Sunshine baked the Pierre Werner Oval in Walferdange today to provide a fitting setting for the annual Lagaan Cup. This is a traditional match played between the Optimists CC and Indian Association of Luxembourg (IAL) on the Independence Day of India now 69 years ago in 1947.
The IAL Select XI elected to bat in great conditions but struggled to get their innings going due to the tight bowling pressure in particular from William Cope. Batsmen struggled to break free and the scoring did not flow until Vikram Vijh joined the action. His array of shots showed the way and he helped his side reach 215 for 5 from 30 overs with an excellent hundred. Aanand Pandey was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 27 of 6 overs.
However, with the outfield in perfect batting condition, this score was considered below par as the Optimists enjoyed the innings break with an excellent curry. In starting the chase, James Barker was soon showing his form and ably supported by Marcus Cope. The run rate of 7 an over was always kept with James crunching drives off his front foot regularly to eventually reach 125 not out. Aanand Pandey joined the chase and showed his skills but ended agonisingly on 49 not out as he hit the winning runs. An excellent day’s cricket was ended with a short presentation of the trophy amongst these great cricketing friendships.