Optimists Cricket Club News story

Magnificent ton by Vikram Vijh secures optimists position in BCF 2nd division.

24 Sep 2019

Match Summary:
OCC 1st XI  279 for 6 (Vikram V. 109, Anup O 75, Girish V. 33) beat RBCC 277/2 (M Ahmed 114*, M Syed Jamil 83, Atif Kamal 2-52) by 4 wickets

If the best way to finish of their season in style in a brilliantly tense do or die match, then Optimists CC 1st XI achieved their goal in Brussels at Ohain, Waterloo. After losing the last match against Antwerp this Saturday, OCC 1st XI travelled to Brussels to play against RBCC 1st XI in a season finale what could result in possible relegation if lost.

While chasing a stiff target of 278 runs in 45 overs. OCC 1st XI made a tactical change in the opening combination promoting Reinhardt H. with James B. Trying to hit the straight drive over the bowler, James was held on to a fantastic catch. As a result, OCC lost the first wicket in the third over for twelve runs. Reinhardt continued the job, for what he was sent for. Scoring 31 runs in just 20 balls hitting seven swashbuckling boundaries. The opposition came back strong by taking two wickets in quick succession and the score stood 40-3 in 7.3 overs for OCC.

Optimists were in a spot of bother for a moment and in walked Vikram and Girish who are in fine form for the entire season. The job was to consolidate the inning without losing further wickets. That’s what both batsmen did. Playing against his natural game Vikram, set the tone to anchor his inning and gave most of the strike to Girish. On the other hand, Girish played his natural game went after the bowlers by welcoming Khurram Shehzad (2nd change) by hitting three fours in his first two overs soon accumulating 50 runs partnership for the 4th wicket in 63 balls.

He gave away sixteen runs in his two overs, yet he struck with the third delivery of his next over, the 19th of the innings, with a wider delivery that held its line outside off stump. Girish tried to steer it to point but edged it to the keeper after scoring a quickfire 33 runs off 35 balls with six fours. Anoop joined the crease with Vikram.

Sometimes, they say, the momentum changes things around. That cliché came alive today, in the 20th over, with OCC needing 178 from 156 deliveries almost seven runs per over when Anoop spanked Mussayab Syed Jamil for three stunning fours on the leg side. What followed a brilliant batting display by Vikram and Anoop. Accruing a boundary almost every over and rotating the strike very well. Vikram brought up his fifty quietly. On the other hand, Anoop continued to punish the bowlers to bring up his 50 runs in just 44 balls.

The chase was soaked with intensity, loads of chirping was going on the field, however, OCC batters were cool as ice, keeping in mind the rain threat and DLS par score, they maintained the scoring rate to stay ahead in the game. Soon they brought up 100 runs partnership for the fifth wicket in just 91 balls. Trying to accelerate Anoop held on to covers after scoring fine 73 runs in just 65 balls hitting seven fours and two monstrous sixes. Optimists still needing 47 runs off 35 balls.

Vikram chugged along though and changed his gears quickly to find boundaries at his will to bring up his 2nd century of the season in the process and proceeded to add 44 more with Tony. His innings included sixteen glorious fours and was a masterclass on how to build the inning for the chase. Showing his class by hitting some outstanding flicks, cover drives and pull shots all around park. 

It continued Vikram's rich vein of form, massing 402 runs with 2 hundred and 2 fifties for the 1st XI this season making him the highest scorer of OCC 1st XI for the second time (2017,2019) in last three years for BCF division.

Trying to steal a quick single on the first ball of 45th over while optimists still needing three runs to win the game, he was run out after scoring 109 runs from 113 balls with a strike rate of 96.94. Tony finished the chase in style by hitting a solid four over point very next ball thus securing Optimists position in the 2nd division and possibility to secure 2nd position provided RBCC loses against Antwerp in an away game on 5th of October.

Earlier after winning the toss and electing to bat first, RBCC began their inning cautiously. Atif Kamal provided the first breakthrough for OCC on the last ball of the powerplay in effect RBCC scored just 35 runs after losing 1 wicket in the first powerplay. However, the opener and the captain Maqsood Ahmed and one down batsman Mussayab Syed Jamil batted beautifully to score hundred and fifty run partnership for the second wicket. Once again Atif came to rescue OCC in 35th over by forcing Jamil to play shot to Vikram who took a low catch.

The hosts set a target of 278 runs after playing full allotted overs while their captain carried his bat with a patient 114 runs and a solid contribution from other batters. Making Atif Kamal only the successful bowler for OCC 1st XI.