Priory’s world class bowing attack has such a fearsome reputation Kerela CC decided it would be easier to just give us the ten points on Saturday. Luckily Elite CC were brave enough to play us in a friendly game. By the end of play that day we respected them not only as a Cricket team but also for their dedication to fair play.
We turned up early, we were prepared and we got to the pitch. No slacking even for a friendly. We were out there practicing while the opposition arrived and watched us, maybe that was the difference. I guess its all about dedication and preparation.
A big thank you to the Legend who came out to join us, JP. A man whose played more cricket than most of us put together, thanks for helping out JP
The opposition decided to bat which was fine by us. We put them in and worked to put them the under pressure. Forget bradjelina, we had the KuniHama ( pronounced Kuni-Hammer!!). They batted well and thought they had some near miss’s it looked like they were going to build a strong partnership. Then BOOM, run out, Sandeep. That was the break we needed.
Wickets started to fall and priory were having a great time. Hitesh and David followed the KuniHama and as we all know, what a difference a dave makes. Something incredible happened, something so rare I never thought I’d see it. Elite did a good job of distinguishing themselves on the pitch but their other two men out there did a fine job too. They gave an honest review of the LBW rule. Yes exactly!! The next three batsmen were out for 4,9 and 6. The scorecard reads Lb D Persaud, Lb H Patel, Lb G Munendran. Eventually Hama decided enough is enough and clean bowled the next batsman on 14, he was their second highest runscorer.
While we were doing a good job tearing through their batting lineup and only allowing two batsmen to even reach double figures there were reports the Kerela CC captain was spotted at the edge of the pitch. He was not available for comment and hasn't confirmed or denied the rumour he messaged his team ‘good decision today lads’
Elite still felt confident and its because with chaos around him Ranjan their opener was having a good day. We tried and tried to get him out and he just stayed. Boundary followed by boundary, a great performance and he eventually got his 50. Then step up Dave with a beauty and Abhishek who took the most casual catch of the day.
The next catch was also somewhat impressive. The batsman launched the ball toward midwicket, he must have been expecting a six. What no one one was expecting was for the ball to be plucked out of the air, some say the doctor grew a foot taller simply to take it. More importantly it was great bowing by Nitin who with his two overs took two wickets the other skilfully stumped by Sandeep. We didn't know Nitins best performance of the day was yet to come.
We reached the 35 overs allocated and they had amassed 137 runs. Hama, Dave and Nitin got 2 wickets apiece, Ganesh and Hitesh got one each. Dave had an economy of 2 for his 7 overs and Hitesh 2.6!!
It came time for team, and it was a good tea. Sandwiches crisps, cake, tea, coffee. They did a good job. However Prior could see how other teams do thing, the other match going on had also broken for tea. They had mixed grills, wings, beer, whiskey rum etc etc.
Then it was the batsmen's turn to step out. They stepped out, stepped up and played brilliantly. Sandeep and Ganesh were in and they gave us a strong base. The ball was going all over the place. Ranjan their opening batsman was also a good pace bowler, Elite had an interesting approach to their second bowler. Slow, steady, line and length, oh did I mention slow? Elite knew they needed wickets and tried to temp Priory into throwing theirs away. Priory didn't fall for that kept on going. It looked as though the rest of the batsman could have taken a nap or gone home. Then LBW. The ball appeared to turn in and unfortunately out captain was out. Elite were cheering but they didn't understand, Nitin was walking onto the pitch, this wasn't the time for them to cheer.
He formed a good partnership with Ganesh. they kept the score ticking over and didn't let Elite settle into a rhythm. Ganesh was unfortunately caught on 20. It was off the Bowling of Rahul, Elites secret weapon a 15 year old spinner who had taken 7 for 2 in his last game. He’s probably going to be the next Shane Warne
This brought VJ onto the pitch. He looked like he was there for boundaries but Rahul’s confidence was high and he temped VJ and an inside edge took it onto the stumps. We were Still in a strong position but our run rate was slowing down, enter Hitesh. Three quick fours pushed up the total, unfortunately Rahul was still bowling and Hitesh caught on 14. Maybe priory need to poach the player for our youth team?
The Doc and Nitin worked to keep the run rate ticking over. We were still long way from the victory score of 137 and we were running out of overs. A few fours but good good running got us close. Then the doc was caught off Kirans Bowling. Nitin stayed and batted well. Abhi was with him. He brought up his 50 in style and looked like he’d hit the winning runs. But Elite had fight were not going to just give up. Nitin was caught on 55 and Abhi fell to Rahul. Dave and Hama were out there. We needed four runs, had three wickets and two overs remained. Hama casual as you like hit a 4 along the ground and ended the game.
Nitin Chhibbar Man of the match.
This is a game that will be remembered for all the right reasons, good opposition, good competitive game, good team, sportsmanship and victory!!