VCC 193/4 chasing HCC 211/8
Early morning showers meant a wet outfield for the game at HCC. This turned out to be a big challenge for the bowlers to keep the ball dry in order to get better grip on it.
VCC lost the toss and HCC chose to bat first. Our team was happy as they wanted to bowl first, as due to weather it would have been difficult to determine the score to set.
VCC started a little rusty as the HCC openers were scoring at around 10 runs per over. The wides were difficult to control and we were leaking runs where there shouldn’t have been any. The first wicket fell in the 5th over and as a result VCC started to gain some momentum. Strategy to bowl slow turned out to be beneficial as it was difficult to score against slow bowling. The 1st wicket partnership was hard to break until a great caught and bowled by Harsh took the wicket of a hard hitting batter who looked like he was going to keep on scoring. After this the run rate slowed down, thanks to tight bowling by Aryan however wickets were not falling and then came Ruchir’s attack with his leg spin and managed to break through the defence of the HCC batter. In the coming overs Steve took a wicket with an excellent slower ball which completely deceived the batsman. To seal off the innings Srivatsan and Arav also adapted to ball slow to get better line and length which yielded them wickets with some tight bowling. However one batsman managed to get 59 runs after a relatively simple catch dropped at long, when he was under 50.
The figures of VCC Bowlers:
Arav 6 Overs 38 Runs 3 Wickets
Sri 4 Overs 29 Runs 1 Wickets
Aarin 3 Overs 30 Runs 0 Wickets
Steve 3 Overs 24 Runs 1 Wickets
Harsh 3 Overs 10 Runs 2 Wickets
Ishaan 3 Overs 24 Runs 0 Wickets
Ruchir 3 Overs 22 Runs 1 Wickets
Aryan 5 Overs 30 Runs 0 Wickets.
The two openers for VCC (Harsh and Aarush) got off to a flying start and scored a 98 run partnership to begin the chase and kept the required run rate under check at all times. The outfield became very tricky to score on as no ball was going for 4 along the ground. This led to high risk and Aarush lost his wicket after scoring 26 of 38. He played a key part in this innings keeping the run rate up. Ishaan came in at 3 and started well. Ishaan and Harsh rotated the strike through the middle overs. HCC had a very good set field which was very difficult to score on so the only thing they could do was take singles and doubles to try to bring the field back in. Ishaan unfortunately got hit on the knee and had to be taken off injured. At this point in the innings, our team was behind on the run rate and required to score around 9 runs an over. Harsh was still at the crease but boundaries were not coming off that easily. Ruchir came in to bat and tried to score from ball one which was needed from the team but only managed to beat the infield for quick ones and twos before losing his wicket. Next in was Aarin who was up for the challenge from his first ball as he smacked it in the gap for a quick 2. Next ball a great Yorker took his wicket. Steve came in next and he was out second ball with an unfortunate outside edge caught by the keeper. Now VCC were in a pickle as the required run rate skyrocketed and team required 29 runs in the last over. Unfortunately in the end team was not able to achieve this which came off as a bit of a disappointment. Harsh held the wicket till the end scoring 63* and did tight bowling achieving 2 wickets but in the end team was short of 18 runs to cross the line.
Captain Report and Improvement Plan: Harsh Rathore
We wanted to start the season with a win, unfortunately it didn’t happen but we had some positives which we can take to the upcoming games and lots to learn from this loss to improve and perform better. I was chosen as a captain by majority of team mates and expectation is always to lead the team to win. We will take this game as a great learning experience. There are few areas which I would like to work on together with the coaches during training sessions and expect from each player to keep their heads up and come better and stronger.
Important thing that we need to practise in the nets is keeping the bowling nice and straight. Pace is not the key which gets you wicket but a good line and length does. All bowlers must practice bowling wicket to wicket. We leaked around 92 runs from the wide and HCC also around 80 runs, regardless how many runs other team leaked from wides we are not competing on wides but not giving any freebies as an advantage to other teams. Bowlers should own how and which areas they will be balling and set the field accordingly alternatively ball according to the field set by captain but communicate their plan clearly.
It’s a 4 hour game and whether we are batting, bowling or fielding we have to give 100% in all the phases of the game, no sloppiness and must show more energy on the field. When it’s not going according to plan try to get back in control with a positive body language. Game is not over till it’s over so fight till the end.
While we are batting it’s not always that boundaries come out easily, taking singles and reducing the number of dot balls into 1s and 2s by just dabbing the ball when fielders are far away saving boundaries is part of the game plan and also as important as hitting the boundaries. Be agile with your batting and bowling, approach according to the need at different phases of game.
We are a great team with a very good potential, we all need to believe in ourselves and play as one team, together we can achieve lots of success in all upcoming games!