Match 5: VCC 3 vs Qui Vive 6
Venue: Away (Qui Vive Home ground)
Date: 1st Aug 2021 (Sunday)
Author: Rohit Khanna (Rk)
The day was overcast with spells of heavy rain in the morning in the Amsterdam region. Another moderate-heavy spell was forecast for 1 hour during the afternoon. It was mutually decided with the opposition skipper to play a reduced over match (30 overs). I could not draw a clear conclusion on whether it was beneficial to field or bat first.
VCC 3 lost the toss (call: tails) and Qui vive elected to bowl first.
Our talented trio of Ashish, Jenagan and Navjot were not playing this match. This was not by design, read the ‘Rotation policy’ that the English team has been following during COVID times, but due to the holiday season in NL.
Tanveer (TK) came in place of Jenagan. Ayub, Samrit and Prem turned up to help and play with VCC3.
The young gun TK opened with RK. The start was watchful but slow against good tight bowling.
Qui vive knew their pitch too well and harnessed the full benefit. They bowled short of length or occasional bouncer but outside off-stump and the fielding was predominantly deployed on the off-side to complement the bowling strategy. Rk was caught by the keeper at 11 runs in 7th over, score 25/1.
Naman came at no. 3, he was dropped-off by the slip fielder but whilst trying to accelerate the score he soon perished (lbw) to the off-spinner at 14 runs. Score 64/2 in ca. 14 overs.
Prior to the start of the innings, DJ was assigned to bat at no. 4.
With ca. 17 overs remaining, DJ tipped the skipper to promote Nitesh ahead of him so that the scoring rate can be accelerated. It is highly commendable of DJ to show this gesture towards the team goal than his self-gratification. In my view, this was a key decision that shaped the course of the match and we owe it to DJ.
Nitesh started hitting from the very 2nd ball. He was solid in defence, agile runner and strong in his stroke-play. A couple of fours and sixes of his bat, enthused TK and the verve rubbed onto him.
Both these batsmen played glorious shorts, huge sixes & plenty of doubles. They both were dealing in boundaries (4s, 6s) almost every over. It was a privilege to witness the batting from the umpiring end. The same bowlers who looked marvellous at the start of the innings were now rendered ineffective & ordinary.
TK made his first fifty in 63 balls playing for VCC 3. The bludgeoning on Qui Vive continued from both the batsmen, TK added 30more runs in another 16 balls. TK was caught at 80 runs (76 balls, 4-4s, 3-6s).
Nitesh and TK, brewed a partnership of 114 runs in ca. 13 overs with a rate of ca. 9 RPO.
The score was now 178-3 in ca. 27 overs. The scoring rate had now significantly improved to ca. 6.6 RPO.
Nitesh completed a very impressive first fifty of the season in 37 balls.
Sono hit a nice one on mid-wicket, it seemed that it would clear the field very easily but unfortunately he was caught at the boundary. 190-4 in ca. 28th over.
Nitesh went on to score 73 runs (50 balls, 5-4s, 4-6s) and was caught. Gaurav, DJ* and Vishal chipped in a couple of runs each. VCC made 200 runs in 30ov. & 7 wickets.
Sono and Naman opened the bowling. We kept the opposition shackled until the 5th over and then runs started to come for Qui Vive. They took on Gaurav’s bowling and he was expensive in his spell of 3ov,28r.
Vishal (VP) continued economical bowling. VP sent the 1st opener packing in the 12th over to a catch by TK at deep extra cover. Opposition had got-off to a good start, 74/1 in ca. 12 overs. DJ replaced Gaurav, he capped the scoring rate tremendously at one end. The benefit of which was soon realised, VP sent the 2ndopener packing in the 14th over to a fab catch by Gaurav. The fielders did an excellent job to choke singles (Samrit and Prem J).
Vishal struck again in the 18th over (bat no. 4) caught by Prem, a sitter into his hands at square leg.
DJ scalped bat no. 3, fab catch Naman. The score now 99/4 in 19 overs. The game was in VCC’s control
VP completed his impressive spell with 6o,0m, 30r,3w.
Tk bowled good leggies, bat no. 5 was run-out. The bat no. 6 scored 2 sixes of each DJ and TK.
VP took a skier of bat no. 6 at long-on but the umpire adjudged it as not out claiming that he did a Captain Russel of Lagaan movie, read (taking the catch outside of the boundary). This led to heated and animated discussion between both sides. Bat no. 6 had a lucky escape again when he was dropped by the safe hands of Nitesh at mid-wicket. DJ completed his impressive spell with 6o,0m, 27r,1w.
The stats of VP and DJ do not do full justice to reflect how the men bowled in the situation.
The match now has become really feisty, Sono is introduced again, thanks to clever bowling much outside of the off-stump, bat no. 6 produced a skier which was ably lapped-up by Ayub (such an athlete and great find) at long-off. Score is now 149/6 in 25overs. VCC players rejoiced and were expressive, including the skipperJ. Opposition required 51 runs to win in the last 5 overs.
Sono’s 27th over was expensive with a controversial NB decision by the opposition umpire and a free-hit.
Opposition tried hard to match the RR, but required 18runs to win in the last over; Naman, was the dependable choice to bowl this crucial over. More thrill awaited in the last over, 13runs were scored in the first 4 balls thanks to an edge for 4runs at third man, a NB with Free-hit. Both sides were pumped-up and adrenaline was running high. Bat no. 7 was run-out on the 5th delivery whilst returning for a second run.
4 runs were required off the last delivery. Naman kept his cool and bowled a full length delivery to restrict it to a single.
VCC 3 won by 2runs.
The buzz from the thrilling match continued into the dreamy night.