By Sudharsan Ramarao
All Round JETS Beat Panthers Convincingly
Panthers won the toss and put the JETS in to bat. The decision worked wonders as their opening bowlers took advantage of the windy conditions and pushed the JETS in to backfoot right away picking early wickets. Christopher Selvaraj, opener with both bat and ball, pinned Sridhar Sagi LBW in the very first over. In the next over, he dismissed Vishva Velichala, the JETS captain, caught by Daniel. The other opening bowler John Krupavaram dismissed Anand Kalukuluri for 7.
JETS lost their batting mainstay Chakri Reddy as well to Anvesh Chikulapalli. They were tottering at 27 for 4 at the end of powerplay overs. Kalyan Kompally also didn’t survive long either as he lost his stumps to John Krupavaram. Chaitanya Donthineni and Pardha Mantana then joined hands and resurrected the innings. Pardha, who has been in great form with the bat this season, continued his good touch. While Pardha played the second fiddle, Chaitanya played the aggressor. Both ran hard between the wickets and dispatched the ball balls fetching timely boundaries. In all they scored 6 boundaries together, 3 each from Chaitanya and Pardha’ s bat. Chaitanya’s on the up shot over the covers that almost landed near the boundary line was probably the shot of the match. Both took the team close to the 100 runs mark when Anvesh Chikulapalli struck removing both the set batsman. Pardha made a run a ball 28 while Chaitanya made 33 balls 42. Mohnish Bandaru and Bharathwaj Samavedam coming in at 8 and 9 used the long handle and picked up useful late runs. JETS finished their innings at 135. Mohnish remained not out at 18 off just 13 balls while Bharathwaj made 11 off 8 balls.
Chasing 136 to win, the Panthers openers started slowly, wanting to not lose wickets upfront. Both the JETS opening bowlers Bhargav Bellam and Vishva Velichala maintained the pressure on the batsman. As a result, Panthers just scored 24 in their powerplay overs. Kiran Vishnu, their star batsman, was then run out due to a mix up for just 11. Kiran’s wicket gave the JETS the much-needed boost. Christopher Selvaraj and Sita Ram Vaddi offered some resistance but that remained to be the last hurdle for JETS as they ran thru the middle order in no time. Panthers lost 4 quick wickets and were 41 for 6 at the end of 10 overs. Thereafter it was only a matter of time as the JETS wrapped up the Panthers by the 19th over. For the JETS, Ankur Bhanot and Chakri Reddy were the chief destructors as they picked 3 wickets each. Bhargav Bellam picked up 2 wickets while Sridhar Sagi picked 1 wicket. For his match saving innings of 42 of just 33 balls, Chaitanya Donthineni was adjudged the Man of the match.
Tricity sends the Highlanders on a leather hunt
Tricity won the toss and put Highlanders in to bat. Opening the batting was Mike Persaud and Kamal Hussain, who was back after a 2-game hiatus. Both started positively with each of them stroking a boundary within the first 3 ball they faced. But Andrea, the giant opening bowler who played junior cricket for Jamaica, had other ideas. At over 6 feet tall and possessing a smooth run up with a side arm action, Andrea the Giant let the ball talk. He bowled with express pace and tested the batsman’s reflexes. Kamal Hussain went for an expansive drive but got defeated by Andrea’s sheer pace and lost his stumps. Andrea was off the mark. Mike Persaud continued his good touch with the bat with sweetly timed boundaries and so was Chinmay Ghag who flicked an express ball from Andre the Giant, in to the midwicket boundary.
But Mike got run-out for 17 while trying to steal a tight single on a misfield. Chinmay Ghag got out in the next over for 12 while trying to drive far away from the body. Highlanders were 37 for 3 at the end of powerplay. Shoaib Hassan and Sudharsan Ramarao then put up a 35-run partnership. Both rotated the strike and picked easy singles and doubles that were available on the spread-out field. Sudharsan got bowled in the 11th over while giving the charge to Vijay Mangra for 14. Javed Safi then joined Shoaib Hassan and started to accelerate the innings. Shoaib who has been in sublime touch all year started to explode. He played expansive strokes and got much needed boundaries. 2 of them were back to back sixes of Vijay Mangra that only Shoaib could have played. Possessing a high back lift and a top hand grip, Shoaib audaciously drove them over the bowler for mammoth sixers.
Meanwhile Javed Safi got warmed with a huge six of his own. Just when the Highlanders were looking for a total more than 180, Javed Safi got bowled by a half tracker from Alwin Mangra. Thereafter Highlanders suffered a mini collapse losing 4 quick wickets that stemmed the flow of runs as well. One of those wickets was of Shoaib who was caught off guard by a snorter from Andrea. Ashok Adikoppula and Hiren Kakadiya gave the finishing touches to innings with a brisk last wicket partnership. Hiren finished the innings with a 4 and 6 taking the Highlanders to a challenging total of 154.
Chasing a challenging 154, Tricity got off to a rollicking start. Ashok Adikoppula, the Highlanders skipper and a champion in-swing bowler, had a tough time controlling the swing. With strong breeze flowing across the ground, 4 of his in-swingers went down the leg side for wides. One of them was above the waist as well, which Shahzad Butt, the Tricity opener, dispatched for an easy boundary towards fine leg. By the time Ashok finished his first over, Tricity had made 17 runs. The momentum had completely swung towards the Tricity batsman as both started to play aggressive cricket. To their dismay, Highlanders bowlers lacked the discipline, as they sprayed the balls on both sides of the wicket prompting the Tricity batsman to get easy boundaries. Vijay Mangra, the other opener, stayed inside his crease, waited for the balls to come to him and then just used the pace to glide the balls over the in-field while Shahzad butt used his strong forearms to ferociously flick and drive the balls that were in his area. Tricity made a whopping 60 in their powerplay. John Florent then picked up Vijay Mangra caught behind in the 7th over the innings. Vickie joined Shahzad in the middle. Hiren Kakadiya, the left arm spinner, came on to bowl and applied a brief break in momentum. Highlanders pulled Tricity back between the 7th and the 9th overs.
