Optimists Cricket Club News story

WOCC enters the T20 cup final after winning 2 close games

14 Aug 2021

Unusual in the LCF set-up, WOCC had 2 T20 games on the same day making it a tightly packed Saturday. The team also missed the regulars William C, Reinhardt, and Joost in the line-up.
Morning 9:30 AM is an early start and looking at the wet outfield, Mohit decided to bowl first against determined-to-win Warriors CC. Ed and Atif opened the proceedings and Ed had Girish in 2nd over without much trouble to the scorers. Asgar and Anshu had a good partnership and kept milking runs till Pankaj came in and clean-bowled Asgar. Unfortunately, Pankaj got split webbing while fielding off of his own bowling and had to go off the field. This meant that the other WOCC bowlers had to step up and they did. Mike and Taha bowled tight lines in the middle overs and didn't let the Warriors get away with scoring quickly. Mohit introduced himself with Jalal and Ed, and the Warriors made 135-6 runs in 20 overs. 10 runs below par or so the WOCC batters would think.
James and Thomas opened the batting and found it difficult to put away the Warriors bowlers in the powerplay overs with the score reading 24-0 after 6 overs. James got bowled out immediately after the powerplay trying to score against Vishy. Thomas hit some meaty blows in the next 4 overs before getting out with the score reading 60/2 after 10 overs. The game is still in the balance. Richard and Ed had a good partnership running a lot of singles and doubles and boundaries were hard to come by due to the heavy outfield. Richard got around 15th over with WOCC needing 50 of 5 overs. Mohit got in and had a lot of quick running, slogging with Ed to take the game to the final over needing 8 runs off it. Should be easy. Unfortunately, well-set Ed got caught by oppo skipper Raju trying to hit a big one. Atif comes in with the huge responsibility of scoring 7 off 4 balls. Mohit played a dot ball. 7 off 3 balls. Tensions high. Next ball, Mohit hits a ball in the outfield and runs a quick double. Bowlers tried to run out the batsman, overthrows it, and gives an additional run. 4 off 2 balls. Atif on strike. Atif gets a double. 2 off 1. Atif hits the last one handsomely towards cow corner where the fielder comes charging in. However, to WOCC's respite, the fielder couldn't catch the ball cleanly and even parried it to the boundary resulting in WOCC winning by 6 wickets. Small margins.
WOCC couldn't put their feet up and marvel at their close victory against Warriors CC as their second game started within 3 hours at 4:15 pm. Mohit lost the toss and WOCC were put on to the field. Pankaj got stitches at the hospital and was unavailable for the second game. Within 15 minutes, Undisputed club legend Phil B. put his hand up to fill in the 11th player spot and save WOCC from blushes.
WOCC started bowling again with Atif and Ed operating in tandem. Despite the initial charge from Stars openers Vijay and Shiv, both bowlers came back with Ed prising out Vijay in the 4th over. Run scoring became slow after the powerplay. Taha and Mohit put pressure on both ends to not let Stars get away scoring quickly. The pressure resulted in Taha removing Balu thanks to an excellent diving catch by Richard and then Shiv getting caught behind off of Mohit's bowling. Stars 51/3 after 9 overs. Soon Mark and Mike were introduced in the attack and that's when it went downhill from there for Stars. Apart from Jatin and Dileep scoring 20 odd each, none of the other Star batsmen got going and found both left-armers too hard to put away. Mike and Mark returned with combined figures of 7 overs 46 runs and accounting 4 wickets with their disciplined bowling. Stars finished 116-8 after 20 overs. 20 runs below par or so WOCC thought after chasing down 136 in the morning.
WOCC opened with the new opening pair of James and Ed. Ed started hitting from the word go unfortunately caught behind before providing a quick start. In walked Thomas and had a stable partnership with James below being given lbw. James remained composed knowing it's 6 an over required rate and kept the scoreboard ticking with Ben. However, some disciplined bowling from Stars meant that WOCC were always 1 big over away from being comfortable in the chase. Ben got out with the score reading 62-3 after 12 overs. Taha and James started quick-strike rotation before Taha hit a few big ones to get the required rate under 6. Taha got out around 16th over with WOCC still needing 22 off 24 balls. Mohit walked in and ran a lot of doubles to keep the required rate under check. However the big over didn't come and the game went to the last over with WOCC needing 5 of it. Unfortunately, James got caught at long-on trying to clear a big one. Mohit smashed the next ball flat into the cow corner where the fielder couldn't grab the tough catch and ended up giving 2 runs. 3 needed off 4. Will it be another last-ball thriller? Not to be as Mohit read Shiv's slower variation and hit it for at the deep square leg boundary with WOCC winning by 5 wickets.
Ben offered a round of drinks and WOCC thanked Phil for stepping in at the last minute. A couple of guys also vowed to not make a habit of last over thrillers and finish the game beforehand. The team also thanks the ground staff for a quick turnaround and having the ground in pristine condition in what turned out to be a quite hot and busy Saturday. WOCC directly plays the final on the 28th between the victor of the semifinal being played between Heritage CC and Stars CC. It will be more important as the Pete Mitchel T20 cup winning team qualifies for ECL 2022 competition happening in Malaga, Spain.