Match report : 12 Stars away game against Gent CC: 27-Aug-2016
Author: Swaroop Poduval
Beautiful day, 30 degrees and clear sky welcomed the Stars 🙂
After last week’s upset defeat against Ostend, 12 stars wanted to get back to the field to stake claim again at the Division 1 championship. The team knew that the task was cut out and that we need the lady luck on our side to achieve this feet!
Captain Ani won the toss again (he must be one of those very few who wins toss this consistently!) and elected to bat without any hesitation. As always, the talk, expectation and the goal was to play out 50 overs. This time Ashish joined Swaroop as the opening partner and a lot was expected of the experienced openers. Ashish got the team off to a flying start scoring 20 runs of the second over of the innings. Stars raced to 50 in the 4th over and this is the fastest this season! In an attempt to keep up the scoring rate, Ashish perished to a simple catch at mid-on, Score 50-1 off 4.6 overs. New number 3 Bhushan joined Swaroop in the middle. Bhushan got a good second delivery that nipped back from outside the off stump and hit him in front of the wickets. He was adjudged LBW without troubling the scorers. Ganesh who walked in at number 4 had some work to do! Gannu started off with two back-to-back square cuts for boundaries! Both Gannu and Swaroop were milking the bowlers for singles and occasional doubles. When things were looking under control, Gannu nicked one to the wicket keeper against the run of play, Score 72-3 off 8.1 overs. Rahul making a comeback to the team had stiff task ahead of him as he had to negotiate the moving ball and stabilize the innings. At the other end Swaroop who got off to a sedate start was looking in control until he gifted his wicket by playing an uppish square cut straight to the point fielder. Swaroop could not make use of the two opportunities that he got earlier in the innings. 12 Stars were reduced to 90-4 of 11.4 overs with top four back in the pavilion. It was again up to the middle and lower middle order to save the day for 12 Stars! Rahul and Ani stitched together a handy partnership that calmed the innings before the storm could hit it! Rahul played a lofted drive that was caught at long on, one shot too many in the air by a 12 Star top order batsman! Ani soon followed Rahul and the scoreboard read 124-6 in 21.5 overs.
The partnership of the day (season?, I would say yes!!!!)
Diamonds are cut under pressure; a diamond in Ayyappan joined another in JD at the wicket. Both displayed a lot of responsibility and maturity in their game, the pair was awake to the situation. Score of 124-6 did not mellow down the attacking batsmanship. Though the pair mixed caution with aggression, they resorted to their natural game and punished bad balls that were presented by a tiring Gent side. Both played beautiful cricketing shots, their innings was a treat to watch. This has to be one of the best match saving effort by two mature and level headed cricketers who relied on their strengths and did not allow the situation to take over their game! Ayyappan and JD put together 142 run partnership in 21 overs. JD was dismissed trying to play a lofted shot. But JD has done his job by then! Ayyappan was bowled after a well-made 68. 12 Stars were bowled out eventually for 288 off 47.3 overs. Mr extras scored an invaluable 48.
Biryani and Stars on the field:
Mouthwatering vegetable biryani for lunch rejuvenated tiring bodies of either side. 12 stars were back on to the field after a small warmup and pep talk from the captain! The goal was simple- 25 points up for grab; but we knew that it will have to be earned. As always Rohan started the bowling from his favorite end and struck gold with his third delivery! Ali Raza was caught behind without opening his account. This is exactly what 12 Stars had hoped for! Rohan with his tail up managed to find the edge of a flashy Faisal Mahmood and was caught behind the stumps. Rohan and Ani bowled 6 consecutive overs each on a warm and dry day. More importantly they did not give away easy runs to the opposition though there was some attacking cricket on display! It was time for a bowling change. One of the two leg spinners in the playing IX, Nauman was introduced to the attack as first change. Nauman started well, bowled in right areas and he got the much desired purchase of the wicket. He extracted consistent turn and bounce. In his very first over, Nauman drew Ul Hassan out of the crease, beat the batsman comprehensively and was stumped. The decision was turned down by the Leg umpire. The very next ball Ul Hassan edged a sharp leg break into the waiting hands of the wicket keeper.
Closing in on the victory:
From the other end, it was Ayyappan’s turn to roll his arms. Ayyappan immediately found his line & length and the right pace. It looked as if he has been bowling all week!! Nauman with a five for and Ayyappan with his 2 scalps ensured Gent CC didn’t last long. Soon 12 stars bundled Gent CC for 116. A well-deserved 172 run victory put 12 Stars back on course in this year’s league championship.
Ayyappan was adjudged the Man of the match for his all-round performance, JD and Nauman didn’t miss by much though! 🙂 What a partnership and what a time to get it! One of the best leg spin bowling of the season….Well played stars…
Brief scores: 12 Stars – 288 all out in 47.3 (Ayyappan 68, JD 61, Swaroop 29, Ashish 24, Extras 48) lost Defeated Gent CC – 116 all out in 26.3 overs (Ul Hassan 45, A. Aziz 29*, Nauman 6-29, Rohan 2-18, Ayyappan 2-20)
Scorecard in CricHQ