But floodgates soon opened in the 10th over as Shahzad butt scored 3 sweetly timed boundaries of John Florent. Hiren picked up Shahzad in the next over but that was only the last laugh Highlanders had, as Tricity batsmen Vickie and Faizal Hussain kept the pedal on the scoring rate scoring 3 boundaries off Javed Safi’s first over. With every main bowler going for runs and wanting to pick up quick wickets, Highlanders skipper Ashok gambled on bringing a part time slow bowler in Sudharsan Ramarao, who once picked up 3 wickets in a single over against the same opposition. The plan nearly worked. Faizal Hussain scored 2 boundaries of the first 2 balls and then mistimed a tossed-up delivery that went straight to long-on only to be dropped. Vickie then hit another floated delivery straight towards midwicket that should have been taken but that went over the boundary for 6. In all Tricity scored 24 off the over and effectively sealed the game with 5 overs to spare. For his tight medium pace bowling that fetched him a wicket and his power hitting that fetched him a half century, Vickie was adjudged the man of the match.
Global Falcons Survive A Scare Against RPI
RPI won the toss and inserted the Global Falcons in. Falcons who were playing only with 10 due to unforeseen circumstances opened with Varun Penmatsa and Vikram. Vikram, who started aggressively with couple of boundaries, got out in the 4th over to Ramanshu’s bowling. On the end was Varun, who looked set to play the long innings. Saravanan, their batting sensation who has got 3 half centuries so far, this season, started off on a confident note, stroking a boundary of the very first ball he faced.
Five balls later, he was out LBW to the RPI skipper Arun Bhaskaran. Arun, floating his off spinners bowled wicket to wicket and fetched another wicket of Dhairya Dixit as well who was pinned LBW before the stumps. Richie made a brief appearance with a 6 and then got out. Hariprasad Amanapu then joined Varun. Both took the total over 100. Hariprasad made a run a ball 21 that included a huge six and a boundary while Varun made a fighting 40 of 46 balls. Vishal Sridhar and Paresh finished off the innings with useful runs. Falcons made 128 at the end of 20 overs.
Chasing 129 to win RPI openers Arun Bhaskaran and Praveen Gupta started off on a confident note. Both hitting 4 boundaries within the first 2 overs. But Hariprasad pegged them back with back to back wickets. First, he had Arun Bhaskaran caught and then bowled Ankur, who came in at 3. Navdeep offered brief resistance scoring 13 but Paresh picked up back to back wickets sending Navdeep and Yusuf back to the pavilion.
Sriram then joined Praveen and the both gave the innings a much-needed push. Sriram was the more aggressive as he took on the Falcons bowling. First, he launched the off-spin of Vishal Sridhar to a huge six over long and then followed it up with another huge six of Paresh in the next over. He even improvised and paddled Dhairyas off stump delivery to a boundary towards fine leg. RPI needed 40 of the last 4 overs. Just when things were getting close, RPI lost both their set batsmen. Praveen got run out while Sriram was caught behind off Dhairya bowling. RPI then folded for 108. Falcons survived the late onslaught and won by 20 runs.
Maurice Persaud Empire Cricket League
Knights Beat The Gujarat Lions On A Tough Pitch
Knights and Gujarat Lions faced off in the 40 overs Maurice Persaud Empire League match at the picturesque New Baltimore. With torrential rainfall thru the week, the Pitch had a greenish look to it with plenty of grass coverage throughout. With the underneath surface not hard and long grass on the surface, the pitch proved to be very risky to play on. Full length balls were climbing toward the chest area while the odd one was keeping low as well.
But both teams took it sportively and played on such a tough pitch. Gujarat Lions won the toss and decided to bat. Run scoring was very difficult and hence the run rate was hovering around the 3 run mark throughout the innings. Knights bowlers took advantage of the conditions and landed the ball in right spots and let the pitch do the rest. For the Lions none of the batsmen went on to get a big score. Venkat Gantannagari made 16, Kenny Patel made 17 while Krunal Tailor made 18. They were all out for 112 in 32 overs. For the Knights Jayaram Manukonda bagged 3 wickets with his stringent in-swingers while Arun Ghanta had another good week with the ball picking 3 wickets.
Chasing 113 to win, Knights started patiently trying to negotiate the invariable bounce on offer. Both, Jayaram and Raj Ardham, dropped the anchor and settled for the long innings. Jayaram survived a scare when one full length ball climbed steeply and hit his helmet while Raj had his share of scary moment as well when the ball climbed up towards his chest. Soon Jayaram mistimed a drive and lobbed a simple catch to covers and was out for 14. Vamsidhar Varmakonda started positively again making a run a ball 19. Raj who was the all while holding the other end fell LBW off the bowling of Mansij for a patient 14. Siva Dharman, coming in at 4, then took Knights over the line. He hit 4 boundaries and remained not out at 22. Giving him company at the other end was Arun Ghanta, who remained not out at 15 off 18 balls. Knights reached 116 at the end of 24 overs. For the Lions Mansij Rai Sharma was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up 2 wickets.
For his stringent medium pace bowling that fetched him 3 wickets in 5 overs for just 8 runs, Jayaram Manukonda was adjudged the Man of the match.