July 18, 2003

Our Batting......

After having a dismal day on the field the bowlers were hoping that their generosity in gifting the opposition with wides will be offsetted by the batsmen. THe batsmen tried hard but we fell short of the target by 17 runs!!!!! Yes......had the bowlers given that many lesser wides we could have easily won the game but I dont blame the bowlers completely for the loss as 167 is not a big target to chase.

Phani and PUneet walked into the middle with me and Raj as umpires.....the CCC team were all set to have a go at our team. Both Phani and Puneet started on a cautious note and it was a good decision considering the circumstances...the was swinging a lot!!!!
Both of them were very solid in defence and were very good in leaving the ball outside off-stump. THe CCC opening bowlers....unlike our bowlers....bowled with lot of control..they hardly gave anything away. They were bowling with impeccable line and length and we in control of the swing. they didnt try to do much, all they did was pitch the ball of middl and off and the ball did the rest. It was very disciplined bowling. We got to 34/0 in 10 overs. It was a slow but steady start. Then a spinner was introduced into the attack....Puneet who was playing very confidently and was composed went down the track for the spinner and was stumped!!!!!!!! That was a blow for us as he was well set and had been in the middle for quite sometime....this was a gifted wicket....there were many more gifts to follow. In walked our batsman in form....HARI...he had been the mainstay of the batting lately. He was high on confidence as he was coming off of an unbeaten 65 from the last game. He and phani played well and made sure that no more wickets fell before the break.....one thing that they did annoyed me.....they played the last three overs before the break for the break...i mean they completely blocked everything and concentrated more on saving the wicket than forcing the pace of the game. Had they played the last over before the break with caution it was understandable but playing three overs was simply unacceptable due to fact that we were around 50/1 in 17 overs!!!!!!!!! what ever people may think abt these comments I dont care as I have my opinion. I guess people got a bit over excited and there was an exchange of words and unneccesary comment during the break regarding Phani's batting...he was on 14 in 17 overs!!!!!!!!!!!! He was playing very well and was looking comfortable in the middle.....my opinion is that once u are in the middle for 10 overs u should be able to see the ball well and should be able to take singles freely or atleast be confident enough to improvise so that the field is spread rather than for choking the singles . Well, again thats my opinion. I am saying that its my opinion becoz we had big argument the other day abt this issue and again there were differences in opinion.

well, everything said and done....Phani got a but aggressive in the second half and started with a couple of sixes...the first was a pull on the leg side on a bad delivery.....it was meant to be hit and he hit it well but the second six was a beauty !!! he hit the ball over the long-on boundary!!!!!!!! and what more.....there was a long on!!!!!!!! that made the shot look more elegant. It showed that he was oozing with confidence and was ready to play a big knock.....in the mean time Hari settled in and was playing well and hit a boundary and was looking really good in the middle. Just when things were going well again and the match was turning in our favor.......Phani tried to be aggressive once too often and got a top edge.....he was caugth by the keeper. He made his highest score of the tournament 27......in the past two year he had invariably made it to the double figures in every game but was jinxed to get out before reaching the 20's. Anyways......it was not the kind of shot u expect from a player who had been playing well and was well set. BUt his innings surely gave us the boost and the base we needed to launch. Exactly..... Launch .....thats the reason I had asked Kiran to come in instead of Baji or Myself.......thats becoz if he plays with his head down and wait for the bad balls.....he can hit the ball very hard.....we would get close to the target in no time:):). He tried to do exactly that...he was playing a sedate knock and was just begining to look good with Hari on the other end playing his usual workman like innings.He was running hard and was trying to puch the fielders to making mistakes.....but Kiran is not ideal person for running between the wickets....he has been trying hard to improve on that. He runs the 1's well but when it comes to 2's he is not a very big fan of running 2's and 3's. Just when Kiran was begining to open his shoulders and the victory was in sight....with Hari hitting a 4 and a Six......Kiran got out unfortunately.....he got an inside edge on to his pads but was given LBW by the umpire!!!!!!!!! So he was very disappointed and angry that his well composed innings came to an end in the wrong way he made 12 runs. In walked Avinash he had looked good in the previous game but was runout so he had the ideal platform to prove that he was back in form. It was 50 odd runs in 50 balls. It was very very attainable as we had 7 wickets in hand. Then in that very over Hari played a meek shot on the leg side and was caught!!!!!!!!! He made 33 runs with a couple of 4's and a huge 6. He played very well and was very very disappointed by the way he got out. I walked in once again with run a ball situation.....I have not been a big hitter of the ball ever and I rely on my running so run a ball is sometimes a difficult thing for me to do when its more than 30. I was coming off of a 50 tooo so I was confident when I went in and played my first two shorts on the leg side....anybody surprised ???????. Avinash was running hard and was responding to my calls very well and in like 2 overs we got 15 runs and were almost even with the balls. then it happened again......I tried to play the shot over midwicket and played with a cross bat.....the ball hit high on the bat and popped up for a simple catch in the mid-off region. I got out once again when the team needed me to stay there......especially when Baji was playing so well on the other side. Adi walked in.....he is the kind of played like Robin Singh....he doesnt have a big range of shots and plays predominantly on the leg side but runs very well between the wickets...that was the key from now on.......but unfortunately for Adi, when he tried to pull one of the balls he mistimes it and gave a simple catch to the midwicket.....manpreet walked in to join Baji....from then on Avinash took over and started batting briliantly......he was able to take singles of almost every ball and was willing to go over the top. He plays the inside-out shot very well and he used it to good effect .....and with manpreet also running very welll the brought the equation down to 19 runs from 16 balls!!!!!!!!! WE thought with 4 wickets in hand and the way Baji and Manpreet were playing the game is in our pocket........but that was not to be....Avinash got out meekly as he played straigght into the hands of the point fielder....he played really well for his near run-a-ball 16. Raj and Manpreet could do it I thought as Raj batted well in the nets and Manpreet had already proved his worth in such situations.....but now he didnt have his winning-combo budddy Sunny (he was rested for the game). THe next ball was a disaster...Manpreet went for a non-existent single and was run-out!!!!!!! SO in two balls we lost two big wickets and didnt score any runs!!!!!!! We still had hope as Sirish walked in.....he did exactly what we told him not to do....but thats the pressure which gets to u.....u want to hit the ball as hard as u can and Sirish tried to do exactly that and missed the line of the ball and got bowled......we lost 3 wickets in 3 balls!!!!!!! and the last man Guru walked in. He survived one ball....12 balls 18 runs to win....I was hoping to see a couple of big blows from Raj....and he went for one and got stumped!!!!!!!! So that was the end of the last of the gifted wickets and as u can see most of the wieckets were gifts but no credit should be taken away from the CCC team that played very well and their bowlers unlike our bowlers didnt give away 50 wides!!!!! they gave 30 wides!!!!! and that was the exact margin of victory!!!!!!

But for our next game the batting will be strengthened with Brijesh coming back into the side and the fact that we will be playing our best 11 for the next 3 games tells how determined we are to win.

Have a great weekend and I hope I have something positive to write abt in my next blog

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