Cougars sneak a win past Blazers

Match report by Anirudh

Sunnyvale Blazers 115/10 in 46.2 overs
Cougars CC 116/6 in 43.2 overs

Tejas won the toss and chose to bat. The goal was to bat the entire 50 overs and put a respectable score on the board. Natty and Rohan started cautiously. Imran began well testing both the opening batsmen but Natty and Rohan tackled him quite well in the initial overs. It was not long before Imran produced a peach of a delivery to Natty to clean up the stumps. There was not much Natty could do. Vijay Gadde walked into bat next who also fell victim to Imran who was unplayable that particular over. Wickets in quick succession early in the game was a huge boost to Cougars. Sparshith walked in next to support Rohan. Rohan looked solid and appeared to have settled in. He kept the scoreboard ticking by rotating the strike at regular intervals. Sparshith soon fell prey to HK kumar’s bowling. Tejas who walked in next did not last long as he chased a wide ball to gift another wicket to HK Kumar. Reduced to 20/4, Blazers were once again in trouble losing wickets early in the game, immediately putting them in the back foot. Top order batting has always been a concern in every game this season.

In walked the experienced Nachi, who began well with Rohan rotating the strike at will. Nachi provided the much needed support to Rohan who began to open up a bit by pulling Imran to a brilliant boundary. The partnership was going on at a good pace and just when both the batsmen were looking to score quicker, A singh got the wicket of Rohan. Rohan’s wonderful knock of 43 came to a sad end much to the dismay of all the Blazer’s players. If Rohan had stayed longer, it would have been a totally different story. Anoop who came in next looked good and appeared to play the spinners well. Nachi and Anoop targeted the 14 year old kid Sakthi and kept scoring 4 runs an over. Kudos to Sakthi as he persisted with his loopy off-spinners to scalp Anoop. The kid is quite a talented bowler at such a young age. Anirudh came in to support Nachi. Nachi was playing well with 34 runs under his belt in no time. Sakthi got the wicket of Nachi in the same over which was a double blow for the Blazers. Blazers were in trouble again reeling at 90/7. Anirudh started defensively along with Mihir. The goal was to stay in the middle till the 50th over and not worry about the score. Sakthi was relentlessly taunting Mihir with his loopy off-spin and ufortunately Mihir gave in to it. Rutvij joined Anirudh in the middle. Due to a poor judgement by Anirudh to go for a run when the ball went straight into the fielder’s hand eventually led to his dismissal. Cheetah did not last long before blazers were all-out for 115 in 46.2overs, once again failing to bat the entire quota of overs.

Blazers took the field determined to restrict cougars. Though 115 wasn’t a good score, it was still runs on the board. The plan was to contain cougars at the start and not let them get off to a flyer. Ankur and Salver opened the innings while Gadde opened the bowling for Blazers. As usual Gadde began well, hitting the right spots from the very first delivery. Salver looked to be aggressive whereas Ankur was a bit cautious. Gadde bowled a quiet first over and Chetan came on the other end to compliment Gadde’s good work with a great first over. Unable to score off Gadde’s disciplined bowling, both their batsmen looked to attack Chetan which wasn’t fruitful, thanks to some brilliant anticipation by Chetan and clever field placements by Tejas. Chetan finally succeeded in scalping Salver’s wicket with a quicker one which was brilliantly taken by Anoop behind the stumps. With the much needed early breakthrough, Blazers looked set to further pressurize the Cougars. In came A singh to support Ankur. Chetan relentlessly taunted Ankur with some classic flighted leg spinners while Gadde kept the score at check at the other end. Chetan and Gadde attacked in pair complimenting each other which resulted in Ankur’s wicket to a well flighted delivery from Chetan that ended up in the safe hands of sparshith in the covers. Neil was the next batsman in who should have gone back in the same over, if not for a poor decision from the umpire to not to raise his finger for a caught behind appeal. Neil and A singh were a pain the ass, repeatedly giving chances that fell in no man’s land. Neil perished early from a vicious bouncer from Gadde. Though the ball was nowhere near the bat, Neil got done by a poor decision which went against him this time around. This was a crucial wicket as it came right before the first drinks break.

The match was evenly poised with the Cougars reeling at 50/3. Blazers persisted with the same intensity after the break and pressurized Sayed, the next man in. A singh kept giving chances every other over, which the Blazers failed to capitalize as he was dropped more than thrice. A drop catch by Mihir in the short midwicket and Natty in the same position proved costly as A singh settled into the game quite well. Rutvij was rewarded for his disciplined bowling as Sayed edged a good length delivery to the slips resulting in a simple catch to Anirudh. Siddique came in to support A singh and both the batsmen slowly built a good partnership. With almost 70 runs on the board and lack of scoreboard pressure, the batsmen rotated the strike quite well. This was the stage where the Blazers began to let the game slip away. However Sparshith came back into the attack and bowled well to get the wicket of Siddique which created some sense of hope to the Blazers. Imran joined A singh in the middle. A signh never ceased to gift his wicket and Anoop finally held onto one such chance to send him back. With the cougars down by 6 wickets and still needing 30 odd runs, all Blazers needed was another breakthrough to get to the tail. Unfortuantely Imran and HK kumar held on to frustrate the bowlers and eventually took the Cougars home with 7 overs to spare.

Poor batting display coupled with many dropped catches cost us the game. Kudos to the bowlers to take the game this far through some quality bowling. Proper application by the batsmen should win us games more often than not, especially since the bowlers have consistently performed well. It’s high time all the batsmen compliment and support the bowlers to give us better results.

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