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Finals: GE (A1) versus NSN (B1)

25th August 2013 (11:30 am  – 2 pm)

NSN won the toss and elected to bat

The two unbeaten teams took on each other in the grand finale. GE, unbeaten in two tournaments now took on a rather newly formed team NSN who played some brilliant cricket of their own through this tournament.

NSN missed their opener Prakhar as he was unavailable and opened with Jeethenda in his place. Abhishek needed two balls to send him back and NSN were set on the back-foot straight away. Deb, who has had a mixed tournament joined hands with Avinash, who has had a brilliant tournament with the bat, and they both stitched together a small partnership.

Avinash fell prey to the ever consistent Dheeraj as the experienced GE looked to capitalize on the nerves of NSN on the finals day and succeeded too. It needed a calm and steady head in the middle to settle things for NSN and Satya fit the bill. He calmed Deb down and Deb was all better for it.

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Satya and Deb batted through the next 6 overs with Satya orchestrating the innings. He stuck to runs in ones and twos and Deb played the role of finding the odd boundary. The plan seemed to work as the pair managed to put a 42-run partnership. Shimjith, though provided the vital breakthrough when he had Deb hit a return catch to him. And 2 balls later, an ever alert Arvind ran out Satya to take the sting out of NSN batting.

Having to rebuild again after having rebuilt the innings and with new batsmen in the middle meant that NSN had to play cautiously and put the charge on the back-burner for longer. With Manish too falling soon after the innings seemed to be heading to a collapse.

Gangadhar played a crucial innings at the end marshaling the lower-order with some powerful strokes to push his team out of a miserable total and propelling it towards a decent one. His unbeaten 34 pushed his team north of 120 which looked unlikely at the end of 15 overs.

GE with the Champions trophy. © The CouchExpert

GE with the Champions trophy. © The CouchExpert

Abhishek continued to bat at the top after his wonderful innings in the last game with Rajnikanth. Abhishek looked to be at his fluent best as he produced wonderful drives and was the dominant partner in the opening partnership with Rajnikanth. Abhishek’s strokeplay allowed Rajni to take time to settle in (not that he ever needs it) and the openers soon were motoring along at about 10 an over.

It all seemed easy when Abhishek lofted a square drive to be taken in a juggling act at point by Jithendra who caught it on rebound close to the ground. Four balls later, Shimjith was adjudged leg-before when he seemed to have nicked it on to his pad. A set-back on the last over of the powerplay meant NSN were not allowed a foot into the door.

Arvind, unbeaten throughout the tournament, joined hands with Rajnikanth as the two of them first ensured there would be no collapse with some solid batting. Both looked content to finish the job at hand even if it meant not with flamboyant strokeplay.

NSN with the tournament runners-up trophy. © The CouchExpert

NSN with the tournament runners-up trophy. © The CouchExpert

Only with the clouds looming in and the chance of there being a shower did the batsmen show any need to finish the job ahead of time. Rajnikanth opened out and launched into a thunderous assault as did Arvind. The pair added an unbeaten match-winning 72 run partnership for the third wicket in a little over 10 overs to bring GE a comfortable victory with 4 overs to spare.

Abhishek acknowledged that his core of 7-8 players playing a key role for his team day in and day out through this tournament that he said was the backbone of his side. And for two tournaments running now, it seems to be the case with one senior player or the other stepping up match after match.

Gangadhar, on the other hand, was proud of his boys as well as it was their first serious tournament with this bunch of boys and he hoped that things would get better for them going ahead.

A jubilant GE team at the end of the game. © The CouchExpert

A jubilant GE team at the end of the game. © The CouchExpert

So, after 7 weekends of cricket, GE were crowned The CouchExpert T20 Champions. And deservedly so!

Brief scores: NSN 121/7 in 20 overs (Debakant 36 (36 b, 2X4, 1X6), Gangadhar 34 not out (28 b, 3X4), Shimjith 2/15) lost to GE 124/2 in 16 overs (Rajnikanth 52 not out (50 b, 5X4), Arvind 33 not out (24b, 4X4), Manish 2/33) by 8 wickets.

Full scorecard with wagonwheel, pitch-map is available  here.

Full scorecard with individual performance chart can be downloaded from here.

Performer of the Match: Rajnikanth – MVP points 20.91

Post-match presentation:



Finals#2: IDM Cricketers (A2) versus ACT (B2)

25th August 2013 (7:30 am  – 10:30am)

ACT won the toss and elected to bat

Rains overnight and constant drizzle at the start of the day meant there was a delayed start and as a result the game was reduced to a 17-over affair. And both teams were light going into the finals with Bharath and Shithu, batsman and bowler of the tournament respectively, for ACT and captain Kapil among others for IDM Crickters.

