Report by Hari Chirra
Asteroids Vs UC Cavs at Ortega.
UC Cavs: 198/10 (Akshay 45, Sandeep 39, Sathy 8-0-33-3, Kiran 10-0-29-1)
Asteroids: 196/10 (Vijay S 77, Vijay G 40, Jay 10-1-35-4; Tarik 10-1-31-1)
MOM: Jay for his spell in the last session
MVP: Vijay S for his knock under duress and Akshay for his 45 and 6-0-24-1
UC Cavs Innings: On a thick Ortega field, UC Cavs won the toss and went into bat. Nitin and Sathy started bowling and contained the openers from playing their natural big shots. First change Gadde bowled fast with swing and sent both openers back to the pavilion before first break – caught inches off the grass by Narsi at first slip and Sathy taking a straight forward sitter. Right after the break Hari missed a stumping chance of Sundeep who was on single digits (ended up making crucial 39 runs) against Ajay’s leg spin. Akshay, the other big scorer was also dropped at point. These two mistakes costed us the second session with UC Cavs not losing any wickets. During the 34th over Akshay finally skied one from Sathy trying to up the run rate and was caught behind. Sundeep soon was caught by Sathy of his own bowling. Jatinder steadied the innings for the next 10 odd overs, thanks to another costly drop at 0 by Hari off the bowling of Narsi . At the end, Zia scored a quick 23 to set a total of 199 to win. Asteroids had a few run out chances, all semi-hindered by thick grass. While Sathy and Vijay Gadde took crucial wickets Kiran was the pick of the bowlers in terms of consistently beating the batsmen and having a few close lbw calls.
Asteroids Innings: With both the regular openers not available for the game, Vijay Gadde and Athul were sent in to play out the first session. After a watchful start, Athul got caught cutting a slower ball. A few overs later Srikanth was bowled to a peach of a fast out swinger from Tarik. Both Vijay Gadde and Vijay Sundaresan watched off Tarik and first change bowlers till the first break. Similar to UC Cavs session, Asteroids also amped the run rate and did not lose wickets in the second session. Both Vijays played shots to merit of the ball and scored good. They were so focused that both remembered at the same instance about their missing abdomen guard. For a rare occasion the dug out saw the captain and both batsmen running to the pavilion to get their gear. For the next 5 overs both scored at 5.5 rpo before Gadde got out in the penultimate ball of the break for a well made 40. Sathy rotated the strike to Vijay S for the next 8 overs and ensured that the scoreboard ticked. Sathy got stumped and our scorecard had more runs than UC Cavs at the same point having lost same number of wickets. But the bigger difference came in the form of two crucial quick wickets of Narsi and Tejas that brought pressure to Asteroids. In the very next over, Vijay S also got out to a hip high full toss (50-50 way of saying no ball or legal delivery) caught by Jay of his own bowling. With 34 needed in 7 overs and 3 wickets in hand, Asteroids had a reprieve in the form of a mature partnership between Hari and Nitin scoring singles and occasional twos. With 11 needed of 18 balls, Hari was bowled to a deflection of his pads on the second ball. Jay bowled to the field and got a maiden wicket of the over to set the equation 11 of 12 balls with 2 wickets in hand. 6 runs were scored in the next over (3 each by Kiran and Nitin). Jay bowled the last over defending 5 runs for their defeat. A miscommunication resulted in the run out of Kiran in the first ball. Two more dots followed with Nitin trying big shots. 2 runs were scored of the 4th ball to a sweep. With 3 needed to win in 2 balls, Nitin was caught trying a similar shot to a length ball and Asteroids had another heart break to live by. Jay was adjudged man of the match as his spell at the death resulted in 4 crucial wickets.
Positives: Good partnership in the top 5. Batsmen scoring singles and twos at Ortega and being patient with the ground. Vijay S’s level of commitment – scoring 77, while having a swollen calf owing to hiking in the Canyons
Negatives: 5 overs of wides, lack of keeping practice for Hari (1 catch drop, a missed stumping, and gave 4 byes), Too many runs scored by opponents within the 30 yard circle, our batsmen not taking the easy singles and converting singles to twos, lower middle order not batting to plan, death bowling – gave 72 runs at Ortega in the last 10.