Blazers : 243/10 in 45 Overs (Shashank 93 (98), Tejas 32, Sparshith 30; Nikhil 7-0-37-3)
Spartans: 170/10 in 42.3 Overs (Maulin 63, Sunder 4-2-21-4)
MVP: Sunder and Maulin
Having beaten the UC Jags convincingly in the first match of the season, the Blazers were confident to put up a good show once again. Batting first always has it’s advantages at Ortega. The team plan was to put up a score of 200+. The stage was all set for the opening batsmen to go big, which is what exactly happened. Jimmy and Shanky opened for the Blazers and for a moment, it seemed that 300 was also an easily gettable score looking at the way they proceeded for the few overs. Jimmy stuck a couple of big shots but was unfortunately was caught at gully trying to slash the ball through the point area at 9. The score was now 18/1. Shashank was joined by Parth who did well to settle down and focus on keeping it cool and rotating strike.
On the other end, Shashank seemed confident right from the first ball and went big on loose ones. Parth was soon bowled out by Viraj and lost his leg stump trying to flick. That was an unlucky wicket for Blazers. Sparshith joined Shashank at the crease and they put up a great show! Sparshith started off cool and rotated strike, while Shashank still punished and punched easy deliveries. This partnership was the key and added aggression to the Blazers innings. There were a couple of big shots from both Shashank and Sparshith. The partnership broke when Sparshith was caught out at 30.
This was when Tejas went in. The notable events when Tejas went in to bat was the haste with which the batsmen took runs between the wickets. Twos were converted to Threes, and single to Doubles. This was another key partnership between the batsmen. A good combination of aggression and good strokes was put up for show. And in no time the Blazers raced to 150. Meanwhile we had Shaskank raise his bat in honor of reaching 50 unbeaten runs. Shashank was unstoppable at that point and went big on boundaries. But at the critical point of the 90s, he got out at 93 marking the disheartening end of a great innings.
Nachi soon joined Tejas and the Blazers went on. Nachi and Tejas were very aggressive with running and soon enough, the Blazers reached 200. Then in quick succession we lost the crucial wickets of Nachi and Tejas respectively. That slowed the flow of runs a little for the Blazers. Arun and Sunder were on Strike now. Arun had a chance to make small partnerships with both Nachi and Arun. Arun got out early and Ankur went in. The Blazers had about 5 overs remaining now and the scoreboard read 210. Ankur and Arun were able to get about 20 runs together on the scoreboard when the the blind need of runs in the slog got both Arun and Ankur run out. Jwal and Nabeel were the last two batsmen and the innings ended with Nabeel also getting out of the last ball!
Being confident about the score, the Blazers focused on getting the basics right. Rushing on the ball and restricting the runs. Maulin and Sailesh opened for the Spartans. Nabeel and Arun opened the bowling for the Blazers. The initial few overs were a little slow for the Spartans when Maulin started taking off on the Blazers bowlers. Maulin and Sailesh tried to rotate strike and soon enough, Sailesh lost his wicket getting bowled off Arun. Maulin was joined by Harsh. Both of whom did a good job settling well and putting up a good amount of runs on the board. This was when the Blazers had already employed their top 4 bowlers and needed someone to come in and get us a breakthrough. Nachi filled in that gap just properly. He got Harsh out LBW. Abhishek joined in and, yet again Maulin and him steadied the innings. Abhishek and Maulin put up a good show, the highlight of which was Abhishek’s six.
At this point, the Blazers had a bowling attack with a good rotation of spells of the bowlers. It seemed that the batsmen were able to read the bowlers well. Just then, Tejas introduced a bowling change calling Sunder in. This was the critical turning point. Within no time, Sunder stuck and got Abhishek and the subsequent batsman Rohan out. One one side, the Spartans lost wickets in quick succession and on the other, Maulin was well settled and was unstoppable. The asking run rate had gone up to 7 rpo and the Spartans were starting to gain more aggression.
Soon after the second drinks, Nabeel was brought back into the attack and he got the key wicket of Maulin. Soon enough, the Spartans lost all their wickets and got out for 170.
There are a lot of take aways and incidents worth mentioning in the match. The most important one is the brilliant performance by the youngsters in the Spartans. Not a single streak of fear in them, they batted confidently against bowlers like Nabeel and Sunder. Nikhil, Abhishek from the Spartans did a real good job by staying at the wicket and slowing down the fall of wickets. Another performance worth mentioning is the bowling spell by Shashank from Spartans. He just got the length and line right with a combination of spin. There was also an awesome catch taken by Sparshith in covers, running and diving to cover atleast about 10-15ft of distance!
The Blazers too took a lot of lessons. First and foremost is the number of lives we gave away to the Spartans batsmen in form of dropped catches, missed stumpings and runouts. The key is to practice together as a team and concentrate more on getting the quality of fielding to improve.
Overall, with the ups and downs, all is well as long as it ends well! Cheers to the victory of the blazers and applause to the Spartans for putting up a good show till the end.
Scorecard Pending from CricHQ