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