wickets in just 3 balls and wrapped on Tiger’s innings on the 20.3 overs for 66. He was on a hat trick but unfortunately no wickets were left to be taken. The win came just before the heavy shower. Both the Engineers and Tigers deserve a pat on there back  for the spirit with which they played and made the match possible on a rainy day. Here are few highlights from the match. – Masood maturing as an opener. A thumping Six over square leg showed that he can be aggressive if he chooses to. – Raju played a crucial role as a pinch hitter.

   A huge Six over long on that almost landed in the river proves his ability. – Partnership between Raju and Sanjeeb was the pillar of the IECC innings. – We managed to play out all 35 overs without getting all out. – Biju again leading the attack with the bowling and provided the crucial early breakthroughs. – Anurag bowling with great pace and accuracy with the slippery ball and destroyed the Tiger’s. Sanjeeb provided the support from the other end. – Jagan taking 2 wickets in just 3 balls he bowled and on a hat-trick when he bowls in the next game. Certainly the long absence from the game has not dampened his pace and swing. – Vimal doing a great job behind the stump in absence of our regular keepers. – Our fielding was good. Dinesh’s catch at the slip, high catches by Masood and diving effort by Amol at the point were some of the highlights of our effort in the field. – Special thanks to Ashish who joined us on a very short notice, did not get to bat , fielded in the rain and saved around 10/15 valuable runs for us. Should go a long way to remind everyone that, a team is made from individuals but how successful and long lasting the team is depends on the sacrifices we are willing to make.

Brief scores: IECC: 194/7 (35 ov.). S Sahoo 59* Indian Tigers: 66 (20.3 ov). A Sing 3/15

Engineers record their first win panting and puffing

Kytes fly on Arbab 50

By Biju Paul

A new season couldn’t have started better for the Engineers. After back-to-back washouts of the practice matches, Engineers set out for their first serious match with only a couple of net sessions behind them but those sessions  turned out to be good enough to beat the Kytes, though the Engineers new captain would have liked a much better performance from his batsmen. The coin was tossed on time – thanks to the Kytes who had laid out the pitch before the Engineers arrived – Kytes skipper called it right and gave the Engineers what they wanted – fielding, much to the disappointment of the most vociferous (and noisy) advocate of batting first, Ritesh Kakkar. Joel and Todd opened the innings for the Kytes facing Anurag and this writer. The Kytes did not seem to be interested in scoring any runs as a vast majority of their runs came from extras. After 6 overs the Kytes scoreboard looked 1/14 with yours truly surprising himself with a bowling analysis at one stage having 3.4-2-1-1. Joel Chamberlain was the batsman out in the 4th over of the match, clean bowled after surviving a very close LBW shout in the previous delivery. Arbab replaced Joel and started jittery but settled down quickly with singles. No threats from Kytes so far as they progressed at a Test match run rate. After Dinesh had opener Todd caught at cover off an intelligently bowled slower one, his replacement Sharpe did not last long as he was caught at cover by Anurag off Ritesh, a decision that left the batsman fuming, as he thought it was a bump ball. Larry came, consumed 17 balls to for a score of 6 and the fall of Larry brought Abbot. But he didn’t last either and fell to Anurag for 5 and the batsmen left screaming and cursing as if a well set batsman getting out to a careless shot. That brought skipper Neil with his bat thicker than Sharpe’s thigh muscle and scored runs at a good pace. Arbab, meanwhile, at the other end continued to play his shots, with the Engineers skipper Sanjeeb bearing the brunt of his attack. Sanjeeb went for 22 runs in his first over, all by Arbab and the batsman completed  his 50 in that process. Sanjeeb, however, had the last laugh, having him caught at long on by Bobby – an excellent running catch that was but not before flooring a similar one in the previous over. That brought the last man, Robert-Gills Martineau for company for Neil. Sanjeeb then brought your reporter to cleanup the Kytes tail, which prompted the umpire Anton McCloy to take out his pocket calculator to calculate the combined age of the two batsmen, bowler and the umpire himself. A combined experience of 200 years on the field at the same time! Oh, KCL you are the winner! When Sanjeeb had RGM LBW, the Kyes had scored 138, thanks to Arabab and Wides(38). In the beginning, a target of 139 looked easy as long as the usual crumble didn’t happen and it didn’t to a certain extend. Opener Masood had held fort at one end with a solid 21 off 55 balls when wickets went cheaply at the other end. The Engineers did have a scare with the score at 6/91 when Bobby fell for a 17 ball 10, after a partnership of 21 with the come back boy Dinesh Singh. Ritesh joined Dinesh and the duo then set about scoring without resorting to any rash shots and put up a 39 runs partnership to sail the Engineers safe. Dinesh fell for a stroke filled 23(2×4, 1×6) when 10 runs required for the victory, which the next batsman Anurag and Ritesh completed in the 34th over, dashing the Kytes hope of a victory against the Engineers for which they had brought back the last successful captain against the Engineers, who had abdicated his duty two years ago. Over all, the game was good, it was nice to see the old man on the field with a dead bat, ordering a mortuary like silence on the filed when he faced the bowler, walking away when the sound of the bowler’s foot steps distracted his intense focus. Thank you Kytes for the good lunch!

Brief scores: S Kytes 138(35.3 ov) A Mohammed 57, S Sahoo 3/31 IECC 139/7(33.5 ov). D Singh 23, S Navod 4/37.

Wombats play allround Cricket

Engineers fail to put up fighting total

 By Biju Paul

 The 7th Pacific Cup didn’t live up to the hype the teams played up through pre-match emails. Rather it was a tame and one-sided affair with the Engineers not being able to put up a decent score, underlining their weak batting strength for the past 3 years. But to be fair, it is a fact that most teams in Japan has only two or three good batsmen and when they are missing from the lineup, the team suddenly becomes vulnerable even to ordinary bowling attacks.

Enough of justification for the loss and into the story. Engineers won the toss and skipper elected to bat first after a divided opinion – based on which car you traveled in the morning. Skipper assigned Ritesh, the man with an eye on the opener’s slot for a long time, as the partner to regular opener Vimal. Both seemed to play well and at good pace until Wombats opening bowler, Ray, induced Vimal a false shot and was caught at mid-on in the 3rd over. Early loss of a wicket forced the Engineers think-tank to send Santosh as a pinch hitter, and man did he do the job! Wombats’ normally sedate Ian Gason was carted on the park, made to utter comments such as “don’t charge at me” when the batsman’s one foot is one foot inside the crease. Second change Dawson was so rattled with a consecutive four and six that he the next two deliveries became beamers and the bowler was duly taken off and Ferris completed the over. On the other end, Ritesh continued his go slow policy, in the pretext of holding fort and rotating the strike. End of 10 overs saw Engineers posting 49/1, no doubt a decent score by any standards. But Ian ended Ritesh’s agony by clean bowling him after scoring 7 runs off 30 deliveries. Did the Engineers discover yet another Wall? From then the story took the familiar course for the Engineers. From 49/1 in 10 overs, they slumped to 60/6 in 17 overs, giving the Wombats some easy meat. New comer Mayank helped establish some semblance of order by some lusty hits over the top and gave some respectability to Engineers’ ultimate total of 110. His aggressive 23 runs included a top edged 6, which traveled higher up more than twice the distance it needed to clear the boundary. Not having enough runs to defend, captain lobbed the ball to Vimal and Anurag to provide an ideal start. Seeing no results coming after the first few overs, he took the ball in his own hand (pun unintended) and almost produced immediate result. A short ball, a pull by batsman, ball flies to the strategically placed fielder at square leg boundary. Fielder does not have to move an inch, ball lands into his hands and through his hands into the grass safely for four. From then on, Wombats batsmen played a chanceless innings while this writer tried almost every bowler he could see on the field. As the skipper reached his wits end and Wombats near the target, he called Bobby and Bikash, to salvage some pride and avoid the ignominy of loosing the match by 10 wickets. Both bowled well and Bobby brought a wicket when he caught Jarrad plumb in front of the wicket. By that time, the Wombats had an opening stand of 107 runs, just 4 short of the target. Over all, Wombats played good all round cricket. They bowled well, took their catches and batted sensibly. With this, they will be facing the Kytes in the Pacific Cup final.

Brief scores: IECC 110. S Ghadge 34, M Prakash 23 Womats 111/1. C Mortimer 50*, J Shearer 40.

Nagoya throws Engineers out of the KCL semi-final chances

Nissar’s bowling heroics go in vain

 By Amol Vaidya

 Its a bouncy bouncy Shizuoka. If anyone tells you that the ball does not bounce on flix pitches, they should have watched the Engineers v. Nagoya match at Shizuoka. No one imgined that 12 Aug would happen to be the day of the best ever bowling display by an Engineer. It was none other than Nissar Ahmed who started cautiously with a perfect off side attack. Slowly he started picking up pace and got a terrific bounce from the dead wicket. But along with the display of speed and bounce it was real bowling craftsmanship that won him his first wicket. Nagoya started off well with a 49 runs opening partnership which was broken when first change Sanjeeb had Tariq, the opener, caught behind for 21. Soon, Saqib, the skipper and other opener followed having caught with leg in front of the stumps to Sanjeeb. Nagoya 55/2. At this stage skipper thought Bobby, who put up two outstanding bowling performance in the previous two matches by taking a total of 7 wickets, would be a good bet and was brought on.

He bowled reasonably well but could not do the job for which he was brought on – to take wickets. Nissar replaced Bobby to unleash one of the best pace bowling display. Nagoya’s no. 3, Ijaz, was stunned by a super fast bouncer, probably the first ball of the innings that took the batsman off guard. Nissar followed it up with yet another bouncer, pushing the batsman on the back foot. Next followed the first of the 5 magic balls. The third ball was at the perfect spot and left the batsman’s off stump disturbed. That was when the nagoya batsmen sensed fear. Batsmen came and went back. In a matter of 6 overs, Nissar had victimized 5 batsman. At one stage, the skipper set almost a Test match field for Nissar, two slips, gully, point, short cover, mod off, long-on and square leg. Captain had such faith in Nissar that he left the entire area between square leg and long on vacant and the bowler did not disappoint his skipper. The big hitting Nagoya batsmen were forced to play on back foot, many times, the ball bouncing to such level that batsmen were forced to ask for helmets on the flicx pitch! Nissar continued his aggression throughout his 6 over spell that accounted for 5 batsmen, with two of his victims falling in two consecutive balls and that over also produced 3 wickets. At 141/7, Nagoya’s Ahmed Gul walked in wearing a helmet – he later admitted that it was the first time in his life he wore one. Gul, in his previous encounter with the Engineers had almost single handedly took the game away from the Engineers early in the season with a 40-odd ball 70+ runs. True to his reputation, Gul tried to counter-attack Nissar by lofting the first ball he faced, only to find Sanjeeb lurking at long-on.

The ball landed safely in his hands, reducing Nagoya to 141/8. At the second drinks break the Engineers were confident that they would have a small target to chase. Nagoya was 141/8 in 25 overs. But what was to follow was sheer carnage. There was no one to put an equal pressure on the other end and the 9th wicket fell only at 202 and the last wicket put up an unbroken partnership of 53 runs with Hamim Khan at no. 10 scoring 46 valuable runs(I would like to ask them about their diet). Also as usual some sloppy fielding and extras added to the total, much to the embarrassment of the Engineers. All said and done the Engineers had to chase 256 in their allotted 40 overs. Vimal and this writer opened the innings for the Engineers. Probably picking some tips from Nissar’s book the Nagoya bowlers also bowled very well. Though they bowled wides occasionally, they were quite fast and bouncy too.

Trying to accelerate the innings a bit, Vimal edged one to the keeper. This marked the start of yet another familiar collapse for the Engineers. Next to follow was Amol, who was yorked by an inswinging yorker from Ahmed Gul. Nissar along with sanjeeb was the right combination at this juncture. But unlike his steady shots Nissar fell to a bouncer, trying to pull it to the ropes, but managing only to get a glove on it to the ‘keeper. In walked Bobby “The Wall” Philips. Indeed Bobby tried to be a wall between the attacking Nagoya bowlers and the Engineers’ score! He blocked ball after ball and the scores recorded dot after dot against his name, all of 19 balls. Only an unfortunate run-out, when he tried to help the striker get a run, stopped the batsmen from being a true wall and a serious contender for Fuji Far East’s Sato, who, two years ago scored a marathon duck off 36 balls. Expectedly, after the fall of the Wall, batsmen came and went. Another twist came when Engineers no. 8 Minhaj and Biju were batting. They batted for nearly 7 overs with Minhaj almost out stripping Bobby of the title. Only a miscounting by Minhaj resulted in he taking his first single after 18 balls and let Bobby keep the title. Over all, Engineers lack of bowling options resulted in keeping Nagoya under check. Having had Nagoya at 141/8, Engineers let them out of the cage and then lacked the discipline in batting.

As for Nagoya, it was a tremendous effort to score 255/9 from that stage. It is also commendable that the Nagoya boys tried to counter attack the Engineers when Nissar was going berserk. Although their ploy misfired, it displayed their tough and competitive mindset.

Brief scores: Nagoya 255/9. Shafiq 43, Hasim Khan 46, N Ahmed 5/34 IECC 103. S Ahmed 3/19, Ahmed Gul 3/18.

Engineers roll over the Kytes

Old hat spearheads the chase

By Silvester Pereira

     Another beautiful weather ensured a full day’s play for the Engineers playing their first KCL match. Kyte’s skipper Sharpe won the toss on their home turf an elected to bat – BTW, Engineer’s mantra this year is chasing. Lalith and Ryan opened the innings for the Kytes while Ritesh and Anurag opened the bowling for the Engineers. The Kytes lost their first wicket when first change Sangan clean bowled Lalit for 4 with the score reading XXX-1. One down Harvey didn’t last long, trying a big hit and was caught beautifully at deep mid wicket by Raju off the bowling of Vimal for 5 with score reading XXX-2 in YYY overs. In walked the skipper looking as confident as ever and decided to stabilize the innings. He played very sensibly in the first few overs, taking singles and building a good partnership with Ryan, who on the other end provided good support to his captain. With score reading 1XX- X, Anurag produced a superb delivery tempting Sharpe on the front foot who was unable to make bat on ball and loosing his stumps. It was an important wicket as Sharpe had been going for the kill knocking off fours and even sixes all over the place. At the end of 25 overs, the Kytes had gradually built up their innings.

     Maber and Tomilson carried on from where Sharpe left, taking singles, smacking loose balls to the boundary and put up a good partnership to take Kytes to a respectable score of 197 all out. Through out the innings, the fielding by the Engineers was very good except for some bowling which we gave many extras and at the same time had 7 Kytes batsmen bowled.and two run-outs. Given the strength of the engineers, 197 runs is an achievable target on this ground. During the break, Sanjeeb had a hard time working with the batting order before he zeroed in on Vimal and Vishwa to open the innings. Opening the bowling Sharpe, known for his sharp, accurate bowling did his best to find the breakthrough. However Vimal and Vishwa batted very sensibly, taking singles, smacking lose balls all over the fence and a good understanding in running between the wickets. The first runs on the board was a beautiful six at square leg by Vishwa on a delivery which was up and rising. The pair put on a good first wicket partnership of 5XX before Vimal, Ritesh joined in and along with Vishwa, the two batsmen went on the attack producing a match winning partnership of YYY. Vishwa showed off his experience, hitting all bowlers Shizuoka had on hand and frustrating the opponents with every boundary. Ritesh provided excellent support, scoring runs at every opportunity, had a life when he was dropped by Sharpe in the same over by Tomlin, mis-timed and gave another catch to Sharpe, at cover who made no mistake this time.

     Bobby, who joined Vishwa, chipped in 12 runs before being bowled by Steward. Vishwa, on the other hand kept on going and it appeared, as if, he would last until the final run is scored. However, an excellent catch at first slip by Ryan of the bowling of Suresh brought an end to a beautiful innings of 82 scored by our “very young at heart”, dependable and master craftsman Vishwa. Sanjeeb and Nissar played out the remaining runs to a well deserved victory for the engineers, who were never in trouble, always on top, confidant looking boosted with a fresh blood of all-rounders. This team has potential if we can be consistent to produce the same level of cricket in the upcoming games.

Brief scores: S Kytes 197 (40 ov). M Sharpe 45 IECC 198/4 (28 ov).  V Ghosh 82

Wombats give the Engineers a good work out

Engineers crumble…. again

By Jagan Panda

     It was raining steadily by the time we got to the Kanetsu expressway and were getting prepared for a U-turn, but for the assurance of local expert Zaheer that it is all clear and sunny in Gunma we kept heading for the ground. Indeed the weather cleared up beaconing a good day of cricket.Sanjeeb won the toss and relying on the recent record of the Engineers chasing good scores after putting the opposition in, chose to do the same – asking the depleted Wombats to bat (Ritesh, it’s not just you). Ajey and Anurag opened the bowling and their disciplined bowling saw the Wombats crawling to 26 after 10 overs. The opening bowlers beat the bat quite often but somehow the breakthrough didn’t happen.

     The Wombats openers managed to just hang in there accumulating dot balls. The first change bowler Jagan started with a disastrous over as the wides keep flowing down the leg. The epic over lasted for 18 balls (is that an IECC record?) with the 8th ball bowled being the first legal delivery. Sanjeeb replaced Anurag and brought sanity to the proceedings. The captain’s faith in Jagan paid off as he got rid of Wombats opener Jones. This breakthrough brought a flurry of wickets as Wombats slumped to 56/4. At the half-way mark, Wombats were 64/4 and there wasn’t a single boundary scored. The favourable position allowed the captain to bring some more bowling changes and Santosh was called up to his own surprise. Suddenly Dawson broke the shackles with few boundaries off Santosh. Soon Ajey was brought back and produced immediate results. He got through opener Mortimer’s expansive drive. The 5th wicket partnership brought Wombats back into the game.

     After that wickets kept falling and Wombats were all out for 156. Opener Mortimer did well to held one end for 30 overs and Dawson helped himself to a brisk half-century. After successfully chasing 266 in the previous match 157 seemed a reasonable target but the ground conditions were very different and some big hitters were missing too . Sylvester and Amol opened the inning for the Engineers and Wombats opted for the pace/spin combination. On the very second ball Sylvester played on a yorker. First down batsmen Santosh and Amol hung in for sometime until Santosh hesitantly pushed a flighted one into the hands of short covers. Amol’s resistance ended when he nicked one behind. After 10 overs the Engineers were 30/3 with steady Sanjeeb and swashbuckling Bobby at the crease. Lots of hope left… or so we thought. The weather after holding up well so far, gave up to strong winds and thunderstorm. Everybody took a forced break in their cars. The weather cleared up a while later and play resumed. But Booby came back soon, praising how good the ball was, as he edged a rising delivery behind.

     At 33/4, Engineers were desperately looking for partnership to stay in the game. New batsman Anurag and Sanjeeb just did that. Sanjeeb got boundaries going over the top few times and Anurag kept accumulating steadily. At the time of drinks after 25th over, Engineers needed 67 in 15 overs with 6 wickets in hand. Soon after the drinks, Anurag was bowled missing a straight one. The partnership was worth 64 runs and gave Engineers a chance. Sanjeeb left soon trying to hit a full toss out of the ground but found the man at deep midwicket. Bikash, Jagan and Ajey gave some hope but failed in reaching the target. Engineers were finally all out for 136 when last man Zaheer was bowled, falling short by 20 runs. With 4 overs left, the outcome could have been different had the Engineers batted till the end. None other than Sanjeeb and Anurag, managed to get to double figures.

     Overall, it was a good game with fluctuating fortunes. With KCL games lined up from now, the Engineers should be looking forward to bowling performances (of course, sans few things) like this.

Brief scores: Wombats 156(38 ov). R Dawson 50, J Panda 4/35, S Sahoo 3/19 IECC 136 (35 ov). S Sahoo 35.

Nagoya boys no match for the Engineers

Engineers prove to be good chasers!

By Ritesh Kakar

     Fantastic summer’s day as we trooped off to Shizoka. Shizoka looked pretty, small ground laid with lush green grass cut to fine length by the venerable, grand old man with a synthetic turf pitch in the middle. The cars parked in shade which looked to be a ball magnet (Bobby was a bit nervous and did everything to hide his car). Our very own Biju won the toss (again) and had to do some hard convincing act to impress upon the team for the need to field first and how it will benefit the team in the upcoming KCL. Captain had his way and asked the Nagoya boys to bat first (not sure why he elects to field every time when I am around).

     Engineers got the first break through when the score was at 11 with me dismantling the stumps of AJ stewart with a seaming in cutter. Things were steady after that as the batters chose not to touch the bouncing ball, whenever they did, it got the edge and went in for runs with couple of possible chances missed in the slips (“one was a bit too high and the other one was a way too low”, said Santosh). Bowling chang worked and Mahesh got us the wicket of steady looking Kiyani, the opener, found the gloves of bobby, the keeper, while trying to sweep Mahesh (work on your pace dude). On the other end Nissar kept the pace going and got 2 vital wickets with catches going to Biju and Viswa(a fine running catch). Sanjeeb also chipped in as he cleaned the Nagoya’s captain. Nissar also made Lalit’s off stumps fly in air. If everything looked bowler friendly, you might wonder where all the runs came from. Well, it was essentially a team effort in conceding the extras (scored 70 odd) with byes going away for 4’s (uneven bounce, strayed line). But credit must be given to Hussain (nick named Gavasker by me) who scored 71 in 4s and 6s with Nagoya scoring 110 in the last 9 overs. A few words exchanged as well among the Engineers in panic. (disciplinary committee might want to have a look). Nagoya were at 155 after 31 overs when the 5th wicket fell and the Engineers were expecting a total of 190 or thereabout after 40 overs.

