Tigers bully the Engineers once again
Wednesday 23 September, 2009
In yet another display of grit, determination, confidence and newly found maturity, ITCC extended it winning run by beating the Engineers comfortably at the Edogawa cricket ground on last Sunday.
Stand in Captain, Rajeev, won the toss and had no hesitation to bat first on a bright and sunny, but windy morning at Edogawa. A well pitched out swinger from Ragesh found the thin edge of the Captain's bat in the 4th delivery of the innings to set ITCC on the backfoot straightaway (5/1). In walked Pramod batting with rare assurance and skill and the kind of form and luck all the class players seem to possess. After surviving a torrid and immensely lucky half an hour when Ragesh found the edge of both batsmen, Kanji produced a couple of stunning hits, a boundary over midwicket and a straight loft for six to signal a period of ITCC dominance. In a wonderful display of run grafting a 77 run second wicket partnership followed, firmly putting ITCC in the drivers seat. A tiring Kanji lost his off stick trying to guide one to third man for a well made 32 of 46(82/2 in 18.4). Pramod continued, to guide the innings forging crucial partnerships with the aggressive Sakthi San (10 of 13), the classy Ram (16 of 14), and the accumulating Ramdas (10 of 12). A late onslaught from Manjunath including a straight six (17 of 11) ensured ITCC end up with a challenging 180/7. Pramod once again the backbone of the ITCC innings was the last one to get out with a classy but chancy innings of 70 of 103. IECC in a disciplined bowling performance did well giving away only 24 extras and restricting the ITCC innings which at one stage looked to be crossing 200.
Buoyed by a matured batting performance and a relatively stiff target set, ITCC entered the field with a spring in their steps. Bobby the IECC vice Captain playing in one of his last matches for the club, he helped found, started the innings from the non strikers end. IECC confidently started their chase on the back of a wayward opening spell by ITCC. Soon Akash found his rhythm, to take out 2 wickets in an over including the dangerous Vezley for a 2nd ball duck (19/2 in 5). One of IECCs best Dinesh arrived at the crease and soon showed his intentions with a crisp drive of Akash which sailed over long off for a brutal six. Akash response was to send in a pacy in cutter with a 'Farewell Bobby Message' which rearranged the furniture behind the clueless Bobby (32/3 in 7). Kanji then induced a thick edge of Dinesh's bat which was held on by the keeper, only to see a motionless umpire. What followed was probably the most fascinating stories of this new version of ITCC, unlike their earlier demeanors, when an instance like that would make their shoulders drop, here was the brand new version of ITCC, a quick shake of a head, a little nod, and back to business. Kanji plucked out another one soon after, to leave ITCC tottering at 61/5 after 17. IECC fell back to the reservoir of experience in the form of Captain Sanjeeb and the attacking Dinesh to rebuild the innings. Captain Rajeev, then produced one his now trademark diving catches to latch onto a mishit from Sanjeeb (87/6). What followed was an eventful over from the brilliant Manjunath, but to his horror saw both the catches being dropped by probably the safest hands in the team. First Captain Rajeev running in from long on failed to judge a skier from Dinesh and the tormentor of ITCC in the KCL game, Raju was dropped by the Keeper on a genuine edge. Dinesh continued on his merry way, and was dropped again off Rajeev, this time by Pramod. Finally Dinesh's luck ranout when he edged an accurate Pramod to be held by the keeper on the second attempt (103/7). Knowing the match was in the bag; ITCC relaxed and gave away a few sloppy runs to the annoyance of the Captain. A few little words of wisdom and the intensity returned as IECC folded up for 142, Akash finishing with 4/28 in 6.
In the end it turned out to be a very comfortable win by 38 runs, setup brilliantly by a matured 2nd wicket partnership between Pramod and Anil and a steady penetrating bowling performance from all the bowlers, standout being Akash and Manjunath. The fielders were intense for most of the match even though the catching could definitely be improved upon.