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Kaushal century brings Zami victory over Ajax – 1 June 2024

A century by Kaushal led the Zami to victory over Ajax, marking the second 100+ innings in a row. Fresh from Harry’s hundred in last week’s game against Kampong, we were well up for a repeat against an Ajax side that has yet to see a victory this season. The match began amid miserable cloudy weather that had us wondering if it was March rather than June, but fielding first did allow us to warm up a bit.

Ajax started well, and it wasn’t until the end of the fifth over that the first blood was drawn. It then took another six overs to get their next man out, after which Ajax settled down with a determination to stay in. They ratcheted up their score at a workmanlike run rate of eight an over before their next man was run out just after the water break.

It’s the Chuckle Brothers

Not that our fielding helped, with plenty of comedy moments, dropped catches, and several fours occurring due to missing the ball completely – though we could be forgiven for a wet and slippy pitch, particularly on the boundary. Sanity was briefly restored in the 24th over when a ball from Jatin, our secret weapon again bamboozling the batsman with a slow ball, went straight to Wouter’s hands.

Fortunately for the watching fans, comedy then briefly returned when a run-out almost didn’t happen due to some fumbling at the wicket. And then in the final over, Ajax’s opening batsman was run out on the penultimate ball while on 94, showing his clear irritation as he came within one ball of surviving an entire 210-ball innings, having just missed his century. Their last man managed a run before the show was over on a respectable 193-6 for our visitors.

Passing the crown

After an excellent lunch provided by Jatin, we trotted out, aware that we would have to do better at batting than we did at fielding. Having put in a 35-over shift as our wicket keeper, Kaushal was not done with going the extra mile. He opened the batting with Harry, with high hopes of seeing a repeat of the century scored last week. But it was not to come from King Harold, who was bowled on six runs, and was instead to later abdicate the throne to his opening partner.

Dave came in, managing 19 before being caught, ushering in Wouter, who was bowled. Captain Mohammad came in before he was also caught, bringing in Chris, whose partnership with Harry last week was a candidate for a Zami record.

And so the runs flowed. Kaushal’s steady batting, with a flurry of 14 fours and three sixes, consistently frustrated Ajax’s bowlers. There was a nervous moment when on 96, the call went out to not tell him he was so close to the century, and then jinx it. But we needn’t have worried, and he sailed over the line after an hour and a half at the crease, until Ajax finally caught him on 106 in the 28th over.

💯by Kaushal Marthi, right after hitting a huge six

Enter the dragon

Prem came in and scored a beautiful six before being bowled. With a run chase of only 23 needed with seven overs left, it was safe to let John bat. Chris hit two fours and John managed two singles, though the eventual match winner turned out to be an extra.

As the scoreboard edged closer to the 194 needed, four wides were bowled, the last of which tipped the balance. John celebrated his first ever ‘not out’ in seven seasons at VCC, as his innings usually end in tears, while Chris was also not out on a respectable 20. Nick, Jatin and Stefan did not bat.

And so, we have two consecutive centuries, one away and one at home. Will we get the hat-trick next week at home to Rood en Wit? With remarkable performances like this, we have everything to play for!

Nationaal kampioen T20 2024


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