     The 6th wicket fell at 167 in the 33rd over and things were ok until that point. But what happened after that was mayhem. Hussain, the new batsman, who claimed he was playing real cricket after a small gap of 17 years, hit the ball all around the park and in no time reached 50. By the time the last ball was bowled, he was 71 not out and and the Engineers were left with a total of 265 to score. Did the captain’s plans go awry? Goshhhhh! what about the buttery hands? We dropped 8 catches and helped some to even go for six. Jagan, Ritesh (“yaar hawa bahut tez hai”), Viswa, Santosh (“ek upar tha aur ek neechey”), Bobby (“it’s mine”) and Biju topped the list. Jagan took two well judged catches only find that he was out side the rope when took them. So, with the target set to 266 in 40 overs the Engineers were somewhat happy as they were sensing some batting practice for everybody(part of captain’s plan?). Nissar and promising new comer and Amol went out to chase but Amol didn’t live up to the expectation of his captain, perishing to the very first ball of the innings(c&b off Aatish), giving the Engineers a disastrous start.  Disastrous or over cautious starts, middle order collapse, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, making innocuous bowling look extremely dangerous – the Engineers are not new to these situations. In walked Bobby, who had a rough patch only last year when he was the captain (pressure of captaincy?). His partnership with Nissar for the 2nd wicket (effectively the opening partnership) lasted for 18 overs yielding 136 runs mostly dominated by Nissar with thumping lofted drives, meanest cuts and some of the bloodiest pulls.

     Nissar scored his 50 off 36 deliveries. Bobby (34 off 45 balls) hung in well and produced some over the top on the on side strokes but got ambitious and found his stumps disturbed. Vice captain Sanjeeb joined the party and looked “Azhar” to me as he produced some wristy boundaries but fell in just after their partnership crossed the 50 mark. Sanjeeb scored a quickfire 22 off 16 balls. He was caught and bowled by Afridi but there was nothing to worry as Viswa and company were still there. With still 80 odd to get I went in next and held the ground with Nissar who was in the 90s at that time. He completed his century with an on drive for a single and was appreciated by everybody including the opponents. His century came off only 75 balls. Our partnership (75 odd) had taken us to a stroke away from victory and I asked Nissar to score the winning runs and gave him strike with only 2 to get in 5 overs. To everybody’s surprise, he tried an ambitious pull to Aksar with the ball keeping low marking the end of an innings to remember. He ended up with 124(10×4, 6×6). New (old) man Viswa walked in with only 2 runs to get but gave simple return catch to the bowler, who dived to his front, in the 2nd ball he faced. Comical scenes followed in the dressing room. With victory all but assured everyone had started changing to the their own normal clothes some still in undies and no one was prepared to go out next.

      All of a sudden there is commotion and uncertainty as to who will go next, Santosh offering to go without any protection and in slippers but the one who went out was Silvester, who, half way through to the wicket remembered he had forgotten to protect his most important person. In the end Silvester guided the ball he faced to gully for the required 2 runs. Over all it was the good batting that won us the match (in desperate need of a fielding coach) led by the hostile Nissar. Nagoya will strike back with more venom as half of their bowling battery wasn’t there and the Engineers will try to hold the ground in the next encounter (KCL match). On the way back, Bobby bettered his own record of 2 hours to Shizuoka in the morning by 30 minutes and drove us back (safely, that is!) in 1.5 hours flat, thanks to the unusually near empty Tomei.

Brief scores: Nagoya 265/8. Tariq 64, Hussain 71, N Ahmed 3/56 IECC 266/5 (35.4 ov). N Ahmed 126, B Philips 34, R Kakar 39*

Myoden makes light of a competitive target

Engineers struggle to make an eleven

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

It was a windy day at Edogawa and there was some doubt whether the ground will be in a condition to play. The surrounding area of the pitch was indeed wet and the Engineers has to justify their name by doing some innovative repairing work with the help of Myoden. By the time the writer reached the ground the match had already started. Fortunately the Engineers had won the toss and had decided to bat. Had we lost the toss it would have been difficult to set the fielding, with only 9 Engineers at the ground. Batting Make-shift openers Nissar and Jude set out to open the innings in the absence of the regulars. Vinod and Rahul opened the bowling for Myoden. Their precise line and the gutsy wind prevented us from cutting loose. Even dangerous looking Nissar, was having trouble hitting the ball out of the ground. Jude and Nissar did the sensible thing of trying to play according to the merit and kept rotating the strike. The first wicket fell at the 12th over, the score reading 58 at that time. Nissar played over an in swinging yorker from Vezly and got bowled.

     The openers have once again provided a great lunch pad as we have seen is all the matches this season. Ajay was given a chance to bat up the order but was unlucky to get out of the first ball. It was a bad ball going down the leg and Ajey played the right shot of flicking it only to find the ball landing in the hands of the backward square leg. The catch that was taken by Sanman was superb. Ajey could not believe his bad luck considering that Sanman had dropped simpler catches earlier at least on two occasions. Bikash was next and batted for few overs before getting out LBW trying his favorite leg glance. How many times I have to tell the umpires that there is no LBW in a friendly matches. We try to be honest but dose the opposition return the favor? We should remove LBW from the friendly matches. Sanjeeb went in and started cautiously following his “10 balls first” rule. Jude on the other had seen enough balls and decided to become more aggressive and hit several good shots that reached the boundary. After being asked to step up the rate, he charged the bowler, Kedar, trying to put a flighted delivery into the river. Selfless display Jude! You will get your 50 next time.

     Anurag walked in next. Sanjeeb and Anurag had a good partnership and the projected score was looking to cross 200 at that time. But Anurag got ran himself out trying to a take a quick second run. Biju joined. Sanjeeb started going for the big hits seeing that not many wickets left and hit some spectacular shots to impress his wife , who had kindly come to cheer him up. Biju also joined the action and hit some good shots , one of them being a cover drive that Sanjeeb is still trying to learn. After Biju was out Amol came in but was given LBW out by Nissar. He was bit unlucky as the bowler did not appeal at all. Sandeep came in started swinging the willow like Bhim and went back after playing and missing a few deliveries. Last man Shailesh came in and ran himself out backing up too far. By that time Sanjeeb had reached his 50. Engineers 164. Fielding Biju and Ajey started the bowling. They were bowling well and was able to generate bounce from the wicket which troubled both Myoden openers Sanman and Vezly. Sanman was hit on his shoulders and deliveries went past his nose, all by Biju.

     A nervous looking Sanman was finally clean bowled by Ajey, going for a big drive, when the score was reading 27. Big hitting Vezly also got out cheaply trying to drive a super fast Nissar delivery; Bikash managed to hold on to a sharp catch behind the stumps. Myoden was in trouble , score reading 4/58. But Kedar(31) and Sagar(39) put up an 87 run partnership to bail them out and possibly put the game beyond the Engineers. Skipper changed bowlers, in vein, in the hope of breaking the partnership but nothing seemed to work. Kedar started like a Test batsmen but grew in confidence and played some brilliant strokes. Once the partnership was broken in 28th over by Nissar by clean bowling Kedar, Engineers sensed a chance and tried various things. Skipper brought himself back in, which produced immediate results when Rahul who had just arrived was clean bowled by a yorker. However, Sagar held one end and saw them through.This match has again underlined the Engineers poor bowling strength. Last minute drop out by two players didn’t help them either.

     None of the bowlers were particularly impressive except the young Anurag. Engineers were missing their star bowler Ritesh’s absence at all the time. Bikash did a descent job behind the wicket trying to fill in for their missing keeper Bobby. Also lot of work need to be done in the fielding arena. Hopefully Practice manager Jude will look into these in near future. Nevertheless this was a great day of Cricket at the bank of Edogawa.

Brief scores: IECC 164 (33 ov). J Joseph 36, S Sahoo 51*, Vezley 4/28 Myoden 167/7 (32 ov). S Kamble 39

Dragons blown away

Bowlers have a field day

By Partha Sarathi

    The Engineers continued their winning note in the second match of the season. It was yet another friendly match against Dragons. Although the match was supposed to start at 9:30 am in the morning and the Engineers were asked to reach the ground at 9 am “sharp” by the new President and Captain (2 in 10 Biju Paul). But it was delayed as the captain himself arrived after 10 though the rest of the team already had arrived and had warm up sessions. Blame it on the navigator!!Biju won the toss, second time in a row in this season. After deciding to test the bowling skills of his new team in the previous game, skipper decided to test his batsmen this time and elected to bat first. The scarcity of good batsmen in the enemy camp probably influenced the decision. Vimal, who scored a half century in the last game opened the inning with Partha, two batsmen the skipper himself earmarked as the regular openers this season. Ashish and Vaibhav opened the bowling attack for Dragons.

     The ball moved a little in the beginning and both the batsmen played through the opening spells carefully and concentrated mostly on singles and doubles. While the opening partnership kept flourishing on the field, there were plenty of fun going outside with Santosh and Sangan playing a major part in that. Recent failure of the Indian cricket team in WC and the controversy of too much endorsement and of course “the attitude of the senior players towards the team” were the main topics. In the mean time, Dragons skipper Chaman brought Sandeep was brought into attack, replacing a luckless Ashish. The very first ball from Sandeep found the keeper’s forehead and a subsequent hospital visit caused 14 stitches on his forehead. Thank you Anurag for taking up the translator’s job in the hospital. After couple of unsuccessful overs Sandeep resorted to a clever way of producing the first break through. He removed the bails off at the non-striker end while running to bowl seeing Partha already out of the crease thus making Partha part of the  cricket history after the South African Kepler Wessels, who was given out in the same fashion. This ended the 48 run opening partnership and brought Bobby out in the middle joining Vimal. Bobby was in no mood to give Dragons any opportunity to tighten the pressure. His cuts, pulls, aggressive running, kept Dragon at bay and hit a huge six to the delight of the Engineers(obviously!), when the run rate was not up to the mark.

     Having a tough time to dislodge the settled Vimal and a free hitting Bobby, Sandeep again played the same trick to get Bobby out. At this moment, things were not friendly anymore, due to constant sledging from some player from Dragon and the dirty tricks played by Dragon bowler to get rid of the batsmen. The  Engineers captain had to rush into the field to handle the situation and to control an “emotional” Bobby. After a lot of discussion and arguments, Bobby was given out and the fine, entertaining inning of 31 runs from 26 deliveries came to an abrupt end (later reference to experts reveled that the Partha’s dismissal should have been called no-ball while Bobby’s a dead ball) . The partnership was a huge 88 runs. Soon after, Vimal completed his second half century. Rest of the batsmen also added some valuable runs to help the scoreboard reading 192/6 in 30 overs. New comer but old hand Sandeep Casi showed some glimpses of his talent but by that time the allotted overs had come to an end.

     Dragons needed 193 to win in 30 overs which needed a solid opening partnership. But Sangan and Biju, opening the bowling, didn’t have any intention to keep Dragons’ hope alive. They bowled in a tight line and produced early break-throughs. Ashish perished in the second over going for a booming drive off Sangan succeeding only in letting the ball go between his bat and pad to rearrange woodwork. One down Vaibhav then cover drove Biju almost giving a diving Santosh a chance (lack of diving practice!). Vaibhav then flicked the next delivery into hands of Anil at square leg, who could not really hold on to it. But his luck ran out in the third delivery when he was held out in the point by Nissar, giving some respite to the exasperated bowler. Nissar and Ajey then replaced Biju and Sangan which produced immediate results. Nissar’s 3 overs brought 3 wickets, including a hat trick chance while conceding only 5 runs. His bowling figures read 3-0-5-3. The wicket of Sandeep, who could have given the Engineers some hard time, for a duck, caught magnificently by Bobby behind the wicket when the batsmen went for a cut deserves special mention. That reiterated a wide spread belief in the Engineers camp that there no competition for Bobby behind the wicket.

     The Dragons were 5 down before the score board accumulated 50. That gave the skipper an opportunity of testing all his armory when it was certain that the Engineers will walk away with the match. All the bowlers got some bowling practice as they were given a quota of two overs each. Dragons reached hundred due to some good batting performance from Chaman who remained not out on 48 while his team collapsed around him. Over all, it was a good outing and both the teams gained some valuable match practice.

Brief scores: IECC 192/6 (30 ov). V Vikrant 52, B Philips 31 Dragons 121 (20 ov). C Jagadeesh 48*, N Ahamed 3/5

 

Engineers kick-start the season with powerful batting display

Season starts on a winning note

By Vimal Vikrant

     It is not in the memory of this author that the Engineers have managed to start off the season on a winning note anytime earlier. Also not in the recent memory is a good, solid opening partnership that the Engineers managed this tiime. But it happened, this year. 2007. All fools day, but I fool you not. The match almost did not happen. First there was the weather, with rains on Saturday. And then there was the small problem of not having a XI. Some last minute phone calls and both issues were sorted out. But then there was the Tomei traffic doing its bit to slow the Engineers on their way. A diversion, some highway help, some car navigator confusions, some wrong turns later the engineers finally reached the Shizuoka greens to see that it was pretty close to noon. The captains decided to go ahead with a 35 overs a side match. The Engineers’ back-as-captain president Biju Paul won the toss and decided to field, partly to use whatever little help was available from the conditions and mainly to give bowling and fielding practice to his boys, who had little or no net or match practice this season. Of course, given the number of bowling options available on the day, it was, at least in theory, a good decision. Ritesh opened the bowling and struck in the first over with his second legal delivery, a peach of an off cutter that spread the opening bat’s stumps.

      The captain started from the other end and after a few looseners sent one a little wider, a little fuller and Arbab could not resist having a go at it. The slash went straight and fast to Ajey stationed at point who took a nice, low catch in front. 2 down in the second over but better was to come as Ritesh managed one more act of “spread the stumps” in his next over. 3/12 and the engineers were already dreaming of a quick finish. But next in was the the old war horse Sharpey. And what followed was a long 132 run partnership with Angus. Both endured some moments of uncertainty, some variable bounce and some bowling of varied pace and style. But they stuck it out, punishing the bad balls, keeping out the good ones and were helped just a little bit by the rusty Engineers’ fielding which let a few catches go down. Anurag bowled with good pace and had both batsmen (and the keeper too) in trouble time and again with his searing yorkers, but was unlucky not to get any wickets in his kitty.

     The drinks interval came and went and the batsmen started opening their shoulders and heaving a few shots all around the wicket. But finally, your truly managed to get the breakthrough, as Sharpey top edged one, while going for a pull and Ajey again took a very nicely judged catch at square leg.  Some wickets fell towards the end of the innings as is to be expected, but not before Nick “the cannon” Shannon blasted a few out of the park, Ajey mostly being the “cannon fodder”. Ritesh ended up with 3 wickets. Sanjeeb pulled off a couple of very fine outfield catches, leaving some of the Engineers’ new comers wondering how he was doing it, given that last season he hardly seemed to have held any. Anyway, the innings did finish off with one of those catches, Sanjeeb running in about 20 yards from long off and picking off a fine catch, which took out Nick (quickfire 39 of 20 balls) with the last ball of the innings. The Kytes finished up with 217 off 35 overs. Given the start and of the match and then again, the fall of Sharpey at 144 and Angus at 163 the total was still a reasonable bit more than what the Engineers liked. Anyway, the runs were on the board and they had to be chased down. A quick changeover of about 15 minutes and yours truly and Partha were back in the middle with bat in hand. The Kytes bowling was steady, but even the usually threatening Sharpey was slightly off-pace.

     The ball did move around just a bit, but the openers managed to keep out the good stuff, and punished the bad stuff. Some fielding let-offs helped. Almost within no time the opening stand went past the half century mark. Both batsmen were looking comfortable in the middle when Harvey produced one of those quick jaffas that went thru Partha’s defences and knocked the stumps over. Ritesh walked in was troubled by Harvey’s pace. He got hit on the foot with a yorker and that seemed to unsettle him. He lashed out at one, after walking down the pitch and got a boundary. But he fell next ball, playing across to another full york-length delivery and was hit again low on the shoe. Sanjeeb walked in and things again seemed to be going the Engineers’ way when your truly patted back a ball back to Nick who could not believe his luck, yelling in glee “You ****-ing beauty” while accepting the catch. I headed for the hut, a reasonably comfortable 52, but it was just when I thought I could get a few more easy runs. Anurag joined Sanjeeb in the middle and there was another productive 51 run partnership. Anurag and Ajey fell in quick succession after the drinks break and it suddenly looked like it would be the all too familiar “so near yet so far” story, but Sanjeeb kept going. The score went past the 200 mark. A sudden rush of blood and Sanjeeb fell, bowled for 45, playing across to a Sharpey indipper and missing the line. But thankfully for the Engineers, Bikash and Biju then saw the team across the mark with some simple basic batting strategy, of running the singles and putting away the bad balls.

     In the end, it was a pretty nerveless batting display by the Engineers. They were of course helped to an extent by a well-below-par fielding performance by the Kytes. But all that matters is that the season has been kick started in an unheard of fashion for the Engineers. Hoping to see more such days in the field this season.

Brief scores: S Kytes 217/7 (35 ov). M Sharpe 73, A Liley 53, R Kakar 3/36 IECC 217/6/6 (30 ov). V Vikrant 52, S Sahoo 43.

Engineers lose Pacific Cup

End of a disastrous season

 By Vimal Vikrant

    The Engineers crowned their disastrous season with the loss of their brainchild, Pacific Cup, an annual series between their friendliest rivals, the Shizuoka Kytes and the British Embassy along with a guest team. The guests this year Tokyo Wombats after they retained their spot in the series last year due to weather and other reason. However, by virtue of winning the title, they have invited themselves again into the series next year. Well done Wombats!Given the relative form of the teams, the Engineers were definitely up against it. And the news in the morning was hardly encouraging with a couple of players dropping out. One replacement was found, but that still left the Engineers one man short. Ol’ Cap’n Bobby won the toss and elected to bat. Maybe not the best of decisions in retrospect, but then, one lives and learns. A wet outfield greeted the teams though it was nice to see a sprinkling of greenery on the outfield, quite unlike the usual sight that greets us at the Ageo grounds.

     Yours truly opened the batting with Ramakrishnan and the progress was slow, hardly steady and at times maybe a bit painful to watch. The ball was skidding off the pitch and the batsmen were hardly able to time their shots. The uneven bounce on a freshly laid out flicx pitch on a wet ground (sorry for the offcolour connotations:) contributed to the difficult goings on. But the opening partnership was 50 odd before Ramki dragged one innocuous looking delivery onto his stumps. Chaman walked in a started throwing his bat around almost from the word go. He was connectting a few too and looking good with every ball. Your truly continued living a charmed life with chances being put down left, right and centre but finally managed to make a mess of it by playing all over one that maybe kept a touch low and the ball crashed into the stumps. Terribly out of form Sanjeeb walked in at his usual batting number hoping for a turn around but and out as was the situation with him more often than not this season, falling LBW again to one that skidded throug straight.

     Second consecutive LBW but this time it wasn’t a golden duck! Raju walked in this situation that was not exactly tailor made for a pinch-hitter. To be fair though, he stuck it out, playing an almost uncharacteristic knock, knuckling down and playing as straight as possible down the ground. Chaman made a hash of things that were going well at this point and playing all over one to see his woodwork disturbed. Next man Sangan immediately seemed to find the pace of the pitch as well as the pacers to his liking. He started tonking the ball all around, intelligently using the pace when the bowlers pitched it short and playing straight when it was pitched up. There were quite a few well run singles as well. Raju fell trying to accelerate, again bowled. Bobby and Sangan went for a while rotating the strike well, but Bobby fell, missing the line. Sangan fell to a slower one, guess what, bowled. Jude and Praveen had a useful last wicket partnership and Praveen connected a couple but Jude fell at the other end to a premeditated shot to a slower ball. The innings closed at 161. Not a bad score, given the supposedly uneven nature of the pitch and the 3 bat strength of the Wombats. However, what the Engineers didn’t bargain for is what the Wombats call “ring-ins”.

     In hindsight, Aamir Ali would have saved the day for Engineers as he was available to play! Ring-in Gavin Beath and Ian Gason opened the batting for the Wombats. But the new ball attack has been a bit of a problem for the Engineers this year. Sangan and Biju took up the responsibility this time around, but there was nothing special, either in the air of off the pitch. Suddenly the pitch seemed to have become a batting beauty. Sangan kept things relatively quiet, but Biju went for a couple of big hits when pitching it short. The bowling changes were brought in thick and fast the ball kept disappearing with similar speed. Raju though, seemed to have some sort of control on the ball and kept the batsmen honest. Bobby tried Praveen to try to take the pace off the ball and it paid immediate dividends when Ian Gason skied one to fine leg where Sangan took a nice running catch.

     Almost immediately Sanjeeb got another one and again Sango was the one who held onto another skier of Beath. The Engineers felt a sniff of a chance but the score was already nearing a 100. There were a few steady overs and Sanjeeb got the ball to do a bit. Yours truly came back after the initial hammering and this time found a better line and got 2 wickets in the same over and suddenly the Wombats were 6 down and the noisy pavilion went quite. What seemed to be a walk in the park suddenly looked like a mountain to climb. But Wombats played sensibly from then on.  Too few to defend it the end, especially after the big opening partnership at a decent clip for the Wombats. Probably that was the biggest difference. The engineers were definitely 30-40 runs short and they ended the season as they began it, with a loss. Here’s hoping for a better season next year, with a steadier team and better contributions from everybody. Farewell, 2006 and bring on the 2007! Merry Christmas and a Happy new year.

Brief scores: IECC 161(37.3 ov). C Jagadeesh 31, Dawson 4/39 T Wombtats 162/6 (28 ov). G Beath 46, S Sahoo 3/36.

Peaking at the right time!

Victory a morale booster before the Pacific Cup final

 By Bobby Philips

      A beautiful day brought in an equally beautiful result for Team IECC. And the result came just a week before the all important Pacific Cup match. Engineers surely peaking at the right time!We delivered after an extended break away from the limelight. History can’t be changed but it begs us to ask questions and my crystal ball tells me… “We can continue our way of winning with holding on to the baggage of loss” Time to grow up friends and push for that extra mile and that is precisely we did. The game started for me a day before the actual match. My verbal duel with GS Dragons team manager was something that kept reverberating within my head.

