Britannia II registered their first win of the season last Saturday with a comprehensive 137 run win against BCC II. Despite the margin of victory, this was a closer-run thing than the scorecard suggests.
Electing to bat first on an overcast day, we once again got off to a slow start and lost the two openers cheaply. Aside from a few lusty blows by Maddy, the top and most of the middle order came and went to some good bowling and injudicious shots. The fall of the fifth wicket brought Utsab to the crease, and following some initial difficulties he was soon rotating the strike nicely and hitting the boundary at will.
Of course, he needed a good partner, and found it in debutant Jayanth coming in at 10. Astonishingly, they put on a magnificent 108 for the ninth wicket. Certainly a record stand for this wicket in Britannia colours and possibly getting there for any wicket. After falling for a superb 80 off 79 balls, Rajan then came in and had a fun cameo, hitting the ball around at will and just failing to get Jayanth to his 50. From 88 for 8, Britannia had managed the fantastic score of 236 all out.
Utsab then proceeded to show just what absolutely no sleep and no breakfast can do by picking up the first three wickets, including dangerman Ashwin (whose attempt to get some batting practice lasted just three balls). With the only resistance coming from Charlie Bluett, Andy Lehmann and Volker Ellerbeck (the last of which rode their luck to put on a fifty partnership), wickets fell steadily and BCC reached 99 all out to the pumping beats of the Holi festifal next door.
With Utsab crowned the most obvious man of the match in Britannia history, it was only left to celebrate the first win of the season and reflect on one of the strangest matches of the season.