Match report by Manu / Pavethy Date: 19June2016
After two big wins The Engineers were all set to have a smooth ride on the Tigers for their third game in Japan cup. It was a cloudy day at the YCAC with overcast conditions. Captain Vinay, had sudden malady which forced vice captain Anurag to lead the team at the last moment. Vinay was replaced by 12th man Prem, who turned up from Sano to Yokahama. IECC appreciates your commitment Prem. This is what we expect from the newbies. It was debutant Manu’s first outing in YCAC as well (hearty welcome to the IECC family).
Bidyut opted to be the part-time wicket keeper with our regular keeper Prashant kumar having an outing in the Amazon forest. Prashanth Kale returned back from his Gharwapsi trip landed straight to YCAC from the airport, shows his commitment towards cricket and the team. Although he had to pass the IECC immigration check with a pack of Kaju Katli. The Toss was won by Anurag and elected to field first. With Vinay out of the game, we were one batsman and a bowler short with a last minute shuffling of the batting order as well.
“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”
A good start was provided by IECC pace bowler Rajneesh Shukla. Shukla managed to see through both the opening batsmen Ragesh Nair & Anuraj Singh (Both caught at mid on by Manu B). Anurag from the other end was bowling tight with his out swingers.
After a good spell by both Rajneesh and Anurag, other two pacers Ashok Kumar & Prakash Jayara (PK) were given the chance to bowl. Ashok Kumar striked immediately by shattering the stumps of Joe George. The Tigers started to crouch and build a decent partnership through Sabaorish (26) & Anil Kumar (21). But their partnership was broken by Prakash Jayara (PK) with a nice catch taken by Dinesh Singh at the first slip.
Next batsman, N Karautiya unable to get going gave a sensational diving catch to Saifuddin Raj at mid off. Entered aggressive Rahul Koul (37 off 17) hitting boundaries and sixes at will was looking dangerous of making a big score, but Anurag brought himself back again and setup a plan to pick him at deep square leg which soon fulfilled by a well judged catch by Kale.
Even though Saifuddin Raj had an expensive spell he managed to take the wickets of Anil Kumar & Divyanshu Srivastava both were beautifully caught by Prashanth Kale again at the same spot (deep square leg). Rajneesh Shukla came back and took the wicket of S Singh caught by himself leading the wickets list column (4 wickets). Even though YCAC is a small ground and has a tendency of having huge scores, disciplined bowling and fielding restricted the Tigers to 144/9 in 20 overs.
“While keeping a tiger from the front door, the wolf comes in at the back.”
– Chinese Proverb
IECC’s new openers Kale and Bidyut started off slowly, thinking that with wickets in hand it would be much easier later to chase down the small target. But the pressure from the opposition was too much to handle. Losing Bidyut on the 4th over with only 7 runs on the board there were some alarm bells ringing in the dugout. With hardly 10 runs scored of the power play overs (slowest start by IECC in T20 so far to my knowledge) it was high time to score at a much faster pace. Dinesh Singh joined with kale to increase the run rate. In the process both got out to rash shots.
Kale who usually scores at a higher strike rate failed this time to up the ante. Pavethy tried to hold the strike on one end slowing the fall of wickets like dominoes but he too didn’t do any good to the run rate. Anurag Singh (0) followed to the pavilion giving away his wicket to Joe George going for a bad shot on the second ball he faced. Prakash Jayara (1) & Saifuddin Raj (4) was sent back by Saboarish, again trying to heave a six as early as they entered to bat.
With 46 on the board on the 13th over and 6 wickets down there’s nothing much you can expect of the tail. One hundred needed in 7 overs. Pavethy tried to score to the shortest part of the ground and played across the line to give an easy catch to a boundary rider of Manoj Bharadwaj’s bowling. Another rash shot in the air with no timing. Manu (0) had to follow soon to an lbw decision in the same over, which was a clear inside edge. With 8 wickets down and too much to get even the umpire decided to dose off. He had to ask the scorer for the ball count each over. Thus was the state of our batting. Rajneesh Shukla (1), Ashok Kumar (8) and Prem S (5*) tried to keep the scorer busy but managed nothing but singles. With just two double figure scores and the rest all scoring in single digits IECC managed to score only 63 in 17 overs, failing to even bat the full quota.
Failure to rotate the strike, look for gaps and run two’s, hit occasional boundaries, trying to build a partnership, valuing your wicket and not throwing away it so easy for the opposition to pounce on– these are the hard learnt lessons out of this match. With a fast paced game like T20 it is important to realize the mistakes soon and rectify it and nullify the advantages of your opponents. Hope this match will be a stepping stone for the following matches.
“Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart”