Result: Gent – 2 won
Date: Saturday 4th September 2021
Author: Peter Whitten
It was one of those days. While we contributed to our own downfall, things just didn’t seem to go our way. With some dubious umpiring decisions in the previous encounter with Gent, we had an official umpire on this occasion. He did his best but we certainly came out on the wrong side of his decisions!
Having restricted Gent to 149, all we needed to do was bat the overs. But 31 overs later, we were all out for a paltry 83.
Gent opened with a very correct batsman and a slogger. We bowled very well though it wouldn’t be 12 Stars without a few drops in the field! We eventually got the slogger and after getting his partner out hit wicket, we then took wickets on a regular basis. The bowling was accurate with JD, Nikhil, Subbu, Bhushan and Kamal keeping things tight. JD and Kamal also picked up two wickets each. But star of the show was former fast bowler Ishaq who swapped his bouncers for some lovely flighted leg spin. He returned figures of 4-44 and Chevalier of the match award!
One of our unique Chevalier traits is to applaud the fielding even when the ball is being returned to the bowler. And so it was that JD took the catch of the day at mid-off, but unfortunately just from a poor throw back to him from the slips!! A few moments later, he managed to take a real catch, easier than his earlier one, but only after a bit of juggling.
One other reflection on the first half … unlike many other teams, it is heartening that after a poor ball, or dropped catch or misfield, there were no complaints, just words of encouragement from the other players, accompanied by the odd giggle where there was simply no other choice but to laugh! All this is testament to the spirit of the team with JD setting the tone. And good too that Raj occasionally reminded us of the need to “charge, Chevaliers”!
At the interval, we were confident of victory but a combination of good bowling, poor shots and dubious decisions put paid to hopes of a win. As can often happen, several batsmen looked in good touch up until their fatal ball! Nikhil and Subbu played a couple of glorious shots before succumbing, Peter hit a six before being bowled and Bhushan seemed in complete control till he played his first false shot. The fact that he was two strides down the wicket meant that he should not have been out LBW! Ishaq then became the umpire’s second victim, ‘caught behind’ without it touching anything! And Vijay on his return after 3 years also got a decision that wouldn’t have been given by a ‘friendly’ umpire for sure. Credit goes to Bala who showed us the way with a patient, unbeaten 21. He comfortably put on 28 with Harkun (10) till the latter was run out going for two, rather unfortunately as the ball had gone to Gent’s best fielder. One of those days as I said!
So, a frustrating finish to the game but played in a good spirit throughout. And given the age profile (not to mention the fitness levels!) of the team, I’m pleased to report that all the Chevaliers made it to the end of the match in one piece! We live to fight another day … charge!