Report by Natraj
Blazers 170 all out (Mohak: 63, Shanky: 34. Arshi: 3/22, Happy: 2/29, Sunny: 2/11, Vaibhav: 2/17, Lalith: 2/21 )
Cougars 170/8 in 40 overs (Sunny: 41, Arshi: 25, Amish: 40. ArunD: 3/33, Asif: 2/31, Ajay: 1/29, Natty: 1/14)
Blazers after a month’s break resume cricket and with some serious thirst for a WIN. As predicted it was a hot, humid and a sunny day at Ortega with people already half drenched after a jog and some stretching. Both teams arrive and the captains went in for toss, Tejas won the toss and straight away waved ‘Batting’ to the team!
1st Innings: Blazers sent in their openers Natty and Mohak, and things started the orthodox Ortega style…. a bit slow and batsmen respecting the swing and bounce of the new ball produced by Happy and Arshi. Natty went for an extravagant drive after defending for some time, but ended up edging to the first slip.
Shanky joins Mohak in the middle and both showcased some good cricket, proper cricketing shots, sensible singles and getting the odd boundaries. Blazers were 60/1 at the end of first session. Runs continued to come and were coming with minimum effort until shanky miscued a shot to wide-ish mid-off and ended his innings at 34. Anirudh walked in and was looking good with his defense but just played all around to a leg-spinner and got stumped.Tejas and mohak tried to rebuild the innings after 3 wickets were down and then Tejas lost his cool and scoops one to the mid off to the leggie again.
Nachi and Parth walked in trying to get some runs too and got out quickly and we were 110/5 at 30 overs.Mohak went on to score a well deserved 50. He and Arun got some runs going and then Mohak fell to a good catch at short cover for 63. Arun , Asif and Andy got some handy runs and Blazers were all out for 170 .
2nd Innings: Cougars’ openers Saurabh and Sunny walked in with their traditional strategy of taking on the bowlers from the word go. Saurabh went after Arun in the first over and scored 12 and on the other end Sunny had trouble playing Ajay. Ajay displayed some good spin bowling and caused problems for the batsmen. Sunny was dropped once when he top edged. Ajay had his first scalp when Saurabh was stumped to a loopy delivery.
Arshi who joined Sunny in the middle was playing his defense and nudges keeping the strike rotated. Sunny on the other end cut loose and was hitting our bowlers all over the park. Shanky’s short spell proved productive for the cougars and it was raining runs for some time. Tejas introduced Asif who picked sunny who played a bad shot to point and the very next ball sent Ankur back to the pavilion who wanted to clear our humongous Ortega boundaries but ended up getting caught at 3 quarters of the ground.
Two wickets in succession got blazers energy back into the game and cougars were 74/3 at 15 overs. Mohak and Asif were bowling in tandem with Arshi and Amish at the crease, who were respecting the good ones but didn’t leave any opportunity in dispatching the bad ones. Runs were leaking slowly but steadily and no harm was being caused to the batsmen and then Natty was brought in to the attack who got Arshi in the first over making way to Happy. Though Natty was containing the batsmen, there were runs coming at ease and they were cruising towards the target.
Tejas tried many changes in bowling, and it proved just a lucky day for the cougars when more than 4 balls landed in no man’s land. Cougars were 130/4 at 30 overs break. Needing just 40 in 15 overs, blazers were hunting for wickets in all directions and they not having one more streamline bowlers proved harmless for cougars especially Amish who was playing innings with No Risk at all …Arun was introduced again and he with his line, length and variation got 3 wickets with two times running through the batsmen’s defense, but was too late by then as they were 10+ runs away from the target and at the end they reached the target with 5 overs to spare and 3 wickets in hand.
Points to Ponder/Appreciate: 40 runs less and few dropped catches caused us a loss, need to work on middle order slow down and late hitting.
Mohak’s very mature and handsome innings, Arun and Ajay’s bowling were some positives we can take from this game.