13th august 2017
Sunday 13th of august was matchday. The coming match would decide if we will play for promotion or not. So 11 o’clock we were down at the Sparta complex, which by the way looks terrific, where we had a net sessions before the game… in under tropical conditions in a humid climate as the nets are in a hall and not isolated.
After an one and a half hour sweating we were all pumped up and ready to rumble, while Sparta people were starting to arrive. While they were discussing who from the second field should bat again on the first field, we had a good discussion about bowling or batting first. So Abbas won the toss…
…and decided to field first. A decision we wouldn’t regret.
The bowlers were fired up and bowled tight lines. At 35 the first wicket fell, and as we continued to cramp them for room the wickets kept coming regularly.
Little doubt grew when their number 4 batsman started hitting boundaries through point and cover. Later he even began hitting straight forward. Very annoying… so Faisel trapped him leg before.
The good bowling work was supported by great fieldwork, exemplary was the catch that Marek ‘Arnie’ Molenbuur took; a skyer over his head, he turned around and took the screamer. Later followed by Nick who fielded brilliantly at covers and send the batsman on his way with a direct hit sitting on his knees. Finally the last man was timed out (that was a first timer for me 🙂 ). He never showed up at all.
We sticked well to our plan and Sparta never escaped the pressure. Sono Zaidi was especially economic with his 3 for 9 in 8! Dinusha with 1 for 20 in 9. The rest of the bowlers shared the wickets. So a good bowling & fielding session ended, with Sparta 117 a.o. A score within reach, we couldn’t have done much better.
After lunch VCC 2 began their chase, the early wicket of Harold gave Sparta a shimmer of hope, but Abbas and Aryan batted sensible. After surviving a gritty first 10 overs their partnership evolved into a batting masterclass. Elegant strokes through gully, fluent on- and off drives, varied with the occasional hit over long on by Abbas (61) and hooks by Aryan (33 no). Well commentated by the boys from Sparta 1, who were celebrating their championship with beer and a microphone. Even the Geoffrey Boycott impersonator had to admit (at 100 decibel) that their seconds were being outplayed. 118 after 20 overs, so hundred from the second 10 overs… The partnership of 105 was rock solid, beginning with a run rate of 2.5 in the first 10 overs and ending with a run rate of 10, which showed that building partnerships pays of big time.
And so the VCC legends won their must-win game against their direct opponent, although Sparta didn’t seem to care too much about that. The last two matches are against HBS and Concordia. We still have to settle a thing after the loss against Concordia. I’m sure we will do that if we play with today’s determination.
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