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VCC5 grabs a huge win against Sparta!

VCC Squad: Bhaskar (wk), Dinesh(c), Farhaan, Guus, Kashif, Nissar, Saif, Samrit, Shujjat (Jinko), Sono,Vishal.
With our usual skipper Ahsan missing (due to ankle injury), the responsibility of captaincy fell on the experienced campaigner Dinesh, who did a tremendous job leading the team against Sparta. The weather forecast predicted rain around 4-5 PM and with this in mind VCC was more than happy to bat with their deep batting lineup.
Jinko and Bhaskar started off nicely. Sparta bowlers were swinging the ball and posed some threat in the first two overs but the openers batted sensibly. Both openers took off and runs flowed. Unfortunately, Bhaskar (18) was out on the penultimate ball of the 6th over. The openers had done their job and their partnership was just one short of fifty. Guus gave some support to Jinko who was continuing his batting excellence having scored a century in the previous match. After a short partnership, Guus fell to a good delivery. Enter Nissar. The stage was set for another performance by the Ali brothers and they didn’t disappoint. There was class and elegance at one end by Jinko whilst Nissar matched him toe to toe with his brand of power hitting. Nissar was in sublime touch and smacked six huge sixes which broke the Spartan hopes of a quick roll over of wickets. The brothers quickly knitted a partnership of 73 runs when Nissar’s impactful innings came to end. He scored 41 off 25 balls. Jinko (72) soon followed his brother to the dressing room. Farhaan was promoted up the order to continue the power hitting but unfortunately it was not his day with the bat. Dinesh(c) tried to steady the innings after the quick succession of wickets, but the skipper also fell to a nice yorker. Samrit too failed to contribute to our score and it looked like the good start we had amassed would be wasted. VCC were 177-7 by the 26th over.
Vishal and Sono had a task at their hand to give some stability to the innings and they didn’t disappoint. They carefully established an important partnership of 37 with Sono hitting two beautiful sixes. Unfortunate for Sono, he got trapped on a low bounce ball and was given out lbw. Kashif followed where Sono had left off. The leggie showed his batting talent and along with Vishal established a good partnership which included elegant boundaries and a huge six. After Kashif’s exit, Saif fell on his first ball as he went chasing a wideball. Vishal (20*) remained unbeaten. His innings and the cameos by Sono(23) and Kashif(29) enabled VCC to reach 255 with two overs remaining. This was perhaps 15 short of what we would have expected. After some delay due to rain the teams were set to start with the second half. Sparta needed to chase 6.4 runs an over.
Now it was up to the bowlers to restrict a rather strong batting lineup of Sparta. Last week they scored 336! Sono and Jinko started very well keeping things tight. Jinko struck with his second ball getting a faint knick which Bhasker gobbled up. The pacers kept their line very disciplined and at the end of the first 8 overs, Sparta were 32-1. In their spell they two openers only conceded one wide! Pressure was mounting.
Something which the rain had done was to make conditions unsuitable for the spinners. The ball was wet which made their grip harder. Despite this and the small boundaries, Kashif and Vishal were outstanding. Here was spin bowling at its best. Using all the variations in their armory, both spinners further reduced the run rate for the Spartans. Unfortunately, there were few easy and a few tricky catches dropped otherwise their bowling figures would have depicted a slightly different story. The bowling pressure was mounting which led to our next breakthrough. Sono and Kashif combined to produce a run out. Vishal trapped another batter in the next over with a catch at long on by Jinko. Kashif was soon to follow his fellow spinner and finally there was one caught off his bowling by Farhaan. Vishal used his wits to trap another one who was out bowled to a beautiful tossed up delivery. Sparta were 60-5, when their skipper walked in. He, along with Arjun began posing some threat to VCC as they knitted a quick scoring partnership of 87 runs. Poor catching did not help the VCC cause. Vishal (8-41-2) and Kashif (6-27-1) finished their wonderful spell of spin bowling. Th Sparta batsmen started to read them and were scoring freely. Sono was brought back in to break their momentum. Nissar also tried but finally, the Skipper decided to take matters into his own hands. Dinesh broke the batting partnership assisted by a well-judged catch by Guus. Farhaan then dismissed Sparta’s top scorer in the next over with the help of Sono at gully. Currently, Sono is the leading catcher in the Derde klas. The batsmen that followed next had no answers to VCC’s spin attack. Saif (1-4-1) trapped another one in front of the wicket in the 31st over and Farhaan (4-22-3) finished off in style by taking the next two wickets in the 32nd over. Sparta scored 165 all out.
This was a brilliant team effort with contributions from everyone. Special mention must go to Jinko with his all-round effort in the game. Kashif with super batting, bowling and fielding and finally Farhaan with his crucial catch and important wickets. Faarhan was awarded the man of the match. The win was cheered by the entire team and will be remembered as a game played with very high team spirit and enthusiasm. VCC might have had a slow start in the tournament with some games lost due to match cancellations but the team was certainly on a roll with back-to-back wins.