Result: Ghent CC 3 – Won by 2 wickets
With “Success”ive losses, the Chevaliers needed to turn it around, with 3 matches to go before the end of the Season.. Gent it was, who had also done well to create their 3rd team, with the introduction of their new Home Ground, helping their cause.
Chevaliers reached well on time, BARRYing Ravi from Liege .. With JD injured, it was yet again Vishal who stepped into his shoes. Gent won the Toss and elected to bowl, giving the Chevaliers a good pitch and 50 overs to set the right tone and the right target. The Batting order was done in a very simple but unique way.. It was First Come First Bat, with Barry @ No.10 and Ravi [Liege] @ No.11 . With no official umpires, JD, the Scorer, offered to be the 2 in 1.
Things did not start well for the Chevaliers, as an in-swinging delivery got the better of the Static legs of Bala. Siva, started cautiously but was not able to restrict his temptation when he volleyed a ball straight to Mid off. Asijit, one of the 4 debutants [Ravi Thapliyal. Kamal, Harkun being the other 3] of the match walked into the middle to join Vishal. The pair played very sensibly for few overs with Vishal hitting an attractive boundary on the offside only to perish the next ball, the confidence from the previous ball being his villain. Ravi Thapliyal came and went in quick time before Dinesh stabilized the downfall along with Asi who was playing his trademark patient and classy game. When a steady Dinesh fell, Harkun failed to stop the collapse which brought in another Debutant “Camel” Singh . A brief Partnership followed before Asi fell, following his very well made 50 [Incidentally, that was the first…….and the lastFifty of the Chevaliers 2021 Season]. A resolute Ishaq joined the crease only to be let down by the slow- motion Kamal, who with the guilt, running in his mind, ran even slower to run himself out, but not before, making a very crucial 21 runs with his flashy boundaries, that eventually took the Chevaliers to a respectable score. Barry and Ravi Liege couldn’t add much to the score with the latter falling for a juicy half-volley.
After a nice veg biriyani lunch by Baber Bhai, Gent CC, chasing 141, started with Rock-solid openers, one Solid and the other, definitely Rock. With the Opening pair of Vishal and Barry starting a bit wayward, the batsmen didn’t have to move either their muscle or their bats.. A Testing Match started to look more like a Test Match until Ravi Thapliyal broke the timber with a beautiful ball to remove the Solid opener in the 19th over of the innings, the score reading 48/1, out of which 30 were extras. Ravi immediately got another one to edge to the Keeper only for JD to raise his finger, quite obviously.
But the Gents thought otherwise and this led to the expected request of removing the umpire and replacing him with their own. JD stood firm, quite literally and the match sailed smooth with the partnership building between Rock Harshit and Rehman. Meanwhile Dinesh was struggling with his injured toe, restricting his movements, which prompted JD to request Harkun to take over the gloves and field himself in the place of Dinesh. The replacement proved to be quite hazardous for the Chevaliers, with one of the Gents (“Gents”, so we believed ) stepping in as the Umpire.
The ferocious Siva, took over the ball and broke the partnership with the score reading 92/3. A further unplayable dead straight delivery got the better of Jawad reeling the Gents at 100/4. Even though the Gents had to score only 49 with 7 wickets in hand, the sudden change in the Intensity of the Chevaliers caused a bit of uncertainty in their camp. A brief monotony existed, until Ali hoisted Ravi Thapliyal for an unexpected Six, prompting something unexpected from the Chevaliers too. Ravishankar [Liege] was brought in and a miscue from Ali was perfectly nabbed by Kamal keeping the Chevaliers in the game. Kamal was brought in immediately and a big drama was in store.. In his comeback over, Kamal finally managed to move the “Rock”, Harshit departing for 27 off 106 balls..With the momentum back to Chevaliers, the Kamal’s delivery struck the pads and the appeal was upheld by the main umpire. While the Chevaliers were celebrating, the batsman (quite authoritatively) enquired with the Leg Umpire, who promptly agreed saying it hit the bat [probably he thought, he had to decide everything that’s to do with the “Leg” ]. Chaos followed and after some time, the Main umpire left the field, leaving the batsman behind. Well, all’s well that ends well, for the Gents. Feeling terribly let down, the Chevaliers continue to peg back the Gents with some lively bowling by Siva supported ably by Ravi Thapliyal and Kamal. Siva took further 2 wickets to have the Gents reeling at 135 for 8, still needing 6 more. Vishal was brought back and immediately had the batsman “edging” to the Keeper. Well, with those umpires still in action, your guess is as good as mine. The Gents wrapped the victory in the same over with 2 wickets in Hand.
Overall, it was a stupendous effort by the bowlers and fielders who gave their heart out to win this. Special mention to Siva who consistently broke the wickets and contained the Runs to give a very good fight. At the end, The “Chevalier of the Match” was awarded to Asijit for his wonderful 55 that helped in few batting lessons to his co-players and also led Chevaliers to a respectable 140 and give something for the bowlers to go at.