Another belter of a day weather wise and a very well balanced PPCC team on paper. Lankians as expected turned up late and our start time was delayed by 30 minutes, we lost the toss and were asked to bowl once again.
Sandeep was running late and we were very lucky to have Biren there who turned up to support the team as he pulled out earlier due to an injury. Biren fielded for 20 overs and even with his injury he was throwing himself around the field which I was very grateful for as fielding with 10 men is hard work, especially against a team like Lankians so a big thank you to Biren for turning up.
Kunal B and Junior opened the bowling and they did not disappoint. Kunal B picked up a wicket and could have had a couple more but the batsman got away with edges which flew to third man. Junior as per normal was very economical and finished with 7 overs for only 13 runs which really put the pressure on their batting and forced them later on to ‘try’ and play big shots. Kunal Vasa came on to bowl his 8 overs on the trot for only 20 runs and frustrated the batsman as his line and length was unplayable. He bowled to his offside field and forced the batsman to take him on and he picked up 2 key wickets. The Lankians looked to slog their way out of trouble and unfortunately they targeted Sabs who bowl short but was punished.
It was time for the spin kings MP3 and Tushar to try and take some wickets and they bowled perfectly. MP3 didn't give the batsman any loose deliveries and mixed it up to take his first 5 wicket hall of the season! He went for only 21 runs and the opposition were glad to see the back of him after he bowled his 8 overs. Tushar also picked up a wicket from his 4 overs and I’m sure going forward we will bring him into the attack earlier as he also bowled a very good line and length. Their last wicket stand proved costly but Sandeep did well to wrap up their innings and break a threatening partnership. The fielding overall was perfect apart from the dropped catches but that’s something that we can work on as the ground fielding commitment was 100%.
We were chasing 140 which we found odd as were sure they didn’t score that many towards the end and a later calculation by Junior proved they did not total the extras correctly However 140 we felt was a very chasuble target if we batted sensibly and applied ourselves.
Rahul and Anish opened the batting and saw off a few overs but found it hard to get the scoreboard ticking. Anish opening for the first time did very well to fend off one of their best bowlers. His defense was very good and I’m sure with more time at the crease he will be competing with his dad for the openers slot. Next in was Hambo and with the run rate creeping up he was forced to play a big shot which didn’t come out of the middle and was caught at long off. Next in was Sabs who with Rahul did well to keep their best bowler at bay but struggled to rotate the strike and take many singles. Rahul was caught trying to play a big shot and next in was Sandeep. Sandeep and Sabs ran very well between the wickets boosting the run rate for a few overs. They looked comfortable until Sandeep played a pull shot which was caught out. I was in next and tried to keep the scoreboard ticking with sabs but while the singles were there we struggled to find the boundary. Sabs played across one and was out LBW but played a very good innings and ran very well between the wickets. Next in was Tushar and with the run rate up to around 6 an over he was looking for the boundary but the bowler took a very good caught and bowled. Kunal Vasa was next in and he can hit a long ball but the pressure of trying to score a run a ball got to him and his calling led to us both at the same end. Junior was next in and with us needing a big over he was forced to play a big shot which didn’t come off. Kunal B came in and was able to rotate the strike and find the boundary once but I was then undone in the same way Junior was (big swing and a miss). MP3 wasn’t too happy about having to bat as he rightly had done his job and expected the batsmen to win the game but he and Kunal B gave it a shot and ran well but with fielders on the boundary it was difficult.
When we went out to bat the last thing we expected was to run out of overs but we should have realised the boundaries are big and if we don’t keep up with the rate early on then we will suffer later on. Boundaries were hard to come by and we need to work on our backing up when at the non-strikers end and converting 1s into 2s. If we had taken the singles on offer early on and played a few more sensible shots we would have won the game.
Overall the bowling and fielding was great but the batting just didn’t fire and we were all very gutted to loose but it was a good enjoyable game and I’m sure we will beat them when play them at home if we just get the batting right and have a power hitter like H or Gaurav to come in down the order and smash us to victory.