Aug 26, 2017. The weather couldn’t have been better at Mechelen Vrijebroekpark, home-ground for Greens. Greens won the toss and opted to bowl first. Greens apparently brought their best team for the day. It was also a crucial match for 12 Stars-2 to stay in the competition to get promoted. Captain JD managed to select a strong opposition for Greens. But Greens started very well with disciplined bowling attack which not only yielded them with one of the opener’s wicket for cheap but on the other-end did not give any chance to Prem, the other opener, to free-up his arms. After 28 balls, the bowlers won the battle penetrating thru Prem’s defenses. Ganesh and Akshay started to score steadily and it seemed that their partnership together with the heat from the sun started melting Greens bowling discipline. Then came the epic break of 15 minutes. No, it was not for drinks. No rain and no one was injured. It was about a catch decision. Ganesh played a soft shot and fielder on silly mid-off collected the ball diving forward but looking away from the ball. Main umpire consulted leg-umpire and after 15 minutes the benefit-of-doubt went in favour of the batsman. Apparently something obstructed leg-umpire’s sight. But this apparently put the main umpire under pressure as in the rest of the innings there were four LBWs and a wrong catch decision. Apparently he was compensating for the lost time by raising his finger as quickly as possible. Akshay was the first to go LBW out. Then came-in Ramesh and he looked dangerous with his bat but not for very long. Soon Ganesh’s rock solid batting also came to a halt when he was given LBW at the score of 53 from 66 balls. JD came and went, as a duck ;-). Clean-bowled. Nauman, generally an aggressive batter, is now forcing himself to stay and not loose his wicket which obviously did not work. Another LBW. Sunil joined Ravi in the middle and they displayed some Senior-Citizen batting. Steady, slow. Slower than a Black hole. Ravi looked very determined with his defense and frustrated Greens to their bones. Anything loose or semi-loose was being dispatched to the boundary with impeccable timing from Ravi’s bat. Ravi’s timing has been one of the highlights of 2017 season for 12 Stars. Senior-citizen partnership was denied any shaping when the umpire gave out Sunil for the shot that pitched under his bat before landing into the hands of the fielder at silly mid-on. Within few balls Ravi started missing Sunil and not at all comfortable with young Ganga returned to the pavillion(the shade under the tree next to the bushes). Ganga and Naveed tried to stay in the middle but apparently they thought bowling would be more fun and they returned soon. Score 157 from 36 overs.
After nice curry 12 Stars started well with the bowling but a team cannot afford dropping catches while defending a low score. After dropping few, stars held onto some difficult ones but it was already late. Greens chased the total in 29 overs at the loss of 6 wickets. We lost the game and felt free. No more pressure of getting promoted ;-).