     Needless to say, our team played the whole season with a relatively inexperienced side and an equally inexperienced captain. Our team made it to the ground as promised but the opponents was not to be seen. Toss was done around 10:15 and game slated to start off by 10:30. Unfortunately toss was lost and GS elected to bat. Playing without Jayesh Rana who called in sick the previous night, we fielded 10 on the said day. Yours truly donned the keeping glove and made plans to pursue with his experienced guys in the bowling category. New ball was handed over to Ajey. He continued with his impressive bowling performance from where he left off last year and got into the groove of things from word GO. Being miserly, he did his captain & team proud with his scintillating performance. Good job Ajey! The other end was guarded by Biju himself and he too got off in style.

     The Ajey – Biju pair was great and was persisted for 8 straight overs and two wickets till yours truly decided to hand over the baton to Anurag our new pace find! He along with Sanjeeb too got into the groove till we hit the drinks break of 17 overs. Anurag with his fiery pace and accuracy and Sanjeeb with his gentle mediums brought us obvious success as did the earlier combo did. Post drinks the cherry was handed over to Partha and Santosh. Partha bowled with good accuracy and a hint of swing but Santosh was not upto his mark in the field of slow bowling. Too many wides, combined with fours forced his captain to rethink the strategy a bit. By this period GS was loosing wickets too and your truly went for the kill by putting back his best bowlers into action and not running the risk of giving away any extra runs. Pick of the bowler was Anurag for his lethal accuracy. Good Job Anurag and looking forward of better outing with you in future. The statistic tells volumes of what our bowlers achieved on the field. GS Dragons was all out for 126 in 25 overs. Lunch was taken and the Engineers went in to bat around 1:15 PM. The opening pair of Bobby and Anil brought in some fun with yours truly trying to force runs from word go ultimately falling to a rash stroke as always. This was followed by Raj and Sanjeeb falling in quick succession – the middle order collapse when chasing relatively easy targets is what makes the Engineers  going – which brought in Anurag once again in the midst. After playing sensibly for sometime, Anurag too fell for a rush of blood stroke which brought in form batsman Santosh to the crease.

    Anil and Santosh played sensibly and build up a partnership which brings us to the question – is partnership essential to release pressure from our team mates. YES!!! We need to build on partnership from batsman number 1. Check out the Champion Trophy match between WI and Aus as an example. Fast scoring is good and thrilling but partnership and sensible cricket is the key to success. As the beautiful day passed by the in form duo accumulated runs at will and the extras too came in plenty to ultimately hand our team a great win before our next encounter with the J1C cup lifters for 2006 “Wombats”. Good luck team and I hope the positive attitude will prevail and great partnerships established on 11th November so that we can beat the much fancied opponents at Shizuoka.

Brief scores: T Dragons 125(25 ov). G Gardiner 72, A Singh 4/24 IECC 129/5(28.5 ov). Anil 28, S Ghadge 22.

Myoden blows away the Engineers

Engineers add one more to the list of losses

By Partha Sarathi

The friendly match against Myoden was scheduled on 21st Oct. The Diwali Day. The match started at 10 in the morning, 30 minutes late than the scheduled time. Both the team had 10 players each. After the Engineers were left rudderless for the past few months with the non-availability regular officials and and the stand-in captain, Bikash, withdrew himself from the match the day before the match, the heavy responsibility of turning the Engineers’ losing track fell on the next available choice, Biju. After winning the toss of the coin, Myoden elected to bat first.

    Biju set the field and the openers of Myoden were on their way to the field when suddenly it was realised that you need to have 2 sets of stumps on both ends to play cricket! A fielder was sent to the pavilion to fetch one set of stumps while Biju himself disappeared into the jungle of the Edogawa river bank to prepare some make-shift stumps for the bowler’s end. The thin sticks, just about the size of the sticks school masters use back home, less to scare the pupils and more to use it actually, were put up at the bowler’s end with the support of huge stones collected from the river. Innovation at tit best! went toweren’t set up.Biju and Sangan opened the bowling and kept the openers calm and also produces couple of chances. Myoden ring-in opener Graem was clean bolwed by Sangan in his first over and Biju trapped Karthik, Gream’s replacement, in front of the stumps in his second over. Myoden was 11 for 2 after 4 overs. The opening bowlers did a good job of containg the Myoden in their spell, giving away only 15 runs after their opening spell of 3 overs each. After the loss of two quick wickets, Kedar and Sagar put up a solid partnership of 97 runs. They were batting quite comfortably and the Engineeers’ bowlers couldn’t capitalize on the good start that Sangan and Biju gave. Loose bowling aided by poor take behind the wicket made the batsmen’s task easy. The dismissal of Sagar, brought Myoden captain Vezly to pair with Kedar. They kept scoring easily with lots of singles and occasionally clearing the boundary. Kedar was tired and was not able to steal the fast singles which upset his captain, who did not conceal his displeasure. They put up a 120 partnership. Biju tried all his options, but nothing worked out. Biju, brought himself in the attack, only to see his initial excellent bowling figures going for a toss. After yielding only on 7 runs in return for a wicket in his first 3 overs, his next second spell of 3 overs went for 30 runs while Sangan maintained his good show in his second spell as well. At last Biju tried the debutant, Anuraag Singh, the 19-year old rookie. Although he went for a few runs, his raw pace surprised everyone.  He bowled with good pace and kept the ball in place. In the end Myoden set a target of 234 to win. Partha and Anil opened the inning for the Engineers. The asking rate was very high 6.68 per over. To chase such a big total, one needed a good start. But, it turned out to be worst, when Partha was dismissed in the very first ball, given out LBW. Anil(38), put a good show and was playing freely, mainly concentrating on singles and doubles. No other batter could stay long and the Engineers reduced to 64 for 4 after 14 overs. Sangan and Anil put up a 41 run partnership. Towards the end of the innings, new blood Anuraag(35*) and the old fox Santosh(35*) started freeing their arms and hit the ball hard often clearing the rope. The Myoden bowlers didn’t have any answer to rampaging Anuraag and Santosh. But, there were not many overs to win the match. Eventually they put up a unbroken partnership of 70 runs but that could not help the Engineers. The scoreboard read 188 for 6 after 35 overs. One more defeat for the Engineers, which is not hard to digest these days. It was a friendly match and none of the teams had all their key players. But, still, some points must be noted. The Engineers conceded too many extras, 77 (45 wides, 32 byes/legbyes) while Myoden bowled 32 wides and 1 bye. That was the difference between the two teams. Nothing went in the Engineers’ way, but there is one good aspect. The match saw rise of a teenager who could be a valuable asset for the team. And of course, the Engineers their full quota of overs.

Brief scores: Myoden 233/4(35 ov). Kedar 50*, Sagar 50, Vezly 51 IECC 188/6(35 ov). Anil 38, S Ghadge 35*, A Sing 35*

Engineers make losing a habit

Post record 9th loss of the season

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

     Alhough Biju managed to put together 10 names for the team, on the match day we only had 9 players, 3 of them being debutants and new prospects for the next season. In absence of captain, vice captain and assistant vice captain, Biaksh Mohanty, the next in line of the throne,  was handed over the difficult task of turning the fortune of the Engineers, who has until the day posted a record 8 losses, around. This makes me wonder if it is at all possible to have a more regular captain. Looking couple of years back, there was hardly any need of a vice captain.8 of us left Tokyo around 8:30 AM but due to huge traffic on Tomei we reached Shizouka around 12:30PM. Sandeep Balaji had made the wise choice to use the train and was the only Engineer to reach ground in time. Number of overs were reduced to 30, drinks and lunch breaks were cancelled.

The Batting

Stand-in skipper Bikash won the toss and decided to have the first use of the just rolled out flicx. Anil and Sangan opened the batting and did well to survive a hostile opening spell from Sharpe and a more friendly Chamberlain. But attempting a misjudged 2nd run, Sangan got run out on the last ball of the 8th over. By that time he has scored a solid(!) 12 and was looking good for many more. Sanjeeb walked back as soon as he walked in, attempting his favourite leg glance, ball hitting the edge of the bat and looped in the air towards the bowler, where Nick made no mistake hanging on to a simple catch. Udayaraj was the next man in and started batting in his natural aggressive style. Runs were coming easily at that point, but soon misfortune struck the Engineers. Another run out , and Anil was on the receiving end this time. Raju went in and was welcomed by a hostile over from Ashley. Ryan was also bowling well from the other end and Raju eventually edged one to the keeper. Bikash was next man in and it was immediately apparent that he was out of game for couple of months, but was lucky to survive several close calls. Raj on the other end continued to play aggressive and eventually miss hit a short pitched delivery from Ryan, and a simple catch was taken at midwicket. Nitin Dafraik walked in and after a shaky start gathered confidence and played confidently for rest of his innings. Bikash and Nitin partnered well to see us past 100, both hitting couple of good boundaries in the process. However Bikash’s luck finally ran out as he edged an swinging Ashley delivery to the keeper. At this point Kytes skipper Neil showed the magnitude of his magnanimity by letting any two batsmen to bat again to compensate for the two missing batsmen in the lineup. Sanjeeb and Raju were chosen and were advised to go for big hits. Knowing that there are 3 more wickets to follow, Nitin tried to accelerate the score and hit few boundaries before getting out LBW to Ashley. Sandeep followed and hit a superb straight drive, but only to see a superb return catch taken by the bowler Shoaib, who normally drops simpler chances. Bad luck Sandeep! Sanjeeb went in again and was standing at the bowler’s end only to witness Jayesh getting out LBW. Raju went in and was lucky to be still standing at the end of that over. Sanjeeb on the other end went for the big hits and got bowled after hitting couple of boundaries. The Engineer ended up with 148, extras being the top scorer followed by Raj and Nitin. Thanks Neil for the gesture.

Bowling

Sangan and Raju opened the bowling attack for us. Offside was packed with 5 fielders while only 2 fielders servicing the leg side. Both opening bowlers bowled controlled deliveries with pace and swing, but Sharpe and Chamberlain made good use of their feet to hit boundaries at will. Also lack of fielders meant that any ball on the leg side is asking for trouble, also it meant several catching chances being dropped. In several occasions Sangan caused much trouble for both batsmen, and was finally rewarded with Chamberlain’s wicket, who had to walk to a controversial LBW decision. After that, no more wickets came the Engineer’s way for very a long time. Sharpe and Ashley had a good partnership and Sharpe, as usual, was severe on all the bowlers. Finally Raju had Ashley, caught at long on, and Sandeep bowled Sharpe out on 61 , but by that time Kytes were already in a position from which they could not loose. Sandeep in his next over had Prelis caught at mid off ,thanks to a good jumping catch by Sanjeeb. Jayesh got Ryan bowled in the next over and in the process showed some good potential as a bowling talent. Nick came in next, and made sure that Kytes are home safely without loosing any more wickets. Afterwards we joined Kytes for a drink at the Kytes home restaurant, and had some good discussion about some key points of the game. Nick Shannon, as usual, was at his best at the drinking session and named Bikash, Cat and fed him fish. The way back was also packed with traffic and we managed to reach Tokyo around 11PM. This was record 9th loss for us in this season and the team think tank must do some brain storming to pull the team out of this new low.

Brief scores: IECC 148(27.3 ov). Udayaraj 24, A Harvey 3/22 S Kytes 149/5(20 ov). M Sharpe 62, A Harvey 34

Dragons-Myoden mix upset the Engineers

Engineers on their way to record number of losses

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

     Delayed Start One couldn’t ask for a better weather for a cricket match. The Engineers reached the Edogawa ground by 9:15 as advised by their captain Bobby earlier only to see a couple of Dragons until 11AM when 9 Dragons including call-ins from Myoden arrived. Bobby won the toss and elected to bat first. To make things even Engineers loaned their new find and spinner Nitin Dafraik(bad decision in hind sight) to Dragons so both teams have 10 players each. Ultimately as history would say it proved too expensive for the Engineers.The Batting Anil and Udayaraj opened the batting. Based on the previous mauling the Engineers handed to the Dragons in a serious KCL match earlier, skipper set an ambitious target of 300 in 30 overs. But soon Anil got out edging a delivery from the 2nd bowler to the keeper. In form batsman Sanjeeb, who has scored a century in the last encounter against the same opponent, went in and was back after couple of deliveries , a miss hit went to the leg gully and the fielder managed to hold on to a superb catch.

    Raju was the next man in and was also back soon , first of the many run outs to follow. At 3/23(the Aussie Violet Crumble), the Engineers, as usual by now, revised their target to 150. Bobby went in and provided some stability. Raj in the other end was looking good and hitting 4s and 6s at will. But he also perished soon trying to hit an aggressive shot missing the line completely. Next man Santosh was run out as soon as he went in, in a similar fashion as in his last match at YCAC, responding to Bobby’s call for which he took off like a bullet, not watching the ball properly as the ball went to square leg. Unfortunately, the speed of the return throw was faster than the old legs of Santosh. He returned back to pavilion as a dejected soul cursing Bobby :-).

     New man and new comer Sandeep Balaji went in and tried hitting all shots that exist in the cricket book but connected only a few, thanks to lack of practice and too much beer the previous night at Roppongi. However, Bobby and Balaji’s partnership saw us past 90, thanks to many extras from Dragons. Balaji was eventually got himself run out. That brought in Jagan to the crease. He seemed to be in good nick and batted well to see us past 100. Bobby was next to go , trying to negotiate the final deliveries before drinks break. Last ball of the last over before drinks, he stepped out of his crease to defend one from the on-loan Nitin. The ball spun and the keeper did a neat job behind the stumps. Nitin bowled a decent line and length throughout his spell and was rewarded with three wickets, not to speak of the run-outs he effected. Bikash was the next man and provided vital support to Jagan. However a straight drive went straight to the bowler and the bowler did well to grab on to a very low return catch. Bad luck for Bikash and the Engineers. Last man in was Amit. He tried to hang on to one end but was unable to do so for long time, and the Engineer were bowled out for 147. Not a bad score under circumstances and given the original target. Raj, Jagan and Bobby made some valuable contributions. The majority of the runs came by way of extras though. The Bowling In the absence of the opening bowlers, Sanjeeb was given the new ball. But he surprised (did I?) everybody bowling about 6 wides in the first over. The beer and smoking the previous night night had its toll(a convenient thing to blame). Raju bowled from the other end and had one of the Dragon openers run out , thanks to a superb fielding effort from Balaji. Sanjeeb got Dragons captain caught behind in his 3rd over and the Engineers were sensing a possible win at that point. But the next batsman Veslie and the other opener had other plans in mind. They played cautiously and were not in any mood to take any serious risks considering the low asking rate and the abundance of wides offered by our bowlers. Santosh bowled couple of good overs for a change.

      It was great to see Santosh bowling with great control after a log time. Veslie was severe on any bad balls bowled at him and hit some superb boundaries during his stay. Dragons were sitting comfortably at 95/2 by the end of 15th over. After the drinks Bobby decide to bring back Sanjeeb even though he bowled more wides on that day, than his entire carrier total of wides. Sanjeeb obliged by getting the danger man Veslie bowled in his 2nd ball and the Engineers started fancying victory chance again. But the wides kept on flowing and the Dragons didn’t need to do much except defending the occasional good balls. Raju got the opener out LBW but by that time Dragons needed just 15 runs to win, which they eventually won with 5 wickets to spare. Brief scores: There was no score book available so Bikash improvised it using a plain sheet. However, at present we are not sure who finally took those sheets. Below is the approximate scorecard from my memory…

IECC 147/all out (25th over)Udayaraj 24, Jagan 24*. GS Dragons 148/4 (21st over).

Accurate figure to follow if Bobby manages to get the whereabouts of the scorecard. (Scorecard is with someone from Myoden and the captain of GS Dragons would be coordinating to get it back to us soon.

Engineers find their groove against the second string Kytes

..and post their first win of the season

By Parthasarathy Misra

     The Indian Engineers, as far as I heard, had been doing very well in the last season. A collection of competent players, will to improve and never-say-die attitude had earned good reputation for the team and had set a standard. But, this year, 2006, has something else in store for the team. Something they probably were not very much acquainted with. Seven losses in a row since the season has begun indicated something is not in place.

     Lack of practice, unavailability of the regular players, failure of big guns in need, inability of young players to take the pressure and defeat after defeat had lowered the team’s moral and confidence. All they needed was a big victory. At last the day came. 30th July, 2006. The team traveled 180 km south to Shzuoka, to play against the Shizuoka Kytes 2nd Eleven. The two teams have a long history of friendship between them and the Engineers always enjoyed playing the Kytes. They get along very well, like old friends and play competitive cricket, even the old man chipping in with his bit of cricket. When we arrived, the ground looked in a very good condition, with freshly cut grass around a 30 yard circle. A smooth outfield indicated the ball will roll faster. Players of both teams joined hands to put the mat out and made necessary arrangements for the match to start. Engineers captain Bobby won the toss and elected to bat first. Winning toss has become his breakfast nowadays. The openers played very carefully and denied any early break through for Kytes. Tomlinson bowled couple of very good overs and produced some chances, but the keeper and the slip cordon couldn’t give enough support to him to do justice to his bowling. At last, in the 9th over Partha parted trying to play a pull shot against Lalith Prelis,  the score reading 65 runs, the best opening partnership of the Engineers this season. Ritesh replaced Partha and started displaying his armory. He drove and cut Sharpy with ease despite Sharpy’s pace and swing.

     The team was ecstatic to see his array of shots. Bikash was jubilant and was very quick to admire his shots. His comment on an off drive from Ritesh, sent the team rolling on the floor laughing, when he uttered “classic cover drive” to himself, where as the ball went to long-off boundary. Finally,  Ritesh got out trying to defend Sharpy delivery, against the flow of his game. He had scored a quick fire 30 off 21 balls and set the pace for the things to come. Sriram, joined Vimal in the middle. At this moment Kytes captain Prelis introduced RGM in the attack to add some variety into his bowling lineup. Everybody was surprised and particularly Biju, seeing his old buddy taking the ball and giving it air and loop. Sriram facing  RGM… “It is going to rain sixes..” was the comment heard in the pavilion. Apparently, Sriram overheard it and tried to live up to the expectation by dancing down to RGM only to see that the old man deceived him in the air and the ‘keeper did the rest. This dismissal probably denied the KCL a record of 400+ runs and the Kytes might have heaved a sigh of relief. This brought in Nissar into the crease. Vimal started unwinding his range of shots and was scoring with ease. He started reaching the rope every now and then with his elegant cuts, drives and pulls. Nissar gave him very good support. They put on 60 runs on the board before Nissar was bowled by the one and only Nick Shannon.

     This gave skipper Bobby an opportunity to come out and join Vimal and show his much vaunted batting skills. Bobby played the first ball carefully but was adjudged LBW the next ball. Apparently disappointed, captain raised his bat, indicating that the ball took the edge before hitting his pad. But, the finger was already raised without paying attention to his claims. He looked at  the umpire in amazement for a minute and started walking towards the pavilion shaking his head and shoulders and murmuring something (can not be mentioned). Bikash was also given LBW in the same over. Quite an eventful over and the Kytes were restring the Engineers going berserk. Jagan joined Vimal after this dramatic over. Jagan also didn’t last long. He was caught by Sharpy at the boundary of Prelis. Sangan joined Vimal. This pair produced the best partnership of the match with 81 runs added in just 10 overs.  Vimal completed this maiden century during this partnership, and received applause from his teammates as well as from his opponents. They started hitting the ball harder in the slog overs and helped a healthy partnership of 81 runs. Sangan finally fell to Sharpy having 32 runs against his name in just 21 balls. Biju joined Vimal for last few overs. Vimal completed his 150 and hit a four on the last ball of the inning helping the team total to 327. He remained not out at 154. “It is a defendable score”, said Biju.

     As usual, the match against the Kytes is incomplete without a generous lunch provided by Kytes, a time honoured tradition of the Kytes. Lots of bread, bananas, apples and oranges served for lunch. Wow! The target for Kytes was 327 in 40 overs, which gave some of the Engineers a hope that the captain will call them in for bowling. Skipper Bobby was very much confident about the much desired victory. He made it clear to his team that he would like to win the match in style. Bikash wanted to wrap up the match before 5 pm so that he could beat the notorious Tomei traffic. Bobby, gave the new ball to Nissar. Sharpy and Liley opened for Kytes. Sharpy made his intentions clear by going for big hits right from the beginning. Liley gave him good support by rotating the strike. Nissar and Vimal bowled well initially but went wicketless. Bobby then introduced Ritesh and Jagan. Jagan obliged his captain’s trust upon him producing the first break through. Liley was given LBW. Tomlinsion joined Sharpy to take the attack to the enemy camp. They started hitting the ball everywhere and Sharpy was more aggressive.  But, a stunning catch by Jagan of Sangan sealed Tomlinson’s inning. Biju was brought into attack and he took the most valuable wicket of Sharpy. He was caught at the long off boundary by Sangan on 51. He played a very good and aggressive inning. His dismissal effectively ended any hope for Kytes for a successful chase. Kytes inning was wrapped up quickly thereafter. Bobby, Partha, Vimal, Nissar and Vinod claimed one wicket each. Their inning wrapped up at 130.

     I just looked at the clock tower when the last wicket fell. It was one minute to 5 pm and I thought myself, everything went right, even the timing!! Does it indicate the losing days are gone??!! There were couple of things that should be noted. We batted very well; bowling and fielding were also good. But, we bowled too many wides again. But this time we won and so some facts are overlooked. There is ample space for improvement in bowling and fielding. After the match, Engineers and Kytes went for a small post match drinking. Kytes had arranged plenty of beer and food for everybody. Players from both the teams shared their best moments and highlights. I am personally thankful to Bobby, not listening to the public demand for skipping the gathering and going home. Only a minority wanted to go drinking but things don’t always go democratic :-).

    Everybody told their match highlight and Bobby’s dismissal was on the most popular topic in the post match discussion. It was a great day, playing with old friends, small things in the field that added spices to the match, a very scenic place, well maintained ground and warmth of friendship with Kytes and of course for a change the feeling being in the winning side made my day!!

