By Sudharsan Ramarao
Good Vibes demolish The Highlanders
Albany NY
– Losing the toss and being put in to bat first, the Highlanders lost too many wickets upfront and got all out for sub-par 102 in just 24 overs despite a blitzkrieg of an innings from the unflappable Javed Safi. Good Vibes opening bowlers Anil Sahaman and John Florent started the demolition job by building pressure right from ball 1 and gave nothing away to the Highlanders batsmen.

Steven Mangal
Good Vibes skipper Steven Mangal scored 61 off just 30 balls and picked up 3 wickets against Highlanders.

Their good work was continued by their next set of front line bowlers Mathew Persaud and Steven Mangal. Mathew picked a wicket of the very first ball of his spell with a peach of a delivery that swung late and bounced a bit high on Ajay Ishmael who poked at the ball and gave an easy catch to the first slip. Naveen Thiagarajan got run out while attempting a tight single, Bilal Ashraf gave a lame catch, while Sudharsan Ramarao was roughed up by a bouncer and then cleaned up with a full-length ball from Steven. Shahzad Butt who all the while was holding the fort on the other end also played on to his stumps leaving the highlanders reeling at 48 for 5.

That’s when the supremely confident Javed Safi walked in and smoked the second ball he faced to a huge six. Known for his counter attacking skills, Javed has played numerous innings in the past lifting his team from the dumps time and again. He almost did it this time as well. Always Playing with freedom, the intrepid Javed Safi put the pressure back on the good vibes by repeatedly hitting their bowlers over the top for maximums.

In all he hit 5 huge sixes and 2 boundaries while bringing up his half century in just 24 balls. But that was not enough as the Highlanders lost their lower order in no time and folded for 102. For the Good vibes, their skipper Steven Mangal picked up 3 wickets while Mathew Persaud picked up 2 wickets.

Chasing an easy 103 to win in 30 overs, the good vibes sent the Highlanders on a leather hunt and finished the chase in just 10 overs. Their Opener and Skipper Steven Mangal showed supreme form in hitting the erratic Highlanders bowlers for huge sixes. He took a special liking to the spin bowling lofting sixes repeatedly over the midwicket and square leg region.

But the shot of the game was undoubtedly the square cut he hit off the spirited Zareen Zadran that went all the way for a huge six. That shot reminded everyone of the talent and caliber the good vibes skipper possessed. In all he hit 6 sixes and 3 boundaries and finished on a match winning 61 off just 30 balls. Emanuel Seecharran made 20 and got out to a freak of catch ala Sheldon Cottrell by Hiren Kakadiya. For his all-round match winning performance, Steven Mangal was adjudged the man of the match.

Saravanan Manickavasagam and Ruthvik Vemareddy
Saravanan Manickavasagam (left) scored 71 off 60 balls against Tricity and along with fellow opener Ruthvik Vemareddy (right) shared a 116 run unbeaten partnership.

Knights Roll Over Tricity Comfortably
Winning the toss and batting first, Tricity ambled through their innings for a sedate 117 in their 30 overs. The talented and highly rated Knights bowling attack kept the Tricity batsmen at a short lease and never allowed them to get away at any stage of the innings. Vamsidhar Varmakonda continued his fine bowling form by picking up the Tricity opener Akwass Rahaman who played on to his stumps while the other opening bowler Hareesh Atluri picked up Mike Persaud who toped edged a pull and gave an easy catch to the keeper.

Ijaz Safi, their premier fast bowler then bowled with vicious pace and bounce and picked up 2 wickets. He had the Tricity batsmen jumping and hopping and had so many inside edges that could have easily gone on to the stumps while Mithesh Jain Godha their mystery spinner bowled tight lines and didn’t give nothing away from the other end. But the star of the day was their leg spinner Rahul Aggarwal who repeatedly enticed the batsmen with his loopy leg spinners and top spinners. He got a well-deserved a 4-wicket haul and missed a 5-wicket haul courtesy of a dropped catch of the last ball of his spell.

For Tricity, Mystic Dev Govardhan made a run a ball 21 and none of the other batsmen crossed 20.

Chasing 118 to win in 30 overs, Knights coasted along their chase securing their win in just 20 overs. Vamsidhar Varmakonda, the Knights opener, again fell for cheap while trying to go over the covers and was caught behind off Dereck Persaud in the very first over.

But that was the only consolation for Tricity bowlers as the other opener Ruthvik Vemareddy and their batting mainstay Saravanan Manickvasagam finished off the chase with an un beaten 116 run stand that was laced with boundaries and smart running between the wickets.

Saravanan, the diminutive batsmen at number 3, looked rusty to begin with and took his time to settle in. He then a hit a six off a full toss over the fine leg boundary that helped him to get a move on. From there on, it was no looking back for Saro as he played some glorious strokes on either side of the wicket dismaying the Tricity bowlers. Both He and Ruthvik had a good understanding and ran numerous singles and doubles.

Some of the singles were dropped right below the eyes. Ruthvik played an excellent anchor role scoring 30 off 54 balls with 2 boundaries while Saro showed off his creative skills by killing the chase with a switch hit. He remained unbeaten on 70 off just 61 balls. In all he hit 5 boundaries and a six. For this match winning innings, Saravanan was adjudged the man of the match.