Report by: Natraj Chithapuram
Match#4: Sunnyvale Blazers Vs Indus, Played at Rancho, Milpitas
Blazers 191 all out (Jimmy: 59, Sridharan: 36, Anindya: 22; Akshay, Pradeep, and Hasan: 3 wickets each)
Indus: 172 all out (Hasan: 36, Akshay: 24, Preetam: 22 and Sparshith: 39/3, Natty, Jwal, Cheetah: 2 wickets each)
MOM: Anindya for being involved in 5 dismissals and scoring crucial 22 runs and holding the tail together.
MVP: Jimmy for well struck 59 and Hasan for 3 wickets and 36 runs.
After 2 weeks of NO Cricket, Blazers walk into the park greeting each other ‘Hellos’ and ‘How U Doins’ spilling some energy and fun.
Perfect Cricketing conditions, light breeze and a bit sunny. The Green Park was filled with 2 different Blue shaded jerseys running around, stretching and looking forward for the same cause (Let’s WIN this).
Players were all warmed up and were all set to take off what later turned into one of those most riveting matches. Blazers went in with some changes over the last match, we had Ahsan, Sridharan, Anindya replacing open spots and we also had a newbie Asif playing his first for Blazers.
Nachi who had problems with Live World Cup Streaming had No Problems what so ever leading the team in Tejas’ absence. Nachi won the toss and with no hesitation elected to bat first.
Openers Jimmy and Natty went in to start the proceedings and as we know bad habits die hard, Jimmy with no respect sent one sailing into the woods the very second ball of the match, and repeated the same next over too. Then Jimmy handed off the baton to Natty to show some different kind of batting resulting in 2 fine pull shots and a slap over extra cover. Runs were coming in all directions for Blazers and the opening bowlers had nothing working their way and just when blazers were about to announce a good start, in no time there were 2 wickets in succession, Natty and Parth were sent back for 2 beautiful deliveries by Pradeep. Sparshith walked in to anchor jimmy’s carnage and both put on 40 run partnership.
And then Hasan delivered 2 quick wickets in the form of Sparshith who fell for fishing outside off stump and then immediately Nachi for a high rising ball. Debutant walked in but was generous enough not to trouble the scorers. Blazers were tottering at 88/5 with 30 more over of play.
Jimmy fell to the first ball after drinks after mistiming a shot to long-on and ended his second fifty of the season and it was all on Sridharan and the tail to play the savior’s role and get blazers to some respectable total. They totally understood the need of the hour and were just playing to what exactly doctor prescribed and scored in singles and doubles and got odd boundaries. Jwal played a mature innings of hanging in there and keep the wickets tact and Sri was doing the run getting part and they managed a good 40+ run partnership and then Jwal was out to a good catch by the bowler himself.
In a span of 10 runs Sri was out after scoring a well made 36 for an extravagant drive just before 2nd break and then there was a short living partnership between Ahsan and Andy which very soon ended and got the roaring cheetah to the batting crease as the last samurai of Blazers. Andy and Cheetah played such sensible cricket and got the most useful runs of the match. They maneuvered their strike well and got 2s and 3s at ease and kept the score ticking. They scored 22 (Andy) and 16 (Cheetah) respectively and then Andy was stumped in the 41st over to end Blazers’ innings at 191.
Cheetah’s batting not only was inspiring to everyone but our respect for this person just rose by 10 storeys. I say this because he dove hard into the ground during a run-out chance that clearly shows his dedication and the desperation to bat out there and put some price on his wicket.
(“Talent or Ability can only take you to a certain point, but its Attitude and Passion that takes you higher”)
Indus batsmen came out loud and clear that they are just going to go after the bowling and get those early runs quick and fast. Jwal started a bit scratchy bowling several wides on the leg to the lefty at crease and finally the batsman gloved one to the Andy who took an exceptional catch diving low and wide to his right. On the other end Cheetah was teasing the batsmen inviting them to hit but they didn’t want to take chances with him and instead gave 2 maidens in a row to cheetah.
Building pressure forced the batsmen to target the other end but they couldn’t do much there either, and resulted in scooping one to the point. Very soon Cheetah gets one when the batsmen under edged to the keeper.
Preetam walks in to play his natural Batinda Style batting and gets couple of boundaries before the first break. Ahsan who was got into the attack bowled some exceptional line and length giving nothing to the batsman and grabbed 2 maidens on the trot and ended his first spell at 18/1 in 6. Sparshith replaced cheetah who went for few runs first up but started troubling the batsmen with his spin and turn. The bowling was nicely backed by the fielders who were on their toes all the time and made quick hustles.
Natty came in for bowling in the second part of the innings and was just seaming around the off stump testing their defense, who also got 2 maidens to his name and also picked up the dangerously looking Pritam who edged one to the keeper. Andy by now involved in 4 dismissals of 5. Runs drying up and wickets falling on the other end was just pulling Indus away from the win as they were 81/6 at 21 overs and very soon it was 92/7 in 25 and win seemed around the corner for Blazers.
But things started getting unpleasant for Blazers as Akshay and Hasan started building partnership and were slowly spinning the wheel, Sri and Asif were tried for a couple of overs but didn’t prove much effective as the batting side was slowly inching towards the target and at the end of 34 overs they were 144/7 and Blazers desperately needed to break this partnership as they knew they cannot take this to the final over.
There were some smart moves by Nachi which finally resulted in a wicket from Sparshith when Akshay skied one to Natty at mid-on, and then there was one more wicket the next over when Natty sent the number 10 with an amazing Yorker, things were still not over and Indus made us earn that last wicket as they believed that they can still get those 45 runs if they hung in there.
There was some good bowling at the death but runs kept leaking somehow as fielders started failing to apply themselves and ran over the ball for few boundaries.
Then finally there was a juicy full toss by Sparshith which was hit straight back at him by Hasan and that closed the curtains of a fantastic match with Indus falling short by 19 runs.
P.S: Always loved playing for Blazers for the Energy that gets transmitted within the team and the mutual trust and confidence and above all the fun and enjoy the game attitude in the team. Blazers has grown from strength to strength and I would thank the execs and leaders who are putting in a lot to make our team a fun team to play for.
*Excuse the typos.