Batting first, BCC got off to a good start scoring runs at a very healthy rate and not losing any wickets. Although both our strike bowlers Rohit and Waqas bowled tight spells, the batsmen were aided by some loose fielding and good batting.
Kumar came in as the first change and Husnain, after some sharp observations, changed his position – an intelligent move which got us our first breakthrough. The first of many catches was taken by Husnain. Kumar took the first four wickets, with further catches being taken by Waqas – a sensational one at short covers, going down on his knees and holding on to the ball which was firmly struck by Ashwin off a low full toss. Naren took a catch at short third man moving a couple of steps judging well. Husnain brought himself on to the attack and contained the scoring as wickets fell at regular intervals. In the beginning it did look like as though BCC were gearing up to post an imposing total but catches and some good bowling with regular wickets did the trick for us. Another beautiful catch was taken by Ovi standing at short midwicket, diving forwards.
Kumar rounded up the BCC innings taking his maiden five-wicket haul (another catch taken by Waqas) at 136 and we were chasing a relatively easy target of 137. Rohit chipped in with a couple of wickets and Imran as well. One run out was also effected.
The beginning of our chase did look for a short while very promising with both our openers middling the ball. Dixit got out caught behind – another great catch by their wicket keeper. Naren got run out and Amit was bowled. Matin hit some clean strokes before getting out as well. Waqas and Husnain consolidated the innings for some time before Waqas got out as well to another sharp catch at midwicket. Kumar walked in next and was soon to be joined by Rohit in the middle since Husnain got out caught at slips after scoring a very useful contribution. Although wickets were falling, runs were coming as well as we inched to our target at a healthy pace. Rohit and Kumar stabilised the innings but the loss of Kumar’s wicket exposed our tail. Imran went in next but got out after looking very promising. With just 2 wickets left BCC started sensing a victory but Ovi gave Rohit a very sound support and Rohit by that time had set his eyes in and was playing a very responsible innings carrying the score forward. With still 13 required Ovi got out and I walked in as the entire team held its breath. Rohit took 3 runs off that over giving me the last ball to face which I was able to fend off although there was huge appeal.
Ashwin captaining BCC posted 3 fielders – deep square leg, deep midwicket, long on – and gambled with a part time (I guess) spin bowler inviting Rohit to hit the ball in the air. Rohit hit the first ball for a four over deep square leg – although Jordi dived to stop the ball. The next ball was a again a lofted hit over deep square leg with the ball sailing over the boundary for a six!
A grand way to finish a tense game being played in the right spirit. A game which swung both ways but fortunately for us, we were able to hold on to it enabled by a beautiful batting exhibition by Rohit bring us our first win of this season.
The positives of this game were the catches, Kumar’s 5, Ovi’s bowling and his catch not to forget his role with the bat, good all round performance by Waqas and last but not least the fact that this game was won by a team which had to miss their regular league 1 players due to injuries and other commitments. All-in-all a great effort and excellent teamwork. As Husnain said after the match, “… build on this momentum and win further matches”!
Having said that, we must keep working hard, especially on our ground fielding and keep practicing catches, I am really happy to have been able to be part of the team yesterday
Match report by Tipu Chakraborthy.