Vinay pulled a six to get the innings off to a rousing start and the intention seemed to be to make the most of the powerplay overs. The rains meant the outfield was a little heavy and boundaries later would  be difficult.

In the process wickets also were sacrificed as both Sharath and VInay were both preys of their own hunting methods. Rishab, batting in at one-drop and a very aggressive Deepak got stuck in and continued to look positive and score the runs at the pace their captain asked of them.

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Deepak, in particular looked imperious as he batted with more freedom than usual even clobbering a six as he payed the role of setting the pace for the rest of the folks to capitalize on later. With Srikanth finishing his overs up top and the others looking less threatening than he, Deepak branched out to score runs on both sides of the wicket with equal fluency. Rishab played a great foil feeding him with strike as often as possible thou there was a phase where both kept hitting their boots with the bat hampering their running for a brief while!

The pair added 74 for the third wicket in just under 10 overs to setup the last 4 overs of the innings to the power hitters in ACT to push the score closer to 150. Benjamin used his brute strength to good effect and Deepak hung around to push the score closer to 150. They ended with 141, which seemed a high total on still a heavy outfield.

ACT with the winners trophy. © The CouchExpert

ACT with the winners trophy. © The CouchExpert

IDM Cricketers’ chase was rather bizarre as the wind ran out of the sails very quickly. A shortage of personnel meant they had to push their best batsman this tournament, Swayam, down the order and their lynchpin through this tournament – their opening stand – was changed for this game.

Prasen though was up to the task of the opener as he went about his task of going after the ACT quickies with the ball new with good intent, Heavy outfield, big outfield and a lot of spinners in the ACT ranks meant IDM Cricketers had to make the running at the top.

Prasen’s innings came to an end in the 4th over spin was already on show and Thomas scalping him. Swayam walked in and looked threatening. Unfortunately for him and his team, Melvin was struggling for timing and rhythm at the other end as he struggled to not just find boundaries, but increasingly difficult to even rotate strike as the spinners kept him pinned down.

The pattern would be commonplace through the innings as Melvin neither found runs nor got out thereby increasing the pressure on his partner at the other end. Swayam fell prey to the pressure and ended up run out to the pressure. The runs were more and more difficult to get and no one walking in found runmaking easy as ACT stifled all IDM Cricketers batsmen.

In the end, it was but a formality when ACT won the game rather easily by 5 runs. Barring a poor game right at the start, they have been the team of the tournament and a trifle unlucky not to be in the main finals.

Brief scores: ACT 141/4 in 17 overs (Deepak 58 (46 b, 8X4, 1X6), Rishab 27 (29 b, 3X4), Srikanth 2/32) beat IDM Cricketers 90/7 in 17 overs (Melvin 28 (48 b, 1X4), Thomass 2/23) by 51 wickets.

Full scorecard with wagonwheel, pitch-map is available  here.

Full scorecard with individual performance chart can be downloaded from here.

Performer of the Match: Deepak – MVP points 14.91

Post-match presentation:



Finals#3: Boltz (A3) versus CECC (B3)

27th August 2013 (2:30 pm  -5:30)

CECC won the toss and elected to bat

The sequence of events meant that CECC and Boltz would square off again and this time in the finals. Both teams were without its best performers from the last game – Nagaraj for Boltz and Gokul LN for CECC. And the game was reduced to 18 overs a side given the fading light conditions.

CECC batted first and their openers were off to another confident start as both Goutham and Harsha looking confident from the first delivery. Boltz responded by taking the pace off the ball and bowling spin from both ends within the powerplay. Harsha and Goutham picked off loose deliveries on offer and kept the score going above 8 an over through the powerplay overs and went past 50 easily.

Goutham looked good before he was dismissed in the 10th over with the total on 75. Harsha though kept going from strength to strength as he continued his remarkable run in the tournament with another 50. CECC kept losing wickets at the other end as Shoukath and Jobin were consumed by Sachin and Aseem. The spin attack was in full flow as it had not only slowed the runs considerably but also got wickets in clutches.

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Harsha falling in the 15th over further set things back for CECC and Gaurav too fell shortly thereafter. Bhargav and Gautam managed to take the total to 134 at the end of the stipulated overs to give CECC a fighting chance.

Boltz started brightly with captain Sandeep back to the top opening the innings. He got the innings off to a good start as he slammed his counterpart for a boundary in the very first over. A wide for four followed. But Goutham had Sandeep caught at slip to draw first blood off the last ball of the first over.

