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Match Report T20 WGCC vs TLCC March 26th, 2016

posted Mar 30, 2016, 8:14 AM by Mayur Choudhary   [ updated Mar 30, 2016, 8:17 AM ]
by Dipen Vyas

After registering our first win of the season in the first game of the season in the morning game against TUFCC, we were ready to take on TLCC for the afternoon game. Witnessing a great chase by Sinu and Amit, both scoring 50+, Amar wanted to continue the momentum with batting first against TLCC and thankfully TLCC decided to bowl first. Amar and Dipen opened the batting again with Amar taking the strike. He was welcomed by Tanveer, their tall left arm pacer with a scorching yorker down the leg stump. Amar did well to survive that and realized quickly that the bowler was trying to ball full length to him. Unsurprisingly, Amar answered back on the next ball with a well timed boundary in the mid wicket area. Dipen also scored a boundary to end the over and we were well on our way with 9 runs off the first over and both batsmen middling the ball well. In the second over, Dipen torched Umar for 3 boundaries and we had put up 22 runs in first 2 overs. Things were looking promising for WGCC, but Amar again expecting a full length, which he did get from Tanveer, tried to slog him over the midwicket and got bowled. Damodar came in to bat at 3 and took some time to settle in. Staying true to their name, the leopards saw the opening and pounced on it by bringing in Rizwan to bowl and squeeze out some wickets. The run flow slowed down a bit as Damodar was trying to judge the pace and bounce on the pitch and more importantly wanted to make sure that TLCC do not get any wickets in a hurry as it has happened in the past quite often for WGCC. Dipen on the other end was looking in good touch as he kept finding gaps on the offside and hitting boundaries. Before he succumbed to a soft dismissal while trying to guide a wide length bowl towards third man and edged it to the keeper, WGCC had gotten a decent start with 50 odd runs in 8 overs with Dipen contributing 32 of those. Sinu came in and looked as if he never left the field after the first innings and continued the runs to flow off his bat (well, not really his bat). Damodar holed out in long off in an effort to increase the scoring rate and WGCC was sitting at 76 runs in 12th over staring at 130-140 run total if we had the services of score predictor. At this stage, Amar quickly realized that we need to bring out the big guns to reach to a fighting total and thus he unleashed Biv, our biggest weapon in T20 game. Biv started off cautiously and waited for the length balls that he knew he can send them out of the park even if he mishit them. On the other end, Sinu had started accelerating his innings and he played a gem of a knock before he holed out in long off. Sinu scored 34 of 21 balls but had only 2 dot balls in the innings, a very important stat in T20 cricket. He kept running 1s and 2s and stayed busy out there. Dharma, next man up, in his debut for WGCC kept busy out there running hard as well along with Biv during which Biv realized that he was running too much between the wickets and it was time to send every ball out of the park. In the last 5 overs, he punished every TLCC bowler with towering sixes down the ground and played an inning that can demoralize the best of the bowlers. We scored 71 runs in last 5 overs (we had 76 in first 12 overs!!!) and Biv scored 60 off 25 balls with 6 sixes and 3 boundaries on a day where everything he hit was in the sweet spot of the bat, a batsman's dream. Dharma played a great supporting role with 18 of 11 balls and actually did not play a single dot ball, something to keep in mind for all of us who may bat in last 5-6 overs in future games. Trying to push the ball in the gaps and rotating the strike is as quintessential in T20 as hitting 100 meter sizes like ABD and Gayle. The dug out was jumping and enjoying this show from Biv and WGCC felt confident with the target of 175 they set for TLCC. 

Knowing this was going to be a tough target to chase down, TLCC openers Rizwan and Bilal came out confidently with Bilal looking in good touch early. Sagar and Biv started off for WGCC and they were able to keep RIzwan quiet for a while. Bilal succumbed to a full length ball from Biv as he was trying to hit it straight down the ground. He smacked the ball directly to Biv at ankle height and Biv snagged it cleanly leaving Bilal in utter shock and shaking his head as he walked back to the dug out. As i write this, I am still not able to grasp how he caught that ball. For a second, it felt like today was Biv's day and he could do whatever he wanted on the field. Shafqat walked in at 3 and started building a partnership with Rizwan. Rizwan had started to unleash his shots on us and they were scoring at close to 9 runs per over but a brilliant stumping from Sinu in Amar's over got us back on track. We took two more quick wickets and they were reduced to 75/4 in 10 overs with the Win Predictor favoring WGCC. AT this stage, we bowled a few loose deliveries and TLCC took advantage of it to get the run rate back on track. We dropped couple of chances as well which did not help us. With 40 needed in 5 overs for TLCC and having only lost 4 wickets with 2 set batsmen on the crease, we needed some excellent performance from our bowlers. Amar brought himself back in and bowled Kamran (38 runs) who was looking dangerous. The equation read - 4 overs 32 runs needed. Sagar bowled 17th over and it was a great over with only 6 runs scored of it with 3 dot balls. Zeeshan bowled 18th over and managed to take a wicket but gave a way few extras and the equation was reduced to 15 runs in 12 balls with 4 wickets to go. This was the most crucial over because this had to be a great over for WGCC to have a shot at winning in the last over. Amar stepped up to bowl this over, as time and time again he has shown a knack for great death over bowling. 3 singles came off of first 3 balls and then he bowled Tanveer, returning the favor from earlier in the day and then we got an easy run out with help of Arpit fielding at short mid on and throwing it back to Amar as TLCC tried to score a quick single. Amar bowled a crucial dot ball to end the over with giving up only 3 runs and getting 2 wickets. It set the stage for Biv to defend 12 runs in the last over. Biv started with a dot ball, then a wide and three doubles in the outfield. He made sure he did not bowl any easy balls for the batsmen to run down the fine leg or third man and made sure they had to run hard for their runs. With 5 needed of 2 balls, they managed to score a single and take it down the wire with 4 runs required of 1 ball. Zahid hit a big slog towards wide long on where Amar was fielding and Amar calmly collected the ball amidst the frenzy on the field and frantic TLCC dug out yelling their batters to run. He threw the ball towards bowlers end and Biv collected it cleanly and knocked the bails off with Zahid falling few feet short. 
Realizing we had won such a crazy game with the thinnest of margin possible, we all erupted on the field with Amar saying few final words about how this win can bring us closer than ever and to keep the momentum going in the next week. Kudos to TLCC for  being a good sport throughout the game and fighting till the end to make this game exciting for both side and few spectators, including The Gaba.

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as i enjoyed being part of this game and reliving it again while writing this report.