Brief scores: IECC 327/8. V Vikrant 154*, R Kakar 30, S Kalgi 32 Kytes 130(22.3 ov). M Sharpe 51. Scorecard

YC&AC ensures their place in D-I 2007

YC&AC ensures their place in D-I 2007

Engineers go down fighting

By Vimal Vikrant

     It was a do or die situation for the Engineers to have a chance to qualify for the semis of the KCL but it was not to be as the Engineers went down, all guns… or at least a few, blazing, to the YCAC. The Engineers captain Bobby won the toss and, as is becoming his habit, elected to bat first. Yours truly opened with Partha Misra with me facing the well known allrounder of the YCAC, Mark Ferris. He took a couple of overs to find his radar and we got a few easy runs on the board. Partha took strike on the other side and in comes Shakir, with his offbreaks(?). Let me let you into a little secret.

     Partha does not like spin bowling and hence was ready for the openers slot. And the irony of the situation brought a little smile to my lips. Anyway Partha negotiated him allright. It was me who fell to Shakir, failing to keep the flick down and the strategically placed Abdul Rahim taking his first catch of the day. Engineers new-find Ritesh Kakar walked in but Partha soon walked out with a strange dismissal, clean bowled by Kamran Ali stretching forward a long way, only to find that the ball was an offcutter. was the bowler. Sriram walked in next and looked in decent touch in the couple of shots that he played. But he tried one shot too many and the ball ballooned to short covers for Abdul Rahim to take his second catch, much simpler than the first one. Another partnership nipped in the bud.

     Nissar walked in next, back from a long lay-off. He looked slightly rusty initially but was soon got into his stride, striking the ball well. One pull off Mark was especially pleasing to watch, as it sailed to the square leg boundary down into the tennis courht for a six. It was hardly short, but well picked up. Ritesh fell meanwhile, trying to have a go at the bowling of Kamran, but only managed to york himself and found his furniture disturbed. Sanjeeb Sahoo walked in at an unfamiliar position in the batting order. It seemed to work for him as he managed to top-score for the engineers with 22, though it was not as fluent as some of his innings that I’ve witnessed. Nissar fell to a soft dismissal trying again to pull a ball too many only to manage a top edge. Santosh practically committed suicide by calling for a quick single but Sanjeeb sent him back. After this it was a series of soft dismissals as the Engineers failed to last their 40 overs, folding up for 142. The Engineers have defended smaller totals against the YC&AC and it needed a good bowling performance to hope for a repeat. Things started off badly though, with Partha having a horror start to his spell with 7 wides in his first over. Nissar was more steady on the other side but could not make any breakthrough. Ritesh replaced Partha and produced immediate result, having trapped Abdul Rahim LBW with an incutter. Raju came in from the other end replacing Nissar and Kamran tried to go hard at him, got an edge and I stuck out my hands at slip to find the ball nestling in them. This is my first memory of a catch in the slips by anybody off a fast/medium bowler in all my time playing for the Engineers. Well, cricket is a strange game:) Anyway 58/2 and things were still pretty much in the balance, but Avinash and Rasith (Razz) Leelas had a long partnership which put the game firmly in YCAC’s grip. The bowlers failed to make much of an impression and there were a couple of dropped catches which did not help matters at all. But after reaching 41, Avinash tried an across the line hoick of yours truly’s dibbly dobblies but played too early and found his stumps disturbed. Prashant Kale, the next batsmen in had scored a century against us in our previous friendly game against the YC&AC, so he was pretty much seen as a threat, but one of my floaters caught him stranded in no man’s land off the second ball he faced and again the stumps were rattled. 116/2 to 116/4 in 3 balls. Engineers smelt something.

    Ritesh came in from the other end and kept the line and length pretty tight and was rewarded with young Ankit’s wicket, bowled. I got Rasitha, again bowled of a floater for 24. Paul Blamire, the keeper was bowled by a super yorker from Nissar. YC&AC at 134/7 and not much batting left, it was anybody’s game at this point. But the experience of Mark Ferris made a big difference as he kept out the good balls and ticked off the score with singles rather than big hits and the YC&AC reached their target in the 34th over with the 3 wickets still standing. In the final analysis, the Engineers looked like a team for the first time this season with all the fighting qualities coming to the fore, but it was just not enough at the end.

Brief scores: IECC 142 (36.3 ov). S Sahoo 22. Kamran Ali 4/27, A Rakyan 3/19 YC&AC 143/7 (33.4 ov). A Jadhav 41. V Vikrant 3/26. Scorecard

Al Karam steamrolls the Engineers | Scorecard (July 9, 2006)

Engineers make it 6 in a row while Al Karam reserves a berth in D-I next year

By Jude Joseph

     The day dawned gloomy with more than 80% chance of rain. There was a doubt whether the match would ultimately take place. But as optimistic as ever Indian Engineers proceeded to Gunma. As usual things were sorted out and the match was reduced to 25 overs a side and got underway at 11.00AM. Captain Bobby won the toss and elected to bat which turned out to be a good decision considering the below points, Al- karam was short of players with just 8 fielders on the field and if the match had washed out , it would have provided the much needed batting practice to out of form Engineers.

   Captain came up with a new batting line up to utilise the 25 overs efficiently, regular opener Vimal Vikrant opened the innings with the newcomer Ritesh Kakar. Ritesh playing as an opener for the first time impressed one and all with his technique and temperament. Both of them started cautiously. Against run of play Vimal went for a big heave (which he later blamed on the skipper instigating him from the square leg umpire’s position) and got bowled with the score of 21/1. This paved the way for our batting sensation Sriram Sampath to the crease, after taking few deliveries to get settled, Sriram beautifully launched into Al-karam bowling attack. At the other end, Ritesh who was playing well by taking singles and twos promised to produce a good total with their partnership. As things were going well for Engineers, everyone thought that the time has come to accelerate the run rate further. Ritesh tried to oblige and produced a few good shots. In one such attempt, Ritesh tried to clear the long off fielder against their most successful opening bowler Manzoor Ahmad (5/12 in 5 overs) but the ball went straight to him. Engineers lost the second wicket at the score of 93/2 in the 16th over.

    This gave a chance to a debutant Udayaraj to show his batting skills, but unluckily he was adjudged LBW without disturbing the scorers. Next came Sanjeeb Sahoo, the situation was a tailor made for him to go for big shots. He played sensibly as at the other end Sriram was batting with ease but all of a  sudden situation turned bad as the runs were difficult to come by and Engineers started losing wickets regularly and ended up 146/7 in the allotted 25 overs, which was a good score as far as the Engineers were concerned, considering their past performances this season. But considering the situation at the end of 15 overs , 90 odd runs for the loss of 1 wicket, Engineers should have scored more than 7 or 8 runs in their last 10 overs which would have taken the score to 160 to 170 runs (but even that would not have made any difference to the result, as we will come to know WHY from the below). Most successful bowler for Al-karam was their opening bowler, Manzoor Ahmad, who dismissed Engineer’s top 3 batsmen and was most economical(5-0-12-3).

     In his first spell , Manzoor took the wicket of Vimal and in his last over, took the wickets of Ritesh and Udayaraj. As everyone knows it is easy to do a post match analysis and also no ifs and buts in Cricket but still it should be a learning experience for the coming matches and we should be aware of these situations. Ritesh went for a big shot against the most successful bowler who was in his last over, If we had played his last over without losing a wicket by playing singles and twos, things might have worked out better in the remaining overs with the partnerships of Sriram and Ritesh. According to our captain, Al-Karam was very happy with the score as they were confident of chasing down this target(skipper overheard their conversation, which must have terrified him!). At the same time, Engineers had their hope as they thought run making would be difficult with the heavy and wet outfield, courtesy slight drizzle. The Engineers opened their bowling attack with Sangan Kalgi and Vimal Vikrant but before the bowlers got settled down, Al-Karam took the bowlers apart and runs started flowing in 4s and 6s. Captain in no time went for the change and brought Ritesh into attack.

     Ritesh obliged captain’s call and produced a straight incoming delivery which rearranged the woods of the opener. It was a vital breakthrough as that batsman was scoring at will. The Engineers hoped that would provide some breathing space but it was not to be, The new batsman was more dangerous than the dismissed one. Their captain went for a powerful airy shot , ball went straight to Udayaraj stationed at short midwicket , but the ball popped out of his hand with the same speed as it came in. From then on there was no stopping of Al-Karam. Captain tried all his tricks by giving chance to each and every bowler but all received the same treatment. At the end, Al-karam reached the target with extraordinary ease with 8 wickets in hand and more than 10 overs to spare in a 25 overs match. This shows the strength of hard hitting Al-Karam batsmen. Final score 149/2 in 14.3 overs and in that only one over was bowled without giving a single 4 and less than 6 runs.

     This shows that our bowlers lacked in consistency in bowling line and length. It is easier said than done but this can be improved only by sheer practice in the nets. If we look at the positives from this match, Ritesh batted well and Sriram showed that he is in good touch even after a long break. Lessons – Bowlers should bowl consistently well , 2 very good balls and 4 HIT ME balls in an over will not do any good to the team. Instead 6 straight, line and length ,good balls will be great. Fielders need to improve their catching and fielding. Half chances should be converted to win matches, all the fielders in the deep should be able to judge well and time the jump to perfection to catch few six going balls within the rope. As I said earlier its easier said than done, but practice makes perfect. In conclusion, Al-Karam played really well and Engineers was a no match on that day.

Brief scores: IECC 146/6 (25 ov). S Sampath 58, R Kakar 38 Al Karam (149/2) (14.3 ov). Adris 50, Haneef Niazi 51. Scorecard

Engineers tick off KCL 2006 with a dismal display with bat and ball

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

Engineers regain Pacific Cup; Down Kytes in a high scoring finale

New stars appear on the horizon

By Sai Prashant

     Over the past few years, the Indian Engineers and Shizuoka Kytes have competed in some thrilling encounters and the Pacific Friendship Cup final was no exception with the two teams playing out a match for the ages. In a memorable final, the Engineers chased down a stiff target of 197 off 30 overs with 8 balls and 1 wicket to spare to win the PFC for the third time in 4 years. What made the match memorable was not only the high scoring and an utterly nail-biting finish, but the attitude and enthusiasm displayed by both the teams to battle it out in almost unplayable conditions. Probably unplayable is not the right word, because the conditions were ideal for a game of ice hockey or some winter sport, except for the lack of ice! But the lack of ice was more than made up by an incessant, chilly drizzle. The suspense for the day began well before the match.

     With the weather forecast predicting heavier rains, whether the game was on or not couldn’t be known until 6:30 am, by which time the Kytes, being the hosts were supposed to inform Biju. I’m sure that between 6:00 and 6:30 am, Dec 4th 2005, Biju Paul must’ve been the busiest guy on Earth(pun intended), apart from the sellers in Tsukiji fish market! What with the whole team wanting to make the torture trip to Shizuoka! But as it turned out, the trip ended up being most enjoyable and satisfying. So, the Engineers arrived at the ground well before the scheduled start of play. Thanks to Bobby Philips, our F-1 driver, driving the team in his Toyota like Schumacher! Probably he just drove with the freedom he wouldn’t have had if his Dad had made the trip, or maybe he just couldn’t wait to get his hands on the Pacific Cup (cup? what cup?? no cup!). Bikash steered in the rest of the team and we were all set to play. Biju set the team in the right mood by giving away some goodies, courtesy of our sponsors, HumTum TV. Also, the Kytes had a nice fire started and after a brief warm-up (next to the fire!) it was time to get on with the main course.

     Vimal Vikrant, captain of the day and third in line of the Engineers’ captaincy hierarchy, promptly lost the toss and elected to field! We took to the field with most of us in attires fit to scale the nearby Mt.Fuji and Bikash looking atleast twice his size. Vimal decided to open the bowling himself along with Rahul. Vimal went for runs Rahul bowled with control and discipline. Newcomer Sangan Kalgi replaced the captain and brought immediate rewards when he had Neil Harrison caught behind. Rahul and Sangan then continued the stingy line and length. Rahul in particular was very impressive with his control and got due rewards. He nailed Shoaib and Nick, number 3 and 4 in the Kytes order, with a couple of superb deliveries, both going through the defenses and sending the stumps for a walk. At that time, with the Kytes 3 down for 29, it was beginning to look like a stroll in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon for the Engineers. To be noted here is that the ground condition was beginning to deteriorate rapidly. The constant drizzle making the run-up and the follow-through on to the pitch quite dangerous. In walked Robb, the Kytes’ captain, and began to steady the innings. With the opening bowlers being saved for the death overs, a brief partnership followed. Sangan proved to be a difficult customer to negotiate with his left-arm seamers slanting away at good pace. Bobby replaced Rahul and started off quite well. But the Kytes were batting more freely and were chancing their arms and their score card began to look more respectable.

   Vimal switched over to bowling his off-breaks, and was immediately rewarded with the wicket of Lalith, the score reading 4 for 60. It still looked good for the Engineers, except that the Kytes had cleverly saved some of their best batsmen for the last! Vimal let everyone have a go at the ball and the Kytes began to capitalise on it. In all, 9 bowlers were tried out, and except for a couple of them, all went for runs. Since there were quite a few new-comers, at least it made everybody feel like they were actively involved in the game instead of being just left to field at third-man or deep fine leg which can sometimes be quite dispiriting. Well done Vimal. So, with this rotation policy, the Kytes made merry. Arbab had just come in, and along with Robb, went about clobbering the bowling. Things weren’t looking too good for the Engineers and Biju was requesting for a fire-break after almost every other over! Can’t blame him though.

     In between all this, an important incident occurred. The ground had become very slippery and the new comer Mithun came on to bowl his off-spinners. Here was a bowler who has a classical off-spinner’s action and flight, but couldn’t quite get it right as he was slipping in his run-up. In fact, he injured his arm quite seriously during one of his falls. When Prashanth replaced him, the very first ball he bowls and is flat on the ground! That was a bad fall, and the captains began discussing about the conditions. Prashanth was suggested to bowl without stepping onto the mat. C’mon guys, it’s a Cup Final and not some friendly match! But dutifully, he bowled the next ball from well behind the umpire. Getting some confidence from this, the third ball he just steps onto the mat and promptly slips and goes sprawling. Now this was serious and it was obvious that play couldn’t continue under the circumstances. Both the teams got together and discussed various options, such as playing without the mat, playing with a tennis ball, etc! Just when the captains were deciding to call off play and reschedule the match, Jude Joseph came up with a brilliant brainwave. He suggested that half the mat be removed and bowling only from the end without the mat. The grass wasn’t so slippery though.

    It was only the mat which was the culprit. So it was decided to implement this idea, and things began to work out fine after that. During this stoppage however, there was another incredible moment! Sangan, who had bowled a good spell earlier on, decided to see for himself what the fuss was all about. So, he measured his runup, without ball in hand, mind you, runs into bowl and what followed was one of the most spectacular falls seen on a cricket field(Bobby’s fall still remains right up there on top, though!). Some of us, who were discussing various options, caught a glimpse of the fall(jut like Bobby’s fall was caught by only two guys), almost in slow motion, and were wondering just what he was up to! As amusing as it may have looked, it was a wicked fall and he hurt his back badly which made fielding and batting quite painful for him. Nevertheless, he took a fine catch later and played an important innings as you will learn later on. Anyway, after Jude had saved the day for both teams, play resumed after the long stoppage. When Vimal came on for his second spell, Robb, who was batting beautifully on 63 lofted one straight to deep midwicket where Bobby took a fantastic catch. Though it was a straight forward catch, considering the cold and the freezing hands, it was a great effort, and an important one. In walked Sharpe, and with Arbab pulling and hitting across almost everything, the Kytes’ score was looking ominous. Sharpe was in brilliant form and was hitting the ball with brutal power from word go. Biju, a reluctant bowler after a long lay off due to his shoulder injury, was given the ball, and he responded in fine style with his shortened runup and aSharmaji-like left arm action(or rather no action). He had the hard-hitting Arbab caught in the deep cover point, for a well made 33, again stunning running catch by Bobby. In the 3rd ball of his next over Biju clean bowled Wooler, taking advantage of the batsmen’s poor footwork and was on a hat trick as he clean bowled the next batsman next ball. Though he missed out on the hattrick, he ended up with 3 for 24, a great spell indeed for a comeback bowler. His kangaroo-style jumping celebration after each wicket showed sheer joy and was quite a sight to watch. With the last man in and overs running out, Sharpe went into over-drive and Biju suffered the most. Almost every ball was dismissed from his presence with utter disdain. One such hit almost took Biju’s arm along with it to the straight boundary! To Biju’s credit though, he didn’t show the obvious pain:-) Rahul, the best bowler on view, came on and was dispatched through mid-wicket for a couple of fours. Vimal moved extra-cover to plug the gap at deep mid-wicket, and Sharpe trying to capitalise on this, made room and tried to hit through covers only to find the stumps rearranged. He made 37. It was a good move by Vimal and an important one.

The Kytes’ innings folded up for 196 with 9 balls still to go, and as it turned out, the runs that could’ve been scored in those 9 balls could have made the difference between winning and losing. For the Engineers, Rahul, Vimal and Biju picked up 3 wickets each and Sangan chipped in with one. Rahul was by far the best bowler, bowling wicket to wicket and giving no room to the batsmen. Sangan too impressed. Biju, though suffered at the hands of Sharpe, was quite effective. The remaining bowlers sprayed the ball around and as many as 40 to 50 extras were given away! Staggering by any standards. Anyways, the fielders were really glad to get to the fire. There was super hot cup noodles awaiting the cold and hungry players, courtesy the Kytes, who were really quite magnanimous as hosts.

Set to score 197 off 30 overs, the Engineers had fire in their belly, literally, after consuming the hot noodles and the best part of the match was set to happen! A required rate of close to 7 per over is quite a challenge by any means, and especially against the Kytes’ new ball attack. You cannot afford to just see off the opening bowlers without scoring too many, because by then the asking rate would have rocketed up. So, with no particular game plan, except to play their natural game, the Engineers set off on their chase, with Vimal and Prashanth. The Sun too had just come out a little bit, perhaps to get a glimpse of the intense action that was to follow! The Kytes’ opening bowlers, Sharpe and the left-handed Tomlison started off with some ferocious pace and control. There was a flicked four through midwicket off Sharpe’s first over by Prashanth and Vimal too saw off a probing opening over by Tom. So, in the first two overs there was little indication of the impending drama. Into his second over, Sharpe was beginning to be almost unplayable with his late inswinging toe-crushers. His first such ball accounted for Vimal.

A full length delivery swinging in late had Vimal falling over as the ball crashed into the stumps. It was a beautiful ball and there’s almost nothing a bastman could do, except be lucky to dig it out, but then at that pace it’s a tough ask. Jude Joseph came in at No.3 and played the first few balls confidently enough. But then in Sharpe’s next over, he received another unplayable one. Full, fast and furious that caught the batsman plumb in front. Despite all this havoc, Prashanth was in quite splendid form. He cut, drove and flicked with abandon. Standing well outside the crease, he played late to counter the late swing but also quickly latched onto anything short. There was a classic cut past point, a drive through covers and a couple of flicks past midwicket. There were also a couple of drives over the bowler’s head hit with savage power. Bobby who had come in at the fall of Jude was intent on seeing the opening pair off and was doing that quite well. He showed good judgement of where his off stump was and was content in leaving balls that didn’t require to be played at. Apparently, he didn’t know where his middle stump was and by the time he realised where it was, it had gone for a ride by Sharpe’s inswinger. At 3 down for 36 only in the sixth over, the Engineers were staring down the barrel and the Kytes were flying high. Something special was required to get them to 197. A partnership was necessary and that came in the form of Rahul and Prashanth. Rahul was keen that his earlier bowling exploits not going to waste and batted sensibly letting Prashanth do the scoring.

The Kytes were all fired up and wanted to finish off the Engineers when they were down. So their opening and most potent bowlers bowled their quota of 6 overs each at a stretch hoping to get a few more wickets. That was a huge gamble taken by the Kytes and it didn’t pay off as Prashanth and Rahul had other ideas. Constantly talking to and motivating each other, they not only made sure that no more wickets fell to the opening duo but also scored at the required rate with some excellent running between wickets. It also helped that the new ball bowlers had finished their spells and the first change bowlers were on. So the Engineers at the half way stage were around 100 for 3 and went into the fire-break reasonably confident. Immediately after the break though, Rahul fell – stumped by Robb, standing up for Tom, for a well made 13 after putting up a partnership of 64 in just 8 overs which brought the Engineers back into the match. Bikash came, saw and left without conquering:-) again the result of yet another stumping. Sangan, who bats left-handed, came in with Jude as his runner, and started middling the ball confidently.

The slow bowlers were in operation now and the batsmen were content in just working the ball around. After a brief partnership, the Engineers suffered another setback when Prashanth, who was looking set for a big one, fell trying to work the ball to square and missed a straight one from Nick to be plumb in front. It was a good innings with shots all round the wicket and spared no bowler in his breezy 50 ball 66(8×4). But he left with the job half-done. The score read 144 for 6 in the 20th over. 53 were required off the last 10 overs and the match was delicately poised. But one final act from the Engineers was to follow in a match which saw the advantage shift from one team to the other every 5 overs. Yogesh joined Sangan and they proceeded to build the most important partnership of the match. Without being overly cautious, they took their team closer to the target with good running and some timely boundaries which ensured that the asking rate was always comfortable. Jude, running for Sangan, was just terrific. Just when it looked like they would take the team home safely, the match took another turn with the fall of Yogesh for a responsible 22(4×4) off only 13 balls, another brilliant glove work by Robb behind the stumps. They had put on 38 for the 7th wicket off just 5 overs. Sangan followed soon for 22(4×4), falling victim to Arbab. Robb’s superb glove-work needs a mention here.

