First off, the home match against HBS. HBS won the toss and started batting.
In the first over they looked dangerous with 6 runs from the bat, but in the overs after they did not get into the game, obviously due to strong bowling from Pragnay and Jayden, who both gave away only 1 run in the 3rd and 4th over. Pranav picked up the first wicket in the sixth over by bowling an LBW. The second wicket (over 8) also came to his name through a caught & bowled.
With the partnership now formed, we struggled the most but the 13th over brought luck for VCC. Branko’s first ball was expertly stumped by wicketkeeper Tavish. That tasted like more and 2 balls later it was also the end of the story for the new batsmen due to a bowled wicket by Branko. Now he was on steam and in the 15th over he also threw out the 4th batsman with a ball on the stumps! Even in the over after in which Rueben bowled, a wicket fell as early as the batsman’s second ball due to a run-out by Pranav.
Two wickets to go… Pepijn (hailed as “Peppy” by HBS) proved to be a tough opponent and was able to score 13 more runs, including two 4’s. But on the first ball of the 20th over (bowled by Jayden), Rishab got a second chance for an almost identical catch and this time caught beautifully!
Two overs later (21.4), the last wicket was due to a run-out. The counter was stuck at 96 for HBS (59 runs, 37 extras).
The chase began, with Pragnay and Tavish at bat. Both batsmen steadily worked up the score, also by running on wides and no-balls (in the 1st innings, by the way, not a single run was made on a wide ball (good bowling, wicket-keeping (Tavish) and fielding!)). In the 10th over Pragnay unfortunately went out (bowled), but after 24 runs (including three 4’s). Enrique came in and in the 14th over a wide put a score of 98 on the counter and the battle was over. 42 Runs from the bat, the rest (56) by the extras.
VCC’s Playing IX (pun intended): Pragnay, Jayden, Aryan Bodakunta, Pranav Ostwal, Enrique, Rishab, Branko, Rueben and Tavish.
VOC – VCC – a size too big (yet)
Then Sunday to VOC. A slightly different team composition: Rueben was not there this time, but Aadriyan and Zayn were.
The weather forecast was warm and sunny, but on VOC’s field this morning the opposite was the case, mainly due to the strong wind.
There was a change of sides every 5 overs to reduce the effect of the wind. The occasional sprinkler was also turned on at the artificial turf field (!) which added some artificial rain….
How different were the conditions last August when the Netherlands completed a series of ODIs against Pakistan on this same pitch. The play of world’s best (ODI) batsman, Babar Azam, certainly inspired VOC’s team at the time, as there was very strong batting. Most of this team had already completed a full U13 season (in 2022) and were a bit older/larger than our team. This played to their advantage: in the first five overs, 50 runs were already scored from the bat!
Tavish managed to break this in the 6th over and gave up only two runs (thus scoring the best over for VCC). But in overs 8 and 9, a total of seven more 4’s were hit(!) The tenth over brought some relief: VOC’s first (and also best) batsman was retired after 50 runs off 28 balls. Three balls later Jayden managed to throw out their second batsman (bowled) and four balls later Enrique was able to catch a ball in the over from Aadriyan. Rishabh bowled the 4th batsman out in the 14th over and an over later another catch by Pragnay for the 4th wicket.
Then another 7 overs on the rack with a run rate over 10.5, after which their next batter went retired. The (inexperienced) substitute went right on the first ball run-out by Rishabh and on the second last ball (25th over) another wicket could be taken in the same manner.
Final score after these innings: (to the loud cheers of the VOC players) 249/6.
The “chase” could begin. Despite two 4’s by Zayn, the score after 5 overs was: 27 runs. Aryan was also able to hit two 4’s before Zayn was bowled in the 9th over. Pragnay and Aryan were able to build a successful partnership in the following 12 overs: 95 runs, run rate of almost 8 per over and two overs with 15 runs! They then went retired and the batsmen after them unfortunately could not get back into their game, although Jayden did manage to hit another 4’s.
As to be expected after VOC’s 1st innings, it was not enough for the win, but for 155/4 the team had nothing to be ashamed of (witness also the 88 runs HBS made against VOC last week before going all-out in the 18th over).
Next week we meet Quick at VCC. With the experience of this weekend’s two matches, there may be no better preparation!
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