It was the perfect set-up on Sunday morning for the KNCB youth semi-final at home for VCC against Kampong which seemed abruptly shortened due to the dismal show by VCC U15. VCC skipper, Cedric won the toss and elected to bat first. Cedric and Shirsak took the guard to open the innings. They started very cautiously, and Kampong conceded few extras in the first over. In the 2nd over, the ball penetrated Cedric’s defense and hit the stumps. Tom joined Shirsak, but in the next over Shirsak was caught at mid-off while mis-timed the full toss. Score became 11/2 in 3 overs – both the openers were dismissed. Farhaan came in to partner with Tom – and their 26 runs partnership broken while VCC lost the 3rd wicket. One after another VCC batters were shown the path of pavilion by some good bowling and fielding by Kampong. Batting line-up was completely collapsed without much resistance except few boundaries and running by Carlijn and Danial at tail end. Finally, VCC set the target of 81 for Kampong (where about half of the run from extras!) and there was silence among the supporters of VCC all around the ground.
It was never easy to defend such a paltry total in 30 overs match where the opponent with some big boys and was already started smelling the victory even before they padded up. However, there was still an element of hope due to the intrinsic nature of uncertainty this great sport offers and also due to the talent of VCC team. But it’s not just talent; ultimately performance matters at the end. While VCC required extremely disciplined bowling, some unplayable deliveries, outstanding fielding to fight-back; Kampong did not leave any space to make that happen. Steadily and surely, they snatched the victory from VCC with 19 overs to spare where only consolation wicket taken by Shirsak with the support from Tom who didn’t allow to slip the ball out of his hands. In short, better team wins by outplaying their opponent in each aspect of the game.
Unfortunately, the worst performance was stored for the most important match for VCC, but possibly it provides them the best opportunity to learn and to introspect. In sports, there are Winning and Learning – no loss or defeat. Hope our boys and girl will take away this lesson and prepare themselves as a stronger team in the next season. Thanks to all the parents who were present in the ground to cheer the young talents and special mention to Francis/Shibi for bar duty, Marc for lunch, Richard for scoring and Tim for coaching. Also each and every parent for the support, collaboration to make the whole season very successful where our children has got plenty of cricket and everyone’s sincerity towards adherence with corona protocol are highly appreciated. Looking forward to winter training and indoor autumn tournament! Till then remain safe, healthy and enjoy extended sun in September!