Result: United Won by 32 RunsReport by United:
United had no illusions going into this game. Playing against the team that beat them comprehensively at San Diego just a couple of weeks ago was going to be tough - and a very tough hard fought win it turned out to be!
Put into bat, United got off to a good start at 40 for no loss in just over 8 overs powered by Naveen's fluent 23 off 18 balls - an inning punctuated by a few very charming cover drives. Praveen (37 off 57) and Pinak (51 off 81) worked the score up to 79, but the run rate was dropping, thanks to a very disciplined bowling and fielding effort by SD-1. Wickets kept falling at regular intervals thereafter, with United caught in a no-man's land not sure which was more important - picking up the run rate or preserving wickets. A couple of unnecessary run-outs highlighted United's confused batting mindset at that stage. At 117 for 6 off 28 overs, this game was well and truly slipping away from United. Which is when, Shankar Sukumar -without question one of the best all-round athletes in SCCA - decided to put the team on his shoulders and carry it the rest of the way. Pinak and Shankar took the score to 151 before Pinak fell after yet another fine fifty. Shankar (46 off 49), with reasonable help from the tail, batted very effectively to carry United to a competitive 223. While Vishal was among the wickets for SD-1 as usual, the spinners Bansi, Achal and Pratik did well in their 18-odd overs picking up 4 for 84 amongst them.
Rishi kept San Diego's score moving along at a good pace at the beginning. At 79 for 2 in 17 overs, with Rishi and Vishal looking in good nick, San Diego seemed in reasonable control of the chase. Ramesh - with his odd mixture of off and leg spin - picked up both of them - Rishi for a very well made 56 of 66 balls - both caught in the deep by Shankar. Once Praveen picked up Rahil, the momentum seemed firmly in United's favor. Kumar, Achal and Bansi made fighting 20s in the end, but in vain.
Pinak, Praveen and Babar turned in good all-round efforts (significant runs, 1 wicket and 1 catch each) for United - but this was definitely Shankar's day. 46 runs, 4 for 37 off 8 overs and 2 fine catches - this game had Shankar written all over it.Scorecard