Winning two out of two in which on both occassions, the opposition is really humiliated, it's ok to say that the dressingroom mood is 'sky high'.
First R&W, 102 ao, then Quivive 4 beaten easily with 8 wickets...moral was high.
And that's when, rightfully, the opposition tries to get under the skin and losses happen.
We were now send in to bat first. Good chance to test our bench strength/length.
Zeddy and Usman openend the batting. Cricket is a terrible game and can bite you in the a** if whenever it wants.
Centurion Zeddy faced his 4th ball and was hit onto his pads. It took the umpire 5 seconds before he adjudged it LBW. From fineleg, that's where we were seated, it didn't look out. Opposition was jumping around as if they had won the match already. Cant blame them; got the captain out who scored 119 not out three days ago..... Khair, hota hai....barre barre shehron me hota hai (sh*t happens) 1/1
Saqib Chaudry was the new man in. Technically the most sound batsman in the team so good chance to show his skills. But it's important that the other batsman doesnt give his wicket away. Usman did just that. Righthand bowler over the wicket, Short delivery, not bouncing enough, hit towards midwicket, easy catch. 14/2
Brother Zishan replaced vice-captain Usman but did the same: catching practice. Leftarm bowler, short ball onto the stumps, slow push straight into the hands of cover. 18/3
Saqib and Noman Mirjadin (Nomi bhai) slowly but cautiously picked things up. A single here, a double there. 20 runs were added when one of the unluckiest way, Saqib got out. Lefthander bowling around the wicket, yorker length ball onto his legstump, standing on leg, Saqib blocked it but the ball slowly rolled towards the stumps and the bails fell off. Bas kam hogeye (it's over). 38/4 within 10 overs.
Panic? No, not yet, still enough batting strength left. Youngster Saqib Iqbal went in at 6. Important position to build and bat out the remaining overs. All I saw was Amir Khan movies title "Taare Zameen Par"......second ball he played, he hit straight up and got out for a duck. Bas kam hogeye (it's over). 40/5
I got in at 7. Nomi bhai still in gave me some crucial advise: don't give your wicket away. I wondered if he had also give that advise to the others and where it went wrong. Khair. Nomi bhai and I took the score from 40 to 96 with boundaries, quick singles, doubles. Usually a wicket falls on a bad ball. It was. Short slow delivery, outside off, with field cover on the boundary, point at the circle.....ball was screaming "hit me, hit me". I tried but went on to my backfoot to cut the ball instead of stepping into it....caught behind. Not good. 96/6
Tayyub and Nomi bhai kept moving in the same scoring rate and added additional runs but wickets kept falling and when Nomi bhai got out, it was all over and out. A meager 135 runs with still 6 overs to spare.
We didn't talk about our batting after we went off to lunch. We didn't talk during lunch. We didn't even talked about it in the dressing room. Zeddy told us just one thing: bowlers, show what you've got. I want wickets. If you can't give me, I will replace you instantly. Show it.
Well, kinda like that because he's more friendly than I am but his words motivated us.
Just like in the previous matches, before starting fielding, we sat together on the field, read Durood-shareef, Dua and especially Ayat-e-Kareema (the dua Yunus read when he was in the belly of the fish and asked Alllah swt for help). We needed help so a fitting dua.
Opened with Zee and Omar. Good tight start by Zee cause every runs counts but no wicket. Omar on the pave-end, did. Late inswinging ball, hitting middlestump. Result: bowled. 7/1
New batsman in, Omar steaming in, 2nd ball, right into the pads infront, no shot offerend. Result: LBW 7/2....Hattrick chance!!!
Batsman no.3 wasn't going to be taken for granted and came in and went for the shot straight away. No run but no wicket either. It didn't stop him nor the opener to score. Almost all bowlers were used but unfortunately, not much control and batsmen were seeing the ball like a watermelon. Zeddy said to me: bhai, no wicket, you're out the next over. I struck in my first over: their supporting opener bowled, yorked. Gone. Finally partnership broken. 82/3
Spin from the other end, Saqib Iq. bowled a beautifull offspinner to make the batsman hit it high towards Saqib Ch. 104/4
Still six wickets remaining to score the 32 runs with around 25 overs left. We had almost given up atleast the body language was down. Captains words: if we loose, we loose fighting. Just like in the movie 300. We die like men!
Next over, I got my man, their last solid batsman who kept hitting and got dropped plenty of times by us. Bowled 1 length balls outside off, 1 shorter one, and one yorker onto his legstump. Bowled. Finally. Shout of relief. Hope came back within the team. 5 wickets left. 108/5
Saqib from his end bowled a maiden. Pressure bowling which helped me in my next over: bowled another full one, hitting the pads and gone! LBW 108/6......4 wickets left...
Spin was working but change was needed and Usman replaced Saqib and succes change it was! Straight away: fullish delivery hitting backleg infront......up went the finger.....LBW! 108/7....3 wickets left....and still 108 runs on the board......momentum completely shifted.....pressure on them.
What seemed to be their last big (he was very tall) hope came in and tried to kill the ball. Atleast, that's what his expression showed. The fuller deliveries were working good (death bowling). Another fullish delivery just barely missed the stumps which the batsman wanted to charge and smack over the football clubhouse. Excellent work by Nomi bhai behind the stumps by collecting the ball, running towards the stumps and dislodging the bails.....Howszaaatttt.......out! Run out! 116/8......2 wickets remaining....
Usman kept the pressure on and gave away just 1 run......but no wicket.......we needed wickets.....they needed 20 runs.....with countless overs left.
Next over, I started with a wide......and another......then a good delivery, blocked by the batsman. Another block. Then a bad delivery, short and wide outside offstump. The batsman went for the shot, hit it hard towards cover. Omar running in hard, held on to the ball and caught! 119/9......one wicket remaining.....just one standing between us and victory.
Three deliveries remaining of my over....first one was a block......second one just missed the stumps.......and last delivery, a halfvolley.....the batsman just went for it......hit it hard towards mid-on.......Saqib Ch. was standing on the edge of the circle....rushed in......dove forward....and.....catch!!!! OUT!!!! It was all over.......all out for 119! VICTORY!
Three out of three wins......feels good.
Moral of the story: never give up and never underestimate any team.
VVV2 - 135 all out
Noman Merajdin 37 runs
Abid Shahzad Malik 24 runs
Qui Vive4 - 119 all out
Abid Shazad Malik 5-14 !!!
Omar Raja 2-23
Man of the Match: Abid Malik for his 5 match turning wickets.
Author: Abid Malik is the Chairman of VVV Cricket club based in Amsterdam and Amstelveen and loves writing match reports in his spare time.
© VVV Cricket Club