- Match Report
WOMBATS MISERY CONTINUES
by Silvester Pereira (IECC)
A cloudy and rainy Friday marred the uncertainty of the game. The pitch was wet, outfield was soggy and the sun was not to be seen for days. However after some ground work, it was decided to play under difficult conditions and the match was reduced to 35 overs due to late start. We(indians) won the toss and elected to bat. Prasad Pooppully and Bibhas Roy opened the innings and got off to a reasonably good start playing the initial overs cautiously before Bibhas was lbw for 3 which brought in Vishwa Ghosh. With the outfield being slow, boundaries were hard to come by but the duo put up 51 runs for the second wicket before Prasad was run out for a well made 34. With only a few overs left in the innings, Ashok Kumar was sent in as the pinch hitter.
Although he hit the first boundary of the innings he did not make any big difference as he was clean bowled for 6 going for the slog . That brought in the stylish Sriram Sampath to the crease. He played some good shots but was out for 22 with the score reading 106/4 in 25.3 overs. The rest of the batsmen got out quickly trying to accelerate the innings with only Vishwa holding out to the other end before he was the ninth batsmen out for a well made 43. The tail folded quickly and we managed to score just 130 All out in 32.5 overs after being in a very comfortable position until midway.
A reasonable target to defend though 150 or more would have been much better. But given the playing conditions, it was quite difficult to score.
Ashok Kumar and Biju Paul opened the bowling for us. Ashok bowled a tight line in his first spell. The Australian openers Jarrad and Chuck played quite well scoring 39 for no loss in the first 15 overs before Jarrad was out lbw to Ganesh Tajave for 11. Chuck continued to play sensibly and along with one-drop batsmen James they took the score to 65 in 25 overs before James was run out. Our (indian)bowling was tight especially with first change bowlers Ganesh and Jagan. They kept it tight, didn’t give too may runs in extras and this put pressure on the Australia batsmen as the asking rate went up to 6.5 runs per over with half the runs( total) yet to be scored. Ashok Sharma, who also joined in the bowling, played a very crucial role in taking 3 wickets as the batsmen went on a hitting spree due to the increasing asking rate. The fielding was tight, entire team was focused and motivated, cutting the singles and making the batsmen work hard their runs.
The Australian tail couldn’t keep pace with the asking rate and at the end of 35 overs, they could manage only 110 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. With this, the Wombats have lost three straight games of this tournament and they will have to win their remaining games to be in contention for the Cup.
We (Indians) won the match, though not very convincingly, because of the team effort, went through some anxious moments with both teams having a chance to win right through the end of the game. I think our approach, seriously and focus won us the game and hope we can continue our winning habit throughout this year.
IECC 130 (32.5 overs). P Pooppully 34, V Ghosh 43.
Wombats 110/9 (35 overs). A Sharma 3/17.