WL – 20.12.14 Action Sports Stadium (ASS),
by Aayush Singhal
The start of our quest for the Indoor Winter League at Kashiwa got off to a flier! With the global economy not doing well in year 2014 and variable bonuses being cut to negligible, the league opener saw Sharks winning with bonus points against the newly formed team of Bangladeshi origin, The Rising Stars!!
Sharks were led by one of the premier fast bowlers of the team and club manager Aditya with Mairaj, Aayush , Awal, Rajashekahar and Uehara as the other 5 players for the tournament opener on a rainy and cold day in December. Welcome and congratulations to Rajashekhar and Uehara for earning a Sharks Cap.
The teams decided to have a practice match to get the feel of the indoors where Sharks were caught napping in winter “quilt mode “. Ben, a cricket enthusiast from Australia substituted Mairaj in the practice game. Thanks mate. A loss in the practice game made Adit change the strategy a bit and shuffle the bowling and batting orders for the actual game. Sharks decided to bowl first with Aayush getting the opportunity to bowl the new ball. Uehara shared the new ball and struck early blows for the team with a catch and a runout. Aayush bowled the fourth on a strictly stump line, a result of watching MJ bowl in Border-Gavaskar trophy earlier in the day.
The next four overs saw Mairaj and new entrant Rajashekahar ,bowling a strict off-side line at a decent pace with a couple of runouts from long-on fielder Adit. Awal also bowled an over in the middle session; his Yorkers were missing but batsmen had no clue how to tackle his pace whatsoever.
Eight overs were bowled and Rising stars were yet to pass the 20 run mark with two overs from Adit , one over from Raja and one over from Awal still pending. Adit once again stood to his reputation and got two clean-bowled with his good length pitched in-swingers. This added to the misery of Stars and they ended up with a total of 27 from their quota of 12 overs. Murad and Sumon were the two batsmen from Stars who looked familiar with the format and scored couple of fours.
What was needed to win the game was just to bat without giving wickets, and that is exactly what sharks did to not only chase this modest target of 28 but also score 25 more runs to get those bonus points. The first four overs saw some clinical batting from the Aayush-Awal duo. The pair took easy singles with one unfortunate run-out ending with a net score of 16 runs in 4 overs.
The next session saw Mairaj and Uehara taking the total past the target of 28 with still 4 overs to left. Mairaj hit a couple of elegant 3 run shots with Uehara tapping some easy singles to give strike to Mairaj. The last pair of Adit and Rajashekar came out with the mindset to gain the bonus points and rightly so, they achieved it at the end of the day without much trouble. Sumon however got Raja out clean bowled with his crafty off break but the duo were smart enough to avoid playing any lavish shots and get out.
Aditya picked MOM for his magnificent bowling, energetic fielding/batting and a sharp captaincy. Thanks everyone for contributing to this exciting contest. At the same time, thanks to Rising stars for giving a tough fight till the end. Special thanks to Kris for managing to get a balanced side for the game. Hope the winning momentum continues in upcoming matches also. Till then, a very jubilant, and prosperous Merry Christmas to all !!Kanpai