Match Report: United
Played on Sat 06/16/2012 10:00 AM
Result: Colts Lost by 168 RunsReport by United:
The extra-ordinarily high margin of victory (168 runs) actually came down to only two differentiating factors: (1) United's all-rounder Praveen Chava, the 2011 Best Fielder award winner in Div. III, who has been improving with every passing game and finally fulfilled at least a portion of his huge potential with a fine inning of 48 (off 40 balls) and came through big time with the ball; and
(2) Catching - Colts' fielders dropped way too many simple chances and United's fielders held on to every single one which came their way - both easy and difficult.
Put into bat, United's inning fell into three phases. (1) 75-odd for 3 at the first break after 16 overs, highlighted by a second consecutive 45-run opening partnership between Naveen (31 off 40) and Sanjay. (2) 60-odd for 3 in the next 16 overs - highlighted by a struggling 33 off 40 by Ramesh, who was generously helped by Colts' lack of catching and (3) 115-odd of the next 13 overs when all hell broke loose. Praveen hammered his way to 48, the ever-reliable Shankar chipped in with a useful 34 and Ashwani (29 off 19) made good use of the long-hops and half-volleys the Colts bowlers suddenly started feeding the batsmen, after a very disciplined bowling effort for the first 35 overs. Vishal (2 for 34) was clearly the pick of the Colts bowlers with his nagging length. The umpires were calling wides with extra-ordinary tightness, even on the off-side. Strangely Colts' bowlers never made the required adjustments. 29 wides in 45 overs compared to United's 4 in 17 overs added to Colts' difficulties.
Chasing 252 was always going to be a difficult task against United - for whom bowling is a greater strength than batting. Ashwani started Colts' slide by picking up a fantastic one-handed diving catch at gully. Kalyan started batting with some purpose, before holing out to point off Shankar, where Babar held a difficult catch falling backwards. Ajay showed glimpses of his class as a batsman before being unlucky pulling hard but straight into Naveen's hands standing at mid-wicket within the 30 yard line. Vishal swung his bat around effectively for some time, before falling to a brilliant catch at slip by Rishi diving forward. Shankar and Babar bowled their usual good spells to pick up three wickets between themselves - but Praveen's opening spell was almost the entire story. Praveen has been practising hard to add an extra yard of pace this season and that improvement showed. It was an extra-ordinary spell by a bowler bending his back for that extra bit of pace - and the results came in handsomely. 7 for 30 in a little over 8 overs was a richly deserved reward for a hard-working cricketer.