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Round 6 – Shocking Loss

We were playing one of our nemesis Pendle Hill Colts in Round 6. It’s always been a fiery game with this team over the years.

“You go out there and do what you want to do! Just don’t get out.” said the captain to Avinash. And he did exactly that, scoring 99 runs in the process! Well done lad!

SSSCI were put into bat and they opened the innings with the usual suspects Roshit and Avinash. Both the openers started aggressively and the runs were coming thick and fast. A bit edgy and scratchy but they were at the job steadily. A chest high bouncer and a mistimed pull shot sent Roshit back. Vinod Reddy walked in next to consolidate the innings but was out to a blinder of a catch at mid-on. The catch was taken inches above the ground by putting in a full length dive. Unlucky for Vinod again, it’s been the case for him so far this season. Suraj walked in next with SSSCI suddenly in a spot of bother. Never new to such occasion, Suraj and Avinash took control and built the innings together. Suraj and Avinash added more than 50 runs for the third wicket with controlled aggression and the right amount of patience.

Having settled down, Avinash and Suraj switched gears in the next session and the runs started coming in at more than run a ball. They were dealing in boundaries and sixes. It was an absolute delight to watch these two play. Lofted drives, exemplary cover drives, massive sixes and a plethora of other textbook shots were at display. Alas, a missed mighty heave had the ball kiss the edge of Suraj’s bat and land in the gloves of the wicket keeper. 49 runs bludgeoned in no time. Well played Suraj! Another feather in your cap.

Murugs promoted himself up the order and went in next. Luck smiled on him as a dolly of a catch was put down by the mid-on fielder. It proved to be an expensive drop as Murugs and Avinash started exploiting the conditions. Murugs showed them how quick he is between the wickets and Avinash seemed to be his ideal partner. SSSCI had clear plans for the third session – to attack from the word go, and so they did. Avinash struck one powerfully and sent the ball out of the park, which never came back. This prompted the opposition to use another ball. Perhaps, with the change of ball they envisaged a change in fortune. And they weren’t disappointed, as Murugs edged a wild swing to the keeper for a well-made 31. Avinash and Murugs took SSSCI to a very formidable position, as they were nearing 200. Playing only his second match, Deepak went in next to score some quick runs but a mistimed shot cost SSSCI his wicket. Cowcorner specialist Vinod walked in next and almost immediately sent one over the ropes, where else but over the cow-corner. The party however did not last long as he was bowled by a full toss.

SSSCI declared at 208/7 and gave Pendle Hill Colts an entire session to bat through. Varaprasad and Yuvaraj started the proceedings for SSSCI. The batsmen had no answers to Yuvi’s in-swingers and Prasad’s raw pace. Varaprasad broke the openers’ confidence with some accurate bowling and almost had a wicket, but a tough chance was put down by Suraj at first slip. Yuvi gave SSSCI their first break by bamboozling the batsman with a sharp in-swinger that came in from the fifth stump to hit the top of the middle stump. The batsman, letting the ball go was made to look silly. Awesome
control Yuvi! Incredible stuff! Murugs replaced Prasad and sent back the other opener by breaking his furniture. A well-targeted delivery aimed at the sticks could not be read by the batsman. With just a few more overs left, the panicky batsmen almost gave few more tough chances but just about survived to hang around till the end of the day.

A fantastic weather greeted us on the second day. A terrific day to be out on the field playing cricket. SSSCI Storm was short of couple of players at the start of play but they got in feeling confident. Yuvi and Murugs started the proceedings for SSSCI Storm and they kept a tight line. The young batsmen were still finding it difficult to read the line and it was a good sign to see few deliveries go past the edges. Losing patience, the batsman flicked a well-directed length ball to the pads to the waiting hands of Siva. The catch was taken cleanly and SSSCI got their first breakthrough of the day through
Murugs, without letting the opposition score much.

Their most prolific batsman of the day walked in next and he made his intentions clear by having a go at the very first ball he faced. It got the edge and flew over the top of gully for a boundary. Unconvincing yet valuable. This pair settled in well and saw through the rest of the session. The bowlers bowled a tight line but were a touch unlucky as edges found no man’s land and the occasional boundaries kept coming. The batsmen seemed to have a plan as one of them consolidated while the other attacked. The second session saw the overnight batsman score his half century and get out immediately. A bit late perhaps for SSSCI Storm as he was put down when he was in his thirties, but a breakthrough nevertheless.

Seeking to salvage the missed opportunities, SSSCI Storm tried quite a few options to unsettle the batsmen. There were few exciting moments when the batsmen were struggling against the consistent line by Siva. Siva kept a tight like not allowing the batsmen to open up freely. Siva was rewarded for his consistent bowling when the batsman offered him a simple return catch which was gleefully accepted by him.

Yuvi, Murugs, and Vinod Reddy Bowled consistently except maybe for few odd deliveries that were wayward. Apart from that, the bowling department was at it and was creating chances at regular intervals. It just happened to be one of those days where the fielders couldn’t find their feet. It doesn’t happen too often with SSSCI Storm that they fail to capitalize on breakthroughs. Formidable with the bat and ball throughout the game, had the fielders come to the party a bit earlier, the day’s story would have been totally different. Varaprasad’s bowling at the death is worth a mention. He brought in the steam that was much needed and sent the last two batsmen searching for answers to his screaming in-swingers. Well done lad!

SSSCI Storm was perhaps a touch out of luck and it wasn’t their best day on the field. An interesting incident to support the claim – Vinod Reddy fired one in to the tailender’s stumps. He was on target, the batsman missed it, and what happened next foxed everyone. The ball went in between the stumps without disturbing the bails. How often does that happen? Few dropped catches adding to their agony as well. The bowling department poured their heart out and created chances which could not be converted. The captain tired and exhausted, even took a shot with the chinaman Vinod. In the end, it was a shocking loss to the team but overall, it was a good effort that SSSCI Storm can carry at the back of their heads and learn from the lapses. SSSCI Storm is not a team that can be written off yet, and this is a known fact to the other teams in the league as well. If anything, SSSCI Storm will only come back stronger.

Scorecard Summary
Player of the match – Avinash (for his amazing innings of 99 runs)