By: DhineshKumar Senguttuvan
Aug 19, 2018
August 19 was the day when the Engineers second XI, consisting of a few new faces and debutantes, faced off against the mighty Nagoya at the picturesque Gotemba ground in the backdrops of the Mt.Fuji. The weather was not in good mood with predictions of heavy rains. Both teams arrived at the ground on time expecting the rains to stop and to everyone’s delight, the rain took a break to witness the match. With a breezy weather and nice climate, both the teams got ready for the game. Keeping in mind the weather conditions, the KCL match was reduced to 30 overs taking into consideration the future stoppages of play.
Toss time! Nagoya won the toss and their skipper elected to bat first. Nagoya openers Wajid and Jawad Ali made their way to the pitch while Engineers second eleven skipper Pavethy handed the responsibility of opening the bowling to Dhinesh. Jawad started off with a boundary off the third ball but he was soon out LBW two balls later. But Dhinesh bowled a very erratic over with 9 wides and ended up conceding 15 runs for one wicket. Ifthihar opened the bowling from the other end where Wajid was very aggressive scoring a six and four and the over costing 12 runs. The Nagoya boys were having a good start with 27 runs off two overs. Pavethy called up another new comer to bowl the third over but new batsman Kanwal scored a couple of boundaries in this over too. Nagoya was scoring at a very good rate and the score read 49 runs at the end of the fifth over with the loss of just one wicket.
Engineers needed to take wickets in order to stop the run flow but it was not looking easy until the 7th over when Leo Joseph clean bowled Kanwal with a good delivery to break the partnership of 40+ runs. Avneesh, who was asked bowl from the other end took the wicket of Wajid & Fasil in back to back deliveries. Wajid was out for 30 runs. Two in two! Nagoya captain Sarfraz negated the hat-trick ball with a boundary. The Nagoya team slipped from a position of strength of 51/1 to 60/4 as the Engineers wrested control of the innings with quick wickets. The quick wickets, however, did not deter the Nagoya from their aggressive approach. The boundaries kept coming with Danu from the other end striking a six and two fours. Leo again came to the rescue and chipped in with the wicket off Danu (18 runs) in the next over. Avneesh soon scalped the Nagoya captain Sarfraz’ wicket for 8 runs. The match seemed to play in a fast-forward mode with runs flowing and wickets coming in quick succession. The Nagoya team were 91-6 at the end of the 11th over.
No sooner than skipper Pavethy brought himself into the attack had Hasan, who had scored back to back boundaries, was caught and bowled and he immediately took out Yasir in the same over. Haji took on the bowling to score some quick runs with two fours and six. Meanwhile, Pavethy claimed the wicket of Hafiz too. Leo cleaned up Qasim to finish the innings and Haji remained unbeaten on 17. Nagoya boys ended their innings with a score of 139 all out in 16.3 overs. Leo, Pavethy and Avneesh scalped three wickets each.
Not a big score to chase, Suresh and Praveen opened for the Engineers and Sarfraz opened the bowling for Nagoya. Praveen skillfully played out the first over. Hasan who started the proceedings from the other end cleaned up Suresh for a duck with a beauty which brought Pavethy in, who made his presence felt with two well timed fours in Sarfraz over. At the other end, Hasan claimed the wicket of Praveen in the next over. With almost no contribution from the openers Manu joined Pavethy, who was starting to look in ominous touch. But at the other end Manu was also out for a duck off a Wajid beauty. Mahesh (3 runs) and Dhinesh (5 runs) came one after the other and tried to anchor but failed to score quick runs. They were also clean bowled by Hasan and Faisal respectively. Pavethy played splendidly and scored his fifty whereas Leo was also bowled by Sarfraz. Pavethy was soon out LBW to Javed for 50 runs. Ifthihar and Avneesh tried to score quick runs with higher required rate but Avneesh was run out due to miscommunication. Aravind came as the last batsmen and he was also run out ending the innings at 121 runs in 28.3 overs. Avneesh remained not out on 13. And the match was lost by 18 runs. Hasan accounted for 3 wickets. This match was a good learning curve for the team and no other member stood out with the bat except Pavethy. The match was lost but it was very exciting and thrilling till the last.
Hasan was adjudged the KCL Nirvanam MoM for his three wickets and 12 runs. Leo was the Saachi MoM of for his three wickets.