Yogesh fell to a brilliant stumping off a spinner. With the slow bowlers operating, Rob was a constant threat behind the wickets. With the pitch slippery and the batsmen regularly missing their footing, the danger of being caught out of the crease was constant. The batsmen realizing this had to play the spinners from well within the crease as any kind of footwork was hazardous. But still Robb would end up with 4 such blinding fast stumping which was mainly responsible for the Kytes remaining in the match after their inital strikes. So, with the fall of Sangan, the 7th wicket, Biju joined Sangan and they took the score tantalisingly close before both fell in quick succession, with Sangan at 186 and Biju at 191 being the 9th wicket. Sangan’s 22 and though Biju scored only in the single digits, their runs were worth the weight in gold. By now, every run was being wildly cheered and every batsman was welcomed back to the fire-place to a hero’s welcome. Voices had gone hoarse with screaming and cheering and I’m sure that more than one of the Engineers’ hearts skipped beats on more than one occasion! This was definitely not a match for the weak-hearted. 6 to get with 1 wicket and 12 balls left. Mithun, who was hardly able to lift the bat due to injury, had joined Biju and had struck a couple of nicely timed on drives for some valuable 2’s.

Biju then gave a brief hope of seeing the Engineers through when he hit a four through the small gap of a decade but fell victim to yet another brilliant stumping off a wide ball. At 191, the last batsman Yousuf walked in with his slippers on! You see, he wasn’t expecting to play and had only made the trip to cheer us. So, considering the slippery conditions, all started to check for the right size shoes for Yousuf. Finally Yousuf settled for Bobby’s Nikes, a very fine choice indeed! The Jason Gillespie look alike Mark had been operating in the death overs. Similar hair style, similar run-up and action but not the same pace, good control nevertheless. The situation at this point was: Runs required: 6 Tension: mounting Mithun: takes a couple and another single Runs required: 3 Possible result: Any of the three Tension: mounting On strike: Yousuf Wickets left: 1 What happened: Calmly pats out the first ball What happened next: Gets beaten second ball Runs required: 3 Tension: mounting What happened: Third ball, slightly short outside off and he calmly lofts it to the cover fence for four! The Engineers had done it. A remarkable run chase.

As everybody runs on to the field. Yousuf’s lofted in the air (and caught!). Celebrations, hugs and victory shouts all around. The two teams congratulated each other. The Kytes have taken the defeat very well. No complaints or bitterness or long faces. Just a calm acceptance of the ways of sport and God! The camaraderie between the teams was great. Though the match was fiercely competitive with both teams fighting every inch and even occasionally sledging, everything was done in good spirit. Even umpiring decisions were accepted graciously, but this was also due to the fact the umpiring from both teams was very fair and top-class. It was pretty dark by now. The great, life-saving fire was put off and the teams decided to carry on the good spirit to the nearby Soba restaurant, which is the Kytes’ den and favourite watering hole. Over a few beers and colas, everyone was supposed to nominate their best performer and highlight of the match. It wasn’t serious stuff though, with people nominating Sangan’s fall, Gillespie looks, Robert’s colourful scorebook, Yousuf’s commitment for playing in slippers, Sharpe’s appealing, Jude’s half-pitch idea, and so on. It was almost a perfect end to a wonderful cricketing day. And on the long haul back to Tokyo, everyone felt safer with Biju doing the chauffeur’s duty this time:-) Bobby, just kidding.

 To wrap up this already long report, it was a complete team effort. Good all round performance: Rahul and Sangan Standout bowling : Rahul, Sangan and Biju Fielding : Bikash(good keeping to some bad bowling!),Bobby(2 great catches), Mithun and Jude Batting : Prashanth, Yogesh, Sangan and Yousuf Spirit and enthusiasm : Kytes and Engineers Scope for improvement : Around 40 extras!!! Tons of thanks to : Kytes Above all, great captaincy by Vimal. Good rotation of bowlers, field placements and got the batting order dead right.

Brief scores: S Kytes 196(28.3 ov). R McKenna 53 B Paul 3/24, R Deo 3/29, V Vikrant 3/46 IECC 198/9(28.3 ov). S Prashanth 66, Extras 47, M Sharpe 3/43. Scorecard

 

Match Report 2005

Engineers regain Pacific Friendship Cup; Down Kytes in a high scoring finale

New stars appear on the horizon

By Sai Prashant

Over the past few years, the Indian Engineers and Shizuoka Kytes have competed in some thrilling encounters and the Pacific Friendship Cup final was no exception with the two teams playing out a match for the ages. In a memorable final, the Engineers chased down a stiff target of 197 off 30 overs with 8 balls and 1 wicket to spare to win the PFC for the third time in 4 years. What made the match memorable was not only the high scoring and an utterly nail-biting finish, but the attitude and enthusiasm displayed by both the teams to battle it out in almost unplayable conditions.

 Probably unplayable is not the right word, because the conditions were ideal for a game of ice hockey or some winter sport, except for the lack of ice! But the lack of ice was more than made up by an incessant, chilly drizzle. The suspense for the day began well before the match. With the weather forecast predicting heavier rains, whether the game was on or not couldn’t be known until 6:30 am, by which time the Kytes, being the hosts were supposed to inform Biju. I’m sure that between 6:00 and 6:30 am, Dec 4th 2005, Biju Paul must’ve been the busiest guy on Earth(pun intended), apart from the sellers in Tsukiji fish market! What with the whole team wanting to make the torture trip to Shizuoka! But as it turned out, the trip ended up being most enjoyable and satisfying. So, the Engineers arrived at the ground well before the scheduled start of play. Thanks to Bobby Philips, our F-1 driver, driving the team in his Toyota like Schumacher! Probably he just drove with the freedom he wouldn’t have had if his Dad had made the trip, or maybe he just couldn’t wait to get his hands on the Pacific Cup (cup? what cup?? no cup!). Bikash steered in the rest of the team and we were all set to play. Biju set the team in the right mood by giving away some goodies, courtesy of our sponsors, HumTum TV. Also, the Kytes had a nice fire started and after a brief warm-up (next to the fire!) it was time to get on with the main course. Vimal Vikrant, captain of the day and third in line of the Engineers’ captaincy hierarchy, promptly lost the toss and elected to field! We took to the field with most of us in attires fit to scale the nearby Mt.Fuji and Bikash looking atleast twice his size. Vimal decided to open the bowling himself along with Rahul. Vimal went for runs Rahul bowled with control and discipline. Newcomer Sangan Kalgi replaced the captain and brought immediate rewards when he had Neil Harrison caught behind. Rahul and Sangan then continued the stingy line and length. Rahul in particular was very impressive with his control and got due rewards. He nailed Shoaib and Nick, number 3 and 4 in the Kytes order, with a couple of superb deliveries, both going through the defenses and sending the stumps for a walk. At that time, with the Kytes 3 down for 29, it was beginning to look like a stroll in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon for the Engineers. To be noted here is that the ground condition was beginning to deteriorate rapidly. The constant drizzle making the run-up and the follow-through on to the pitch quite dangerous. In walked Robb, the Kytes’ captain, and began to steady the innings. With the opening bowlers being saved for the death overs, a brief partnership followed. Sangan proved to be a difficult customer to negotiate with his left-arm seamers slanting away at good pace. Bobby replaced Rahul and started off quite well. But the Kytes were batting more freely and were chancing their arms and their score card began to look more respectable. Vimal switched over to bowling his off-breaks, and was immediately rewarded with the wicket of Lalith, the score reading 4 for 60. It still looked good for the Engineers, except that the Kytes had cleverly saved some of their best batsmen for the last! Vimal let everyone have a go at the ball and the Kytes began to capitalise on it. In all, 9 bowlers were tried out, and except for a couple of them, all went for runs. Since there were quite a few new-comers, at least it made everybody feel like they were actively involved in the game instead of being just left to field at third-man or deep fine leg which can sometimes be quite dispiriting. Well done Vimal. So, with this rotation policy, the Kytes made merry. Arbab had just come in, and along with Robb, went about clobbering the bowling. Things weren’t looking too good for the Engineers and Biju was requesting for a fire-break after almost every other over! Can’t blame him though. In between all this, an important incident occurred. The ground had become very slippery and the new comer Mithun came on to bowl his off-spinners. Here was a bowler who has a classical off-spinner’s action and flight, but couldn’t quite get it right as he was slipping in his run-up. In fact, he injured his arm quite seriously during one of his falls. When Prashanth replaced him, the very first ball he bowls and is flat on the ground! That was a bad fall, and the captains began discussing about the conditions. Prashanth was suggested to bowl without stepping onto the mat. C’mon guys, it’s a Cup Final and not some friendly match! But dutifully, he bowled the next ball from well behind the umpire. Getting some confidence from this, the third ball he just steps onto the mat and promptly slips and goes sprawling. Now this was serious and it was obvious that play couldn’t continue under the circumstances. Both the teams got together and discussed various options, such as playing without the mat, playing with a tennis ball, etc! Just when the captains were deciding to call off play and reschedule the match, Jude Joseph came up with a brilliant brainwave. He suggested that half the mat be removed and bowling only from the end without the mat. The grass wasn’t so slippery though. It was only the mat which was the culprit. So it was decided to implement this idea, and things began to work out fine after that. During this stoppage however, there was another incredible moment! Sangan, who had bowled a good spell earlier on, decided to see for himself what the fuss was all about. So, he measured his runup, without ball in hand, mind you, runs into bowl and what followed was one of the most spectacular falls seen on a cricket field(Bobby’s fall still remains right up there on top, though!). Some of us, who were discussing various options, caught a glimpse of the fall(jut like Bobby’s fall was caught by only two guys), almost in slow motion, and were wondering just what he was up to! As amusing as it may have looked, it was a wicked fall and he hurt his back badly which made fielding and batting quite painful for him. Nevertheless, he took a fine catch later and played an important innings as you will learn later on. Anyway, after Jude had saved the day for both teams, play resumed after the long stoppage. When Vimal came on for his second spell, Robb, who was batting beautifully on 63 lofted one straight to deep midwicket where Bobby took a fantastic catch. Though it was a straight forward catch, considering the cold and the freezing hands, it was a great effort, and an important one. In walked Sharpe, and with Arbab pulling and hitting across almost everything, the Kytes’ score was looking ominous. Sharpe was in brilliant form and was hitting the ball with brutal power from word go. Biju, a reluctant bowler after a long lay off due to his shoulder injury, was given the ball, and he responded in fine style with his shortened runup and aSharmaji-like left arm action(or rather no action). He had the hard-hitting Arbab caught in the deep cover point, for a well made 33, again stunning running catch by Bobby. In the 3rd ball of his next over Biju clean bowled Wooler, taking advantage of the batsmen’s poor footwork and was on a hat trick as he clean bowled the next batsman next ball. Though he missed out on the hattrick, he ended up with 3 for 24, a great spell indeed for a comeback bowler. His kangaroo-style jumping celebration after each wicket showed sheer joy and was quite a sight to watch. With the last man in and overs running out, Sharpe went into over-drive and Biju suffered the most. Almost every ball was dismissed from his presence with utter disdain. One such hit almost took Biju’s arm along with it to the straight boundary! To Biju’s credit though, he didn’t show the obvious pain:-) Rahul, the best bowler on view, came on and was dispatched through mid-wicket for a couple of fours. Vimal moved extra-cover to plug the gap at deep mid-wicket, and Sharpe trying to capitalise on this, made room and tried to hit through covers only to find the stumps rearranged. He made 37. It was a good move by Vimal and an important one. The Kytes’ innings folded up for 196 with 9 balls still to go, and as it turned out, the runs that could’ve been scored in those 9 balls could have made the difference between winning and losing. For the Engineers, Rahul, Vimal and Biju picked up 3 wickets each and Sangan chipped in with one. Rahul was by far the best bowler, bowling wicket to wicket and giving no room to the batsmen. Sangan too impressed. Biju, though suffered at the hands of Sharpe, was quite effective. The remaining bowlers sprayed the ball around and as many as 40 to 50 extras were given away! Staggering by any standards. Anyways, the fielders were really glad to get to the fire. There was super hot cup noodles awaiting the cold and hungry players, courtesy the Kytes, who were really quite magnanimous as hosts. Set to score 197 off 30 overs, the Engineers had fire in their belly, literally, after consuming the hot noodles and the best part of the match was set to happen! A required rate of close to 7 per over is quite a challenge by any means, and especially against the Kytes’ new ball attack. You cannot afford to just see off the opening bowlers without scoring too many, because by then the asking rate would have rocketed up. So, with no particular game plan, except to play their natural game, the Engineers set off on their chase, with Vimal and Prashanth. The Sun too had just come out a little bit, perhaps to get a glimpse of the intense action that was to follow! The Kytes’ opening bowlers, Sharpe and the left-handed Tomlison started off with some ferocious pace and control. There was a flicked four through midwicket off Sharpe’s first over by Prashanth and Vimal too saw off a probing opening over by Tom. So, in the first two overs there was little indication of the impending drama. Into his second over, Sharpe was beginning to be almost unplayable with his late inswinging toe-crushers. His first such ball accounted for Vimal. A full length delivery swinging in late had Vimal falling over as the ball crashed into the stumps. It was a beautiful ball and there’s almost nothing a bastman could do, except be lucky to dig it out, but then at that pace it’s a tough ask. Jude Joseph came in at No.3 and played the first few balls confidently enough. But then in Sharpe’s next over, he received another unplayable one. Full, fast and furious that caught the batsman plumb in front. Despite all this havoc, Prashanth was in quite splendid form. He cut, drove and flicked with abandon. Standing well outside the crease, he played late to counter the late swing but also quickly latched onto anything short. There was a classic cut past point, a drive through covers and a couple of flicks past midwicket. There were also a couple of drives over the bowler’s head hit with savage power. Bobby who had come in at the fall of Jude was intent on seeing the opening pair off and was doing that quite well. He showed good judgement of where his off stump was and was content in leaving balls that didn’t require to be played at. Apparently, he didn’t know where his middle stump was and by the time he realised where it was, it had gone for a ride by Sharpe’s inswinger. At 3 down for 36 only in the sixth over, the Engineers were staring down the barrel and the Kytes were flying high. Something special was required to get them to 197. A partnership was necessary and that came in the form of Rahul and Prashanth. Rahul was keen that his earlier bowling exploits not going to waste and batted sensibly letting Prashanth do the scoring. The Kytes were all fired up and wanted to finish off the Engineers when they were down. So their opening and most potent bowlers bowled their quota of 6 overs each at a stretch hoping to get a few more wickets. That was a huge gamble taken by the Kytes and it didn’t pay off as Prashanth and Rahul had other ideas. Constantly talking to and motivating each other, they not only made sure that no more wickets fell to the opening duo but also scored at the required rate with some excellent running between wickets. It also helped that the new ball bowlers had finished their spells and the first change bowlers were on. So the Engineers at the half way stage were around 100 for 3 and went into the fire-break reasonably confident. Immediately after the break though, Rahul fell – stumped by Robb, standing up for Tom, for a well made 13 after putting up a partnership of 64 in just 8 overs which brought the Engineers back into the match. Bikash came, saw and left without conquering:-) again the result of yet another stumping. Sangan, who bats left-handed, came in with Jude as his runner, and started middling the ball confidently. The slow bowlers were in operation now and the batsmen were content in just working the ball around. After a brief partnership, the Engineers suffered another setback when Prashanth, who was looking set for a big one, fell trying to work the ball to square and missed a straight one from Nick to be plumb in front. It was a good innings with shots all round the wicket and spared no bowler in his breezy 50 ball 66(8×4). But he left with the job half-done. The score read 144 for 6 in the 20th over. 53 were required off the last 10 overs and the match was delicately poised. But one final act from the Engineers was to follow in a match which saw the advantage shift from one team to the other every 5 overs. Yogesh joined Sangan and they proceeded to build the most important partnership of the match. Without being overly cautious, they took their team closer to the target with good running and some timely boundaries which ensured that the asking rate was always comfortable. Jude, running for Sangan, was just terrific. Just when it looked like they would take the team home safely, the match took another turn with the fall of Yogesh for a responsible 22(4×4) off only 13 balls, another brilliant glove work by Robb behind the stumps. They had put on 38 for the 7th wicket off just 5 overs. Sangan followed soon for 22(4×4), falling victim to Arbab. Robb’s superb glove-work needs a mention here. Yogesh fell to a brilliant stumping off a spinner. With the slow bowlers operating, Rob was a constant threat behind the wickets. With the pitch slippery and the batsmen regularly missing their footing, the danger of being caught out of the crease was constant. The batsmen realizing this had to play the spinners from well within the crease as any kind of footwork was hazardous. But still Robb would end up with 4 such blinding fast stumping which was mainly responsible for the Kytes remaining in the match after their inital strikes. So, with the fall of Sangan, the 7th wicket, Biju joined Sangan and they took the score tantalisingly close before both fell in quick succession, with Sangan at 186 and Biju at 191 being the 9th wicket. Sangan’s 22 and though Biju scored only in the single digits, their runs were worth the weight in gold. By now, every run was being wildly cheered and every batsman was welcomed back to the fire-place to a hero’s welcome. Voices had gone hoarse with screaming and cheering and I’m sure that more than one of the Engineers’ hearts skipped beats on more than one occasion! This was definitely not a match for the weak-hearted. 6 to get with 1 wicket and 12 balls left. Mithun, who was hardly able to lift the bat due to injury, had joined Biju and had struck a couple of nicely timed on drives for some valuable 2’s. Biju then gave a brief hope of seeing the Engineers through when he hit a four through the small gap of a decade but fell victim to yet another brilliant stumping off a wide ball. At 191, the last batsman Yousuf walked in with his slippers on! You see, he wasn’t expecting to play and had only made the trip to cheer us. So, considering the slippery conditions, all started to check for the right size shoes for Yousuf. Finally Yousuf settled for Bobby’s Nikes, a very fine choice indeed! The Jason Gillespie look alike Mark had been operating in the death overs. Similar hair style, similar run-up and action but not the same pace, good control nevertheless. The situation at this point was: Runs required: 6 Tension: mounting Mithun: takes a couple and another single Runs required: 3 Possible result: Any of the three Tension: mounting On strike: Yousuf Wickets left: 1 What happened: Calmly pats out the first ball What happened next: Gets beaten second ball Runs required: 3 Tension: mounting What happened: Third ball, slightly short outside off and he calmly lofts it to the cover fence for four! The Engineers had done it. A remarkable run chase. As everybody runs on to the field. Yousuf’s lofted in the air (and caught!). Celebrations, hugs and victory shouts all around. The two teams congratulated each other. The Kytes have taken the defeat very well. No complaints or bitterness or long faces. Just a calm acceptance of the ways of sport and God! The camaraderie between the teams was great. Though the match was fiercely competitive with both teams fighting every inch and even occasionally sledging, everything was done in good spirit. Even umpiring decisions were accepted graciously, but this was also due to the fact the umpiring from both teams was very fair and top-class. It was pretty dark by now. The great, life-saving fire was put off and the teams decided to carry on the good spirit to the nearby Soba restaurant, which is the Kytes’ den and favourite watering hole. Over a few beers and colas, everyone was supposed to nominate their best performer and highlight of the match. It wasn’t serious stuff though, with people nominating Sangan’s fall, Gillespie looks, Robert’s colourful scorebook, Yousuf’s commitment for playing in slippers, Sharpe’s appealing, Jude’s half-pitch idea, and so on. It was almost a perfect end to a wonderful cricketing day. And on the long haul back to Tokyo, everyone felt safer with Biju doing the chauffeur’s duty this time:-) Bobby, just kidding. To wrap up this already long report, it was a complete team effort. Good all round performance: Rahul and Sangan Standout bowling : Rahul, Sangan and Biju Fielding : Bikash(good keeping to some bad bowling!),Bobby(2 great catches), Mithun and Jude Batting : Prashanth, Yogesh, Sangan and Yousuf Spirit and enthusiasm : Kytes and Engineers Scope for improvement : Around 40 extras!!! Tons of thanks to : Kytes Above all, great captaincy by Vimal. Good rotation of bowlers, field placements and got the batting order dead right. Brief scores: S Kytes 196(28.3 ov). R McKenna 53 B Paul 3/24, R Deo 3/29, V Vikrant 3/46 IECC 198/9(28.3 ov). S Prashanth 66, Extras 47, M Sharpe 3/43. Scorecard

