Posts Tagged ‘The CouchExppert T20 Championship’


Finals#2: ING (A2) versus Terrific XI (B2)

15th December 2013 (7:30 am  – 10:30am)

Terrific XI won the toss and elected to field

Two teams with similar fortunes in the league games now crossed swords in the 2nd Finals of the tournament. Terrific XI managed to put their best players on the park, and ING were missing its best batsman (also named Batsman of the Tournament) Somu from their playing XI.

A foggy morning meant that the teams had to wait a good half hour for the sun to come out to knife through the fog for the light to be permissible for play to begin. Nishith won the toss and inserted ING in to bat.

It would be a contrasting start for the Terrific XI opening bowlers Nishith and Shakthi. Nishith had trouble controlling his lines against the left-right opening pairing of Raha and Taha and conceded extras through wides. Shakthi on the other hand tucked the batsmen of any room and keeping things tight.

The tussle between bat and ball remained honest as batsmen didn’t have much difficulty milking the bowling for run a ball, but the bowling was tight enough for batsmen finding it difficult to really get after the bowling.

Every time the batting team looked to up the ante, they skied the ball and wickets tumbled. Raha was the first to go in the fifth over trying to get after Nishith. Vinod followed up the spell of Shakthi with good measure keeping the scoring to a minimum in his first spell. His around-the-wicket angle seemed to be difficult for the batsmen to score against.

ING

Victorious ING team with the winners’ trophy. © The CouchExpert

Shivaraj reaped the rewards at the other end as he knocked over the well set Taha in the 9th over to keep the scoring in check at roughly run a ball. Abhish bowled his leg spinners well with the odd full toss to further keep the batsmen in check.

ING further lost their way trying to get after the spinners as Ameya and Raghavendra lost their wickets. It took a settled partnership between Madhu and Paddy to get the innings back on track for ING.

Things would have take an uglier turn for ING had Madhu’s catch been taken at point pretty early in the innings. What was a struggle to go at run a ball for the best part of 17 overs turned around drastically in the 18th over with two back-to-back no balls. Madhu helped himself to a four and a six off those to launch a spectacular assault in the final 3 overs.

Paddy ran hard to put Madhu on strike as often as he could and Madhu pushed the score at a rapid pace eventually pushing it past 150 while making a vital 50. The final few overs ensured that Terrific XI will have to go over 7.5 and over to win the contest.

Terrific XI started off well with Pankaj and Shivaraj feasting on full deliveries by Paddy for boundaries. Raha followed it up with inconsistent lengths as well as Terrific XI got off to a brisk start. However, Paddy struck twice in his next two overs to send the openers back.

Terrific XI with the runners' trophy. © The CouchExpert

Terrific XI with the runners’ trophy. © The CouchExpert

Tarun though played his strokes to stay abreast with the runrate. He started with a lofted boundary over mid on to signal his intentions. His driving on the off-side was good as well to compound the problems for the ING bowlers.

Suresh gave Tarun good company as the pair went after the ING bowlers in an entertaining partnership punishing loose deliveries on offer – high full tosses, half-volleys on leg stump.

Tarun and Suresh put on 43 runs in a little over 5 overs to push the score to 75 just around the 10th over, when a loose drive outside off stump by Tarun was snapped up by the keeper. The tables turned a bit after that even though Suresh pushed the score above hundred at the turn of the 15th over.

A stunning running catch on the boundary by Sheshagiri when the ball looked set to sail over the boundary turned the game on its head as it got rid of the set batsman Suresh. ING tightened the grip on the game with straight bowling and well set fields to cut any boundaries to bring up a 20 run victory in the end.

For his match changing 50, Madhusudhan was declared the Player of the Match.

Brief scores: ING 151/4 in 20 overs (Madhu 51 n.o. (29 b, 4X4, 2X6), Paddy 25 n.o. (33 b, 1X4), Shivaraj 2/26) beat Terrific XI 131/9 in 20 overs (Suresh 29 (31 b, 5X4), Ameya 3/23) by 20 wickets.

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

Performer of the Match: Madhu – MVP points 27.06

Post-match presentation:


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: