Cardinals won by 79 runs
After a long break, we are into the business end of the season and Blazers had their task cut out in the remaining 8 games. After a very tough beginning to the season, we showed massive fight against Indus and were hoping to continue in the same vein against another of the very good teams in the division – Cardinals. Blazers lost the toss and were asked to field first.
We had a couple of our best pacers missing in Sathy and Kiran, but we still had Vijay Gadde starting things for us. We have looked like a different bowling unit since he joined us. Arun Agarwal started on the other end and in the fourth over of the game, removed the dangerous looking Rishabh Nanda who had already hit a couple of good blows. This brought Aditya Mishra to the crease. The other opener Kushal was settling in nicely but we never allowed cardinals to take control of the innings. After the opening spell, Cardinals were 33 for 1 in 10. Sparry and Vishnu bowled a couple of tight overs but at Ortega we need wickets to put the opposition under pressure. We needed another wicket before drinks and thats when Natty pitched in. He has turned into a bit of a giant killer for us this season, taking big names out. It was Davion last game and this time it was Aditya Mishra, who nicked an outswinger straight to Gadde at a widish second slip. At the first drink break Cardinals were 57 for 2 in 17.
Their skipper Arjun Thyagarajan and the opener were at the crease. Rutvij and Sparry bowled the entire second session. Rutvij, who bowled his heart out with the ball which had no life left for pacers, got Kushal to inside edge one onto his stumps, and that provided us an opening into one end. Abbas Jaffri, who came next was run out by a superb piece of fielding by Rohan Khasgiwala without scoring a run. Praveen, an ex-sunnyvaler was bowled for a duck again off the second delivery off a faster delivery from Sparry. In a couple of overs, another faster one got Hannell plumb in front. Cardinals were 98 for 6 with the second drink break looming. Krishna and Arjun started a partnership of 38 runs and we knew we need to take them out to keep the score down. In comes Natty again to continue his knack of picking important wickets by getting Arjun bolwed off a ball that kept low. Gadde and Rutvij came back to wrap up the tail and were set a target of 149, which we would have taken at the start. Our ground was exceptional although we dropped a catch or two in the last two overs. But fielding was very good overall.
Rohan and Natty started things off confidently and were looking solid. Rohan especially was milking the pacers for runs over point and covers. Natty, in his first bad shot of the match attempted a hoick and edged one to the keeper. Arun, as is typical of him, started off with intent and him and Rohan were playing the pacers well. The spinners came in and things didnt look threatening. At the first break, we were 42 for 1. After the break, Rohan tried to step out of the crease was deceived by a well flighted delivery off Krishna and got stumped. Arun and Sparry looked very comfortable at the crease and were milking the spinners for singles and twos and Cardinals appeared frustrated. We were 58 for 2 and we were confident we could achieve a victory when one of the worst collapses ever occurred. Arun, who was batting so well, cut one off Aditya straight to the fielder at point. Off the very next over, Sparry middled a pull shot straight to the fielder at the edge of the 30 yeard circle who took a good low catch. This brough two new men to the crease in Gadde and Anoop. Both of them got out to soft dismissals of spinners, driving straight to the fielders’ waiting hands. Nachi was run out and in the blink of an eye, we lost wickets and Tejas was left stranded on one end with no one to support him.
This was one of the worst batting collapses in our memories and it was all of our own making.
1. Exceptional fielding, good catching.
2. Very good bowling performance despite a weakened attack against quality opposition.
3. Improvement in the performance in the first half of the match and you can feel the effort on the field.
1. Players who have been playing for a year or two in this team needs to step up while batting and take responsibility and lead the way.
2. Get their eye in while batting and trust in their own abilities to make up for it later.
3. Bat out the 50 overs.