Make-shift Engineers prove too much for the Kytes

New stars appear on the horizon

By Sanjeeb Sahoo

It is always difficult to gather a squad of 11 around this time of the year and the IECC president knew it and rightly started availability checking 2 weeks in advance. Despite all the effort, only 3 of the regular Engineers were available on the final day. However, thanks to some irregular members and some volunteers from other teams and Biju’s organizing expertise, the president finally managed to gather a full squad. In the absence of captain, vice-captain and asst. v-c, Bikash Mohanty was appointed as the captain for this match. None would have thought at this point that this team could beat the mighty Shizouka team, who are just 1 game away from becoming the champions of the Davison 2. Only this writer and the captain were optimistic considering the average weight and age of the team, which was at lest 10kgs and 2 years lesser than usual. The team arrived in time at the ground and warmed themselves up by rolling the pitch and putting down the mat. Luckily Bikash won the toss and elected to bat first. Himanshu and Prashanth started the batting cautiously. Sharpe and File started the bowling attack for the Kytes. They bowled with accuracy and pace and made scoring a difficult task. In the 7th over Prasanth failed to connect to a good length delivery from File and the wood work got re-arranged. Only recognized batsman Sanjeeb walked in and immediately it was apparent that he is in good nick. But few balls later he attempted a half hearted drive off a File delivery which took the inside edge and the leg stump was uprooted. Santosh walked in with instruction to hang in there as long as possible. He did just that, occasionally hitting some spectacular boundaries, but was judged LBW of Lalit while on 16. Talk from unconfirmed sources say that Santosh dropped Jude Joseph(the umpire at that time), in front of a truck, on the expressway while heading back to Tokyo. New addition Ryan walked in and the run rate graph immediately started moving upward. Anything which can be hit, disappeared out of the ground. Himanshu, who has been batting patiently at the other end till now, also started opening the face of the bat and the runs started flowing in. Sensing danger, Neil came in to bowl and immediately had Himanshu LBW. Himanshu was on 40 at that time. Second new addition David Davies walked in; it was a good move by the captain as David is known for his patience which always frustrates the opposition. David did not disappoint the captain and batted sensibly, rotating the strike. Ryan at the other end was not deterred at all by anything, and kept on scoring boundaries at will. It took a gem of ball from Subodh to finally get him out. Ryan had scored 42 of just 32 balls at that time. In walked Bikash to face Nick. Nick bowled one of his you-miss-I-hit balls and Bikash was caught in two mind whether to hit or not. Any other day Bikash would have hit it for a boundary but it was Nick’s day on that day as would be apparent later. Bikash swung his bat hard but the ball seemed to have more liking for his stump. Engineers in deep trouble and in danger of getting all out for a small score. Jude Joseph, the new man in , played every ball with a straight bat, like an opener that surprised everybody. Both David and Jude played sensibly and kept the score moving steadily. In the 45th over David got out attempting to accelerate the run rate, bowled by Subodh. Robert and Raju got out LBW in consecutive balls from Sharpe. Jude got bowled by Sobudh the very next over. The Engineers all out for 186 from 37.4 overs. After a short lunch break Kytes started the chase with Sharpe and Lalith opening the innings. Raju started the bowling attack for the Engineers. Guess who started the attack from the other end. The one and only Santosh! Raju bowled with pace and bounce, but nothing mattered for Sharpe. The faster the ball came the faster it disappeared into the fence. Santosh on the other end was bowling spin with accuracy and almost without any wides. Raju got his line and length back from his 3rd over onwards and started bowled some real good deliveries, but the wickets did not come the Engineers’ way. By 10th over the Kytes were rocking at 71, around 7 per over. Sanjeeb was brought in to provide a break. He obliged by having Sharpe in his second over. The fall of Sharpe started pushing the run rate downwards. In his 4th over Sanjeeb claimed his 2nd victim – Lalith. David claimed the next 2 wickets and the Kytes were feeling the pressure now. In-form batsman Subodh walked in and started toying with the bowling. Sanjeeb tried to get him out by putting more fielders on the offside but Subodh could not be drawn into the plot. He finished his quota without any more success. Ryan was given the ball and after few overs produced a wicket. Bikash at the other end had Neil out for 15. That brought Nick in. He immediately started with a six over mid- wicket. He seemed to be possessed and only started talking in 4s and 6s. After lot of discussion, Raju was brought back to the attack and he responded with a unplayable delivery which just kissed Subodh’s bat, Prasanth did well to collect it behind the stumps. Any other umpire would have missed it(I am sure it would if it was Lalith) but it did not miss Sharpe’s sharp eyes. Subodh had to walk. Shoaib came in and 4 balls later found his off stump moved back at least by 5 meters by a genuine fast ball from Raju. The Engineers at this stage thought that they have won as the last batsman was Martineau and Raju had 3 more balls left of that over. But to everybody’s surprise Martineu successfully survived 3 shinkansen deliveries from Raju. Full credit to him! The Kytes required only 14 runs at that stage for a victory. The danger man Nick was on strike. After considerable discussion Santosh was given the ball. First ball – Nick hit it over long on for a SIX. Everybody in the ground was shocked. 2nd ball , this was a replica of the the earlier ball, Nick swung hard but it was probably for the light or the spin which Santosh generated; the blade completely missed the ball – a sweet clicking sound – all Engineers on the field went rushing to Santosh and congratulated him. Great scene, Santosh’s dream finally being realized! And the Engineers won the match by 8 runs. In summary, this was probably the tensest game the Engineers played this season. Everybody really tried hard to contribute to the victory. Some outstanding jobs done are outlined below…. Steady and solid batting by Himanshu, Santosh and David.. Explosive batting by Ryan.. Fiery bowling spells from Raju.. Lightning fielding from everybody specially Duck, Robert and Josheph.. Controlled bowling from David, Bikash and Santosh.. Thoughtful, aggressive bowling by yours truly.. Great work behind the stumps by Prasanth and Biksah.. Timely changes and innovative captaincy from Bikash.. Brief scores: IECC 186(37.4 ov). R Lahodiuq 42, H Panhalkar 40, S Gunawardena 3/23 S Kytes 178(31.2 ov). M Sharpe 35. Scorecard

Engineers squander a perfect opportunity

…while Tokyo Wombats impressed

By Bobby Philips

As conveyed across very bluntly, please do not expect me to grind words in this report. We were pathetic and that needs to be conveyed across with no words minced. So get ready for the reality check on each of those who played the semi-finals. At last the day was here that we all looked forward to. The day started with the bad news that Sriram couldn’t join in due to an injury sustained in the finals of EAP tournament. What a way for the day to begin but we managed to get Bikash onboard without much fuss. As things would turn out in the hours to come, we reached Sizuoka ground on time. Play started around 10:30 and the captains moved in for the toss. We decided that if we win the toss we shall opt to field. So did the wombats. It was ultimately for the coin to decide the fate. As has become a ritual by now for the Engineers, our captain wrong and we saw both Vs padding up. Looking for a good partnership from the veteran Engineers would be anybody’s desire but the gods had other plans! Viswa was back nicking Ian Gason, the lone ranger of the Wombats, outside the off to Jarrad behind the wicket. He was back with the same speed as he went in to bat. The only difference being that while walking in he had the killer instinct in his eyes and while walking back it was the look of a !@#$. Sanjeeb Sahoo strode in with the backing of all the supporters in the pavilion chanting…..Sanjeeb! Sanjeeb! But before they could say…. “we want Sixes! We want a four” they saw the back of Mr. Reliable and cried out loud…’O shit!!!’. He was back in exactly the same fashion as Viswa. The pavilion was on fire. The tails were stashed between the legs and the Engineers were brain-storming as how to control the hara-kiri happening in the middle. Well, the sun was shining strongly up there and probably Sanjeeb had plans to rest under the shelters of the tree and relax after the long ride to Shizuoka. Looking calmly from the other end was the man in form, Vimal, carefully plotting the destruction of the opponents! In walked Nissar with the willow gleaming in his hand. Things started swinging the Indian way and people didn’t have anything else to talk and look at the proceeding when suddenly out of the blue Vimal gives a return catch to Dawson. I am sure he might have repeated this sentence if not 1000s but at least 100s of time before he reached the stands to throw away his bat “How can I do that man! I don’t believe it”. Don’t worry mate…we too don’t believe it….as to how can you throw away the wicket in such a clumsy manner man! Your team needed you to stay…. and now there you are…. Anyway…as the Japanese would say….’Irashaimase…hai dozo!’, welcome to the pavilion! With Nissar playing cool on one side our captain thought it would have been a great opportunity for Himanshu to prove a point or two. Yours truly had requested his captain to refrain from sending Himanshu over at this stage as we had a more stable veteran sitting and scribbling on the scorebook in the form of daddy Sylvi! But unfortunately captain-san had other plans and in went Himanshu as Nissar watched from the non-striker’s end. I am not sure how many balls did Himanshu played but I do remember for sure that he made a successful effort to remain on zero. Welcome back friend. Better luck next time. With 4 down for 44 runs all hell broke loose. In walked Bob Christo with hanuman ka gadha. Nissar and he planned as to “Hey you know what….let’s play it safe till drinks and then we can launch into it” ….O yeah…o…yeah… I got it….I can handle it……don’t worry….. I will do. Kya kaaak (What shit!) I will do!!! Mr. Christo was walking back even before the over was bowled…. How can he be a part of this ridiculously insane team!!! Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Anyway moving on….in walked Sylvi…. and he was batting with charm from the moment he reached the crease till Kelly at forward short leg took a stunning catch. It was one of the most disappointing moments as he got out due to a splendid fielding performance. Rest all of us gifted away our wickets and I just have a feeling that our team needs someone like Chappell to remove the old dried up weeds out of the team and give it a fresh new blood look. With Sylvi departing the heart sank for Nissar who was still pulling along from the other end. In came Bikash and he too played couple of excellent shots. I sometimes wonder why he is not batting way up there as he is a consistent performer for the Engineers. We need to have more people who are consistent rather than one time successes like yours truly. I have special respect for Bikash and Ashok this season for the manner in which they brought about revolution to their batting this season. Good job guys. Keep it up. Bikash you may also don the keeping gloves here on for IECC. In walks Santosh Gadge who till now was in the pavilion shouting at top of his voice about what his mates are delivering up the ladder and here he was at the cross roads of writing history of going out so early and hitting a century for the team. But for the sake of blistering bananas can you score just one run please? Hero too comes back with a ZERO. Hmmmmm I wonder sometimes if there is a bribery scandal going on. Why else would our team perform in this manner? Makes me wonder if I am in Indian politics for a change! In walks Ajey who always has been professing that he needs to be promoted up the ladder. He always says that TODAY I will play my natural game and yours truly always trusted that his natural game is to hit the leather out of the balls…but our mate walks in and what does he do….he doesn’t connect with the !@#$% ball. He had no clue as to what he was playing. Boy…! I think you too really need a break had it not been for your decent balling. Anyway…to cut the story short… Mr. AK47 is back in the pavilion with his DUCK. The 8th wonder walks in to the middle in the form of Mr. Mahesh. I had no clue until then that this genius was hidden in our team. WOW! mama mia…. you should have seen him batting. He walked in when the score was around 125 odd with 6 overs to spare or something like that! But who cares now with this report nearly 3 weeks old….Grrrrrr! Nissar and Mahesh took it up from there on and by the time they both walked back after 40 over. we had 174 on the board. Good job done by these two guys. Come on gals give the guys a big hand! Nissar might be wondering why I haven’t spoken about him at all. I have reserved the best for you till now. Nissar is a great person, a passionate cricketer and we are proud to have him in our team. He gave us everything in style and what better stage than the Semifinals itself. Great stuff indeed. He played a very controlled knock and as the pins were falling on one side of the wicket, he was steadily chipping away the ones and twos and occasional boundaries and it wasn’t until he reached his 70s that his dear colleagues took a note of it. There on it was Nissar’s willow doing the talking. With the last pair batting and he still in 70’s, Nissar shifted gear in style. There was nothing that wasn’t dispatched into the shrubs. The last pair brought in around 50 plus runs off which Mahesh scored 14* and Nissar scored the rest to end up at 106*. It was an absolute delight, not only for the Engineers but even for the Wombats. While he was batting on 96 and the last over being bowled, there was apprehension in the stand if he could complete the century. Even before we could finish the thought, the ball was sailing way up trying to get lost in the clouds landing way inside the mid wicket dry river. He did it in style and class. The score read 102*…. And the huge crowd erupted. 80 thousand people waving the Indian flag all over and the candles being burnt all over. For a moment I thought if I was indeed in the Shizuoka ground or am I in Calcutta. It reminded me of my days when we played Laxman and Dravid went on to rewrite history. A respectable score of 174(9)/40 Overs and it was time for us to prove a point or two. Well the proving rested on point 1 and we lost. IECC SUCKS!!! We need to do way better buddies. This will not only bring us into D-II of KCL but we will also succeed in disintegrating the basic fabric of our team itself. Unless this is addressed in the next AGM and actions taken, IECC is going down the slope at this moment. With 174 behind us IECC decided to put in their best foot forward (which was already lost in the course of morning session… I have no idea which leg we spoke about – pun intended!) in the bowling and fielding department. Thanks to the team YES we did give a tough fight to the Wombats even though the score doesn’t say it so. No run was gifted away and they were made to toil hard from ball one. Ajey bowled out his spell well. Sanjeeb also bowled decently. All along the build up to the semi-finals, Vimal said that he would bowl spin on the day and he did go ahead with it. But my sincere observation is that he makes a bigger impact when he is in his natural flow of variety bowling. Lately he has not been doing well in that field but then he sure must pursue it rather than spin. Nissar was tried from the marathon batting effort but he did bowl decently too. The pick of the bowler was Viswa with his curving and precision deliveries. I have a sincere feeling that we indeed have a wonderful out swinger in our midst with decent pace and bounce associated. Even though we lost this match we did win the battle with the good spirit on and off the field. We sure will bounce back next year and it is also time to search for new blood for IECC. In the post match discussion the topic was not how we lost but who would take the kit! That is the situation of our team. Brief scores: IECC 174/9. N Ahmed 106*. P Shackleford 3/27 Wombats 175/3. C Jones 86*. Scorecard | Wombats’ report

Engineers keep their semi-final hopes alive

…and continue their excellent run with the bat

By Vimal Vikrant

The final league match of KCL for the Engineers was against Lalazar and the Engineers had to win this to have a chance of qualifying for the semis. The travel on the way to the ground was a mostly an intense discussion about the possibilities, permutations and combinations of the semis lineup. That said that the confidence was sky-high after the victory against the Friends, but this is cricket and there is no saying what can happen. There were a couple of freak showers on the way but that did get us concerned about the state of the ground, and heaven forbid, a washout. But we reached the ground to find the conditions quite nice. The toss was won by Lalazar who elected to bat first. No batting records this time for us, we thought! The bowling was started by Ajey Kulkarni and Sanjeeb Sahoo and they usually stick to a line. There were a few loose balls that were taken full toll of by the openers but there was a general feeling of tentativeness in thier proceedings. The first breakthrough though, was via a fantastic catch behind the stumps by Sriram. The batsman went for a booming drive off Ajey, but inside edged the ball and Sri made a one-handed snatch for the dying ball to grab it just inches off the  ground. The first wicket down for 30 odd and the Engineers started feeling a little relaxed. I was introduced into the attack and beat the bat a few times, but nothing special seemed to be happening. It was drizzling on and off and that was not really helping anyone. Anyway, one of my slower ones worked, the batsman going for an over-the-top heave only to find the ball not there. The middle stump out of the ground and the second wicket down for 71. The rain came down harder now and there was short stoppage. On resumption of play, Naresh was introduced and this did the trick for us. Making full use of the slightly greasy pitch, with flight and turn as his weapons, Naresh cleaned up the Lalazar middle order. The batsmen were very uncomfortable against the flighted delivery and were beaten time and again. 3 LBWs resulted. Santosh, Nissar and Sanjeeb were rotated as bowlers at the other end and with constant breakthroughs, the Engineers seemed to be on the way to restricting the opposition to a low total. But as is customary, the tail wagged and we found it difficult to break the last couple of partnerships. Eventually Lalazar were bowled out in the 35th over with 166 on the board. Not a difficult total, but the runs were on the board and they had to be got. A new combination of Naresh and myself opened the innings. The opening bowler of Lalazar, Amjad Mirza, looked to be from the Waqar Younis mould in his run up and delivery. He got quite a decent bounce off the pitch. Third ball that I faced, I hook it, ball travels to the fine leg area, we take 2, but then Naresh sees the throw coming in loopily and calls for the third. I probably reacted a fraction late. Direct hit at the non-striker’s end and it’s bye-bye. MoM in the previous innings, run out for 2 in the next. Well, welcome to cricket, the great leveller. Naresh though, to his credit, continued almost like nothing happened and a couple of beautiful square drives resulted. Sanjeeb on the other end kept things cool and the strike rotating. A little while Naresh fell LBW to Amjad for a personal score of 17 and the team score of 37. In walked Sri with a decent platform and after settling down he opened up to show the bowling deficiencies of the opposition. The opposition left arm spinner was treated particularly badly though he did bowl a few good balls to beat the bat. The game was running away from the opposition and the Amjad was reintroduced, but Sriram was already nearing his half century and very well set. One boundary and one six and he was there. After this the strike was rotated to try to get Sanjeeb also to his well deserved 50, but somehow, when Sri hits it, the ball likes to head to the boundary. Sanjeeb was stranded on 46 when the winning boundary was scored, in the 25th over. A convincing win and now we await the decisions in the other matches to see if we qualify for the semis. This year is a pretty tough competition. We are waiting with our fingers crossed. Brief scores: Lalazar 166 (35.1 ov). A Naresh 4/18 IECC 168/2 (24.1 ov). S Sahoo 46*, S Sampath 78*. Scorecard

Rampaging Engineers blow the Friends away

New KCL record established – 379/6

By Silvester Pereira and Ashok Sharma

A beautiful and clear sunny day in Ageo meant zero percent chance of any possibility of a washout/half doubtful game. As usual, the Engineers arrived at the ground on time by 10:30 am. On the other hand some members of the opposition team (Friends XI) had a hard time finding their way to the ground! By 11:30 only seven members of the opposition were at the ground and another three had lost their way and were almost over an hour away. After a mutual agreement between the two team captains, the game finally began at 11:50 am. Sriram won the toss and elected to bat first. It was a good decision as it was expected to be a very hot day as the day progresses. To the misery of the opposition, they had to take the field with only seven members. Their key bowlers and wicket-keeper was in one of the cars, who had lost their way and trying hard to get to the ground! The opposing captain Amir had wisely spread the field right from the first over with almost everybody on the boundary line except for the bowler and wicket keeper. The Engineers openers Vimal and Vishwa faced  the first over on a cautious note. However from the second over, run started trickling in easily at an average of 8~10 runs/over. To the misery of Friends, the second over had to be bowled by their spinner Fayaz! Vimal and Vishwa played the opening partnership very sensibly with only seven opposition members on the field, hitting shots all over the place and score jumped quickly to 120 without loss of any wicket in just 11 overs. It was an excellent start for the Engineers with absolutely no pressure from the opposition. The opposition finally got some respite when Vishwa going for a shot straight down, missed the line and was clean bowled by Assad Ali for 54. The score at this stage was 121/1. In walked Sriram knowing very well the miseries of the opposition and wanting to make the best use by putting up a grand total. Sriram began on a cautious note but Vimal on the other hand kept the scoreboard moving. At one stage Sriram was dropped at long on which proved to be costly. Nothing was going right for the friends. The lost car didn’t arrive to the ground and Friends had to play with 7 members for almost over an hour. When the lost car arrived, we realized that Friends had only 10 members on this day (11th member dropped out at the last minute). By this time the score was almost close to 200 when Sriram got bowled by Siddiqui for 53. The remaining batsman capitalized on an excellent start and put on a grand score of 379/7 in 40 overs, the highest ever in KCL history, with some useful contribution by Sanjeeb (51), Bobby (38) and almost everyone who batted. Not to forget the man behind this great start (Vimal) who put on an excellent 96 runs and very unlucky to miss to hundred from an lbw decision off the bowling of Naeem. The Engineers were benevolent enough to agree to a start time of 11:50am, despite the previously agreed time of 10:30AM, and did not insist on KCL rules be applied which permits one over be deducted from the Friends innings for every 4 minutes delayed. The Engineers also permitted the late comers to bowl as soon as they arrived at the ground, again not insisting on the rules which forbid the fielders from bowling until they spent as much time on the ground as they were away. By the time Friends came in to bat, they were almost exhausted by standing out in the sun for the full 40 overs of leather hunt. Naeem and Umar opened the inning for the Friends with the asking rate of over 9 runs/over while Ajey Kulkarni and Nisar opened the bowling for the Engineers. Friends had a good start of 38 runs in the first 4 overs until Naeem, going for a big hit, was beautifully caught by Jagan at mid-on for 10 with the score reading 38/1 in 4 overs. In walked Amir who looked dangerous hitting some couple of clean and solid sixes. However he didn’t last long. Going for a big hit and almost looking like another six, Bobby at deep mid-wicket leaped out like a superman and took the catch in the second attempt. It was an excellent catch and important wicket which sealed the match for the Engineers. The pressure was constantly on the opposition team. The remaining friends batsmen didn’t stay for long except for the opener Umar(58) and Fayaz (46) who looked threatening but the asking rate and the big imposing total ahead of them got the better of them. The friends finally folded up at 229, still 150 short of the target. The departing Ashok Sharma was the highest wicket taker with 4/46 (his last game prior to leaving Japan). Except for one incident during the Friends innings, the Engineers deservingly won the game and improved their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals in this tournament. Ashok Sharma reports: The incident mentioned above is as follows. 2nd over of the inning, Nissar Ahmad bowling to Umar Farooq. Umar hit the ball in the air which was magnificently caught by Viswa. During the time when ball was in the air, square leg umpire was trying to signal the main umpire about the ball being above shoulder. While Engineers were celebrating the wicket, batsman was still on the crease hoping for a life. During the conversation, square leg umpire said that he wanted to call it a no ball because the ball was above shoulder. He also confirmed that ball was below the head height which makes it a bouncer. We all said that one bouncer is allowed per over so this was not a no ball for that reason. That time Amir came in and joined Umar and said that a bouncer is not allowed at all and only short pitched ball is allowed. When asked about the definition of short pitched he said it is above chest but below shoulder (how much is in that area). Finally it boiled down to the question whether a bouncer is allowed in an over or not. While Amir and Umar saying no no no, we kept saying yes yes yes and the umpires were indecisive. It was followed by some heated arguments and since we were in a comfortable position with the huge score behind us, Sriram decided to go ahead with the game. This was the right call at that time as any further argument might have put the match in jeopardy. We should raise this and confirm the rule so that it does not happen again. Brief scores: IECC 379/6. V Vikrant 96, V Ghosh 54, S Sampath 53, S Sahoo 51 Friends 229(35 ov). A Sharma 4/46. Scorecard

