The day was set again for another exciting encounter when Gully Cricketers hosted Hartsholme CC on Wednesday 15th May. For GC, it was a confident team coming from a very convincing win in the last mid-week game. Captain Naren was eager for the toss only to be pleasantly surprised that there is no concept of a toss in mid-week games. You must just mutually agree who wants to bat first in true gully style! As the hosts, we were expected to allow our visitors to choose, and Hartsholme chose to bat first. Naren surprised everyone by handing the ball to Anil. It proved to be a great decision when Anil bowled a very tight two (eight ball) overs conceding only 12 runs. Puneet started from the other end and complemented Anil very well by finishing his two with identical figures . Tarun again bowled a brilliant spell, conceding only 19 runs of his three overs and taking one wicket. Pravin looked out of shape and conceded 17 off his two. Nags and Naren stole the show with some accurate and unplayable bowling. Nagaraj took three wickets while Naren took two. Senthil also joined the party by taking two wickets in one long over. The highlight of the innings was some Dhoni style wicket keeping by Chevvel. He managed three dismissals with one catch and two brilliant stumpings. No zinger bails needed here. In the end, Hartsholme got 109 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. Opener E. Bosworth played a pivotal innings scoring 41 with 5 boundaries. The next highest score was 18 – all other batsmen departing very cheaply. Although a few catches were dropped through the innings, the fielders redeemed themselves by holding onto a few. Slip fielder Linu made Chirag proud with a reflex catch. Considering the performance in the previous match, the target set for GC was looking very comfortable. Linu and Amol opened the innings. Linu dragged the ball on his stumps and was back to pavilion immediately after opening his account. Young Tarun walked in next and gave good company to Amol. He scored 10 runs with one boundary before getting dismissed. Pravin, Naren, Anil and Manish didn’t bother the scorers too much. Manish did manage to get off the mark and didn’t shy away from waving his bat to pavilion to mark the success. By this time, the score was 38/6. A win was looking very remote, almost unachievable. Chevvel walked in and started showing his magic with batting as well. He provided some much needed support for Amol, not only steadying the innings but scoring at a very good run rate to give confidence to everyone that we could still pull off an unlikely win. Chevvel scored 13 runs with two boundaries. Amol’s batting was the highlight of the match. Although he kept losing his partners regularly, he kept scoring with some brilliant display of cricketing shots. He scored 38 runs with 6 boundaries. Nagaraj managed to score 1 run, while last man Senthil was again the victim of a dodgy LBW decision, this time by GC’s own specialist umpire, Sakthi. Hope Senthil and Sakthi settle the score outside the ground. Puneet remained not out In the end, GC managed to score 85 runs falling short by 24 runs. The positives to take away from this game was the fact that different individuals stepped up to the occasion. With each player working hard to improve his game, it will be fair to say that we are finally discovering the recipe for success : no matter what the circumstances are, each member steps up and strive hard to take the team over the line. As always, we had brilliant support off the field with our skipper Chirag taking the scoring from Sri and managing the show for the 2nd innings. Sakthi again helped with umpiring. Quite a few guys managed to take some time out and came to support the team. Hope we have the last laugh next time (although we keep laughing no matter what the circumstance are).