Match Report – 12 Stars-1 Vs Exiles

Just Dominating Match

– Aniruddha Godbole

  • The Match

18th September 20, 2016

Ostend Cc, (at the time of writing this report) are best placed to win the Division 1 League championship and we have lost both, home and away matches, against them.

Exiles Cc is the only team that has managed to beat them 3 times, just this season. Admittedly two of them were in t20 format, but they defeated them in league as well. Thus, the opponents Exiles Cc are no pushovers even for a team like us

  • The Travel Fiasco

Brussels ‘car-free-day’ was announced well in advance! We, as 12 Stars, can still manage to let that bug us. That’s exactly what happened and all the ambitions of reaching the ground at 11 for practice and ground preparation went all in drain, as the team could reach Bilande only at 12.00 pm, the start time of the match :). We had communicated the delay to the opposition , Exiles, and the umpires Andrew Scott/ Adnan, so that sort of avoided any implications to us.

That , however, ensured that instead of regular 50 overs, we agreed to play a 45 over match.

Nikhil had very graciously agreed proactively offered to score. Rahul had sportingly agreed to be the 12th man. In the years to come, these contributions to the 12 Stars shall be remembered.

  • Toss

12 Stars have been lucky with the tosses this season and it continued. For the critical encounter, where we had to win and win with as much bonus points as possible, 12 Stars had absolutely no hesitation in batting first.

  • The start

The opening partnership, almost always crucial , started very confidently and looked in no trouble whatsoever. In what has become a familiar sight, Swaroop started middling everything and the pair found the run rate never leaving under 5. On the other side, Ashish looked comfortable as well and provided invaluable support, that we take for granted in last few years.

In midst of a quick run, a direct hit missed the stumps, but got hold of Swaroop’s calf muscles, thereby restricting his running between the wickets. For those who missed the injury, the rest of the innings showed no signs of that!

  • Quick fall of wickets (2)!

Exiles introduced their spinner Hasnain, and proved to be effective immediately. Ashish was caught behind trying to cut the leg spin. Like a true batsman, he trudged back to the ‘pavilion’ complaining that he didn’t hit it, but that it hit the rubber of the bat and thus he wasn’t really out. Yeah, we all are trying to make sense of that J !!!! Opening partnership of 71 inside 14 overs!

If you imagine a leg spinner getting a wicket, a leg side full toss wouldn’t be the first in your list. That, unfortunately, was true as Bhushan holed out to the first ball he faced to utter surprise of everyone

  • The Middle overs

Swaroop, in the meanwhile, continued his pristine touch and was scoring at run a ball. With an over enthusiastic runner Ganesh joining him, Swaroop was made to conjure up his reserves for running. The spinner struck again, this time with much more conventional ball. Swaroop was found short of his crease and was stumped, although it looked like he was well in. Like always, 12 Stars accepted the decision without any grudges and moved on. A very well made 68, but the century keeps eluding him. Score reading at 108/3 at about half way (22 overs)

Ram, playing in what could be his last match for 12 Stars, joined Gannu and the fresh pair of legs resulted faster running between the wickets.

A very steady partnership began forming and like typical middle overs in an ODI, bowlers were milked for runs. Many a times, such partnerships are forgotten, especially in wake of the belligerence of last overs. But such partnerships are the spine of the innings. They had a partnership of around 50 runs and just as they were trying to accelerate, Gannu lost his stumps and was back in the hut for 28. Score reading at 153/4 in 33rd over.

  • The last overs

With a good launch pad, and 6 wickets in hand, last 12 overs were due to go for some fireworks. With Ram, steady at the other end, Ani went for his shorts from very early and quite predictably fell while going for quick runs. The 2 batsmen ( JD and Ayyappan) who scored an unbelievable partnership of 150 runs against Gent Cc had all but 7 overs to play. The top order had finally done justice to itself J

Ayyappan joined Ram and did what only he can do. A humongous six came on expected lines. Trying to repeat the shot, he was caught at long on and in the next over, Ram was out bowled as well to a very composed 59! Let’s hope we see more of Ram in coming years for 12 Stars.

JD managed to end the innings with few lusty blows with the lower order getting out trying to go for glory at the end. Most of us thought, we were 20 odd runs short, but 239 in 45 overs was a good score, especially at Bilande

  • Teas

Exiles had treated us to a delicious chicken curry in match at Oostend and it was only fair that our best and enthusiastic cook Manoj, made some ravishing channa curry. Much thanks to Madhu bhabhi and Manoj

  • The second innings – The JD INNINGS

In absence of the regular opening bowler Rohan, Judson was entrusted to open the bowling with Ani. Legend has it that JD, at his best, is arguably the best bowler in Belgium ( revealed in post match team meetingJ ). So far, he didn’t have enough stats to prove this, especially in Div 1.

He decided to change this and ,boy, he did that with aplomb. He absolutely blew away Exiles in a spell that may or may not be in record books, but can never be forgotten by the 25 people who witnessed it. Let me assure you , 10 years from now, we will still remember the spell!!!!

Your truly was stationed at slips and the had the best view of the wickets.

Wicket 1 : – Batsman try to play across , gets beaten by the speed . caught at short fine leg.

Wicket 2 :- Brute of a outswinger, batsman could do nothing but nick to the keeper.

Wicket 3 :- Nick induced of a Left handed batsman to second slip.

Wicket 4 :- ===ditto wicket #2=======

Wicket 5 :- ===ditto wicket #2======= ( with catch to second slip) with Ashish showing presence of mind to gobble up mishap by Ani

Wicket 6 :- Batsman, getting too brave, and offering simple catch to mid on.

Wicket 7 :- Such a spell deserves a good ending, and few things better than getting a batsman bowled with stumps flayed down.

All this , and JD, hadn’t even completed 7 overs!!!!

The two greedy opening bowlers had finished the meal without offering anything to others JJJ

Exiles, who have been a revelation this year with their attacking style of cricket, had absolutely no answers to the relentless attack by JD and they dismantled remarkably for just 42.

This finished the season on an extreme high and while we may or may not win the championship, this match was bossed by us the way only 12 Stars could do!!!


See the scorecard here


Where there is unity there is always victory.