““To stay in, you’ve got to not get out.””
Match report by Dan Valluvassery.
GC made the much-awaited debut in the mid-week league. Due to some players struggling to recover from last Sunday game, a few last minutes changes had to be done. Our opposition, last year’s cup holders, Sturton CC, were a young confident team but with only 8 players. It was a cloudy evening and was becoming darker so both captains agreed to play a 12 over match with 8 balls in each over. As usual our captain lost the toss but this time the opposition captain asked us to bowl.
Tarun started the first over and was bang on target. The very first ball was driven in the air by Scott Wosely and the catch was taken by Bobby, stationed at cover point. Pravin started from where he left off on Sunday, bowling 2 overs for 4 runs (only one of which was off the bat) and 1 wicket. He was unplayable. Chevvel had a good game behind the stumps. Naren also bowled three tidy overs to keep the Sturton batsmen in check.
The pick of the bowlers was August. Like last year, August again showed his wicket taking skills. Sturton’s fourth wicket partnership was going strongly and bulk of their runs was scored by this pair. Anything on the leg side was severely punished by Dan Burton. August in his second over was peppering the off stump and with a wonderful ball took the wicket of S Bembridge. He had scored 34 runs with couple of boundaries and a big six. August kept on the pressure and was on a hat-trick in his last over. He tried so hard for the hat-trick that he twisted his ankle and needed Puneet to complete the over for him.
Sturton had some really good batsmen but the combination of bowlers bowling to their field, good field placements by the captain, great intensity and excellent fielding helped GC restrict the opposition to 108. Shashi made some good saves near the fine leg boundary and Anil was busy protecting the deep square leg. Naren has cemented his position at deep midwicket, adding another catch to the list of best catches of the season. This time he had to run in a couple of metres to pluck it at knee level. Bobby and Pravin cut off a couple of boundaries on the off side to restrict the batsmen to threes and twos. Interestingly Sturton ran four 3’s in their short innings. Dan Burton was unbeaten on 38.
GC opened their inning with a new pair of Linu and Shashi. It is always interesting to watch someone who is in a hurry to finish the game and start his night on call. Shashi started the game with a bang making a quick fire 11 with couple of hits to the boundary and was out in the second over without wasting any balls. Naren started batting as if he wasn’t happy with Shashi for stealing his role as the angry young batsmen. GC was 52/1 at the end of fourth over. Naren scored a quick-fire 23 runs and was out at a decisive time of the innings.
Pravin joined Linu in the middle. All this while, Linu was playing a nonchalant innings dropping anchor really well. He was rotating the strike along with occasional exquisite shots to the boundary. Pravin, as always, upped the ante with a couple of hits to the boundary and even forcing Linu to run a 3. It was a treat to watch Pravin’s lofted one bounce four to long leg. Linu played some pretty cricketing text book shots. As GC was approaching the target, Linu was unfortunately dismissed trying to finish the innings with a big hit. He scored 28 runs, a vital knock from him in his first appearance this season. GC expects more knocks like this from Linu. With 5 runs to win, I walked to the middle and was specifically advised to remain calm and take singles by the calmest person in the team (Naren). Pravin was kind enough to let me hit the winning runs. Pravin remained unbeaten on 20 runs.
This was a well-deserved victory for all the discipline that GC showed. The opposition captain had a very high opinion about our fielding and some of the shots we played. From GC’s perspective we were happy to invite Sturton who played the game in the right spirit. Energetic talented team but bumped into GC on the wrong day. We were also supported by Sakthi, Senthil, Hemant and Prasad. Many thanks for your support and to “superman” Anil who did all the scoring while we were batting. As players, we love the guest appearances and hope to have more. Hope GC has turned the page after the early losses and looking forward for interesting games ahead.
Updated 21:59 - 9 May 2019 by Gully Cricketers