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