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