Knights of Albany Beat RPI In Debut Season
CDCA 35 Overs Empire League

Knights of Albany Beat RPI In Debut Season

New YorkNews June 21, 2017 admin

By Naveen Punyala
Raj Ardham, who had a very quiet start to the T20 League by his own standards, looked determined to set things right on the Knights debut in the 35 over Empire League against RPI. He did it in style scoring an excellent half-century. He started off cautiously trying to find his groove back, and worked hard at the crease, concentrating on every ball as wickets fell around him. The mark of a good cricketer is not about scoring runs when in full flow, but staying at the crease, putting a price on his wicket and doing the hard work to find his groove back when the chips are down.

After the Initial phase of settling down at the crease and adjusting to the low bounce of the pitch, Raj came back to his usual self, maneuvering the bowling by picking up easy singles, with an odd boundary here and there. With a trigger movement similar to that of Rohit Sharma, Raj played beautiful drives that pierced the in-fields for classic boundaries. He eventually ended his sublime innings at 50 off 66 balls. His inning was a lesson to other cricketers trying to find their groove back into the game.

Earlier, RPI Captain Ajinkya Puntambekar won the toss and decided to bowl on a sunny day, but on a wicket where the odd ball kept low. Nanda Kishore started off fluently, but was soon trapped LBW for 13. Jayaram Manukonda, the star of the Mayor’s Cup followed Nanda with a low score of 6 caught at slip off Arun Gandhi. Arun Ghanta, the wicket-keeper batsman, got the start and looked settled, but was unfortunately judged LBW off Arun Gandhi, the RPI off-spinner, and had to return for just 11.

Raj Ardham hit an even 50 off 66 balls to earn him the man-of-the-match award. Pictured above is the Knights of Albany team.

With Raj anchoring one end, none of the other batsmen kicked in to convert their starts as they left with mediocre scores. The final flourish was provided by Siva Pattapu, with some lusty blows. Siva was hitting every ball on the middle of the bat, and looked like he was batting forever. His brisk 18 came of just 14 balls, helping the Knights end the Inning with a par score of 180 at the end of 35 overs. For RPI, Arun Gandhi picked up three wickets with his off-spin, while Gopal Shankar picked up two wickets.

Chasing 181, RPI started off cautiously. The Knights’ Srujan Manthena and Naveen Punyala opened the bowling with disciplined spells. After bowling a string of out-swingers, the intelligent Srujan nipped one back in to Nithyagopal Goswami to see his stumps rattled. Arun Gandhi at number three, and Prateek Hundekar started to look good. Prateek, the new opener of RPI looked very comfortable defending with the confidence of a senior pro, while Arun Gandhi played some sublime strokes.

Just when the partnership was getting dangerous, Arun drove a full-toss towards cover, only to see Raj hold on to a stunner. Siva then roughed up Prasanna Date with a vicious bouncer, and followed it up with a peach of a yorker, to send him packing for just one run.

Raj then brought himself in to bowl, and immediately found that his slow intelligent leg-spin was too much for RPI, picking up four quick wickets. RPI eventually folded for 85. The only solace for RPI was the fighting 35 from Prateek. For his all-round performance, Raj was awarded Man-of-the-Match.