Report by Deepak K
Summary: Tracy – 192/10 in 34.1 lost to Dynamos – 195/8 in 31 overs.
Tracy Innings: Mayank, the stand in Dynamos captain had no qualms in choosing to bowl first after winning the toss, having seen how hot it got hot in the afternoon, the previous few games. The game was in Tracy, known for a blazing fast outfield. The field on the game day looked immaculate and with 90 yard boundaries, many of us were in awe seeing this top class cricket field. Having played these guys previously we knew that one of their openers plays with his eyes closed and just slashes at anything that is not at his body and that he was capable of scoring some very quick runs. Mayank had Nabeel who had not played in a while open with the new ball on one end with Deepak on the other. Nabeel straight away showed no signs of lack of practice and started bowling with his usual pace and bounce and after having their “closed eyes” opener stymied for the first couple of balls, he was unfortunate that a few edges went for a couple of boundaries and a catch fell between two fielders. Deepak started his first over from the other end. The first ball was a play and a miss by the “closed eyes” opener, the second ball saw the off stump of the slasher go tumbling down to the keeper as the batsman had still forgotten to open his eyes. The third ball was a play and miss and the fourth ball was another bowled, this time the middle stump went flying. So with the two wickets in the second over, Tracy were on the back foot straight away. Santosh replaced Deepak on one end and was at his fiery best with some sharp bounce and pace and got his first wicket to a great diving catch by Mo at long on. But Tracy were 90 odd for three after the first break thanks to some good shots by their other opener and the blazing fast outfield.
Nabeel was bowling some unplayable, almost dangerous deliveries from one end and finally got the wicket he deserved so much, thanks to a good catch by Sanket, the keeper. But the second session saw Dynamos getting tired on the field due to the muggy climate and having had to run behind the ball a lot more than what they are used to in Ortega. Tracy started building their innings after the break thanks to some bad balls from Dynamos and some good hitting from Tracy. Soon the fifth wicket partnership almost reached a 50 runs. Atif bhai was introduced on one end and he was unplayable right from the beginning. However Tracy having realized that they were hardly able to put bat on ball against Atif bhai, decided to just defend him on one end and go after the bowling on the other. Mayank made a tactical change bringing Priyankar to bowl his slow off spinners to break this partnership. Priyankar started bowling with immaculate accuracy and the batsmen found it difficult to score anything off his bowling. With Atif bhai on one end and Priyankar on the other, Tracy were being choked and the pressure showed up as their well set opener tried to come down the track against Priyankar and Baba (the keeper) did the rest. Priyankar got his first wicket of the match and it was the opener at 61 runs! Atif bhai who was extremely unlucky in his first spell, not to have gotten a couple of wickets, a plumb LBW and a caught behind, both not given out by the umpire, finally got his wicket as Baba took another catch to dismiss their sixth wicket. A decent session for both the teams ended with Tracy on 180 odd with 6 wickets down.
Dynamos continued with Priyankar and Atif bhai for the third session and Priyankar continued his great bowling by taking three more wickets in the next 2.1 overs. He was bowling slow accurate off spinners reaching the off stump bail with such accuracy that even well set tracy batsmen were getting frustrated. Atif bhai also got another wicket, a plumb LBW on the other end. Thanks to some agile fielding and catching from Nabeel (one wicket), smart bowling changes from Mayank, good support from Atif bhai (2 for 35 in 9) and Santosh (one wicket) on one end and some exceptional bowling from Priyankar on the other, Tracy succumbed to a mere 192 in the 35th over, just the fifth over in the last session. Special mention to both the keepers, Sanket who was struggling with a flu and Baba, who were exceptional behind the stumps. Dynamos dropped a couple of catches but showed good overall discipline on the field.
Chasing 192 on Tracy should have been easy and Dynamos did start reasonably well with their chase. Both their openers, Sanket and Raj Badoni contributed runs but were unfortunate to get out to innocuous balls. With Atif bhai and Mo getting out quickly, Dynamos were in a bad situation at 71-4! Though the outfield was quick and the bowling was below par, Dynamos were finding ways to get out. The batsmen in the crease were Baba and the captain cool of Dynamos, Mayank. Baba started playing a very matured innings of defending any good balls and milking anything that was off line. He showed some very good judgement in his batting. Mayank in his first few balls tried to loft two long hops to long on and long off and ended up injuring two of Tracy’s fielders (who were also their bowlers), though it was more the fielders’ fault for splitting their webbings while trying tot make a high catch. But it was a weird coincidence that two players split their webbings on the same game within a span of a few balls hit by the same batsman!
After the first innings break, Mayank started showing his masterclass. He started whacking balls form no where and it did not really matter if the outfield was fast or not as he was dealing in sixes not fours. His hitting was crisp and precise and no more risky shots as she amassed five sixers and a mere boundary to reach his well deserved half century, not just a captain’s knock but what would also later be a match winning one. Mayank did find an ideal partner on the other side in Baba who in stark contrast played some lovely drives and cuts and amassed a 41. These two had single handedly gotten Dynamos within twenty odd runs of their target, with a century stand. Mayank unfortunately got out to a freaky ball that ricocheted off his bat and shoes and a few more things before hitting the stumps. Baba went for 41 thanks to a horrible umpiring decision. Nabeel and Santosh contributed a few runs before Amar and Priyankar finished the game of to hand Dynamos their fourth win of the season and a second consecutive one against the same team.
Lots of positives, from intelligent captaincy to great support from everyone on the field to good team spirit, excellent bowling performance from almost all the bowlers and good batting from Mayank and Baba. A few negatives, mostly related to catching and fielding, though these did not cost much, we would benefit a lot from some practice!
Off to the last game of the season and hope to finish it off in style….