Gaurav XI 168/9 (Anas 47*) beat Kotak Wealth 90 (Manmohan 13)
Inspired by a relatively superlative performance by a couple of players, Gaurav XI rode all the way to the lunch table in style, and in the process, comprehensively beat Kotak Wealth by 78 runs.
In what promised to be a warm and sunny debut match for most of their players, Kotak Wealth suffered the ignominy of one of the most disappointing defeats that a 20 over match could have seen. Muffing up a run-chase on a pitch posing no real worries and much before that, giving away one-too-many extras for a chaseable target, things could certainly have been better.
The toss was, in fact, a good omen for Kotak Wealth as the not-one-of-the-fittest-teams got to choose what they wanted to do and not surprisingly, they chose not to field in the wee hours of the afternoon and instead use the tiring opposition in the hot and humid conditions of the noon to meet whatever target was posed to them. At Modern School Vasant Vihar grounds, a relatively wet, green top in the morning which dried up into a relatively batter-friendly track with the day's passing meant that the decision to field first had all the promise of turning out to be the right one, for more reasons than one.
In retrospect, too, it wasn't as one-sided a contest as the scorecard suggests, at least not in the first half when some good ground fielding by Suveer and company and one particular blinder of a catch by Mukund had the batting team struggling to convert their ones into twos and twos into threes. Even the initial damage done by the 23 run spectra wide over by Nishith and some more off-the-track efforts by Mohit and Shankar seemed to have been redeemed by some fantastic run with the ball from Gaurav Bhalla and to some extent, Saket's first spell.
Wickets were falling at regular intervals and the run rate had come down from a disturbing 12 an over till the 3rd over to a more manageable 7 per over in the 11th. That was when Amas came on to bat and things started changing for Kotak Wealth. With a string of boundaries getting unwound from the 12th over (2 in Saket's and 3 in Mohit's next), matters started looking ominous. Even Gaurav Bhalla, easily the pick of Kotak Wealth's bowlers, could not do much in his return spell, except maintain a tight leash on the run rate with his good line bowling.
Coming into the bowling attack by starting with almost a wicket maiden, Saket came in for quite a hitting when he replaced Bhalla after his 4th and last over. Before Saket could take his revenge in getting the batsman bowled, he had been hit for two sixes and a boundary, and sounds of the lid thudding onto the Kotak Wealth team's coffin could already be heard.
The pair on crease did much to raise Gaurav XI's score from what was looking like a 125 kind-of-a-score by the middle of the innings to well over 150. Amas with his fantastic stroke selection and some really clean hits was, beyond doubt, the best of the batsmen and it was actually a pity that he remained unbeaten on 47 and could not complete his half century. Last 5 overs going for 60 runs was an indicator not just of the supreme ease with which Amas and company could see, hit, time, and place the ball but also spoke a lot about the ease with which the wicket was playing now.
Kotak Wealth team was upbeat even after the beating in the final few overs and though there was that uneasiness over some 30 odd runs that could have been removed from the opposition's score, things did not look that gloomy and as Sunit said, it was all a question of the ball finding the bat and the rest will follow.
What turned out to be not so prophetic was the fact that the ball did only that, find the bat and there was fairly little that the bat could do from there on. With a good line and length maintained by the opening bowlers and the number of extras not really overshadowing everything else, it was left to Kotak Wealth's batsmen to make a match of it. They had to work hard for their runs and except a few good hits by Manmohan Tiwari (who, incidentally, was given the signal to bat after much discussion and dispute) and later by Nishith, Shankar, and Bhalla fighting for a lost cause, there was hardly any application seen by the rest of the batsmen.
Adding to the misery was the absolute lack of match fitness and practice of many players that resulted in a number of unfortunate mix ups on the pitch, getting as many as 3 run out decisions for the fielding side. With a salvageable midway score of 53/5 as against the opposition's 73/3, Kotak Wealth slumped to 90 all out in the 17th over. A bunch of tired and despondent cricketers were back to the pavilion with the promise of more regular practice and game sessions before asking for a re-match. Analysis of the scores and the game may continue for another day or two but whether it actually results in the team getting fitter, leaner, and more competitive, remains a thing to be seen.
Bowling Analysis for Kotak Wealth:
Gaurav Bhalla: 4-0-11-1 (02.75 runs per over)
Saket Khosla : 4-0-34-2 (08.50 runs per over)
Mohit Sharma : 4-0-35-3 (08.75 runs per over)
Suveer Modi : 1-0-10-0 (10.00 runs per over)
Nishith Kumar : 4-0-44-3 (11.00 runs per over)
Shankar Saini : 3-0-34-0 (11.33 runs per over)
Batting Analysis for Kotak Wealth:
Kapil Manchanda : 09 (caught in the deep)
Rahul Sharma : 05 (LBW to yorker length ball)
Suveer Modi : 04 (clean bowled)
Mohit Sharma : 02 (clean bowled)
Manmohan Tiwari: 13 (run out after no reply from Sunit)
Sunit Jain : 07 (runner Saket run out, taking a cheeky one)
Mukund Raichur : 02 (caught in the covers)
Saket Khosla : 03 (went to a brilliant catch in the slips)
Nishith Kumar : 08 (run out after no reply from Bhalla)
Gaurav Bhalla : 02 (caught behind)
Shankar Saini : 10 (not out)
Posted at 09:10 pm by Nitai