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Practice Game - T20 vs TUFCC @ Harvell park - 30th Jan 2016

posted Feb 1, 2016, 5:29 AM by Amar Bhatia
After successfully winning the T30 series 3-2, WGCC was ready to gear up for a T20 series with TUFCC. T20 has historically been a strong suit for teams from the Triad, and TUFCC was no different. They boast of quite a few dangerous batsmen who, on their day, can blow any bowling lineup away.

On a slightly chilly but sunny day, WGCC was asked to bowl first. We were a player short and had to borrow one from our opponents, and he would have an important hand in the match proceedings (more on that to follow). We started with Bivinder, who was swinging the ball like a banana. After a few sliced drives, he got rid of the dangerous Imran in the very first over, caught behind by yours truly! Riyazuddin, who has been a revelation in this pre season, continued his fine form, consistently beating the TUFCC batsmen through his awkward bowling action and nippy pace. Both batsmen had no answer to the pace and swing of our bowlers. Biv got his second victim with a peach of an inswinger to the lefthander. He moved well outside offstump to cover the line of the ball, only to see the ball swing a mile, between his legs, to crash into middle stump. Our bowlers continued the good work keeping the scoring around the 8 rpo markup until the 15th over. We unfortunately had a bad day in the field, dropping quiet a few catches, especially off Mumtaz. He soon started capitalizing on these chances and make us pay. Amar came in and was uncharacteristically loose in his line and length. He still managed to get the dangerous Shawn and Junaid in quick succession. To give our extra player a fair chance, Amar asked him to bowl. His first over was uneventful. His second however was a disaster, with Mumtaz hitting him for four huge sixes. Huzair, of HPCC fame, came in and was his usual belligerent self. WGCC bowlers were now conceeding 12-14 runs an over in spite of bowling good balls. The short boundaries were exploited very well by the TUFCC batsmen. They eventually posted a mammoth 193 runs in 20 overs.

This would have to be a record breaking chase for WGCC as we've never chased beyond 187 in T20s (vs FUCC in 2014). Richie and Dipen started the innings. Richie seemed to be in his zone, which was evident by the first ball he faced was sent racing to the boundary. However, disaster struck in the first over when a mix up led to a run out. Richie's promising innings was brutally cut short. In a reshuffle of the batting order, in came Biv at one down. Dipen looked in imperious form, hitting Imran for a HUGE six. Both our batsmen kept hitting the boundaries with regular ease. Not many batsmen can claim to outscore Biv, but that's exactly what Dipen was doing. He hit 5 huge sixes racing to his fifty of a mere 27 balls. We were motoring along at 87/1 in 8 overs, before disaster struck in Abbas's second over. Dipen holed out for a well made 50(29). In the very same over, Biv was out as well trying to keep up the scoring rate. We now had two new batsman who hadn't faced a ball, and we still needed a 100 runs in 11 overs. Next over, the dangerous Huzair got rid of Amit conceeding only 3 runs in the over. At the half way mark, we were exactly at 97 runs, needing another 97 in the final ten, with 6 wickets in hand. Amit's wicket bought Sinu to the crease. He started off as he been batting all day, taking 12 runs off the 11th over off Abbas. Rajeev, new to the team, was the ideal foil in the partnership. The next 3 overs yielded 30 runs, ensuring that we remained within the asking rate. More importantly, we negated the dangerous spells of Abbas and Huzair without further damage. Rajeev was out to Huzair in his last over, ending a good partnership. Amar was in next and both teams knew that this partnership would decide the outcome of the game. We still needed 68 off the final 6 overs. Amar was still finding his groove. On the other hand, Sinu continued pulling driving, 'dilscooping' his way around, ensuring we continued to score around 10 an over. Shah went for a 10 run over, Junaid for another 12. The big over was still eluding us. It finally came in the 17th over, Amar hitting Shah for 2 humongous sixes. For the first time in a long while, the required run rate was below 10 an over. 29 needed off the final 3. Sinu hit the first ball for a four, but perished off the final ball for a well made 48(35).19 off the final 2, and opposing captain Imran came on hoping to make the telling difference. However, there are very few bowlers who can control Amar in his prime. The first ball went for a massive, game changing six. And so did the last, both by Amar. He ended the game in style with a four, staying unbeaten at 37(15) with four sixes.

At no point during the game, even when we had the brief hiccup, we were on the back-foot. It goes a long way to show what we can achieve if we play to our potential. Of course, there is still a lot of improvement needed, especially in the fielding department. But today is a time to take pride in an amazing team performance and our best T20 chase in WGCC history. We will continue to practice and continue to improve, ensuring that we are ready for the CCL league!

Play to Win,
Sinu Nair