Finally, after many days of rain combined with wind, I woke up with the Sun shining. It felt good, to start the Sunday with Sun which means, not wearing the (beautiful) white VVV jersey’s.
When I, and with me many others, arrived at VVV, we saw something amazing: young kids having a game of cricket on our ground. It was just awesome to see the kids, our cricket futures prospects, cover driving, cutting, hooking, bowling pace and even flighting the ball…boys and girls. Mostly according to the MCC textbook. Luckily they haven’t been exposed to the IPL….
The collaboration with ACC is working wonders.
So, the kids finished and the mostly non- textbook/ IPL influenced cricket was about to start. Bobby, back in the squad after his short stint with the 1st team, lost the toss and were send in to field first. That call was exactly what we had in mind so a win after all. It’s funny how things work: VVV1 have won all their tosses, VVV2 have lost all their tosses. So far the end results have been the same...
The pace-duo Zee and Shani opened the bowling and from the start, Zee was on target. Since GW found it very difficult to play Zee, they thought targeting Shani would be easier…it didn’t. Shani got their opener out for a duck, caught by Noman, who was sprinting from square and spectacularly caught the ball over his head. 3/1
Just a few runs later, ex-VVV player knowing the pitch but not Shani’s variety, tried defending the short delivery but instead looped it into the safe hands of Noman at square. 8/2
Sparing the bowlers for a later moment, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd change bowlers couldn’t really keep up the pressure. When you want to do something right, you (usually) have to do it yourself. Bobby came into the attack and what a change it was, an edge caught by the old stallion Waseem bhai behind the stumps, made sure the breakthrough came. 105/3
Not much later, another one, same edge, same catch behind the stumps only different batsman. 117/4
Again the GW batsmen thought of building another partnership, which they succeeded in with the help of our bowling but they were lucky. A lefty, loving to hook the ball, was Zee’s prey. Just imagine the soundtrack of The Good, the bad and the ugly for this one.
delivery: fuller one, just barely missed the stumps. 3rd delivery: another short one, this time the batter mistimed, the ball flew of his bat towards midwicket. Imran ran in as hard as he could diving to catch the ball but the ball fell just inches short of him. The batters survived. 4th delivery: another short one but wrong line and the batter played his shot. No runs were made thereafter in the over but what a contest between ball and bat.
Unlucky for Zee, not getting his prey.
The final 10 overs of the game were about to start and going for another biggie, he hit the ball sky high on Bobby’s delivery, one of the few safe hands, other than Noman and Waseem, is Omar. He proved himself right and clinched the ball as if he was going to choke it. 179/5
Just hardly a few runs later, Bobby’s skidding deliveries proved too hard to defend and bowled another new one in. 182/6
Having bowled his full quota, Bobby was replaced by myself. A good change, 2nd ball of the over, the new batsman in hit a full delivery up in the air and this time was yet again caught at long on by Omar. 182/7
With just a few extra runs on the board, another wicket fell and this time, Shani bowled an unplaying delivery which should have left alone. The batter thought otherwise and played it into the hands of Bobby. 190/8
Being smacked for a boundary, happens in the final stages of the game, bowled a slower full delivery which was hit up in the air and Bobby at midwicket made no mistake. 194/9
In the final few overs, a few runs were added and 224 was our target.
Had a delicious lunch, an integral part of cricket of course, then some tactics were discussed in the changing room. Basically comes down to this: use the full 40 overs and build partnerships with small manageable targets. What I always try to express is this: every century, starts with the 1st run(s). Cricket is a very simple game yet we tend to make it extremely complicated.
Zeddy opened with Bobby. Both looked positive from the start. Middle-ing the ball, whether runs are scored or not, is also a positive signal to the opposition. Zeddy was the first to go, in a bizarre way.
A good length delivery, to which Zeddy attempted to poke, didn’t touch his bat directly, yet it touched the tape on the toe and into the hands of the keeper. A tip: cut the extra pieces of tape. 31/1
Didn’t take long before Shani too had to leave the arena: bowled by a slow delivery. Waseem bhai and Bobby slowly build the partnership and added many runs with some drives, cuts and hooks. One shot too many and Bobby was caught. 75/3
I came in next, to bat together with Waseem bhai. Last time he and I batted together was many years ago so felt nice. The good feeling showed our positive intent and while we played the pacer easily for singles, the spinner wasn’t so lucky. After facing a few balls, he bowled a delivery which in neon letters had written all over it: please hit me. I obliged, and smacked it over long on for a maximum, not even caring that a fielder was standing there. Not advertising here but CA and Bravo bats are awesome.
Too bad, Waseem bhai tried the same thing but he was caught at long on. I had a big lunch, he didn’t. 101/4
Even in cricket, a monogamous relationship is very important because changing partners means you have to start all over to get to know each other, know the weaknesses and strengths, talk to each other, protect yourself but also your partner for running out, encourage and calm him down……..usually a run out means that there is lack of communication so a separation is inevitable and it costs the team valuable runs. So, communication is key.
Too bad the lack of communication costs me my wicket but the matureness of Noman made sure that he expressed his anger to the bowlers. We saw a flurry of sixes and fours all over our big ground. 116/5
Lack of communication meant that youngster Tokir too had to leave the scene due to a run out. Since he’s young, he’ll get over it. 156/7
Noman was in the zone and kept smashing ball after ball until one delivery just couldn’t make it and the fielder hung on to it. 173/6
We didn’t lose hope with many wickets left but less and less overs, meant the hard hitting had to come from somewhere. It didn’t and we added some runs to end on a respectable 190, still 34 runs short.
In the end everyone chipped in, either with the ball, in the field or with the bat. It just shows that we are becoming a good solid unit and improving week after week. The morale is high, the techniques are there so a good result is almost inevitable now.
Man of the Match: Bobby, for his all-round performance