As the season openers at home were washed out last weekend, Optimists 1XI were eager to start their 2019 T20 campaign on a high note. First away game against 12 Stars CC was scheduled at Antwerp Cricket ground. On a bright sunny afternoon, 12 Stars won the toss, considering the short ground without any hesitation, the opposition captain decided to bat first. 12 Stars got to flying start scoring 28 runs in 2.5 overs but continuing his form from last year Ankush gave the first blow to 12 stars CC by squaring up the opener. Next over Vikram trapped the other opener by forcing him to go big at long on, a fine catch by Praveen. 12 Stars started a counter-attack and the runs started flourish for them as the score stood 60 for 2 at the end of the powerplay. Having brought back to bowling, Ankush forced the hard hitter to nick behind on 47 with a good catch by Amit behind the stumps. As wickets continued to tumble Pankaj bagged his first wicket of the season and 12 Stars were reduced 89 for 4 after 10 overs. OCC’s Captain Tony started to rotate his bowlers very well and rewards were paying off as Akhilesh took 4 wicket haul and to support him from other end Praveen bagged 2 wickets. 12 stars were all out under 20 overs for 124 runs.
Girish and Vijay opened for OCC. Unfortunately, OCC lost the first wicket on the second ball of the innings but Vijay and Anshuman held their nerves started attacking bowlers from both ends scoring 56 runs in the powerplay. Unfortunately, Vijay departed on a quick-fired 18 runs. Vikram joined Anshuman at the crease and runs started to flow again from both ends again. Anshuman departed for a well-made 43. Vikram reached his quick-fire fifty in just 30 balls. OCC won the match by 7 wickets and 6 overs to spare.
Next Sunday, OCC will face Antwerp in an away game at the same ground.