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Sab's world


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MATCH REPORT BY SEKHAR GUJJAR
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The venue: Dutch Square cricket ground.
The day: May 15, 2004.
The event: Rest of Columbia Vs. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS)

Dear All,

I have put forward my thoughts to the best of my ability and this is the first time ever I have attempted to write anything this long. I am sure there are some grammatical mistakes and I hope you guys pardon me for this.

Match Report

It was heartening to see guys very enthusiastic and eager to play the first match of Rest of Columbia (ROC) Vs Blue Cross BlueShield (BCBS) seven match series.

BCBS Innings

BCBS won the toss and expectedly opted to bat first. ROC started brilliantly taking an early wicket of BCBS' specialist batsman Kumar in the very first over off Sabari for a duck. The ball pitched on the off stump and moved away and Kumar snicked it and was caught brilliantly by wicket-keeper captain Vinod. Sabari bowled his heart out keeping a very tidy line throughout the match and was responsible for putting tremendous pressure on the opposition. Anil supported him ably and never let the batsman dominate. Chetan and Sashi were struggling in the middle but kept their cool. Runs for BCBS came in ones and twos and were 18 runs in the first 6 overs. Part time bowlers were brought in as early as 6th over and the captain's acumen needs a mention here. When both the batsmen were under pressure and trying to settle, it was wise to bring in the part-timers to fill in the 5th bowler's slot while hoping that regular bowlers would tighten the noose in the final overs. The plan worked very well and the part-timers SriKrishna and Eugine did an excellent job and didn't disappoint their captain.

While things started to look easy for Chetan and Sashi who slowly but surely kept the scoreboard ticking disaster struck for BCBS. Chetan trying to slog gave an easy catch and lost his wicket. Sudhakar played sensibly on his first outing. BCBS' hard hitting batsman Shenthan Rajah was in a murderous mood and was menacingly hitting all around the ground off Shekhar and Ramesh and could have taken away the match from ROC but for their astute captain who brought back Sabari into the attack who gave them the much needed breakthrough. Sabari on his day can be a hard customer to get away with. The ball was just short of length and took the faint edge of Shentan's bat trying to fend it, only to be caught by the keeper.

High hopes were on Venu and Muru their last recognized batsmen. Venu revived hope with a classic pull off a short pitched delivery from Shekhar to the square leg boundary which eventually came in the 12th over, but was short lived. He and Muru gifted there crucial wickets in the next over of Shekhar who was wayward initially and not at his best. It was a reckless batting performance from the duo. From then on it was all downhill for BCBS. Ironically, the ROC's fielding was splendid and as the old adage goes "Catches win matches", it was decisive in restricting BCBS for 91 in 19 overs.

ROC Innings

SriKrishna and Sathyaraj gave a good start for the ROC's innings. ROC was cruising along well with 27 on the board in just 5 overs without any loss. Srikrishna was solid at one end and was picking the bowlers easily. Suddenly mayhem broke loose and ROC lost four quick wickets adding just seven runs. ROC's running between the wickets was absolutely appalling. At the dismissal of Sathyaraj(runout)in came the master of run outs Shekhar hoping to prove his critics wrong. But luck didn't favour him this time either. Srikrishna, Jenson and Shekhar were back in pavilion when the score was 34 and suddenly BCBS were back in the game.

Sunny brought some sanity in the middle with a couple of classic cover drives. He was supported well by Vinod playing cautiously at the other end. The duo put on 32 runs together with Sunny top scoring with 23. A classic catch from Chetan behind the stumps ended Sunny's innings and was soon followed by Vinod the fourth one to be runout. ROC was tottering at 77 for 7 and BCBS could have won this match if their bowlers did a better job. Except for Venu and Chetan rest were all listless. Sabari and Ramesh in middle didn't take any chances as runs came in the form extras gifted away by the bowlers.

When the scores were leveled, ROC coasted an easy victory over BCBS as Ramesh lofted the ball to the long on boundary for a four in the 19th over. Their bowlers let them down and gave away too many extras.

The final analysis says it all. Among the last 14 runs, only 5 runs came off the bat and rest were all extras. BCBS needs to rethink its strategy if it really wants to be a competitive side.

I think, we need to reconsider the decision of not giving wides of those going on the leg side to make this series more competitive. The extras given away by ROC is 21 and 26 by BCBS.

Brief Scores

BCBS:
Batting: Chetan 14, Sudhakar 12, Sashi 9
Bowling(O R W): Sabari (4, 9, 2), Anil (4, 13, 0), Shekhar (4, 15, 3), Ramesh (3, 10, 1)
Extras: 21

ROC:

Batting: SriKrishna 15, Sunny 23, Vinod 10
Bowling(O R W): Venu (4, 13, 1), Chetan (3, 8, 0)
Extras: 26

-- end match report --