Author: Judson Daniel
12 Stars vs RBCC – Division 1 – 8+6=14
It was a very important day for 12 Stars as a team, as a club and as a community when a privileged 11 took the field against the 1st Division Champions RBCC at Waterloo in the 1st of the “Division 1” matches for 12 Stars. 12 Stars’ intent showed clearly from the beginning, when theirs were the first four cars to line up outside the otherwise locked RBCC gates.
It was a hot day with the forecast of Thunderstorms during the course of day. Amit decided to bat if he won the toss and he did. The “A” Openers Ajay and Ashish were off to a great start in spite of some close calls and some persistent appeals. At 10 overs and coasting to 58 for no loss, 12 Stars looked to set a big target, when Waqas brought as the first change, made an immediate impact by claiming Ashish off his very first delivery. Ajay soon followed suit in the next over of Waqas, falling to a similar delivery but not before making a well deserved 35. The first 2 wickets were examples of great bowling and even greater catching, something that would come back to haunt the Stars at a later part of the game.
It was left to Aniruddha and the new Number 3 batsman Sandeep to steady the (partner) ship. The pair did very well together by putting 50 runs on the board without losing a wicket for the next 15 overs. When Sandeep fell, Amit felt the need to up the run rate and so a sudden change in the batting order saw Amit in the middle with Ani. A 12 ball 16 runs definitely increased the run rate but in the course of it, 12 Stars lost their captain for a top edge. With Gannu failing to make an impact, Rohan joined Ani in the middle and that was the defining partnership of the innings. Rohan made a quickfire 40 which included some lusty sixes. It also Ani gave some freedom to free his arms and together they coasted to 215 before Rohan fell for a faster one from Shahab. A first ball duck for Tom G meant that JD joined the anchor Ani. A cameo of 14 runs ended with an insensible shot selection from JD. A visibly tired Ani was run out trying to get on strike for an outstanding and flawless 70 and a one off bad decision from Scotty, winded up the innings for 12 Stars at 233 in less than 45 overs, as usual.
Before the match, Amit had spoken about, how we do not have to be the best team to win the Division 1 matches. He said that a mediocre team with a disciplined bowling and good catching had a good chance to be the Division champions. The message was loud and clear, disciplined bowling and good catching. RBCC opened with Anurag and Brighton and they immediately started going after the new ball bowlers of Ani and Rohan. An edge flew to the keeper only to see it drop Brighton off the first ball from Rohan. 12 Stars were made to pay for that let off with Brighton hitting the bowlers to all corners. Amit brought himself to stop the rampage and just like Waqas did for RBCC, took Anurag’s wicket in his first over. That did little to stop the otherwise aggressive RBCC batsmen. Manoj took the crucial wicket of Brighton. But a further drop by 12 Stars underlined the luck the RBCC guys were having and at the same time was sealing the fate of 12 Stars. Mishi was taken to the cleaners by a great in-swinging delivery from Rohan. Chris fell for cheaply again to Amit and 12 Stars were creeping into the game when a controversial thing happened. Rohan started appealing for a LBW decision against skipper Chris. Chris, nervously waiting for the umpire’s decision, waited nervously “outside” his crease. A shrewd Bhushan went behind Chris to take the bails off in a flash and at the same time, the LBW appeal turned into one for Run out. The Leg umpire made the decision in the favour of 12 Stars only for Chris to call Scotty to claim “Dead ball”. A sportive 12 Stars took the decision in their stride and went on with the game. But with most of the bowlers failing to make a mark and with some very poor catching, RBCC coasted off to victory in less than 30 overs and at a loss of only 5 wickets.
Some positives were taken from the game, but the areas of improvement outdid the positives. A self evaluation was done at the end of the game and hopefully this match will be the important turning point towards our success in Division 1.
Fielding has to improve and improve big if we have to stand any chance in making a mark in Division 1.
On a lighter note, but seriously….. It’s not Important to take catching seriously, but to seriously take the catches. J