Author: Judson Daniel
Good weather it turned out to be as 12 Stars 2 headed to Ostend to face their 2nd team.
Unbeliveably, the whole of 12 stars reached the ground with an hour to spare. This gave the team some valuable time to…… smoke some Cigarettes and pick up some breakfast J
Jokes apart, credit to everyone who made it to the ground in time. Kit was unpacked and along with it, the strategy. The Skipper wanted to Field if the toss was won, which was unsurprisingly debated discussed in length. Finally Ostend won the toss and elected to bat bringing back 12 Stars to where the discussion began.
Ramesh and JD started the proceedings. The combination worked really well with JD picking up 2 wickets in the same over to apply brakes on the otherwise comfortable Ostend Openers. A further 3rd wicket from the skipper sent the Ostend Pack Panicking… Sunny (days) arrived for Ostend and with Shafqat [who curiously only batted and didn’t field at all] started to loosen their arms… A half chance put down by the skipper off Jerome proved to be a bit costly with Sunny cruising to his fifty. Anshul bowled a good leg spin spell along with Manoj who was trying to keep the opposition quiet. A low full toss [claimed to be deliberateJ] from Manoj got the big gun down not before the damage was made. Sunny continued to flourish until Ajay caught a speeding bullet at Long on, off Saravana. Things calmed down and Manoj’s third wicket completed ostend’s innings for a reachable 242. In spite of some few expensive overs, good fielding ensured that they did not post a huge score, and if JD had not brought back his old friend [the Wides L] for a while, the score would have been lesser.
Tea was taken to give 12 Stars some time to think about the batting order and the overall approach to the chase. A good start is half the work done…and so it was a unanimous decision to send the Big A’s, Ajay and Aashish as openers. It was Business as usual with Aashish trying to run for everything and Ajay trying to calm him down everytime. But fairytale it was not meant to be when Aashish played a cover drive to an overpitched delivery only to be caught nicely to give Ostend the much needed breakthrough. When Ajay decided to flick an inswinging delivery, 12 Stars hopes took a beating just like his stumps did. Prabu, the number 3 batsmen, spent a nervous time before he was caught behind for an edge so faint.
Needing someone desperately to anchor the innings, it was Anshul who was at No4. A terrific cover drive followed by an equally terrible mistimed scoop brought about his end in 3 balls leaving 12 stars reeling at less than 20 for 4. At No 5, the ever-reliable Manoj decided to fight it out, with every short of his, explaining his “never say die attitude”…With specific instructions to stay at the crease, Ganga was the No 6 batsman. Moving on J, Ramesh joined Manoj at the crease. Minutes later Ramesh’s sweep top edged to find the only person on the leg side. With already 6 wickets down for a paltry 35, it was up to the Wicket Keeper to keep his wicket intact, this time in front of the stumps. Manoj and Vijay played sensible cricket to pull the score to 60 before Vijay’s resilience gave way. JD went in at No 9 to partner Manoj at the other end. A momentary lapse in concentration spelt doom for Manoj as Sarav joined JD at No 10. JD and Sarav played, stayed for some time at the crease to let the runs flow. Sunny seeing that the batsmen were getting comfortable, brought back his No.1 bowler and he immediately did the trick by bringing down JD with a nice inswing that blew more than a passionate kiss to the bails. Jerome and Sarav tried to salvage some pride, but the inevitable happened and 12 Stars were all out for a meagre 112.
Nice catching and fielding but over enthusiasm does not help. Players should definitely try to be calm when the ball rests in their hands. Unrest and Panic results in overthrows or misfielding
Credit to all the bowlers, but few bowlers should begin to understand how to control their wides and also to avoid bowling short .
We know we can bat, but on that day, we just forgot how to…..
Players should be able to differentiate 20-20 from the 45 overs match and learn to be more patient. Rather than a batting unit, it’d have been great to have a battling unit on that day. It was a pity that we just gifted away our wickets after all the hardwork that the bowlers and the fielders did.
On the whole, Our bowling unit looked like a team on a mission, but the batting unit looked like they were heading to the beach from the beginning and that they had stopped a while to play some Cricket.
Special thanks to Aashish who made himself available in the 11th hour and we wish Manoj a very happy and enjoyable vacation in India…