The Fight

23rd July. The day we were waiting for since our first game against Kampong. I arrived at the ground well before the scheduled time to check the ground, prepare it. ( open club house, do the boundary lines) I thought I would be doing it alone but eventually Asif arrived at the scene and caught me red handed. We both finished the work. I was told later the opponent captain was also there already watching us doing the preparation from distance. This game we had official umpires Steve Tovey and Hasrat Bagkari who did really fair umpiring and made sure the game is played in good spirit. This was a big game of the season. Both teams had equal points and this was going to be a fight for the championship. And yes the fight it was.

VVV won the toss and elected to bat first. The batting lineup was quite strong and our aim was to bat out 40 overs and setup a good target to defend for our bowlers. The start of VVV was not that great and we lost two wickets quickly for opener Asif Khan and no.3 Saqib Chaudry. This was a big blow. Kokab Nadeem and Ali Rashid played really mature and started building up a good much needed partnership. The score reached 40 in 10 overs for 2 wicket when the rain stopped the play. We had an early lunch and after rain stopped and ground dried a bit the game was resumed. We now had 32 overs in total to play for each team. Kokab played a marvelous innings (4x6 and 2x4) and scored 62 runs. Ali played an excellent supporting role from other end and together they added 102 runs to the team total. With 9 overs left in play we lost some quick wickets and no one could contribute big score to the total until at No.10 Omar Raja played a cameo of 17 runs of 5 balls. (2x6 and 1x4). VVV finished at 162 for 9 in 32 overs.

We started bowling within 15 mins of the inning pause. Omar and Zee attacked with bowling. Omar always had the feeling that we were going to win this match on fielding. That proved to be true. Opening of Kampong had a fire cracker start with 2x4 and quick singles in 1st 2 overs but due to our sharp fielding one of their openers was runout. Omar bowled the other opener in his following over. After 8 good overs a change was made to bring Kokab and Khurram Tahir . Kokab managed to take a wicket in his second over by a brilliant catch by Saqib Chaudry over extra cover. The ball was hit very high and Saqib ran all the way from Mid off to over extra cover and held on to the catch. 7 more to go before we could claim the victory. Pacers got punished a bit so quickly spinners Ali and Saqib Iqbal were brought into attack to change the momentum of the game. Both did what was asked where Ali stood out with 4 wickets in his 7 over spell for 22 runs. Saqib supported him good with 7 overs 1 wicket and 25 runs. With 1 wicket left Omar was brought into attack again to finish kampong innings with style and he up rooted the off stump of the last man on first ball of his over. VVV3 won by 55 runs.

The season is almost near end and we have 3 more games to go. Team needs maximum support it can get and from members prospective everyone is supporting this team which is a very good sign for the club. So far this has been a good year for VVV overall so we hope we can add as many good things as we can to make it even better by supporting all our teams.


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The Debut Collapse

eye of the tiger

What do you do when you need to motivate your team. You bring the best out of them by making them feel the hunger to conquer. Boost the passion to win. Let me rewind a bit. Sunday we had our first 2017 season game against Kampong on grass pitch. My eye had a shine imagining we were going to play the first game on grass pitch. This was the time to show our abilities after the long indoor training we had before our competition games.
So we 12 ( 1 secret supporter ) travelled together to Kampong on a mild cloudy day. Captain (Zee, debut) won the toss and elected to bat first. We had a 180 target planned but our start was one of the biggest mishaps I have ever witnessed. Asif opened with Ali. A shot towards deep mid wicket asked for a double but after completing the first run Asif slipped. The call was already made for a double so Ali without realizing Asif's mishap, kept running for the second run and he stopped after reaching the Pavilion. 1 down already with only 4 runs. Asif and Tajjieb gave the team a good start eventually where Tajjieb after struggling from one end attempted to play over bowlers head and gave away his wicket caught at mid off.
Even with explicit instructions not to play cowboy shots (Our coach description of playing a shot in the air in attempt to hit the ball out of the park) everyone did exactly that and gave away their most precious possession. Their wickets. No one could really take the challenge to build an inning. VVV 3 first game all out 108. Zeddy short inning was costly since he broke his finger while batting.

This total was going to be hard to defend but with an all out attack plan with good bowling potential, we went in the field in hopes to bowl the opponent out for under 100.  Kampong batting started with a clear intention to finish the game as early as possible . Zee and Raja attacked with bowling. Two drops ( one by the secret supporter who replaced Zeddy) in first 3 overs on Zee bowling made the game slipped away out of the hands until Shafaqat was asked to bowl. 2 wickets fell in that over. One caught extra cover in Raja's safe hands and second an amazing catch by Zee. The ball was hit hard between mid wicket square leg. Zee took the catch diving towards right and holding on to the ball with his right hand. A little tumble but eventually ball was caught clean. This gave team a boost they needed badly. Shafaqat first over got the break through we desperately needed. Ali took his revenge running out batsman no4 in similar way as he got run out himself in his first over. After 3 wickets loss Kampong were at 101. Zee and Raja came back into attack in hopes of making it difficult for Kampong to reach the target. Zee got the opener out caught behind but in the next over Kampong reached the target.
The positive thing from this game was no one wanted to lose and they did their best in the field. It could have been better if we took every catch. Something to also work on in our training sessions. The desperate craving to catch the ball is what you need to have if you want to dominate any game. And the biggest lesson of all. "TREASURE YOUR WICKETS".

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