Belgium Cricket Federation
Division 3 Final
12 Stars Cricket Club vs Brussels Greens Cricket Club
MATCH DAY: 15th SEPTEMBER 2019
VENUE: WEMMEL CRICKET GROUND
2019 SEASON SUMMARY
In 2018, 12 Stars Cricket Club had to play the last game of Division 4 against Liege Cricket Club in the final where 12 Stars CC displayed a dominant character and handsomely winning the game making the final a one-sided affair. The victory last year allowed the 2nd team of 12 Stars CC to elevate themselves to Division 3 and it was a giant stride taken by the club to enhance its glory in Belgium Cricket.
12 Stars CC started the Division 3 campaign with a bang where they convincingly defeated AICC-2 in their own backyard. As the season progressed, 12 Stars played some outstanding cricket and at times lost some games by a narrow margin. The belief amongst the team to win the championship always persisted within the teammates. The second leg against ICCB where Stars defeated ICCB by 27 runs had the belief stronger and more realistic. Phew!!! That was indeed a close game. Thanks a lot, to Nemish and Harkunwar’s combination to take the crucial wicket of Ganga 😊
In the second last game of the season 12 Stars had to face PCCB in the second leg and the game did not start the way the Stars would have liked to as we had lost 9 wickets for just 67 runs. A brilliant 56 runs stand between Abhinav and Mithlesh for the 10th wicket took the stars to 123. In the second innings, Stars started off excellently as Nemish drew quick blood in his first over itself. PCCB’s inability to play spin well gave 12 Stars the perfect opportunity to win the game and solidify its position in the title race and this what happened as PCCB got perished for a meagre 70 runs. With a single game of the season remaining it was a Déjà vu of the last season and one last frontier was required to cross and be crowned as the Champions yet again but this time in Div 3 a feat which would have tasted a lot sweeter compared to the last year as this time the final had to be played against our arch rivals Brussels Greens Cricket Club.
Finally, the day came, 15th September when history would have been rewritten. It was a bright and sunny day with perfect conditions to play cricket. The team was pumped up for the big game and did a nice warm up and catching practice. The TOSS was won by Greens CC and rightfully, they had elected to bat first to soak in the pressure of chasing in what promised to be a befitting final.
Mithlesh and Rajiv opened the bowling spell, and both were on target from ball 1 with no looseners or freebees to offer to the batsmen. However, in the span of first 4 overs things did not really go the Stars’ way as there were a couple of catches dropped. That though did not break the rhythm for Mithlesh, and he kept on bowling with a basic outside off line and length not allowing the opposition to score freely. Rajiv complemented his bowling partner’s effort equally if not more by bowling a superb length with his skiddy pace which always kept the batsmen guessing. In the 7th over the first wicket fell where the opener had skied the shot and Rajiv took a lovely catch keeping himself calm and composed. At the end of the powerplay the opposition was 24/1. Abhinav was introduced after the powerplay and Mithlesh carried on his excellent flow from the first 9 overs to bowl accurately. Abhinav and Mithlesh scalped 3 more wickets in their partnership reducing the Greens CC to 45/4 at the end of 17 overs. Mithlesh bowled 9 overs on a trot with deadly accuracy and troubled the batters big time.
Spin was introduced thereafter where Nemish and Shreyans carried on the good work to not allow the batsmen to score at an alarming rate. Seeing the run rate going low with each over, the Greens CC players from outside with a bunch of spectators started to pass on comments targeting players personally which heated the atmosphere in the ground and every time when the pressure was about to get on to the Stars our bowlers especially Nemish used to chip off a wicket to make the crowd silent. Also, the fielding efforts from 12 Stars inside the circle never allowed the opposition to rotate the strike as frequently as they would have liked.
Chitrakalp from Greens CC wanted to keep the momentum flowing towards their end but he was running short of players which compelled him to play aggressively and during that phase he was able to accumulate some runs for his team. Nemish who will mostly be the MVP in Division 1 produced yet another magnificent performance by taking 4 wickets in the innings. Abhinav bowled well and showed a calm mind bowling and got the priced wicket of Chitrakalp as Sreeni took a calm and composed catch at mid-off. Greens CC was all out of 153 in 38.2 overs.
2nd INNINGS: The CHASE
12 Stars had to chase down 154 in 45 overs and the belief got stronger half way through the game and the championship was just 3 hours away. Greens CC are known to have a good bowling attack and the competition was on between our batting and their bowling. Things did not start the way 12 Stars would have liked to as the inform batsman Kowshik was caught at point in the first over of
the innings. Rajiv and Arshvir then tried to stabilize the innings seeing off the swing off the new ball. At the end of the powerplay, 12 Stars was 26/1. Greens CC kept bowling some good line and length which did not allow Rajiv to play as freely as he would have liked to. Arshvir and Rajiv then tried to pick up the fielders to rotate the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking. One of the most talked about hilarious moments happened during this phase as Arshvir nudged a soft punch towards the mid-off fielder from Greens (Johny) where Abhinav seeing the huge volume and the pace suggested him to take a rickshaw and go towards the ball in order to avoid the single :P. Rajiv and Arshvir had a partnership of 50+ to stabilize the innings where Arshvir was adjudged caught behind which looked an entirely erroneous decision from the umpire. I guess he felt the heat of the moment of 11 players appealing every now and then :D. The middle order which has been performing wonderfully throughout the season had a bit of an off day where Bhushan, Sunil, Nemish and Sreeni falling in quick succession. At that moment we were, 78/7 in 32 overs. With almost the half of the target yet to be achieved in just 13 overs with 3 wickets in hand, we had Shreyans and Abhinav on the crease now. Shreyans and Abhinav took their time to get in and once they got in to the rhythm, they made batting look so simple. Suddenly the momentum started to shift to our side as Shreyans played some beautiful shots over long-on and mid-wicket. At the end of the 36th over, we were 104/7 with just 50 runs away from victory and this made the opposition under pressure. With each run scored, their voices were going down, the line and length was getting strayed more and more. Shreyans and Abhinav took use of this panic in the most effective way where kept on rotating the strike and dislodging bad deliveries to the boundary. They ran hard between the wickets pushing not only the opposition but also themselves in the heat. In the 41st over, Shreyans got out after scoring a very well 32 runs and 12 Stars needing 13 more runs to win the game. Mithlesh then went in and played very sensibly to see through the good balls and support Abhinav who played with an excellent temperament. In the 43rd over, the triumph came in and the rest is history now. This is surely one of the hardest fought and tensed games in the history of our club. The celebration video says it all. Long Live 12 Stars! Cheers Guys!