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posted Jul 19, 2016, 11:03 AM by Amar Bhatia   [ updated Jul 19, 2016, 12:55 PM ]

After a whole week of rain forecasts threatening to wash away the game between WGCC and HPCC, we were happy to see some sunshine on Saturday and were excited at the prospect of a full game.

WGCC lost the toss and were invited to bowl first, a welcome decision since we planned to bowl first even if we would have won the toss. The bowlers didn’t disappoint either, when Sagar picked up three quick wickets with the new ball, leaving HPCC at 30/3. Arpit had an off day with the new ball, but still looked threatening in parts early on. A few wayward overs from WGCC allowed HPCC batsmen to pick easy boundaries and it resulted in a quick 47 runs partnership between Manzoor and Uzair. Damodar’s introduction immediately provided the breakthrough when he caught Manzoor plumb in front. A good spell of spin bowling from Damodar and a few tight overs from the other end reduced HPCC to 133/8, with Damodar finishing off his 7 over spell with 3 wickets. Tarun got rid of Ghias with a beauty, and Arpit then finished off the last wicket with his scorching pace, setting WGCC a target of 145 in 35 overs.

At the break, WGCC felt confident of the chase as this was a below par total on that ground, but also cautious since HPCC bowlers are experienced campaigners. Disaster stuck early on, when WGCC lost Amar for a duck, followed by quick wickets of Faraz and Sinu leaving WGCC at 28/3. The run rate needed was still just 4 an over and with Damodar and Sarvar playing the next few overs cautiously, WGCC was slowly chipping away at the target, and no further damaged was done till the 1st water break at 17 overs with WGCC 62/3. Still needing close to 5 an over with 7 wickets in hand, WGCC was positive to close out the game.  

Suffocating line and length from HPCC bowlers induced an ambitious shot from Sarvar right after the break, and he was dismissed for a well-made 17 in his debut game. Amit went in and immediately hit Manzoor for a huge six and a four in back to back balls, much to the cheer of WGCC players. But the introduction of Arif from HPCC changed the complexion of the game when he bowled Damodar and Amit in his consecutive overs, while giving away only 2 runs. Dipen’s batting order change did not make much difference to his fortunes and he was cleaned out by full ball, while trying to go over the vacant mid-wicket area. Sagar kept fighting from the other end, and briefly found support in Tarun who perished from a controversial ball above the head, which was not called a no-ball and resulted in a catch, ending Tarun’s stay at the crease.  Aditya soon followed Tarun back to the pavallion and left WGCC  needing 32 in the last 3 overs. Sagar then hit Ghias for 2 consecutive sixes, with Arpit looking at ease against HPCC bowlers. At the end, it was a bit too much left for the death overs and WGCC fell short of 10 runs, finishing at 135/9. Sagar and Arpit showed great determination and persistence, and hopefully everyone will learn from them in the future games.

WGCC is now entering a crucial phase in the league which will determine their chances for playoffs, and every player now looks focused to contribute after a few setbacks. We have the team to beat anyone in the league, and it’s high time we start delivering on that perception.