Experimenting Engineers, Advantage Kytes

Bobby’s swollen face replaces pulled muscle

By Vimal Vikrant

31st July, Sunday, saw the Engineers take on the Shizuoka Kytes in a friendly match at the Fuji grounds. Originally planned for a 11 start, pre-poned to 10.30, the match started at 10.50am for a 40 overs a side match. Some rules were added as a part of the experiment; each bowler could bowl a maximum of 7 overs only and at least 8 bowlers had to bowl 2 overs each. The Engineers also shuffled around the batting order to give some of the lower middle order batsmen a go at the bowling. Yours truly won the toss and on popular demand elected to bat. (Of course personally I wanted to do that as well;-). The opposition started the bowling proceedings with the usual combo of Sharpe and Arbab. Both of them are very good bowlers and can make the ball do a lot. Myself and Bobby opened for the Engineers. The way it worked out was myself taking on Sharpe and Bobby taking on Arbab for almost the first 3 overs of each bowlers. Bobby was scoring the runs while I was content on playing out Sharpe. The first time Bobby faced upto Sharpe was an interesting combat. A huge inswinger which went between Bobby and his leg stump. Next ball a drive thru covers for a couple. A defence followed if I remember right. Anyway, after a quiet start Bobby fell to Sharpe, bowled by an indipper. Santosh joined me and did a very good job of keeping out the bowlers. The scoring picked up slowly. After the first drinks break at 14 overs, the engineers were 51/1). Almost immediately after the drinks break Santosh feathered a catch to the keeper and walked, even though the umpire was not quite sure. He had scored 13 and the partnership was worth 30 runs. And probably more importantly, the main bowlers had bowled a few of their overs. Bikash walked in. After a couple of close LBW calls, Bikash got adjusted to the pace of the pitch and started opening up. The bowlers helped by bowling to this strength and he helped himself to a few flicked boundaries. I managed to do a better job against the other bowlers and got a few across the boundary. Of course, there was a dropped catch in the deep too. The score reached 123 when I got out trying to repeat the same stroke which I was dropped off earlier, but this time, lesser altitude and a better positioned fielder lead to the catch being successful. Jagan walked in next and looked to be doing a good job when Bikash tried one flick too many and failed to keep the ball down. Taken by Sharpe at square leg. Sanjeeb followed in almost identical fashion. Sharpe was reintroduced at the bowling crease and immediately put the engineers further down by castling Jagan. Mahesh was sent in next but got out LBW first ball. Ashok Sharma hung around for a while without doing much but was again dismissed in a very similar fashion Bikash, flicking the ball to Sharpe at square leg, who seemed to have become some sort of ball magnet for the day. Prakash was also bowled by a Sharpe special slower one. Last wicket pair of Nissar and Silvy added some quick runs after this. Nissar in particular was very aggressive and hit a few boundaries. But with more than 3 overs to spare, Nissar was caught of a skier (of course by the ball magnet) going for a shot too many. A target of 195 to win and it should’ve been defendable. The innings turned over and the Kytes walked in. Myself and Jagan started the proceedings but did nothing more than beating the bat a few times. Nissar was introduced but was dealt with without too many hassles. Mahesh’s first 2 overs were tidy but in the third over he was smashed around the park by Joel. 2 sixers and a boundary in the over. Santosh was introduced from the other end and finally the breakthru, Neil bowled of an inswinger. Santosh did well overall with the ball giving away only 7 of his 3 overs. Sanjeeb was called in place of Mahesh and he got the danger man Joel out bowled with his change in pace. Arbab, the next man looked to be settling down with a couple of good hits when he was served up a Sharmaji special and all he managed to do was to edge it to be taken well in the slips by Sanjeeb. At this point the match was evenly poised and all the experimentation was left behind and proceedings were turning serious. Sharpe was hitting the ball around turning the Engineers to desperation. Jagan was called to help and he obliged, making him mishit a shot and I managed to hold onto a looping ball to the general relief in the camp. But debutant Suboda for the Kytes had other plans. He reminded me of Russel Arnold of the Sri Lankan national team. A left handed batsmen who looked very compact, he came and took the match away from us with a composed 37 n.o. None of the bowlers, other than Ashok managed to trouble him. There was another fizzer from Sharmaji that took Bobby, the keeper, flush on the face. He got hit right under the eye for an instantaneous swelling, forcing Bikash to don the gloves he had just removed at the drinks break. Anyway, after that the bowling changes done by yours truly did not bear fruit and the Kytes reached the total in a comfortable fashion. The experimentation probably cost us, but personally it was a nice experience to try out things. And the heartening thing was that the attitude of the Engineers in the ground was good throughout. Brief scores: IECC 194. V Vikrant 44, B Mohanty 30, N Harrison 5/32, M Sharpe 3/41 Kytes 198/4(35.? ov). Subodha 37*, J Chamberlain 32. Read Kytes’ report | Scorecard

Engineers regain upper hand over the Wombats

Wombats surrender meekly

By Amar Naresh

We played a friendly match with the Wombats on Sunday and what a hot day it turned out to be with the mercury going as high as 34 degrees Celsius and combining this with the problem we encountered with the rear tyre of Bobby’s car (driving at 160km/hr) made everything miserable except for the result which was a resounding victory for the Engineers. Skipper Viswa Ghosh, standing-in captain for the regular one, lost the toss and Wombats did what any side would do on a hot summer day – bat first. Wombats too had a new captain in the form of Ian Gason, who used his power to promote himself to the opener’s slot from the perennial number eleven position. The result of his decision must have given his team mates some food for thought. The Engineers opened the bowling with Biju Paul and Vimal Vikrant and they did pretty well containing Ian and call-in Neil Harrison but Neil didn’t last long as Vimal clean bowled him with not much on the score board. His replacement Smoking Pete lasted a few balls of Biju and had him caught behind off a delivery which drifted away from the batsman after pitching in line with the stumps. Vimal along with Biju bowled a steady line and length ensuring that the scoring run rate was less than 4 runs an over. Viswa got in Ashok Sharma as the next change and he proved to be a mean customer (as always) confusing the batsman with his length, variation and unpredictable turn. He along with Amar Naresh made sure that the scoring rate did not accelerate much and things were pretty much in control till Nissar Ahmad was introduced into the attack. Nissar generated good pace and seemed like he also created a bit of fear in batsman’s mind. He bowled his heart out and was rightly rewarded with 4 wickets. At no time the Wombats were really dominating but cruised along with a run rate of 3 to 3.5 runs an over. The high point of Wombats’ batting was the new skipper’s innings of 43.Vimal was unlucky on many occasions as he beat the batsman consistently with his out cutters but they did not seem to find the edges. Sharmaji also was unlucky as many of his persistent appeals didn’t find favour with the umpire. It was a revelation to see Bobby bowl his gentle medium pacers to pin point accuracy and did not allow the slog overs to looks as the name suggests. The Engineers’ fielding was above average with Santosh, Viswa, Nissar and Bobby (yes he took a brilliant one hander which very few Engineers would have attempted leave alone the catch… He ran in from deep backward square leg to fine leg and stretched his right hand out and surprised to see that the ball wouldn’t leave his hand! The Wombats innings closed at 136 all out in 39.5 overs. The Engineers started with Viswa and Vimal opening the innings. Viswa looked in a good touch as he flicked one off his pads to the square leg fence. He was happy to rotate the strike to Vimal who was in an enterprising mood and exhibited some classic cover drives, square cuts, and sweetly timed sweeps. Viswa departed quickly being trapped lbw and in came Nissar. He took some time to settle down and once got his eye in, he hit a huge six off a short ball. At the other end Vimal was going great guns and he continued treating the Wombats bowlers with disdain. The partnership between Nissar and Vimal sealed the fate of the match as it nullified what ever chances Wombats had after an early break they had got. Around this time Wombats introduced a new bowler who frustrated our batsmen with a string of wides and during this course Nissar got out but by then the match was pretty much in Engineers control. In walked Bikash and with his steady approach ensured that he kept rotating the strike. Vimal reached his 50 with a sweetly times cover drive and after that got out giving chance to Bobby to finish the match in company with Bikash. The match was followed by barbeque session arranged by Nick Shannon of the Kytes who came in with the express purpose of rooting for Biju but was disappointed to find that Biju actually didn’t have to bat. As usual, the Wombats gave away their MoM awards with a bottle of Hardy’s wine. Ian Gason and Viaml Vikrant were chosen from the Wombats’ and Engineers side respectively. For the Engineers, it was time to decide their first ever HumTum TV sponsored Man of the Match award. Nissar Ahmad was chosen to have the privilege of the first official MoM of the Engineers for his 4 wicket haul in addition to his cameo innings. Over all, it was a good game and it is always a pleasure to play a winning game! Brief scores: T Wombats 136 (39.5 ov). I Gason 43, N Ahmed 4/20 IECC 137/3 (21.3 ov). V Vikrant 56. Read Wombats’ report

Avinash Jadhav vs. Indian Engineers

Engineers lose fighting…hard

By Biju Paul

Literally, it was one man against eleven. And against all odds, one man defeated the eleven. Avinash Jadhav’s unbeaten 102 and later his three wicket haul ensured that YC&AC stayed on course although the Engineers caused some concern in the opposition camp until the 30th over when the Engineers lost 3 wickets for 2 runs in the space of 13 deliveries. YC&AC won the toss and elected to bat first. Sanjeeb Sahoo drew the first blood in the third over of the match when he trapped YC&AC opener Duncan Price in front of the wicket. As usual, no batsman believes he is out LBW and Duncan was no different. On his way back to the pavilion Duncan let his thought known to the umpire but that did not change anything. After a spate of wides, skipper replaced Sanjeeb with Vimal Vikrant, who has not been having a good season so far either with the bat or ball. His first over went for 11 runs, second 8 and third an economical 5, a total of 24 runs off 3 overs. That kind of figures would worry any captain, coming as it does from one of the trusted all rounders. So Sriram turned to another trusted bowler, pardon me, all rounder, Ashok Sharma. He did what he was supposed to do – bowled 8 overs at a stretch for 2/18. Over the years, Ashok has been very successful in trapping the batsmen in front of the wicket. In this case too, both his wickets came through LBW decisions. Many a times, batsmen go back to cut or go on back foot defence but lose the sight of the ball to be caught plumb in front. Abdul Rahim and Dinesh Singh both went on back foot defence but missed the ball and umpire did what is right to the Engineers query. Dinesh’s brief stay at the wicket was not all that pleasant for both the batsman and the Engineers. As soon as he came in, he edged a ball to the first slip but the slip fielder – this writer – was placed at the second slip position. Later he spooned a delivery from Ashok to covers and Jagan Panda managed to make an easy catch look difficult and dropped it after juggling it a few times. The batsmen looked in a hurry to go back as he started swinging and missing. The nervousness of the batsman was very visible and this writer, fielding at the slips, did not forget to have some unsettling chat with him. An over later, the nervousness or carelessness, as you may call it, showed up again. Dinesh pushed the last ball of an over from Jagan to point. As soon as the ball returned to the ‘Keeper, the batsman stepped out of the crease, apparently ignoring the agility and sharpness of the ‘Keeper, Bobby Philips. Bobby did not blink an eye before he dislodged the bails and the square-leg umpire’s finger went up in response to the Engineers’ query. However, not being alert enough, the main umpire had called over which neither the square-leg umpire nor the fielders or the batsman heard. Apparently the only two people who heard the over call was the non-striker and the bowler. As the Engineers gathered to hail the sprightly ‘keeper, Avinash Jadhav, the non-striking batsmen called Dinesh, who was walking by then, back. Quite naturally, an argument ensued as to whose call is right – the square leg umpire’s or the main umpire’s. Sriram made it known to the umpires that their final decision will be acceptable to the Engineers. Quite rightly, it was decided that the over call overrules any other calls and the Engineers accepted it wondering how many more ‘lives’ will Dinesh enjoy before they see his back. Soon after, Dinesh edged Ashok to the full-of-beans ‘keeper and the Engineers went up appealing but the umpire was unmoved. Life number four to the same batsman. Ashok at last had his revenge when he trapped Dinesh in front of the wicket two balls later, which was the last ball of his last over. Fortunately, the ‘lives’ the batsmen enjoyed did cost the Engineers only 15 runs. All this while, Avinash was circumspect in his approach. The next man in was David Todd, a man with a very unconventional batting style, giving the Engineers a hope of a quick wicket. Bowlers licked their lips fancying their chances of getting to bowl at David, but for all his batting style, David was quite successful playing a few pull shots which earned him a total of 32 runs and the duo put on 130 runs partnership for the 5th wicket. Avinash by this time had set himself free. He had started attacking the bowling. Vimal, Sharmaji’s replacement bore the brunt of the attack as his next two overs went for 21 runs. Vimal had one solace when he clean bowled David after the batsmen pulled him for two sixes in the same over. A worried skipper brought in Nissar Ahmed to no avail. Nissar was cleaned up in two overs for 21 runs. To use an overused phrase, Avinash was seeing the ball like a football. All his hits were clean. He obviously was enjoying the life he received when the skipper dropped him at the mid-wicket boundary, when a straight ball into the throat was messed up. The batman was in his 20s at that time, a huge let off. Sriram then turned to this writer for succour. Change of bowling brought an edge off Avinash to the vacant slip area and a relatively quite over in which only 4 runs were taken but his next over turned out to be his last in which 18 runs, 14 of which by Avinash, were taken after a mistimed pull by Avinash went out of Sriram’s fingers. From 96/5 in the 23rd over, YC&AC batsmen put on 161 runs in the next 17 overs, 102 of which was by Avinash, for a total of 257/6. Engineers did not do any favour to themselves when both the openers, Vimal and skipper Sriram, returned to the pavilion by the 5th over for 17 runs. Two more wickets fell by the 14th over for 45 runs. This brought Sanjeeb and Nissar together and the Engineers saw one of the best rebuilding of the innings in recent times. Playing cautiously and waiting for the loose balls, they batted sensibly and applied themselves. Once they were set, they gave the Engineers a glimmer of hope of an unlikely victory as the batsmen kept hammering the YC&AC bowlers. Kamran kept shuffling the bowlers but the only bowler to make an effect was Avinash, who after s stupendous performance with the bat, returned to claim Nissar’s wicket – result of a brilliant catch by Sandeep Deobhakta at point – for 43(3×4, 1×6). The partnership was worth 101 runs in 15 overs and the score was 146, just 3 runs ahead of the YC&AC score at that stage. Between overs 22 and 30, when Nissar’s wicket fell, the Engineers were ahead of YC&AC in terms of runs scored at specific intervals. A comparison table is given below:

OverYC&ACEngineers
1568/450/4
2088/479/4
25110/5122/4
30144/6147/6
40257/6205/10

Fall of Nissar made way for two more quick wickets. Santosh Ghadge went for extravagant sweep off Tony Fordyce to be clean bowled. Soon Sanjeeb returned for a personal score of 55 (6×4), also falling to Avinash. After this, Jagan Panda entertained briefly with a quick fire 32(5×4) off only 28 balls to take the score to 196. By then the target was put beyond reach by one man – Avinash Jadhav, first by batting the Engineers out of the game and then snapping up three wickets, including that of Nissar and Sanjeeb who were threatening to take the game away from the YC&AC. Brief scores: YC&AC 257/6. A Jadhav 102, D Todd 36 IECC 205(40 ov). S Sahoo 55, N Ahmed 43, J Panda 32, A Jadhav 3/16, K Ali 3/48.

One-sided affair sees Engineers defeat the Dragons

Nissar’s all-round performance sees the Engineers through

By Vimal Vikrant

The day dawned gloomy with a hint of rain in the air. There was confusion whether the match would take place. But things were sorted out and the match got underway at 10.15, 45min behind schedule, and with 8 dragons and 10 engineers on field. One member from each side joined a little later and the engineers loaned one player to the dragons to make it 10 a side. Yours truly, leading the side for the first time, lost the toss and the Dragons promptly elected to bat. No complaints though, since it was overcast. The ball would do a bit. And a bit it did. The bowling proceedings were started with the regular combination of Sanjeeb and Jagan. Both got the ball to move prodigiously, though Jagan looked more in control. In the first 6 overs there was hardly a shot played and almost nothing in front of the square. Both batsmen played and missed numerous times, but stuck around. I came in first change and the batsmen wanted to have a go at me to increase the run rate. But Akshat got deceived by a slower ball and was bowled, the ball just disturbing the bails. The batsmen kept walking in and walking back as the bowlers went about their job efficiently. Nissar in particular was almost unplayable as he seemed to be aiming for the top of off stump almost every ball. He took 2 wickets in two consecutive gems of deliveries, the first one the batsman edging to the keeper, Bikash taking a good catch to a lifting ball. The next delivery hit the top of off stump to dislodge the bail. After this hostile bit of play, the Engineers loosened up and everybody other than the keeper had a bowl. Silvester came in for one over and took a wicket, courtesy a stunning left-hand catch by Santosh at backward square leg, plucking the fast travelling ball out of thin air, just like that. The loosening got a little out of hand towards the end though with the 8th wicket pair of Nick and Rajesh getting into the bowling a little bit. Nick in particular starting throwing his bat around for a few good hits. The main bowlers were called back in but they batsmen managed to stick around till almost the very end. Nissar closed the innings with a yorker. Engineers needed 145 to win. The batting was started by myself with new man Santosh. Santosh fell early and Silvester walked in at number 3 and immediately got down to task, unleashing his trademark square drives and cuts getting boundaries almost at will. I got a couple of boundaries but as is becoming customary with me, gave a catch to mid-off. Sanjeeb walked in and seemed like he wanted to have fun. He stayed around for a while, but lost his wicket to an ugly across the line hoick which was caught at mid on. In the next ball Silvester, who had crossed over, lost his stumps as the ball kept just a bit low and came in after pitching. 2 new men at the crease – Nissar and Santosh – and things looked slightly dicey for the Engineers, but both batsmen got down to task, keeping the good balls out and smashing the bad balls. Nissar looked in good nick and some drives on the offside were a treat to watch from the umpiring position that I was in:) Also a couple of effortless sixes over square leg got the score racing along. Santosh gave one chance in the slips which was dropped, but otherwise batted quite sensibly. As the engineers raced towards victory the batsmen tried to engineer strike so that Nissar could get to his well-deserved half century, but with 3 runs required for victory and 5 required by Nissar for a 50, he took a swing trying to clear the boundary, but missed the line completely to be bowled. Bikash walked in next and kept the good balls out and the bad balls were too wide to do anything. And the winning run was a wide. Game over in the 25th over with 5 wickets to spare for the engineers. A fun outing and an interesting experience leading the side, though I had hardly anything to do given the efficient performance by the Engineers. Brief scores: T Dragons 144 (34.3 ov). N Ahmed 3/24 IECC 145/5 (24 ov). N Ahmed 45.

