The CouchExpert Staff
21st September, 2013
Match: CECC vs Infosys IMS
Venue: National Chemical Laboratories Ground, Pune
Toss: Infosys IMS won the toss and elected to bat.
With the monsoon rains just about abating post Ganesh Visarjan, the cricket season is all set to take off in this part of the world. School kids seemed determined as they were put through the paces by their coach at the National Chemical Laboratories Ground in the early hours of the day. The two teams that were to play the game today CECC Pune and Infosys IMS went about with their own preparation running around the outfield where grass was knee-deep across most of the ground.
It was decided ahead of the game that should the ball get wedged across the thickest portions of the out field, 2 runs would be declared! And with the 30-yards circle wiped out by rain, it was decided that there would be no field restrictions at all. The coin was flipped and it came down in the favour of Infosys IMS who decided to bad.
Mohit and Santhosh opened under overcast conditions. Goutham sent back Mohit in the first over as he tried to clear mid-on and holed out to Suhas who took a one-handed catch. Sachin started with a few extras at the other end, but settled down after a slightly erratic first over.
CECC Pune bowlers soon started to weave a web around the IMS batsmen as they played and missed and found run making tough. With the outfield being heavy, it meant boundary scoring was always going to be difficult and would be gold dust through the day. Goutham and Sachin produced a good spell in tandem as they soon reduced to 23 for 4 at the end of 7 overs.
Only Tango seemed comfortable as he stuck it out for Infosys IMS. His partners though seemed to be in a hurry in getting off the ground as Gaurav, replacing Sachin, struck in his first over as he had Siddharth hit down mid-off’s throat. Suhas, replacing Goutham generated good pace and lift from a dead track to have the batsmen hopping about.
Gaurav proved an able foil to Suhas as Suhas sliced through the middle order in a good 3-over burst. Gaurav generated equal pace and lift as the pair put on a good show of constant pace having the batsmen in constant distress. Only a flurry of boundaries by Viren right at the fag end for a 20-run 10th wicket partnership pushed the score to 97.
Chasing 98 for a win, CECC Pune lost Goutham in the 3rd over for 6. Rahul at the other end seemed to be in an aggressive mood as he managed to hit a boundary and constantly looked to go over the top. With him, Deepak and captain Yugank falling in quick succession, CECC Pune were reduced to 22 for 4 and had left a buoyed Infosys IMS more than a half chance to claw their way back in.
CECC Pune had to address the slide that was a mini collapse and needed to stitch a partnership of sorts to steady the chase. Bowling heroes Sachin and Suhas dug their heels in a hardworking partnership that involved some luck. Suhas though was out in a bizarre fashion 20 minutes into the partnership as he swung and missed at a delivery. Having missed the ball, he then instinctively replayed the drive as he swung his bat to practice his shot and dragged his back foot outside the crease and an alert ‘keeper Ujjwal stumped him.
Gokul walked in and with Sachin by now fully at ease they backed up the good work done by the previous partnership as they eased into the bowling with regular singles and the odd two. The pressure that the bowlers had managed to build up till that point now was disappearing as the strike rotated with constant regularity.
Slowly, the odd boundary also started to feature in the routine of singles and twos as runs were now being chipped away in chunks. With 20 needed for the win, drinks were called and on resumption both set batsmen, Sachin and Gokul departed as the game took another turn.
CECC Pune made a heavy weather of the last 10 runs as they lost 4 wickets. With the last pair at the crease, still 3 were needed for the win. And when Pradeep tucked behind square for a 2 to tie the score, the non-striker was pulled up for a short run at the keeper’s end to further heighten the tension.
Gaurav though, made up for his mistake by evening the scores off the very first ball of the next over with a single to fine leg. Pradeep finished the game off with a flick to the mid wicket boundary.
For a great show with the bat, ball and more so in the field with his 4 catches, Sachin was the performer of the match.
Brief Scores: Infosys IMS 98 all out in 17.5 overs (Viren 28, Goutham 3/13, Suhas 3/16) lost to CECC Pune 101/9 in 22.3 overs (Sachin 21(25b, 1X4), Gokul 19 (23b, 1X4))
Match Result: CECC beat Infosys IMS by 1 wicket.