Finals have not always been our strong suit at Indoor. We generally finish up near the top of the table in the regular season, only to peter out at finals. We came in fifth in 2009, third in 2010 with the feeling that we could have done much better. This year we had an indifferent regular season so maybe tonight was the night… The squad for the finals was Dave L (c), Anton, Richard, Vicky, Nick H, Anshul, Koji and Kris.
Quarter Finals were 2 x 6-over games. Semi Finals 2 x 12-over games.
Quarter Final 1: Sharks Pop Uehara Cherry
By Kris Bayne
We kicked off our Indoor Finals campaign against Uehara & Cherry aka Rainbow United. We had lost a close one to this team recently and so had some extra motivation going into this game.
Vicky opened up with a typically fast, tight first over. He pulled out a lovely leggie to finish with a couple of dot balls. Nick, happy to get his hands on a reasonably new ball, proceeded to bend it around, allowing a desperate U&C only singles. (14 after 2) Richard kept up the pressure and was unlucky not to have a catch. Next up Anshul bowled some unplayable and a few indescribable deliveries. (32 after 4) Dave then let rip at the final pair who either missed completely or edged into corners. At the death, Charles had a mixed bag but ended the innings with a wicket. Uehara & Cherry 40 runs in 6 overs.
Anshul and Vicky looked to try and wipe out the runs in their two overs with some meaty hitting. An early runout set them back a little, but a lovely 4 from Vicky among some back net action saw them step up in the second over. Another running mishap soured an possible great start. (18 off 2) Dave and Richard kept up the pace with some smart hitting and good running, pushing the score close to our target. (34 off 4) Our final pair of Charles and Nick had seven to get. Life was not made easy at all by some wicked swing bowling, but with circumspect batting and running we were in the clear coming into the last over. It was now a matter of holding our nerve and keeping wickets in tact. After a couple of insurance runs, Nick, cool as a cucumber, put attack in the rack to block out the last few to see us through. Sharks 49 runs in 6 overs.
First up win!
Quarter Final 2: Sharks Unseat YFK
By Richard Dixon
Game 2 was the perfect metaphor for a great western. It was like watching a scene from a Sergio Leone film. The boys had just headed the first team off at the pass and were looking to satisfy their bloodlust by massacring the next opponents. Profanity, adrenaline, sweat and swagger hung like a mist in exquisite unison. The only question was would the sequel live up to the original?
Sharks bowled first with Vicky smashing through the stumps in the first over. New team treasurer Koji followed with some deceptive seam bowling and bagged himself a nice scalp. By the end of the third over – bowled by the always reliable Hogster – YFK could only manage 5 runs. Dave, Anton and Kris finished up the attack for the Sharks with the 3 lads getting a couple of wickets and keeping runs to a minimum. YFK finished on a score of 20.
The relatively low score posed a challenge in itself. Meager scores may not represent great challenges, but their apparent paucity can be an elaborate façade, sucking a team into a false sense of security or worse creating too much pressure. It can be a bit like watching in horror as team of climbers who just conquered K2 slip and break theirs necks walking up a ski slope. This author was hoping the same thing would not happen here.
Kris and Koji opened the batting for the Sharks and after a couple of close run outs they finished on 6 runs. Dave and Vicky stepped up next and may have succumbed to a little pressure as they could only manage adding another 3 runs. It was then up to the Hogster and Anton to push things along. Anton sustained some scrotal trauma but batted heroically with Nick to push past YFK and save the hour for the Sharks. It was now up to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly to kick some butt in the night’s third instalment.
Two from two and Semi Finals here we come!
Semi Final: Sharks Say No No to Go Go Ken
By Kris Bayne
Finishing top of Pool B with two wins we faced the second place team from Pool A, in the curvaceous shape of the girls of Go Go Ken. On this night of all nights the lasses found themselves short of players. As it had been decided in their pool games not to allow all players batting twice the bonus runs, this worked in our favour.
Openers were Anton and Koji. After a cautious start, Anton applied some pressure with some healthy whacks while Koji provided good running support. He obviously did not want to incur the growing and vocal wrath of Kris by not sliding his bat, and with precision and thoughtful strike rotation, the pair looked very very comfy. A technical glitch saw our score wiped out, but fortunately Charles was keeping count (18). While computers were changed Koji took the opportunity to chat up the fetching GGK wicket-keeper – save bowling the maidens over when you have a ball in your hand, Mr. Treasurer! With umpired wired and the ‘keeper’s heart a-flutter, the batsman pushed up to 28 with no loss. Solid start. With big hitters to come it looked ominous for GGK – it was. Dave and Anshul showed their intentions from the start with some hard hits with little return, but they made up somewhat with very aggressive and damaging running. The score kept ticking over regularly. So in the mood to rule was Anshul that he decided to call the ‘no balls’ as well as hit them. In all the guys stacked on 46 more runs for no wicket. (74 after 8 overs) The stage was set for Vicky and Charles to really put this game beyond GGK. Good hard hitting and slick running continued in inflate the score. A catch off the roof nets and a caught behind in successive balls tempered the onslaught… you would have thought. The score hovered at 100 coming into the last over. Charles, the quintessential cricketing astro-physicist, calmly launched the little yellow ball for three successive sixes to see us finish at 118.
After an eventful start which saw a wide and then an absolute peach, Anton settled down to a solid over. GGK could only push for singles (which counted as 3). Next up Dave was just too fast for the girls. He eventually crashed one through the stumps and then Vicky affected a run-out to probably end it as a contest right then and there. Anshul came on for a typical Anshul over of a mixture of magic and mayhem. Vicky behind the stumps picked up a sharp stumping as Anshul ripped one almost square across from outside leg. The well-placed field was not giving much away and the girls were having a very torrid time. Dave again rattled the stumps (a recurring theme for him this evening) and, to add injury to an imploding innings, Anton mildly beamed the runner. After a number of exploratory rubs he eventually gave her an apologetic pat on the head. An almost C&B and then another slick stumping off a great slower ball put this game to bed. Vicky was also either too fast or his leggies defied the growingly searching bats of GGK. Anton’s last over saw the girls pull up their score a bit but were thwarted often by Anshul patrolling the back net. The last set of four overs were bowled by Koji and Charles. Koji concentrated on his arm action and sent down some good length slow turners. He was rewarded with two wickets – a fantastic catch off the roof net by Vicky centimetres from the carpet and Anshul bagged another at the back. Charles proved very difficult to get away even though the girls, knowing the game was beyond even their womanly charms and bonuses, opened up with surprisingly strong hits. Even without a full complement of players we had Go Go Ken’s measure.
Go Go Ken 73 off 12 overs.
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