Engineers bounce back with a sensational win over the KCL champions

Two giant-killers seal an upset victory

By Biju Paul

At a time when the Engineers were looking down to the Division II as their possible destination next season, two of their trusted performers produced sensational performances when the Engineers needed it the most to redeem them from a string of poor results. These two individuals ably supported by the rest of the team made sure that the Engineers can still harbour hopes of a possible semi-final berth. And the team the Engineers grounded was none other than the champions themselves, the Tokyo Giants. First, it was the diminutive off spinner Ashok Sharma who mesmerised the Giants with a magical spell of 3/12, including the wicket of skipper and danger man Mumtaz Alam for a duck, off 8 overs to bowl the Giants out for only 153 in 32.1 overs. Then later it was Viswa Ghosh, a man who has been desperately searching for his form all the season and despite getting younger day by day stayed at the crease from over number 1 until the Engineers won the match in the 38th over, to remain undefeated on 85. As far as this writer can remember, this is the first time the Giants ever dropped a full KCL match. An earlier loss came to them last year in a rain truncated match of 20 overs per side against the YC&AC. For the Engineers, this was a do-or-die match but the mood in the camp through the week and on the day seemed more of a die than a do, given the Giants’ superior status in the League circuit. Unlike any other week that precedes a match, there was no email communication, no discussion on strategy and the investment banks in Tokyo saw a more productive week. The Engineers were in dire straits as they had been handed defeats in the previous two matches, the only victory of sorts came when the British Embassy decided to forfeit their game thus giving the Engineers a free 4 points without any sweat. The ground was ready and laid out when the Engineers convoy of 3 cars arrived in the morning. Skipper Sriram Sampath called the coin wrong and Mumtaz Alam had no hesitation in choosing to bat, your reporter was told. And did they begin in terrific form. The very 2nd ball of the innings was sent over long on for a huge 6 by Sajjad Hussain followed by two more 4s. Sanjeeb Sahoo suffered, Giants gained, Sajjad rolled on. Opening from the other end, this writer managed to have the other opener, Jahangir Babbar, to mishit a ball over mid off but unfortunately the fielder was placed short and the ball went to kiss the rope. The ball kissed the rope one more time in the same over due to a misfield but comparatively an economical over! The third over produced two more 6s and one more 4, all by Sajjad and all clean hits in the V. At the end of the 3rd over, the Giants must have been reasonably happy with their small score of 38 for no loss. But accidents do happen and it did happen on Sunday. As the Giants looked all set to score yet another 300+ runs and the Engineers resigned to yet another gruelling day on the field, yours truly managed to lure both the openers to mishit in the same over in a space of two balls. Both Santosh Ghadge and Sanjeeb Sahoo held on to the two high catches. Sanjeeb’s celebration for being involved in his tormentor’s wicket would probably have invited the wrath of the ICC for over-celebration. But the absence of a match referee saved his match fee. It would have been 3 wickets in that over as two balls later the new batsman, Tausif Azhar, edged one behind but the ‘keeper failed to collect it, not entirely the fault of the ‘keeper as the ball failed to rise. Fortunately, the life given to the batsman didn’t prove costly as the batsman gave away his wicket two overs later. The fall of both openers in one over and introduction of Vimal Vikrant and Ashok Sharma saw the run rate slowly dropping but the earlier rampage by Sajjad had ensured that the Giants maintained a more than healthy run rate of 7+ runs per over. However, both Vimal and Ashok began tightening the screws by maintaining a tight line and length, not giving the batsmen any room to hit. Apparently due to instructions from the dressing room and occasional calls from the pavilion, the batsmen played very cautiously and occasionally nervously – a huge departure from the typical aggressive and fearless batting style the Giants are known for. Rocky, normally a hard hitter, was content to play for singles but on one occasion when he called for two for a ball he played to third man but  Silvester’s throw from the boundary beat the batsman and Sriram behind the stumps didn’t fumble. Rocky was gone, Giants in deep trouble having 3 wickets down for 60 odd runs off 10 overs. The stage was set for the captain to walk in. As his opposite number watched from behind the stumps, Mumtaz began his heavy responsibility of rebuilding the innings along with Tausif but after snaring two quick wickets, the Engineers were not to let he advantage go. As the runs dried up, the batsmen grew impatient and started showing signs of desperation and began swinging their bats, which would eventually lead to their downfall and it did. One such swing against Vimal missed the bat of Tausif but didn’t miss his pads in line of the stump. The Engineers went up in appeal and the so did the dreaded finger. And for the first time, the Engineers had the Giants on the back foot. To have the champions at 4/80 off 13 overs is not something that you always dream about. The turning point of the match came in the next over. Mumtaz played a couple of balls confidently, but then Ashok produced what can safely be described as the ball of the game, one that pitched on the middle stump line and slightly short. As the batsmen went for a sweep, the ball suddenly appeared to have gained some speed and took Mumtaz by surprise. As the batsman fell off balance, the ball uprooted the middle stump. Mumtaz was gone for a duck. Giants 5 down for 94. Engineers rushed to the middle, almost threw Sharmaji up in the air. The celebration was as if the game was won and indeed it was. Suddenly Giants found themselves in an unfamiliar territory. The top 5 were razed clinically. Would the lower order withstand the pressure the Engineers unexpectedly exerted? Would they reach 150? Skipper Sriram decided to go for the kill and continued with Ashok until he finished his quota of 8 overs to have a handsome figures of 3/12. There was not much resistance from this point on although Ahmad Kamal in  the company of Rashid Rana tried to accelerate. At this point, skipper brought back a bleeding Sanjeeb to have some consolation and he repaid his captain’s faith by taking two wickets but in the end analysis, Sanjeeb had a forgettable 2/57 against his name. But the master stroke by the captain was the introduction of Viswa into the attack. He had the free stroking Rana clean bowled after being hit for a huge 6 over the bowler’s head. In the end, the Giants folded up for 152 off 32.1 overs, no mean achievement by the Engineers. They couldn’t have lost the game from this stage. In the end analysis, Ashok’s spell of 8-2-12-3 broke the back of the Giants and more or less sealed the match for the Engineers. The importance and enormity of this spell can be understood only when looked at it in perspective, not in isolation. The Engineers were in a hopeless situation so far and desperate for a victory to stay afloat in Division I, the Giants have a clean record against all teams, they have never scored anything less than 200 runs in any KCL match, Engineers had a nightmarish match against them in the semi-final last year when they scored 350 odd runs. Under these circumstances, to have 3/12 off 8 overs against them is one hell of a performance. The ball that flummoxed Mumtaz being nominated to the Ball of the Year award category. Another remarkable aspect of the bowling was the extras or lack thereof. In all only 3 wides and 3 no balls were bowled and only two catches were dropped, a far cry from close to a dozen dropped ones in the previous match. After lunch it was left to the openers to do the job and boy, what a disastrous start it was! After playing two balls comfortably, Vimal pushed the third one away from the body. Just as it was going to land on the ground, Ahmad Kamal, the bowler, dived on his follow through and caught the ball just centimeters above the ground. A perfect start for Giants defending a small total. But that was not the end. In his very next over, Ahmad produced a delivery that took the edge of skipper Sriram’s bat and his opposite number accepted it gleefully at gully. Dejected, Sriram walked back but not before he produced a beautiful on drive off Barkat Ali in the previous over. Engineers 2/14 in the 5th over. Sanjeeb, the new batsman is not unfamiliar to such crisis situations. He along with Viswa, the opening bat began yet another rebuilding of the day. Coming off a series of poor scores, Viswa pulled and drove with felicity, fortified by the company of Sanjeeb and later Silvester and went about his task of gathering runs with consummate ease. While Viswa was at the crease the bowling was palpably ineffective. The nimble footwork, a veritable sashay down the ramp and silken timing, the poise and elegance were there for all to see. By the time Sanjeeb departed for a personal score of 10, and team score of 62, he had done a wonderful job of seeing off the opening bowlers and frustrating the others. The duo had put on a partnership of 48 runs off 10 overs which put the result of the match reasonably beyond doubt. Next in, Nissar “Lara” Ahmed did show glimpses of Brian but was caught wooden footed in front of the stumps off Tausif Azhar. Two quick wickets and Engineers in trouble again with score at 4/63. Next man Silvester, proved to be an active partner to Viswa and both of them batted cautiously while accumulating runs. Silvester did give a chance but of all people, skipper Mumtaz dropped the sitter at mid on. By then the horse had bolted the stable anyway. The rest was all clean hitting, too clean for Giants’ comfort. A brief shower in between sent the Engineers scurrying for calculators and rain-interrupted match rules. At the end of 32nd over, Engineers were 10 runs behind the target if the match was to be stopped at that stage. Message was quickly sent to the middle and by the end of the 35th over Engineers were on target. Luckily the rain dissipated and Engineers coasted home in the 38th over with Viswa on 85*(79 balls, 8×4) and Silvester 39*(28 balls, 4×4). But more than the sum total of Viswa’s runs, or its intrinsic value in the ultimate victory, the way the Engineers tore the attack into smithereens should send shock waves to the rest of the teams and fill their hearts with fear and awe. Over all, the game was played in a friendly atmosphere with Tony Fordyce of YC&AC officiating it. Giants led by skipper Mumtaz, as usual, were at the best of their sportsmanship and spirit. Thank you guys! Brief scores: T Giants 152 (32.2 ov). A Sharma 3/12 IECC 153/4 (37.4 ov). V Ghosh 85*, S Pereira 39* Click here for the full scorecard.

Catches win/lose matches – a practical demonstration by the Engineers

An estimated 10 catches grassed

By Vimal Vikrant

The day started good enough. The Engineers captain, Sriram Sampath, won the toss (as always?) and elected to bat. Yours truly and Viswa Ghosh opened the innings. The bowling for the opposition, Millennium, was opened by Matsubara and Razzaq, both left handed bowlers with decent pace. There were a few play-and-miss balls. There was one brute of a delivery from Razzak that Viswa tried to hook, but the bouncy Fuji track threw his calculations awry and he was smacked on the forehead. He did come back the next ball for a boundary, so it was all happening. But the score progress was slow and steady for the first few overs. The scoring rate did not exceed 4 runs per over till the 8th over. But more importantly, no wickets lost. The openers managed a half century partnership for the first time this season.

The first bowling change came in the form of Kazamatsuri who was bowling quite a few variations and there were a few miscued hits. In his third over, Viswa tried a drive but was deceived by the change of pace and was bowled off an inside edge for 26. 64/1 in the 13th over and a nice platform for the captain to walk in. The next 6 overs produced 40 runs. Things seemed to be getting set for a big score when Kazamatsuri stuck again, this time yours truly going for an expansive drive, without being close enough to the ball, and feathering the slightest of edges for the keeper to take it. I walked back for 37 and the Engineers down to 104/2 in the 19th over. Bobby was sent up the order and he and Sriram held out until the drinks.

After the drinks break the scoring rate seemed to go up with 14 runs coming in 2 overs, when Bobby miscued a hit and was caught. Sanjeeb Sahoo walked in next but this time Sri miscued a hit and was out caught for a quick 43 off 39 balls. This hit the Engineers hard and wickets fell at regular intervals from here while the scoring rate dropped. Sanjeeb tried a hoick a delivery but only succeeded in lobbing it to point. Nissar Ahmed was looking good but was unfortunately run out when he slipped and fell in the middle of the pitch while trying to get back into the crease, after being sent back by Silvester. Bikash Mohanty was bowled around his legs trying to sweep the first ball that he faced off Munir, the well-known leg spinner of the opposition.

Ajey Kulkarni tried blocking his way out of the situation, well against his nature, but was out caught and bowled when he pushed too hard at the ball. Jagan Panda walked in and then the scoring moved a further as he hit a couple of boundaries during his stay. But he too walked back in the effort to go for the big hits as the innings was drawing to a close. Last man Ashok Sharma walked in and the opposition brought in their strike bowler Razzaq. But what followed was totally unexpected by everybody. First ball, over pitched and smashed to long off for a boundary. Second ball, outside off stump and missed. Third ball, bouncer into the rib cage, but expertly played by Sharmaji. Fourth ball, full toss and timed away to the midwicket boundary. The bowler came on fuming and this bouncer went about 5 feet over the batsman’s head all the way to the boundary. Yet another wayward delivery went for 4 byes. One the whole, the over went for 19 runs and the Engineers were looking at the 200 that just a little while looked a far away target. Silvester all the while was a calm presence at the other end getting the singles and keeping the scoreboard moving.

The score did reach 200 in the next over, but it was too much to expect Ashok’s luck to run for much longer and he tried a typical tail ender hoick, only for the ball to crash into his stumps. The Engineers dismissed for an even 200 and probably 20 more than expected although if one looked at the middle of the innings, it was a good 20 less.

For Millennium the batting was opened by Munir and Iida and the bowling for the Engineers by Sanjeeb and Ajey. The opening bowling spell was quite good by both bowlers and neither batsman got easy runs. There were a few play and misses and yours truly dropped a reflex chance at short midwicket though I did get a hand to it. This was a start to a bout of butter fingers that was unbelievable to watch. All the tough chances were taken, all the easy ones were dropped. But the main beneficiary was Munir who made the most of the 3 “lives” that he was given to score a century to lead them to victory. Sanjeeb got rid of the opener Iida caught at point by me. Next man in Matsuhisa was caught behind by Bobby off Jagan. Jagan and yours truly did a decent job of keeping the batsmen in control (even though I say so myself, 8 overs for 29 is not bad I guess:)

Sriram brought in the bowling changes and fielding changes to good effect, creating chances, but there were a whole lot of catches dropped all around the wicket and the batsmen made full use of the lives to keep getting runs of any loose balls. Ashok picked up 4 wickets, 2 of which were skiers held well by Sanjeeb and Nissar. A few other wickets also fell towards the end, but it was too little too late as Munir had ensured that the others didn’t have to do much. Millennium got to their target in 38.2 overs, the exact number of overs that the Engineers lasted.

A day when the Engineers did almost everything okay except hold on the balls flying towards them. We have to really think about how to improve our catching, (maybe more practice?) because the ground fielding was good compared to the earlier matches. This situation gets tougher with the us in KCL with an unenviable position of having to win our remaining matches to get into the semis. Let’s hope things improve soon for us, or else we might not even remain in Division I!

Brief Scores: IECC 200(38.2 overs). S Sampath 43, V Vikrant 37 Millennium 204/7(38.2 overs). M Ahmed 101, R Chima 31, A Sharma 4/45. Click here for the full scorecard.

 

Engineers squander a perfect opportunity | Scorecard (October 2, 2005)

Engineers squander a perfect opportunity…while Tokyo Wombats impressed

By Bobby Philips

As conveyed across very bluntly, please do not expect me to grind words in this report. We were pathetic and that needs to be conveyed across with no words minced. So get ready for the reality check on each of those who played the semi-finals. At last the day was here that we all looked forward to. The day started with the bad news that Sriram couldn’t join in due to an injury sustained in the finals of EAP tournament. What a way for the day to begin but we managed to get Bikash onboard without much fuss. As things would turn out in the hours to come, we reached Sizuoka ground on time. Play started around 10:30 and the captains moved in for the toss. We decided that if we win the toss we shall opt to field. So did the wombats. It was ultimately for the coin to decide the fate. As has become a ritual by now for the Engineers, our captain wrong and we saw both Vs padding up. Looking for a good partnership from the veteran Engineers would be anybody’s desire but the gods had other plans! Viswa was back nicking Ian Gason, the lone ranger of the Wombats, outside the off to Jarrad behind the wicket. He was back with the same speed as he went in to bat. The only difference being that while walking in he had the killer instinct in his eyes and while walking back it was the look of a !@#$. Sanjeeb Sahoo strode in with the backing of all the supporters in the pavilion chanting…..Sanjeeb! Sanjeeb! But before they could say…. “we want Sixes! We want a four” they saw the back of Mr. Reliable and cried out loud…’O shit!!!’. He was back in exactly the same fashion as Viswa. The pavilion was on fire. The tails were stashed between the legs and the Engineers were brain-storming as how to control the hara-kiri happening in the middle. Well, the sun was shining strongly up there and probably Sanjeeb had plans to rest under the shelters of the tree and relax after the long ride to Shizuoka. Looking calmly from the other end was the man in form, Vimal, carefully plotting the destruction of the opponents! In walked Nissar with the willow gleaming in his hand. Things started swinging the Indian way and people didn’t have anything else to talk and look at the proceeding when suddenly out of the blue Vimal gives a return catch to Dawson. I am sure he might have repeated this sentence if not 1000s but at least 100s of time before he reached the stands to throw away his bat “How can I do that man! I don’t believe it”. Don’t worry mate…we too don’t believe it….as to how can you throw away the wicket in such a clumsy manner man! Your team needed you to stay…. and now there you are…. Anyway…as the Japanese would say….’Irashaimase…hai dozo!’, welcome to the pavilion! With Nissar playing cool on one side our captain thought it would have been a great opportunity for Himanshu to prove a point or two. Yours truly had requested his captain to refrain from sending Himanshu over at this stage as we had a more stable veteran sitting and scribbling on the scorebook in the form of daddy Sylvi! But unfortunately captain-san had other plans and in went Himanshu as Nissar watched from the non-striker’s end. I am not sure how many balls did Himanshu played but I do remember for sure that he made a successful effort to remain on zero. Welcome back friend. Better luck next time. With 4 down for 44 runs all hell broke loose. In walked Bob Christo with hanuman ka gadha. Nissar and he planned as to “Hey you know what….let’s play it safe till drinks and then we can launch into it” ….O yeah…o…yeah… I got it….I can handle it……don’t worry….. I will do. Kya kaaak (What shit!) I will do!!! Mr. Christo was walking back even before the over was bowled…. How can he be a part of this ridiculously insane team!!! Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Anyway moving on….in walked Sylvi…. and he was batting with charm from the moment he reached the crease till Kelly at forward short leg took a stunning catch. It was one of the most disappointing moments as he got out due to a splendid fielding performance. Rest all of us gifted away our wickets and I just have a feeling that our team needs someone like Chappell to remove the old dried up weeds out of the team and give it a fresh new blood look. With Sylvi departing the heart sank for Nissar who was still pulling along from the other end. In came Bikash and he too played couple of excellent shots. I sometimes wonder why he is not batting way up there as he is a consistent performer for the Engineers. We need to have more people who are consistent rather than one time successes like yours truly. I have special respect for Bikash and Ashok this season for the manner in which they brought about revolution to their batting this season. Good job guys. Keep it up. Bikash you may also don the keeping gloves here on for IECC. In walks Santosh Gadge who till now was in the pavilion shouting at top of his voice about what his mates are delivering up the ladder and here he was at the cross roads of writing history of going out so early and hitting a century for the team. But for the sake of blistering bananas can you score just one run please? Hero too comes back with a ZERO. Hmmmmm I wonder sometimes if there is a bribery scandal going on. Why else would our team perform in this manner? Makes me wonder if I am in Indian politics for a change! In walks Ajey who always has been professing that he needs to be promoted up the ladder. He always says that TODAY I will play my natural game and yours truly always trusted that his natural game is to hit the leather out of the balls…but our mate walks in and what does he do….he doesn’t connect with the !@#$% ball. He had no clue as to what he was playing. Boy…! I think you too really need a break had it not been for your decent balling. Anyway…to cut the story short… Mr. AK47 is back in the pavilion with his DUCK. The 8th wonder walks in to the middle in the form of Mr. Mahesh. I had no clue until then that this genius was hidden in our team. WOW! mama mia…. you should have seen him batting. He walked in when the score was around 125 odd with 6 overs to spare or something like that! But who cares now with this report nearly 3 weeks old….Grrrrrr! Nissar and Mahesh took it up from there on and by the time they both walked back after 40 over. we had 174 on the board. Good job done by these two guys. Come on gals give the guys a big hand! Nissar might be wondering why I haven’t spoken about him at all. I have reserved the best for you till now. Nissar is a great person, a passionate cricketer and we are proud to have him in our team. He gave us everything in style and what better stage than the Semifinals itself. Great stuff indeed. He played a very controlled knock and as the pins were falling on one side of the wicket, he was steadily chipping away the ones and twos and occasional boundaries and it wasn’t until he reached his 70s that his dear colleagues took a note of it. There on it was Nissar’s willow doing the talking. With the last pair batting and he still in 70’s, Nissar shifted gear in style. There was nothing that wasn’t dispatched into the shrubs. The last pair brought in around 50 plus runs off which Mahesh scored 14* and Nissar scored the rest to end up at 106*. It was an absolute delight, not only for the Engineers but even for the Wombats. While he was batting on 96 and the last over being bowled, there was apprehension in the stand if he could complete the century. Even before we could finish the thought, the ball was sailing way up trying to get lost in the clouds landing way inside the mid wicket dry river. He did it in style and class. The score read 102*…. And the huge crowd erupted. 80 thousand people waving the Indian flag all over and the candles being burnt all over. For a moment I thought if I was indeed in the Shizuoka ground or am I in Calcutta. It reminded me of my days when we played Laxman and Dravid went on to rewrite history. A respectable score of 174(9)/40 Overs and it was time for us to prove a point or two. Well the proving rested on point 1 and we lost. IECC SUCKS!!! We need to do way better buddies. This will not only bring us into D-II of KCL but we will also succeed in disintegrating the basic fabric of our team itself. Unless this is addressed in the next AGM and actions taken, IECC is going down the slope at this moment. With 174 behind us IECC decided to put in their best foot forward (which was already lost in the course of morning session… I have no idea which leg we spoke about – pun intended!) in the bowling and fielding department. Thanks to the team YES we did give a tough fight to the Wombats even though the score doesn’t say it so. No run was gifted away and they were made to toil hard from ball one. Ajey bowled out his spell well. Sanjeeb also bowled decently. All along the build up to the semi-finals, Vimal said that he would bowl spin on the day and he did go ahead with it. But my sincere observation is that he makes a bigger impact when he is in his natural flow of variety bowling. Lately he has not been doing well in that field but then he sure must pursue it rather than spin. Nissar was tried from the marathon batting effort but he did bowl decently too. The pick of the bowler was Viswa with his curving and precision deliveries. I have a sincere feeling that we indeed have a wonderful out swinger in our midst with decent pace and bounce associated. Even though we lost this match we did win the battle with the good spirit on and off the field. We sure will bounce back next year and it is also time to search for new blood for IECC. In the post match discussion the topic was not how we lost but who would take the kit! That is the situation of our team. Brief scores: IECC 174/9. N Ahmed 106*. P Shackleford 3/27 Wombats 175/3. C Jones 86*. Scorecard | Wombats’ report

Engineers keep their semi-final hopes alive | Scorecard (August 21, 2005)

Engineers keep their semi-final hopes alive…and continue their excellent run with the bat

By Vimal Vikrant

The final league match of KCL for the Engineers was against Lalazar and the Engineers had to win this to have a chance of qualifying for the semis. The travel on the way to the ground was a mostly an intense discussion about the possibilities, permutations and combinations of the semis lineup. That said that the confidence was sky-high after the victory against the Friends, but this is cricket and there is no saying what can happen. There were a couple of freak showers on the way but that did get us concerned about the state of the ground, and heaven forbid, a washout. But we reached the ground to find the conditions quite nice. The toss was won by Lalazar who elected to bat first. No batting records this time for us, we thought! The bowling was started by Ajey Kulkarni and Sanjeeb Sahoo and they usually stick to a line. There were a few loose balls that were taken full toll of by the openers but there was a general feeling of tentativeness in thier proceedings. The first breakthrough though, was via a fantastic catch behind the stumps by Sriram. The batsman went for a booming drive off Ajey, but inside edged the ball and Sri made a one-handed snatch for the dying ball to grab it just inches off the  ground. The first wicket down for 30 odd and the Engineers started feeling a little relaxed. I was introduced into the attack and beat the bat a few times, but nothing special seemed to be happening. It was drizzling on and off and that was not really helping anyone. Anyway, one of my slower ones worked, the batsman going for an over-the-top heave only to find the ball not there. The middle stump out of the ground and the second wicket down for 71. The rain came down harder now and there was short stoppage. On resumption of play, Naresh was introduced and this did the trick for us. Making full use of the slightly greasy pitch, with flight and turn as his weapons, Naresh cleaned up the Lalazar middle order. The batsmen were very uncomfortable against the flighted delivery and were beaten time and again. 3 LBWs resulted. Santosh, Nissar and Sanjeeb were rotated as bowlers at the other end and with constant breakthroughs, the Engineers seemed to be on the way to restricting the opposition to a low total. But as is customary, the tail wagged and we found it difficult to break the last couple of partnerships. Eventually Lalazar were bowled out in the 35th over with 166 on the board. Not a difficult total, but the runs were on the board and they had to be got. A new combination of Naresh and myself opened the innings. The opening bowler of Lalazar, Amjad Mirza, looked to be from the Waqar Younis mould in his run up and delivery. He got quite a decent bounce off the pitch. Third ball that I faced, I hook it, ball travels to the fine leg area, we take 2, but then Naresh sees the throw coming in loopily and calls for the third. I probably reacted a fraction late. Direct hit at the non-striker’s end and it’s bye-bye. MoM in the previous innings, run out for 2 in the next. Well, welcome to cricket, the great leveller. Naresh though, to his credit, continued almost like nothing happened and a couple of beautiful square drives resulted. Sanjeeb on the other end kept things cool and the strike rotating. A little while Naresh fell LBW to Amjad for a personal score of 17 and the team score of 37. In walked Sri with a decent platform and after settling down he opened up to show the bowling deficiencies of the opposition. The opposition left arm spinner was treated particularly badly though he did bowl a few good balls to beat the bat. The game was running away from the opposition and the Amjad was reintroduced, but Sriram was already nearing his half century and very well set. One boundary and one six and he was there. After this the strike was rotated to try to get Sanjeeb also to his well deserved 50, but somehow, when Sri hits it, the ball likes to head to the boundary. Sanjeeb was stranded on 46 when the winning boundary was scored, in the 25th over. A convincing win and now we await the decisions in the other matches to see if we qualify for the semis. This year is a pretty tough competition. We are waiting with our fingers crossed. Brief scores: Lalazar 166 (35.1 ov). A Naresh 4/18 IECC 168/2 (24.1 ov). S Sahoo 46*, S Sampath 78*. Scorecard