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ITCC Loses plot in Chilling Conditions

Tuesday 30 March, 2010

In the much awaited day night season opener, ITCC fought valiantly to lose by 12 runs to IECC at Koga Grounds. In conditions far from ideal for cricket, ITCC chasing 134 to win the allotted 27 overs, collapsed to 121 all-out in 26.1 overs. The story could have been so different had any of the ITCC middle order batsman had offered any kind of support to the ever solid Anil NT (32 of 45), who waged a lone battle.

Earlier winning the toss and electing to bat, IECC got of a good start, thanks to some wayward opening bowling from ITCC. Riju bowled a brilliant opening spell (3-3-0), to rein in the IECC openers, before Bala (5/18 of 5.1) came in to take first of his 5 wickets breaking a threatening opening partnership. IECC never got settled and kept losing wickets on a sluggish pitch. Brilliant Bala, Reliable Pramod (2/14 of 6), Steady Babu (2/28 of 4) ensured a less than par score to chase, or so it seemed, for the much talked about ITCC Batting side. IECC would have folded for a much lesser total, had it not been for a skillful Anuraj (41 of 33), easily the pick of IECC batmen.

Chasing a not so imposing total, albeit on a slow and low pitch offering variable bounce, ITCC lost Anil very early. What followed was a batting master class from probably the best batsmen ITCC has produced. Punishing anything lose, and defending with Skill, both Anil NT and Pramod (23 of 32) batted with rare assurance and skill, to keep the IECC bowlers at bay. The fall of Pramod (58/2), started the now familiar procession of the ITCC batsman. Raman, Rajeev, Raj and Sakthi all fell to injudicious stroke making when the need for the hour demanded workman like batting. Anil NT and Bala (16 of 16) tried hard but mounting run rate, and some ramrod straight bowling from IECC ensured the fate of ITCC. IECC have Dinesh (3/10 in 5) to thank for the fate of this match as he single handedly ran through the ITCC middle order.

Although the match was lost, the season looks promising and hope filled with the emergence of Babu and Riju in bowling, Gijo showing glimpses of what he is capable off, the first 5 wicket haul for ITCC by Bala, the rock solid Anil NT, and the all-round performance of Pramod. Hopefully a few more of us can put in performances of Note and ITCC would be served much better. All in all a nice work out which could have been more enjoyable, but then, we cannot control the weather.

Rajeev Nair