Match report by Vinod Venugopal
The skies were overcast with the sun playing hide and seek in an almost constant mild drizzle. As one of the players put it - it was a typical English summer’s day. GC played Heckington in their 4th match of the season, looking for their first win.
Batting first in swinging conditions on a spongy pitch with variable bounce, the GC openers got off to a circumspect start. There were miscued drives, balls hitting the shoulder of the bat and the batsman, plays and misses, edges through slips but Vinod and Sakthivel got GC off to a reasonable start. After a couple of well struck boundaries, Vinod fell for 15 to an excellent catch at point. Sakthivel carried on steadfastedly initially in the company of the stylish Chirag who fell to an awkward bounce off a good length for 23; and then with the industrious Amol who compiled a more than useful 34 before getting run out with the score at 150/3. Sakthivel carries on handling the variable bounce and difficult conditions with great skill and temperament, a knock characterised by careful shot selection, clear calling and acceleration at the key moments in the innings. GC lost Naren, August and Kashif to attempts at accelerating in the closing stages of the innings. Kashif started without a helmet and wore one for the team on his jaw - no injury that some ice couldn’t resolve. With Sakthivel carrying his bat through 40 overs for an excellent 89, GC finished with 216/7, their highest score of the season.
The innings break saw some more drizzle which however settled soon into another steady sprinkle. The conditions favoured the swing bowlers of GC who then produced some aggressive and disciplined bowling. Kashif reacted to the blow to the jaw with a spell of unplayable swing and seam bowling. His uninterrupted 10 over spell produced 5 wickets for 11 runs with 7 maidens. With Puneet (1), Naren (1) and Senthil (2) chipping in, Heckington were bowled out for 97 in 23.3 overs giving GC their first win of the season. It was a complete performance with no dropped catches and a game played in great spirit overall.
Heckington were gracious hosts and a keen and skilled opponent. A complete batting performance led by Sakthivel followed by the destructive swing bowling of man of the match Kashif set up a valuable win to get GC on the points table. Next stop - Lindum.
Match scorecard link
Updated 07:19 - 6 Jun 2019 by Gully Cricketers