Tigers tamed as Kytes flew high on the Shizouka skies
Wednesday 14 April, 2010
ITCC: 146 All out in 36.2 overs (Uday 23, Shakti, 21, Shannon 2/14, Mewan 2/15, Neil 2/13)
Shizuoka Kytes: 147/5 in 27 overs (Udita 50, Chamberlain 34, Neil 23, Pramod 1/27, Anil Nair 2/7, Gijo 1/17)
An unusually (for the season) bright and sunny day witnessed the clash of Tigers and Kytes at Shizouka. Top order batting failure together with sloppy bowling from ITCC helped smooth sailing of the Kytes in the KCL opener
Rajeev, the ITCC captain won the toss and selected to bat. A score of 180+ looked like a very competitive score.
For ITCC, Ram made his opening debut for the season along with Anil. The opening bowlers extracted considerable pace and swing in the initial overs and the ITCC openers played with caution. ITCC reached 24 for no loss at the end of their 7 overs. Soon when, Anil lost his leg wicket bails trying to flick a ball that was pitched on/outside the leg stump, ITCC did not quite realize that they are in for another top order collapse. The classy Ram attempting to drive a ball got deceived by the pace of the ball and gave a simple catch to long off. Next to follow was Pramod, the ITCC Colossus, who copycatted Ram with a similar soft dismissal. Rajeev, the captain and Uday the veteran were at crease and had a daunting task to rebuild the innings after the top order collapse. But, ti wasn't long before Rajeev attempted a half hearted loft shot on a half volley and holed up at the inner circle. Mithun joined Uday at the center and this looked like a last chance for any sort of recovery. But the hopes were soon to end as Mithun got run out and now from 24/0 suddenly ITCC was left at 35/5 with all top order batsmen back in the pavilion. From an initial expectation of 180+, ITCC innings gazed at a 75+ score. Rajeev quickly went in as the leg umpire and this he had a new mantra to save the match – “Play the Time”. Akash was sent in ahead of Shakti to ease the tension. The Uday-Akash duo added little runs but held on to their nerves till around the 19th over when Akash got out after making 10 runs (6/69). Then came the innings renaissance partnership of 49 runs between the two veterans of ITCC - Shakti and Uday. Shakti spearheaded the partnership and produced couple of classy shots and Uday was happy playing the support role together taking the score above 100. At the end of around 30 overs, the score was 118/6 and it again seemed that ITCC would reach somewhere around 170+ score. However, soon Mewan trapped Shakti for a LBW and broke the vital partnership. Uday had stood like a rock through out determined to take the ITCC to the next level Finally, Uday got out after making 23 off 68 balls after enacting a credible anchor role in the middle order and signaling the closure of ITCC innings. Abraham showed some touch with the bat with an unbeaten 9 runs but the Kytes sent back the tail enders soon and restricted the tigers to 146 in 36 overs.
The Kytes started the run chase confidently and showed clear indication to dominate ITCC bowlers. Both the ITCC opening bowlers Gijo and Rams did produce a couple of good balls each over, but they also gave away extras and short balls. Mewan capitalized on the short balls and had no trouble to dispatch them to fence where as Chamberlain gave good support. Rajeev dropped a dolly off Mewan in the bowling of Ram and it could have proved costly. However, the first breakthrough came when Gijo produced an extraordinary ball to beat the defence of Mewan and displace the stumps (20/1). This was the breakthrough that the Tigers were looking for. How ever, what worried Rajeev, the ITCC captain was probably the leakage of runs from both ends. Gijo (17 runs in two overs) was replaced and Pramod came in to bowl the sixth over. After Mewan came in Udita who went on to play the innings (50) that turned the game to the the favour of Kytes. Udita with some good hitting capabilities on the leg side was benefited with sloppy bowling from ITCC bowlers. Pramod`s first over costed more than 10 runs followed by 12 runs off Mithun. With a runrate of more than 6, Kytes reached 50. Now Rajeev brought in himself but the story was not different as he too strayed on the legside. Udita treated himself well with couple of good lofted sixes and well executed boundaries almost all on the onside. Almost every over witnessed a bowling change as the captain seemed not to know whom to entrust and now Parthi was brought in. His first over did produce some good balls but he could not maintain his line in the second over and ended up very expensive. Chamberlain hurt himself trying to play a drive off Parthi and got retired hurt. Though they lost Chamberlain, Udita and Lalith batted well till Lalith was run out when the score was 99 (99/2). Neil, the captain came in and in the first few balls he faced, he produced some excellent shots on the off side and his placements through the gap were a delight to watch. Rajeev had no option but to bring back Pramod and introduced the new bowler Akash. Pramod started tightening the line and picked up the wicket of Neil. It was a good wicket to take but now the Kytes just needed around 20 runs with 7 wickets in hand. Rajeev again changed the bowling and introduced Anil to replace Akash. To the surprise of every one, Anil bowled a maiden to the well set Udita. In his second over, he bowled out Udita followed by the wicket of Rathgen in his third over(7/2 in 2.5 overs). Though the 6 over spell from the duo (Anil and Pramod) put Kytes under some pressure, really it was too late to make any significant change to the course of the match. Kytes found the target in the 26th over.
The day also witnessed the last day of the season for Anil. The team wished him good luck and he said he would look forward to hear success stories of ITCC in the 2010 season and henceforth..
Match Report prepared by