Toss: Glads won the toss and elected to bat
Glads 70 all out in 21.5 Overs
Indus 37 all out in 12.2 Overs
MOM: Vaibhav Iyer
Result: Glads won by 33 runs
Toss: As stated Glads won the toss and elected to bat which really was a no brainer given how much we have struggled in the run chase.
Batting: All Glads players were pumped up before the game given that the 2016 DCL season was on the line but come match time disaster struck as the very second ball of the innings saw Anoop offer a meek catch on a halfhearted shot. Shahil and Arjun played themselves in but really speaking we did not get the start I was looking for and wickets fell at regular intervals. Before we realized it we were 25/4 in 10 Overs with Arjun, RUP, Shahil and Anoop looking to eat bagels rather than being in the middle scoring runs. Not an ideal situation in a critical game. Before the game, I had pleaded with Hardeep to play his natural game rather than take pressure by playing a style that is foreign to him and thankfully he played just like what I wanted him to play. He took what the bowling offered and with Glads in a funk we took the power play in the 11th Over. The Next 5 power play Overs we played the power play like it should be played and picked the wide open gaps as the Glads score ballooned from 25/4 in 10 Overs to 55/6 in 15 Overs. In my estimation this was the key stretch of the game where Glads wrestled the game from the opposition. Ever since we moved Vaibhav to the middle order, Vaibhav has been timing the T Ball better than anyone else on the Glads team and is becoming a complete T Ball player as he has been seeing the ball bigger than a football and every shot be it a defensive push or a full blooded drive – The ball is coming right off the center of the bat and he is a treat to watch in action. He looks so confident and so perfect that I have been pinching myself wondering where this version of Vaibhav has been all this time. He is one of the very few Glads players where I have nothing to say on the batting end as he has been peach perfect and is a Skipper’s dream player as he is doing everything right on the batting end. Hardeep batted great after a disastrous game against Strikers and one maximum that Hardeep launched from NPP 4 landed close to the Brownstown dugout in NPP 5 and the knowledgeable T Ball aficionado knows that NPP 5 is the outer ground that is way away from the other 4 main NPP Grounds. Go figure how far that ball travelled – It is in my top 3 in the biggest maximums I have ever seen in T Ball cricket – The one launched by Arjun off Mansab’s bowling in NPP 1 for Premethues in Novi Cup that landed way outside the ground, the other launched by Bridges Aditya in NPP 1 for Prometheus last year in Novi cup that landed in the parking lot beyond the first set of cars and this one from Hardeep – It is tough to say which is the biggest one but was fortunate and privileged to have witnessed all three. Bridges Kishan told me that in the Bridges-Spartans game, Shanowaz launched one that was massive that could rival the ones from Arjun and Aditya but I was not fortunate to see that one so really cannot comment on it other than say way to go Shan!!! I personally thought that Dilip played a perfect T Ball innings and was mighty impressed with its effectiveness. I feel like crap that I ran myself out calling a non-existent single trying to give Dilip the strike because he was playing so well that I felt it was a sin if I did not give him strike. I thought the Glads batting was all about these three gentlemen and once we got to 70, I knew we would defend that target though 80 would have made me super confident.
Bowling: Glads bowlers were on a mission and after a dismal outing against Strikers, Anoop delivered a wicket with the first ball of the innings and from there we never looked back. Anoop finished with insane figures. For Glads, Anoop, RUP and Sathya were brilliant with the ball and bowled with lot of fire, passion and pizzazz. Vaibhav was the only bowler who went off target and delivered balls that I did not feel produces any real returns but he is a quick learner as the next day in FCC Cup he went insane as he was our best bowler and he bowled like how he should have bowled against Indus. If Vaibhav bowls like that no Skipper can keep the ball away from him as he has genuine pace that can beat most batsmen. Arjun bowled two No Balls as he was trying to bowl as fast as he could and was giving 200% effort but in the end as long as he got me the Indus wicket that we wanted the most in the form of Anil clean bowled by sheer pace then I could care less about the No Balls. Sathya bowled only one over but the balls that got wicket of Ravi Ganta was probably the best ball of the day and he also got the dangerous Srikanth with movement and guile. The stats of the Glads bowlers read as follows:
Anoop 3.2-2-2-2 Wkts
Salman 2-0-9-1 Wkts
Vaibhav 1-0-5-0 Wkts
RUP 3-1-10.3 Wkts
Arjun 2-0-10-1 Wkts
Sathya 1-0-1-2 Wkts
Fielding: Glads fielding was pretty decent and once again we effected one runout on a misjudged run. Vaibhav took an exceptional catch as a stand-in keeper to get rid of the dangerous Chetan Dushyanth but he also dropped Anil but fortunately Arjun made sure that second time around he had Anil clean bowled to make sure we did not pay for the error.
Opposition: Last year Indus scored 41 against Glads and this year they scored 37. I think both years the Indus batting probably should have tried to curb the aggression rather than going after the ball but most of the Indus batsmen are aggressive and Raj Sehgal is one guy who can stay at the wicket and he did not play this game and we were quite happy about that. The Indus run rate was fine but wickets fell steadily and that does not help. I was very impressed with Chetan’s bowling and batting – He is a quality player and we were fortunate that Vaibhav took a stunner to get rid of him. Last year I saw him destroy Glads bowlers when they bowled crap balls to him in MDCL tournament so was happy to see his back. I think Anil played well but got carried away in the chit chat and a momentary lapse in concentration is all what we needed to see his back. Once that happened Glads bowlers were on top. Power Play was taken in the thirteenth over after 9 wickets had fallen and the last wicket fell at 12.2 so really Indus utilized 2 balls of Power Play. I thought Indus made quite a few tactical blunders but the purpose of this report is not to delve on the same so I shall give it a pass. It was good to Nitya after a long time in DCL – He is a class act like he always has been. Srikanth fielded great and is a quality batsmen but we were happy he did not get going against us. I thought Indus bowled very well (like they always do) and Azeem gave three good overs which was good to see. This was a must win game for both teams and I feel fortunate we came out on top and if the Indus batting can bat 25 Overs (something Nitya kept stressing but no one in the Indus dugout seemed to listen) then I feel Indus bowling can win them most games. They have a wicket taking bowler in Chetan and that can go a long way in DCL.
WITH LLC MOM Award: Vaibhav was sensational with the bat as he punished every ball that was not up to the mark and fielded great effecting the lone runout and when asked to do the Keeping took a sensational catch to get rid of the dangerous Chetan. He was a treat to watch from the dugout and he happens to be one of the best team players on Glads – He will do anything the Skipper asks him to do so a dream player to have. Vaibhav’s stats are as follows:
Batting: 14 runs
Runouts effected: 1
Catches Taken: 2
DFL Points: 87
Three Stars of the Game:
Star #1: Vaibhav Iyer
Star #2: Hardeep Singh
Star #3: RUP
The Umpires – Blazers Chandan and Arsenal’s Mubashir got every call right. When you have some of the best in the business coming to Umpire your game then the whole team relaxes as you know Umpiring goof-ups will not decide the game. Mubba knows the DCL rulebook very well so it was a treat to have him there for a game that was going to be hotly contested. Both Umpires were on time and it is a treat to have Blazers umpire a game as usually their guys are all good umpires and Mubba is one of the best in the business.
The Glads-Indus Scorecard is as posted below (Thanks Bijal for finally doing the electronic scorecard.)