Dr. Wheatgrass ‘Play of the Day’: Takady’s half century followed by last over ripper sealing the game.
With overcast weather conditions resulting in a low scoring game the previous day, the JCL defending champions decided to field first on a crucial encounter. Sharks skipper, Dhugal was happy to bat first anyways. With overcast and fresh wet conditions after the previous day rain there were some nervous players in the dugout with as many as three batsmen who were padded up and ready to go. But soon those nerves were settled by openers Dhugal and Clampa. They both batted sensibly and gave an opening stand of 80 runs. Clampa and Dhugal were dismissed soon and Pavethy followed quickly too without disturbing the scorers much. Soon the match was evenly poised with 3 quick wickets and Sano getting back into the game.
A slow and steady partnership was the need of the hour, which Takady and Ueda provided. They did most of the patch work with a 52-run partnership, when Ueda returned back to the dugout caught on the boundary after the second drinks break.
Trying for quick runs in the final 15 overs, the lower middle order crumbled playing one shot too many, a familiar sharks story, and batsmen returned back to the dugout with their heads down annoyed with the shot or looking at their bats what went wrong.
The one lad who stood with his head focused was the hammer head shark (pun intended), Takady. He scored his first half century of the season taking us a decent score of 208. The sharks were all out for 208 in the penultimate over.
With 209 runs required of 240 deliveries, it was a tricky score for both the teams. In order to win they had to play some disciplined cricket and in a few hours, it turned into a riveting nail biter with momentum swinging like a crazy pendulum.
The skipper mentioned the importance of making early in roads in the opponents line up in order to defend the score successfully. Our spear heads Rui and Muneeb did it successfully by bowling in the right corridors and dismissing both the dangerous “inda”-couple batsmen – Devinda and Aravinda.
Ishara walked in to steady their chances with one batsman playing run scoring shots and the other just nudging and defending. Meanwhile Kavin was brought in as a surprise first change by the skipper to bowl some dollies to make them go for their shots. Sooner than later Ishara fell for the bait giving a straight forward catch to substitute fielder, Neel.
Thirimanna and Bijaya started to build a strong partnership with each scoring a half century. Bijaya played aggressively and Thirimanna at the other end played the anchor role. Pavethy was introduced as the 7th bowler into the bowling attack, desperate to break this vital partnership. Soon he did what was asked of him by picking up both the wickets, opening the flood gates. Sano started to panic looking for quick runs resulting in an excellent runout executed by Dhugal. As the cricketing adage goes, “One brings two, two brings three”, their lower order started to crumble on pressure. Sharks were back into the game. Rui impressed once again with figures of 35 for 2 in his 8 overs.
There was soon some resistance from Roshan who scored 21 off 18 deliveries and was batting with his skipper, Sankalpa, who on his day is capable of scoring some lusty blows.
With a left hander in the crease, Dhugal in no time decided to bring in Takady. He made an interesting gamble by making Takady bowl with no deep square leg for the left hander and Clampa waiting like a hawk at short backward square leg. Soon as with all tail-enders Sankalpa fell for the trap only to give a catch to Clampa.
With 14 runs needed off 14 deliveries and 2 wickets in hand, all the Sano batsmen had to do was to rotate the strike to Roshan at the other end. But Takady had other plans, he picked up two in back to back deliveries and finished the match in style, much to the elation of the Sharks XI on the field and a disappointed Sano dugout, who were shell shocked and took quite a while to come out and go for the customary handshake.