After a comprehensive victory by CCCC at their home field in Burlington, CCCC was at Dartmouth's home field, and we were looking for some payback. With a deep batting lineup for the game, perhaps the strongest yet in the season with the inclusion of Gavin and Bose, the mood in the team was upbeat and victorious.
Dartmouth won the toss and promptly elected to bat first given their successes in defending a total, rather than chasing it. Govind was promoted up the order and asked to open, a position he is more comfortable at than going at the tail end of the lineup. Accompanying him was Rahul. The Dartmouth inning started off on a disastrous note with Govind caught by the keeper for a 4 ball duck. Amitavo came one down, and before he could settle in, Rahul (13) on the other side tried to pull a short ball to the leg side and perished to a well judged catch right at the ropes on the square leg boundary. The nature of the pitch, where the ball tends to stop before coming onto the bat proved to be his misdoing. Chris, the Dartmouth captain came in and immediately made his intentions known. He opened his innings with a flurry of boundaries, and immediately pegged back the opposition who were riding high on the success of early Dartmouth wickets falling cheaply. Just when it seemed, Amitavo and Chris were going to take the fight to the opposition, Amitavo got out to a horrendous decision. With the ball going down the legside, Amitavo flicked at it, but only ended up with the ball hitting his thigh. On a half-hearted appeal, the umpire was more than eager to lift his finger and that was the end of Amitavoís innings (5).
Ravi came in next, but he also fell to the guiles of Mani and was bowled middle stump for a 2 ball duck. The second duck of the inning. Gavin came in next, and people were sitting up in anticipation of some fireworks, but it wasnít to be. He fell cheaply for 8 to a very similar shot as played by Rahul. The ball failed to rise, and on an attempted pull shot to clear the short leg side fence, he ended up getting a bottom edge, which was duly caught at the fence. Next came in Bose. A prolific runner between the wickets usually, he didnít have to run too much as he was caught for 5. Rukman came in to replace him. With the last recognized batsmen pair on the crease, and the score reading a dismal 113 for 7, it was now or never. With Rukman settling in, Chris opened his arms. After some more lusty hitting, he tried to steal a second run which wasnít there, and was run out well short of his crease on 45, done in by CCCC's substitue fielder, Dartmouth's own Harsha. Vibhor came in next, and played the perfect role of supporting Rukman. Vibhor rotated the strike perfectly, while Rukman went on collecting runs. But before too long, Vibhor was out (12). With the tail now exposed, it was upto Rukman to up the tempo and he did so with some panache. With able support from Omar (9) and and Vijaysri (1) and Vibhor, Rukman scored a stellar 58. Dartmouth closed its inning at 172/10. Perhaps a good 80 runs short of a respectable total against a team of CCCC caliber.
Some aggressive bowling by our strike bowler Omar reaped immediate rewards. Gerrard, CCCC opening batsman flashed at a bowl outside the off, and the pace of the ball carried it towards gully. Gavin, with a safe pair of hands, and possibly the biggest too, too an amazing catch low to his left side. Just like that, the score read 0/1. 1 down was Rohit. Before he could do any damage at all, he misread a slower delivery by Omar and played all over it and was bowled for 2. Nand came in next, but was undone for 7 by a brilliant gem of a catch by Rahul off his own bowling.
With the score reading 32/4, and the bowlers on top, Dartmouth had an outside chance of pulling it off. But CCCC had other plans. Navneet who was the other half of the first pair, was joined by M.Omar. Between them they scored, 87 runs, and effectively took the game away form Dartmouth. From 115/5, CCCC went to 170/6. They did loose a couple quick wickets near the target score, but they had enough to comfortably surpass the Dartmouth total with overs to spare. At the end of the day, even though Dartmouth bowlers were able to trouble the batsmen early on, and make decisive inroads, they were not able to dry up the runs from either end to put any pressure on the batsmen, which ultimately proved to the their undoing.
Today's date: Saturday, February 28th 2015.