Report by Ahsan
Result: Entourage won by 12 runs.
Match Summary: Sunnyale won the toss and elected to bat.
1st Innings. Sunnyvale Entourage 113/8. Hari C 23. Giridhar 2/9
2nd innings: Indus 101/6. Sohail 3/12, Natty 2/14
MoM: Sohail for awesome opening spell, three wickets, and late surge of runs in the first innings.
MVP: Natty for a great bowling spell and 2 wickets.
On a warm Saturday afternoon, Entourage put on an amazing display of disciplined bowling to defend a subpar total of 114 at Bracher Elementary against Indus CC.
Entourage with a two week break, were looking forward to this game for a while. Indus being one of the stronger teams leading the league was going to be a tough opponent. If Entourage wanted to be considered a top team in the league, this team had to be defeated convincingly, and to do so, everything had to go to plan.
The day started, as far away from the plan as it could. In an uncharacteristic fashion, most of the Entourage players were late. By the time they arrived, Indus was on the field, warming up, stretching and getting ready for the game. Not the way we wanted to start our day. Sohail, the captain won the toss and decided to bat. With a batting lineup featuring, Jag, Sanket, Baba, Natty, Nachi, Ranjan, and Hari C, the plan was to put a 200+ plus total on the board. Jag and Sanket started the proceedings according to the plan. Easily managing a run rate of 8 an over, they took singles and doubles, along with some hefty blows from jag that found the rope and some very uncharacteristic running from Sanket, (he ran multiple triples); Entourage were poised to put on a huge target. Jag got bowled out on 16 by a delivery that stayed low when the scoreboard read 29 at the end of the 4th over. Sanket was joined by Baba, briefly, as he too perished trying to force a stroke. Then came the collapse. Poor shot selection, some uncertain running between the wickets and an unfortunate umpiring decision saw Entourage go from 39-1 to 46-6 in a span of a few overs. Hari C and Saideep then dug in, and tried to save the sinking ship. With a positive intent, smart shots, and strong running, they put on a much needed partnership that stabilized us. After Saideep fell, Mihir went in, and ensured that Hari had a reliable partner on the other end. Another partnership of 30 runs between the two ensured that Entourage had a triple digit score on the scoreboard. Hari fell in 19th over trying to amp the run rate and had 50 + partnership runs with Saideep and Mihir. With 10 deliveries left, Captain Sohail Pathan went in, and scored 10 runs off the first two balls he faced. A mighty 6 and a 4, both pulled off the midwicket region. A few more runs between the two, and Entourage had 114 on the board to defend.
To defend such a low score, Entourage needed the perfect start to the second innings; and a perfect start was given to them by Sohail and Ahsan. Sohail with his fast outswingers, and Ahsan with his nagging length kept the Indus openers at bay. Sohail drew first blood at the end of the first over when Baba pouched a healthy edge in front of first slip. With pressure mounting from the other end, the batsmen tried to break the shackles by going over the top and offered a leading edge that was comfortably taken by Jag on mid on. Varun, their left handed batsmen was then baffled and castled by a late inswinging Yorker by Sohail that uprooted the middle stump and gave the captain his third victim. Ahsan then claimed one as Mihir took the catch on long on. At the end of their very respectable spells, Sohail and Ahsan had Indus reeling at 25/4 after 8 overs. Jag and Natty then continued the torment, and kept the batsmen in check. Baba claimed two more catches off Natty’s bowling behind the wickets. At the end of the 12th over, Indus had lost 6 for 42, and decided to go after the spinners. A few expensive overs, and the game hung perfectly in balance as they needed 25 off the last 3 overs. Jag gave 3 runs in his last over. Then after much discussion, the team unanimously made Nachi bowl the exceptional penultimate over, giving only five runs in the process. His slower pace with precise length was hard to be struck by the well settled Indus middle order (who batted with 50 run partnership). With 16 needed of the last over Natty maintained a tight line and length and gave another 5 in the last over for Entourage to take the game by 11 runs.
Positives: Baba for his keeping, Nachi for an awesome under pressure over, Ahsan for a great opening spell, Lower middle order playing sensible to 20 overs.
Areas of improvement: On time. Come on guys, how hard is it to show up on time for a game. And that goes for each player. For the first time, the opponents ready before us. This is not acceptable. Good calling between wickets to avoid run outs.