The Sabbath is the day of rest to some, not for the second XI, as Senior Cope herded this rabble down in convoy to face off against newcomers to the league Kortrijk Warriors. Obviously, someone was late to Glacis, someone is always late to Glacis and hence gets the match report writing duties. Yours truly.
After inspecting the all-weather pitch, the 2s were put in to bat after a lost toss by skipper Mohit Dixit. Vijay fell early on for 10. Scott Browne and Shiv Gill dug in and put on 121 together, Scott getting bowled for 79, at 140-2 of 15.3, we were nicely poised to post a decent score. Ady, Mohit and Maz (who will be referred to as the Maserati for all future references) chipped in as Shiv accelerated to finish not out for a super 69*. Hence a decent total of 179 for 5 from our 20.
The 2nd XI has a settled feel to it, both with the lineup and how the match always starts, we like to start the games with wides! Shameek normally carries this mantle, but this week it was Skipper’s turn, anyway it worked, getting their opener out the second ball, but not really the second ball. Their number three then fell and the score was at 33-2 of just 4.6. But then Kortrijk really turned the screw in the middle innings as they put on 75 for the third wicket. At 108-3 from 12.1 overs, Skipper Mohit needed a vehicle, to kick start the revival, something fast and good looking, he needed the Maserati. The Maserati tied one end down and his purple match, allowed the other bowlers to follow suit. Like a pack of wolves, they smelt fear in the air and burst into life as we started to pull the game back. Pankaj, Maserati, and ‘Mr. Cool’ Raju Akulwar picking up a wicket apiece, sprinkled with a few run-outs, and the customary dropped catch, but we were home and dry by 19 runs.
Scott’s Curry Report: No curry, not a happy bunny.
Game 2: We lost the toss again and were put back into the field. The Maserati opened up, unfortunately, this time he huffed and puffed and didn’t quite blow the house down. At 53 for 3 of just 4.4 overs Kortrijk Warriors had teed off early doors, however, the Optimists knew they needed only one more wicket to put the cat amongst the pigeons. Marcus Cope picked up the big wicket and in partnership with Vishy they picked up 5 wickets between them for just 29 runs from their 8 overs. All out for Nelson, 111. Was the job done?
Having been lectured by Coach Cope about the importance of bonus points, a ponderous start saw Ady and Scott tip-toe their way to a meager 36-0 from 10, after being reminded that is was not a test match by the oppo, 58 from the following 24 balls put the game to bed, sticks and stones. With Ady eventually falling for 42, Thomas Martin entered your dispatch to apply the winning runs and a handsome nine-wicket victory.
Two solid team performances and 47 points from the two games, meant Raju was smiling even more than normal at the obligatory Wanlin beer stop.