On a hot sunny day, 2nd XI captain Girish won the toss and elected to bat first. Ananth and Vijay opened the batting and got off to a good start with Vijay clearing the infield a couple of times in the first 3 overs vs Anshuman and Maz. Anshuman struck in the 4th over with Ananth nicking an outswinger to Amit. The skipper came to the crease and was looking good with a hook shot for 6 and an all run four. 2nd XI were in a good position and going well before an avoidable runout happened. Girish dropping the ball into the off side and Vijay setting off straight way – the striker sending Vijay back and a direct hit to catch him short. The very next over Girish then played an uppish drive of Maz which was caught at cover point by Vishakh. Another wicket followed with Anshuman accounting for Anoop (duck) chopping onto his stumps. Good opening spells from Anshuman and Maz left 2nd XI 4 down within 8 overs. Vikram and Vishakh came on for the pacers while Pankaj and Amrit started the rebuilding job. Pankaj was batting well and was rotating the strike nicely with singles/doubles, but then flicked a ball of Vikram towards square leg only for Rathiah to pull off a blinding catch. Fielding was certainly making the difference for 1st XI until this point. Shameek came in at 7 continuing where Pankaj left off, but was running out of partners. Amrit picked out James at long-on of Vikram’s bowling, Vishy hitting a full toss again of Vikram to Rathiah (his 2nd catch), and Akhilesh was caught well by Vishakh off his own bowling. At 120/8 the 1st XI would have wanted to wrap the innings up soon, but Ankush and Shameek played very mature innings, leaving the ball well outside off and taking the singles on offer with the field spread. Once set and with the partnership crossing 50, a few boundaries followed but Ankush went for one too many and holed out to Vishakh at deep square leg off Sri’s bowling (giving him a deserved wicket). Shameek continued his efforts but was left stranded on 38* as the innings folded at 204 in 38 overs. Good bowling and fielding from the first XI with key contributions from Vikram (3/36 in 9 overs), Anshuman (2/30 in 4 overs), Vishakh (2/32 in 5.2 overs) Maz (1/37 in 7 overs), and Sri (1/36 in 6 overs).
1st XI knew that if they batted out the 45 overs they would chase it down, while 2nd XI were looking for early wickets. They got exactly that when Ankush got Vishakh caught at gully (good low catch from Amrit at gully) in the 3rd over. Pankaj and Ankush really tested James and Amit with lateral movement, but the two countered well. Amit was looking extremely good with a flick and back foot punch as standout shots. James and Amit were running well between the wickets putting pressure on the 2nd XI fielders. Pankaj then got his wicket when Amit was caught lbw. Vikram came in at 4 and settled in for a long haul with James playing the anchor role at the other end. They saw off the opening bowlers testing spells with Shameek/Anoop coming on at first change. Anoop was bowling economically with a ring field on the off side, but Vikram targeted Shameek and hit him for 3 boundaries releasing the pressure. James was also particularly severe on anything short down the leg side with the odd freebie. Girish brought himself on instead of Shameek and instantly caused problems for the two left handers outside off stump which reduced the scoring rate – it also meant Vikram had to take a couple of chances against Anoop and hit him for a 6 over long on freeing his arms. Girish then got his deserved wicket, Vikram flicking it to Vijay at mid wicket on 42. At 109/3 in 24 overs it was still the 1st XI’s game to lose. Anand and James rotated the strike well and were going well. After the 30th over the scoring rate picked up with James getting to his 50. Anoop and Vishy’s spells were seen off and Girish turned to Ankush in the search of a breakthrough. It worked when Anand nicked off behind with the score on 158. 160/4 in 35 overs and the 2nd XI started to sniff a chance of victory. Sri held up an end while James opened up taking the score to 185/4, and then Girish struck twice in an over getting James caught on an uppish drive after scoring 81 and Sri bowled. It was still very close with a few runs required, but Anshuman and Maz cleared the infield a couple of times to take the 1st XI to victory. Girish and Ankush were the standout bowlers for the 2nd XI taking 3/32 in 7.1 overs and 1/23 in 8 overs respectively. Overall a good competitive match played in the right spirit.
2nd XI 204 all out in 38.2 overs (Shameek 38*, Pankaj 35. Vikram 3/36, Anshuman 2/30, Vishakh 2/32).
1st XI 205/7 in 42.1 overs (James 81, Vikram 42, Girish 3/32)