Match: VCC 3 vs Centurions 2
Venue: Zeist (Centurions Home ground)
Date: 4th July 2021 (Sunday)
Author: Rohit Khanna
Prelude: Half cricketing season of 2020 with good results fuelled the ambitions of the VCC 3 team players to upgrade their skills and come stronger for the year 2021. It started with winter (indoor nets 2020), through the wet and cold of February 2021. We created a team, one by one, with a belief and goal to excel in the championship.
The first match was organized vs Centurions 2 at their home ground. A few players in VCC3 had prior experience of the pitch/ground, the pitch was known notoriously as erratically bouncy. VCC3 won the toss and elected to bat first on a sunny afternoon. This decision fit in line with Centurion 2’s strategy to bowl the opposition out cheaply by exploiting their home conditions.
The openers Rohit K and Jenagan, partnered 77 runs. Rohit (50 runs) was edgy at the start but then started scoring briskly in boundaries before getting out at 50runs at more than run-a-ball. Jenagan and Naman partnered 68 runs. Many chances were dropped by the fielding team. It was a difficult pitch to bat on. Jenagan shouldered the responsibility to lay the foundation for a competitive score, he was poised for a big score before he got done at 67runs with a direct hit. The score was 145/2 in ca. 28 overs.
Naman continued at a steady pace; Sono and Ashish (Ash) scored briskly and hit some of the longest sixes of the innings. After Naman’s (33 runs) departure, Dinesh and the rest of the batsmen helped to inch to 221 in 40 overs. DJ and VP remained not out.
It started to rain profusely and Centurion 2’s batting was decided to be continued on 15th Jul 2021 (evening).
15th Jul 2021: VCC3 was riding high after demolishing ACC 3 on the 11th July 2021 home match.
We were confident to defend the target score and win. Due to a sporadic rain spell before the match start, play was reduced to 30 over & 189 run target.
The pair of Navjot (L) and Amrit (R) started the bowling innings. Amrit foxed the openers with his in-swings and out seamers. He proved his worth with the ball and he drew the first blood (Bowled!), he ended 1w/6o/19r.
Ash came in as a 1st change, the opposition would have expected to have a breather from the opening spell onslaught but he was ruthless & express; the wicket-keeper (also the author of this article) attests that he was both. He yorked the stylish second opener and sent him packing. He ended 1w/4o/21r. Naman bowled in tandem with Ashish but struggled to find his rhythm that day.
Vishal bowled good off-spinners on one end whilst Gaurav (substitute for Tahir) bowled from the other and he got instant success by breaking a budding partnership.
Mani was exceptionally brilliant in the outfield, he saved many boundaries, deterred runs with his sling arm throws. He was instrumental in getting a run-out with an impressively accurate throw from the deep, the keeper was quick to leverage the throw. Amazing catches were taken by Amrit (exceptional), Ash and Naman. Disciplined bowling, catching, fielding led to a climbing run rate. Gaurav capitalized and took a fifer, He was the pick of the bowlers 5w,4o,25r. Vishal also had a field day and cleaned up the tail with 2 wickets. Mani bowled an over and worked up a really good pace. Centurions 2 were clinically bowled out for 147 in 27 overs.
VCC 3 won the game with a 42 run margin.