Having won the thriller last weekend against the Liege CC and riding on the high level of confidence Optimists, 2nd XI traveled to Antwerpen last Saturday to face AICC 2nd XI. Mohit won the toss and decided to bat first on the uneven track. Advyth and Thomas Martin opened the inning for the Optimists and negotiated the first hour cautiously. Advyth made most of the new ball very well by rotating the strike and punishing the bad balls to the boundaries and a six. However, just before the first drink break, Optimists lost three wickets in quick succession. The score stood 59 for three wickets after the 17 overs. Anoop Simha walked in to join Advyth to rebuild the inning. Adyth continued to punish the ball and hit the magnificent fours over mid-wicket in the 20th and 22nd over. Soon a peach of a delivery from Rahil Mehta, which stayed a bit low, got Advyth on 44 runs off 77 balls.
On the other hand, Anoop looked determined to conquer the lousy luck he had for the last few games he played. He built his inning with Pankaj and put on 32 runs partnership. While trying to scoop the ball over the short fine, Pankaj was dismissed by the opposition captain on 4 runs. Walked in Oscar Whiteman, who had a job with Anoop again to bring the OOC 2nd XI on track and achieve the respectable target on a difficult pitch. As expected, Oscar smartly rotated the strike. Anoop continued to play a magnificant inning. When the ball was there to hit, he hit it so cleanly that the ball was replaced twice due to his massive sixes over cow corner. While trying to accelerate, Anoop caught on the long-on well-made 63 runs with five fours and three sixes. In walked the captain, who made his intention clear from the first ball. Both shifted the paddle to the fifth gear and started to mint at least a boundary each over. Oscar reached his maiden fifty of the season in the 49th over and hit a massive six on the last ball of the OCC 2nd XI. Mohit scored quickfire 27 runs off 15 balls, and Oscar remained unbeaten on 59 runs to give AICC 2nd XI target of 238 runs.
After quick pizza team lunch, the captain opened the OCC’s bowling attack with Raju and the debutant Ansh. Raju deceived the opening batsman with the slower one, who gave Oscar a catch in the covers. Both the opening bowlers continued to exert pressure on the batsman. As a result, Raju struck again in the 7th over for OCC. An excellent throw by Oscar to the debutant Ansh saw another wicket in the form of a run out in the 8th over. First, change the captain himself and 2nd change Pankaj bowled a tight spell, bowling 5 maidens and took three wickets between two to reduce AICC 2nd to 61 for 7 after 23 overs. Praveen and Vishi chipped with the bowling. Praveen took one wicket, and Vishi captured two wickets to finish off the AICC inning for 91 runs.
With this win, OCC 2nd XI stands right on the top of the league table. But, as they say, seasons are won in away games. So 2nd XI is scheduled to play the next away game with Mechelen eagles on 1st August.