Bhargav followed it up with the wicket of Aseem as he trapped him in front in the next over. Sachin and Praveen made a good recovery with both looking good against some lacklusture bowling from CECC in the powerplay barring Bhargav. Gautam restored balance in the game as he had Praveen holing out to Jobin at long on.

But Sachin took it upon himself to keep knocking the runs off quickly. He maneuvered the field to pick twos and boundaries with considerable ease as CECC struggled to keep him in check. The team 50 was raised quickly, but a run out of Arun soon after kept CECC in the hunt.

The pattern followed with Sachin engineering the chase beautifully and CECC stumbling and finding ways to pick up wickets. This time Shoukath produced two wickets in two balls to send back Avinash and Vikas in two successive deliveries.

Boltz with the winners trophy. © The CouchExpert

Boltz with the winners trophy. © The CouchExpert

Sachin upped the game again as he produced another masterful innings with Krinal hogging strike. Yogi put down a crucial catch of Sachin at this stage and he took great advantage of it bringing his 50 soon after.

The game seemed lost for CECC with Krinal and Sachin putting on a good partnership for th 7th wicket. But wickets of Krinal and crucially Sachin with 8 needed for win.

But Rakesh ensured that there were no hiccups as he produced two brilliant boundaries at the end to bring Boltz the victory.

Brief scores: CECC 134/5 in 18 overs (Harsha 58 (43 b, 8X4), Goutham 33 (33 b, 3X4), Sachin 2/29, Aseem 2/35) lost to Boltz 136/8 in 16 overs (Sachin 59 (44 b, 8X4), Avinash 14 (13b, 2X4), Shoukath 3/19, Goutham 2/36) by 2 wickets

Full scorecard with wagonwheel, pitch-map is available  here.

Full scorecard with individual performance chart can be downloaded from here.

Performer of the Match: Sachin – MVP points 25.52

Post-match presentation:


Finals#4: Unisys (A4) versus THBS (B4)

27th August 2013 (11:30 am – 2 pm)

THBS won the toss and elected to bat

Following the exciting super play finish in the earlier finals, THBS and Unisys stepped on to the field in the hope to take the winners trophy home in this finals.

THBS won the toss and elected to bat. And given that it is their bowling which has been their stronger suit it seemed a sound choice going into the big game,

Vishal opened with Arun as THBS continued to stretch their top order a bit for the second game running by batting Lalit down the order and for once it seemed to pay dividends. The openers got through the powerplay overs without any wickets though Unisys kept a tight check on the flow of runs. Murthy struck in the 7th over when he sent Vishal back.

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Then Kaushik sent back THBS’s player of the tournament Arun in the next over. The onus fell on the skipper Chandan to steer his shop off troubled waters and he set about doing just that in a sensible partnerhip with Dheeraj. Runs came quickly in the next 5 overs as boundaries were both conceded with daft bowling and some good strokeplay.

Dheeraj’s wicket in the 13th over set things back for THBS again as Mallikarjun weaved his magic flicking his carrom ball deliveries with remarkable accuracy. He accounted for Shreyas the next ball and forced THBS to take a cautious approach to avoid a collapse.

It ended up being a game of cat and mouse between Mallkarjun’s 4 overs in the end and Chandan trying to marshal his troops to a decent total. Chandan held firm even as the rest struggled against the guile of Mallijarjun. Chandan tried his best to make runs at the other end and pushed his team to a total closer to 130. And given their bowling form through the tournament, it was a challenging total on the board.

Unisys with the winners trophy. © The CouchExpert

Unisys with the winners trophy. © The CouchExpert

Vaibhav struck in his first over and the second of the innings to put Unisys under early pressure. But Harish was in good form continuing his run from the last game as he found boundaries. But THBS kept at the Unisys batsmen in check as the combination of Vaibhav, Dheeraj and Arun chipped away at the wickets and had knocked 3 of the wickets before the powerplay ended.

Harish and Vikram mended the innings with a little partnership that put the innings back on track and with Harish looking good to anchor the chase to a win but fell in the 10th over as THBS kept Unisys under 6 an over. Abid joined Vikram and the pair put on another crucial partnership over the next 5 overs to set up the chase beautifully.

The bowling hero Mallikarjun joined Abid with roughly 8 and over needed in the last 5. Abid maneuvered the bowing well and Mallikarjun played the aggressor as the pair chiseled away at the THBS score.

Vaibhav returned to bowl an inspiring spell sending back a well set Abid followed by the wicket of Prashanth to make the game more interesting. With 20 needed off 16 balls at the stage, THBS realistically needed to get Mallikarjun’s wicket to remain in the hunt.

