On a cloudy Sunday afternoon that threatened rain at Police Training College X-Cricketers were put in to bat by HKU Students.
The decision looked a good one as opener Ben Yates was cleaned up for nought by an inswinging yorker early on in the first over.
In went Manpreet Singh, his exuberance and flamboyant style evident early on as he looked to build with opener Nitesh Sacheti. Both were looking good when Sacheti having been dropped by square leg earlier decided to stick to the aerial route and put one straight down Mid On’s throat. Sarkar was in next and repeated Sacheti’s shot, albeit left handed. Captain Vishal Mahtani went in next and tried valiantly to steady the ship. He was bowled by another inswinging screamer. The two new batsmen in, Sarju Paryani and Parvesh Fabiani are usually the most steadfast of batsmen
and they showed that quality here. Taking good singles and rotating the strike well.
One that stood up did for Paryani as he hit it straight up in the air for an easy catch. Chandeep Gill in and out in a flash caught behind. Maqsood Hussain too made a fleeting appearance. Ravi Nagdev playing a good cover drive before getting his off stump knocked back a few balls later with an inside edge. From here on only resolute Fabiani and not so resolute Shezad remained. There was good chat between the 10th wicket pair and this showed when they ran 3 on a ball that barely crossed the inner circle. Perhaps over excited by that adventure Shezad was bowled middle stump trying to knock one out of the park and leaving Fabiani stranded. X-Cricketers hitting 99 from 22 overs.
HKU Students looked excited at the prospect of having to chase a achievable target. But there was a belief witin X-Cricketers team. Matters didn't help when X-Cricketers gave away 10 wides in the first over itself. However, things quickly started to click for the bowlers who were backed up by a loud and boisterous field and then the wickets started coming.
Shezad was too quick for the opener and getting him LBW, Sacheti’s beguiling flight had his partner bowled. Good fieldwork by Shezad aided Sarkar in getting a runout at the bowler’s end. Having got the top 3 out for under 20 runs, belief spread out through the X-Cricketers side and it showed. Another flurry of wickets from excellent bowling by Manpreet and Shezad gave us 2 more. At this point lady luck gave HKU Students a lifeline when an excellent catch in slips by Sacheti was ruled to be off a no ball.
The following over Sacheti undid their good luck by getting the same batsman to nick one to first slip. We were into the tail now and the wickets were quickly cleaned up by Gill, Sarkar and Hussain. HKU Students were bowled out for
52 after 21 overs.
An encouraging win for X- Cricketers and one that we can hopefully build on.