Optimists Cricket Club News story

WOCC – The juggernauts of LCF 2020

01 Aug 2020

On Saturday 1st August 2020, Luxembourg cricket was all set to host the final match of Pete Mitchell cup 2020 to decide the champions. Old rivals, Heritage and WOCC, lined up the best possible combination to battle one more time. In absence of Joost and Richard, WOCC fielded a side with relatively untested middle order and Heritage with the best bowling unit. Winning the toss, Captain Vikram rightly opted to bat in dry conditions. Opener Praveen and Luca took their guards and soon faced the heat of best spell of fast bowling from Atif Kamal. Beaten, edged, and bounced, openers found challenging to score runs and their time at the crease was short-lived. Atif drew first blood by dismissing Praveen Kurvalli in third over that brought Skipper Vikram to the crease. Knowing the danger Vikram could pose, Captain Mohit continued with his best bowler (Atif) to trouble him early in the innings and the plan worked. Trying to alter the testing length from Atif, Vikram shuffled across the crease and edged to first slip, comfortably held by William Heath and Luca found him clean bowled in the same over. At 22 for 3 at the end of 5 over, Saransh and Anand had a big task to rebuild their innings and scored at a good rate. But Pankaj and William bowled in good areas and chocked the run flow, forcing batsmen to take the aerial route. Trying to up ante, Saransh charged down the wicket and found the fielder at long-on. Though Anand showed brief resistance WOCC bowlers got wicket at regular intervals, dismissed Heritage for a below-par 92. Anand top scored with 26 runs followed by Luca 13 run. On the bowling side, Atif finished with figures of 4/6 and Pankaj with 2/14. For the team averaged 160 this season, the target of 93 must be a walk in the park. But WOCC decided to approach the run chase cautiously knowing that Heritage can pull victory from the jaws of defeat. WOCC opened with William Cope and James Barker while Heritage started with Saransh, whose golden arm struck in first over dismissing William Cope (2). Willam Health went at number 3 soon returned back without scoring when Ravi struck him leg before in second over. Heritage struck two more blows in 5th and 6th over dismissed Pankaj (3) and Tim Andrews (9) and the scorecard read 25/4. Sensing the deep trouble, Skipper Mohit promoted Praveen Muthumanickam to stabilize the innings. Praveen started carefully while James was as solid as rock on the other side. The duo added 51 runs at a good rate by comfortably rotating the strike and scoring occasional boundaries. This partnership ended when Praveen ran out due to a mix up in the middle. With 17 runs required, Heritage used strike bowlers to attack the new batsmen (Mohit) while missing a half chance and a runout opportunity that could have swung the match in their favor. With 5 runs required in two over, Mohit hit a boundary to level the score followed by wide conceding the winning run. WOCC completed the chase at 18.3 overs with the loss of five wickets. James and Mohit remained unbeaten at 30 and 10 runs respectively. Full credit to Heritage for putting a great contest with a meager 92. Graham Cope started the presentation with the note of thanks for everyone involved in the process, followed by presenting the match ball to Atif Kamal and James Barker for their fantastic bowling (4/6) and batting(30*) performance. Captain Mohit collected the winning trophy and Tim popped the champagne to begin the celebration, which later ended with a team photo. WOCCers left the fields reflecting on the spectacular season they had and hoping to repeat next year.