Toss: Glads were awarded the toss and elected to bat
Glads 78 all out in 19 Overs
FHCC 63 all out in 21.4 Overs
MOM: Ronak U Patel (RUP)
Result: Glads won by 15 runs
Batting: With the exception of Ronak U Patel and to a certain extent Maulik, the entire Glads batting performance was a disaster as not one batsman could stay at the wicket and give company to RUP. For whatever reason most Glads batsmen never applied themselves and I missed Dilip Patel big time for I know if Dilip is there we probably play all 25 Overs. It is a given that if Arjun and Anoop are there then we are much better in all departments but if you ask me I would say we could win this game without Arjun and Anoop as long as Dilip is there. We eventually won the game without Dilip, Arjun or Anoop but I believe I earned the victory by sweating great drops of blood. But for a fantastic innings from RUP, we do not win this game. RUP was simply fabulous and before the game I told RUP that he will have to carry the team on his back and I needed a responsible innings from him and he will have to cut out certain shots. He took it to heart and played the shots which I wanted him to cut out only twice when there was a lapse in concentration else he was peach perfect. By the end it was obvious that RUP will not get out and he will run out of partners and every late order batsmen who went in was sent with the intention of batting 25 Overs and just stay put but no one could get it done.
The Glads number four started his knock with circumspection, and eased himself into the game with two safe shots that had his distinctive fingerprints all over them. One bad shot selection (i.e. the one the Skipper calls the Lathi shot) immediately brought choice admonition from the dressing room from the Skipper who wanted the shot cut out but in all fairness even the lathi shot was played safe. He quickly adjusted and concentrated on singles and doubles by piercing gaps with pin point precision. The bowler then made things easier with a full toss that was promptly deposited for the maximum about 15 yards behind the boundary. The ball raced to the fence as though it was shot out of a cannon. Soon after that, he flowed into a length ball from Rehan to drill an even better shot that raced to the boundary like a rocket. Those two strokes were statutory warnings to every DCL Playoff team that RUP is in prime form. While RUP held one end up the other side saw a steady procession as batsmen come and leave at will as though there were in a hurry to attend a dear friend’s wedding. When it was all said and done RUP ran himself out trying to take a single off the last ball to keep the strike. Mehang is a very steady batsman (i.e. he is not a #11 Batsman) and if RUP had just trusted his partner and not gone for the over ambitious run then he could have secured his first fifty of the season but it was not to be and that was about the only thing he did wrong as far as batting was concerned. Glads running between the wickets was fabulous and at one stage Glads ran 4 runs without hitting a boundary. Now that Michca games are done and Dilip has managed to push his schedule for playoffs, Glads batting will be just fine is what I opine.
Bowling:Glads bowling can be summarized with one sentence – Manufacture something out of nothing!!! The team declared for the game against FHCC was the weakest team we fielded this year – Yup on the bowling department this was the weakest bowling lineup. No Anoop, Arjun, Ophir, Dilip, Ronnie, Vishal meant we were gasping for anyone in a Glads uniform who can rotate their arms. We knew that if we got into a run chase which is not exactly a recipe for success in DCL (like against Knockers where we could not chase 46 runs) we would probably lose the game. We needed Hari and Hardeep to bowl lights out but that still meant 15 Overs we were in dire peril. This game was won by Glads because we simply refused to lose and we rotated our bowlers and made guys believe they can deliver more. Guys like Sathya, RUP and Viabhav were constantly challenged to deliver big results and to their credit as a group they delivered the goods. We rotated between offense and defense and read the situation as well as we could and allowed the pressure of a chase do the rest. Sathya had figures of 5-0-15-2 and this is the first time he ever got to bowl 5 Overs and after this he might wonder what more he has to do to crack the Glads bowling lineup but then you look and see that Hari had figures of 3.4-0-6-1 or that Hardeep had figures of 5-0-12-3, then he can understand why it is so hard to earn the nod from the Skipper as guys ahead of him are that good and unless he can outdo the regulars the Skipper will be hard pressed to hand him the ball but then that is the challenge when you play on a good team as you will have to constantly push yourself to deliver even better to crack the lineup. Fighters try harder and quitters simply quit and if you want to achieve something then you don’t quit. Period!!! All in all I was quite happy with our bowling as the unit has what it takes to defend most totals.
Fielding: Glads as a team fielded below the standards that I am accustomed to. We dropped catches and allowed singles where there were no runs by not doing basics and simply not being at the right place. At one stage I challenged the team to support their bowlers as the bowlers were doing all they could while not getting the support they deserved. We could be better and going into the playoffs that concerns me. Hopefully we deliver better results in the next game else we can sit at home for the rest of the Playoffs.
Opposition: FHCC played us very tough and were in the driver’s seat for most of the chase. When the score read 58/5 in 19 Overs, all signs pointed to a comprehensive FHCC win. Knockers Sanoj at one stage even asked me if we were trying to deliberately lose the game. At the 17 over mark, David conveyed the message that Pokiris had lost with bonus and were in the #8 spot. Dilip pleaded with David to convince me to drop the game so that Glads can avoid Pokiris and David did his best to convince me but I have always believed that you play to win the game. Later Knockers Bikram conveyed to me that when he had arrived in the Glads dugout David was very happy that Glads were losing and trolled Bikram, you want the A1 spot by all means Knockers can have the A1 spot as FHCC at 58/5 in 19 were kicking the Glads posterior in every way possible. Last I checked, it is never over till it is really over and guys like Hari, Hardeep and the 11 out on the field simply hate losing no matter what the rewards of a loss may entail. It is also well known that pressure does strange things and that is what makes chasing so difficult in DCL and in the end only pressure got the better of FHCC. The points table will say Glads won with bonus but FHCC could have and should have won this game. Of course if Glads lost the game the conspiracy theorists would have said we lost the game deliberately but if you really analyze the game FHCC should have won this game. Ahsan was brilliantly good and batted splendidly. Glads got the biggest break possible when Vaibhav got the all-important wicket of the great Raza Ali on the very first ball. I was ecstatic and over the moon at the fall of that wicket because if Raza stays then we lose this game with bonus as he is that good. FHCC probably could have won this game if Alishan had played the game as they missed his all-round services. I thought Venkat Nukala threw away his wicket as he should have played out Hari and Hardeep and Hardeep is too good a bowler to hit a reckless shot against. Win or lose FHCC could not have made the playoffs but they played great in a meaningless game (Points wise) for them and as an opponent I respect that. Glads pulled out this win thanks to greater experience and smart play when the game was on the line else I thought FHCC outplayed us for the most part. Junaid was the pick of their bowlers and bowled a fabulous spell that kept FHCC in the driver’s seat for the most part. Cricket is a strange game and after seeing this performance, I still wonder why FHCC did not do better and miss the Playoff.
WITH LLC MOM Award: The “Lean Mean Hungery Runs Machine” Ronak U Patel. He batted brilliantly and bowled decent. He took the lead and arranged Glads practices so that Glads are more prepared on Game Day. He carried the team on his back and made sure Glads will not lose. His stats are as follows:
Batting: 47 runs
DFL Points: 102
Three Stars of the Game:
Star #1: Ronak U Patel
Star #2: Hardeep Singh
Star #3: Hariharan Dhanasekaran
The Umpires – Santhosh (AE11ers) as main umpire for the entire game and Abhishek (Titans) called a decent game. I think the calling of the full toss waist high No Ball left much to be desired. But the calls were blown for both sides so that neutralized but I did not agree with almost all of the No Balls called on both teams. Otherwise the Umpiring was fine. We express our sincere thanks to both of them for the job done.
The Glads-FHCC Scorecard is as posted below