As it turned out, Mallikarjun soaked the moment and the pressure well as he took his team to a memorable victory in the last over.

Brief scores: THBS 128/8 in 20 overs (Chandan 48 not out (41b, 4X4), Dheeraj 25 (18 b, 3X4, Mallikarjun 4/16) lost to Unisys 132/7 in 19.4 overs (Mallikarjun 24 not out (17 b, 3X4), Harish 23 (22b, 3X4), Vaibhav 3/22) in super over

Full scorecard with wagonwheel, pitch-map is available  here.

Full scorecard with individual performance chart can be downloaded from here.

Performer of the Match: Mallikarjun – MVP points 24.82

Post-match presentation:

 


Finals#5: EMC (A5) versus Wowzers (B5)

27th August 2013 (7:30 am – 10:30 am)

EMC won the toss and elected to bowl

The finals weekend was finally upon us and the first of the finals turned out to be a cracker with a super over finish. For EMC, who dominated 90% of the game, it would be a tough defeat for EMC to digest.

Put into bat, EMC got off to a disastrous start with the ball with Sriram bowling 12 wides in the first over as Wowzers. Suresh and Muzaffer tried to make the most of wayward bowling by Jagadish and Sriram.

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Match wagonwheel. © The CouchExpert

Muzaffer was the first to go in the 4th over as Jagadish found his stride and started to cause trouble to batsmen on a consistent basis by now. Suresh, who has looked good in bursts throughout the tournament perished without converting his start into a substantial score.

Soon, Wowzers were in familiar territory with captain Ravi and Karthik looking to steer the ship. A very profligate EMC bowlers had gifted them with the cushion of extras nineteen to the dozen for them to take it easy with the runrate as the the pair ticked over the middle overs as they neared a hundred just over 12 overs.

Wowzers with the winners trophy. © The CouchExpert

Wowzers with the winners trophy. © The CouchExpert

The introduction of Srikanth turned the match completely upside down as he accounted for both Karthik as he castled them with his freewheeling action with three full rotations of his bowling arm before his delivery stride. Sriram trapped Ravi at the other end. Srikanth picked up his third wicket in his next over to derail the Wowzers’s innings completely.

Wowzers had to huff and puff to see if they could eke out a total that they could defend. Jagadish came back to stifle the lower order and with Harish picking up the last two wickets in the 19th over, EMC had bowled out Wowzers for just 125, 35 of them their own contribution with extras.

Chasing 126, EMC lost Harish in the first over, but Krishna and Jeethendra took over and dominated the innings for the next 12 overs. The pair were outstanding in putting the loose deliveries away for boundaries. Krishna seemed to be in a hurry with his powerful strokeplay and he received a good and aggressive showing of his own.

With less than 30 needed in about 7 overs, Krishna got out to Karthik. And Karhik knocked out Kushal with the next ball to set off a sequence of 20 minutes of cricket that was surreal.

A comfortably chase turned to a struggle as Srikanth found air more often than leather ball after ball. What started off a routine for 2 overs turned to a tactic after that as Wowzers successfully kept Jeethendra away from the strike and refused to run Srikanth out or catch him when he skied a catch.

11 runs resulted in the next 4 overs as a result and the pressure told on Jeethedra as he got out. And in a remarkable turn of fortune, Srikanth’s swingings found the bat as he edged a couple of boundaries to bring the required runs to single digits. Now, Wowzers were keen to get him out at first chance!

Eventually Srikanth was run out with 8 needed off the last 11 deliveries. A huge scramble ensued in the end with byes attempted to the wicket keeper and the like. With 2 needed off the last ball a single is all that was possible as the finals ended in a tie and the game going into a super over to decide the winner.

The super over turned out to be a complete disaster for EMC who had completely lost their way in the last half hour. The confidence seemed low and it was no wonder when they lost both wickets for 2 runs to set Wowzers to chase only 3 in their over which they did in three balls to bring wild celebrations.

Brief scores: Wowzers 125 all out in 18.5 overs (Suresh 20 (23b, 3X4), Ravi 17(27 b, 1X4, Srikanth 3/20, Harish 2/1) beat EMC 125/5 in 20 overs (Krishna 40(36b, 6X4), Jeethendra 44 (43b, 5X4), Karthik 2/31) in super over

Full scorecard with wagonwheel, pitch-map is available  here.

Full scorecard with individual performance chart can be downloaded from here.

Performer of the Match: Jeethendra – MVP points 23.35

Post-match presentation: