Optimists Cricket Club News story

OCC-2 beats AICC-2 in home game with full bonus points

02 Jul 2022

Match report for last Saturday home game vs AICC-2 written by Pankaj Malav
It was mid summer and Saturday afternoon, OCC 2nd’s hosted Antwerp Indians CC 2nd’s at glorious PWCG playing their 7th match of this season. Surprisingly and first for this season the opposition’s entire squad was on the ground before OCC 2nd at 11 AM. No prize for guessing the late arrivals. Both teams started their warm up routines at quarter past 11. From OCC, Advyth led the warm up to ensure everyone is warmed up and ready for the game.
During warm up skipper Mohit also provided his insights of the last game, team played against the same opposition, specific mentions of few key players from opposition to keep an eye on, to focus on our strengths and stick to basics. Most importantly to enjoy the summer afternoon and good weather. Post warm-up, a warm welcome (everything is warm in this team) to debutant Eliyas Jabar Khel earning his cap on the basis of his recent performances in LCF. Cap was handed over by Advyth.
Toss won by Mohit, again no surprises and OCC chose to bat. Small hiccup, no scorers and no umpires but it hasn’t deterred anyone from playing the game in good spirits. Players just have to work a bit harder and some have to stand in the ground a bit longer, all good so far.
Game time: OCC opened with Advyth Manepalli and William Cope. Advyth started his innings cautiously. William hits 2 boundaries (no caution here) in 2nd over to get the score board moving. The opening bowler was taken off after that over. He was replaced by their key bowler Manan. Soon the opposition got the first breakthrough and William was adjudged LBW in 6th over bowled by Manan. Scoreboard reads 6 overs, OCC 19/1. In comes James barker at number 3. Advyth and James started the rebuild and steered the innings steadily with 1s and 2s. Opposition was pretty chatty right from the start however Advyth and James remained unfazed and carried on. You blink the eye and we are in 2nd drinks break at 30 over mark, both still going strong and stitched an unbeaten partnership of 122, team score reads 141/1 in 30 overs.
Skipper Mohit comes in action and sends a message to up the scoring rate and it was immediately put in action by both batsman. Both of them changed the gears and took turns to then punish all AICC bowlers. Both completed their half centuries soon after. James scored 3 boundaries in a single over. The noise from opposition is quiet now. Just before the drinks break at 42 over mark, Advyth perished after scoring a well made 84 and missing on another ton in 2 consecutive matches. Advyth and James had a partnership of 211 runs, team score reads 230/2 in 41.5 overs. After 30 over mark, both scored at brisk pace and scored 90 runs in next 11 overs. In comes debutant Eliyas, his innings was short, lasted 3 balls, but included a massive 6 straight over bowlers’ head into the rugby pitch. Meanwhile on other end James kept scoring at brisk pace and completed his ton in 44th over. Soon after he reached the milestone he was run out, trying to steal an extra run. Last 6 overs OCC’s middle and lower middle order tried to score quickly but lost wickets at regular intervals. Key notable contribution came from Gaurav who scored 24 runs in 11 balls (including 1 six, 3 boundaries) and remained unbeaten at the end. OCC 2nd put up a good total of 299/8 in their allotted 50 overs. Notable contributions from James 101, Ady 84 and Gaurav 24. Before innings break, key message from Skipper, job is half done, we need to bowl them out before we could celebrate.
During innings break we had lunch from NewDelhi restaurant and curry was well appreciated by both players and opposition. Before taking the field, bowlers did a short rolling off their arms and fielders caught some high balls to prepare for the second innings. The high catches was well organised by our own supporters / members Ed Packard, Graham Cope and Marcus Cope.
The team now took the field and opened with Hari from Wendy’s end who was playing his farewell match for OCC 2nd and from bridge end brought debutant Eliyas. Both started tight line and lengths and troubled the opposition with their disciplined bowling. Hari was rewarded in 5th over of the innings and got the opener out early. Skipper Sunil walks in. Eliyas didn’t get the reward of wickets but the pressure he created helped Hari take the wicket. First change bowler was Jatin who immediately took charge and bowled the other opener out in his first over (timberrrrr). In comes opposition key batsman at number 4, Manan. The pressure was on, long way to go for both teams. After first power play the score board read 43/2 in 10 overs. Skipper Mohit kept the pressure on and despite option to open the field, kept all the players inside the circle and gave no room to score freely. Rewards followed because of the pressure, Jatin picked up the key wicket of number 4 in his 4th over with Pankaj holding on to the crucial catch while Manan was trying to clear mid off. Scoreboard reads 58/3 in 14 overs. Next 13 overs AICC was trying to hold on to their wickets and take the match deep and OCC sticking to their disciplined bowling. Ultimately, the patience of OCC paid off and Mohit took 2 wickets in his consecutive overs including their skipper Sunil who was playing a patient innings until then. At 30 over mark, the scoreboard reads 122/5.
With Mohit and Jatin picking 2 wickets each and 1 by Hari. Quick drinks break and reminder from Mohit to keep the pressure on. Soon after drinks, William Cope from Wendy’s end was rewarded with a wicket for his accurate bowling. Another wicket fell in 36th over by Anoop’s spin, scoreboard reads 134/7 in 36. For 8th wicket, there was resistance from their number 6 and number 9, both started hitting boundaries and suddenly runs started to flow. Team is now thinking about full bonus points. Mohit brought in his opening bowlers Hari and Eliyas back and it was a matter of time before Hari took wicket number 8, regulation catch from Advyth. A run out followed and then Hari wrapped up the final wicket. Final score, AICC 2nd, 188 all out in 46.1 overs, OCC won by 111 runs with full bonus points.
It was a great team performance, a hard fought win, setup very nicely by James (101) and Advyth (84) in batting department. In bowling department Hari picked up 3, Mohit and Jatin 2 wickets each. Bowlers were well supported by all fielders on the field to ensure no easy singles.
With this Advyth had 2 successful weekends scoring 80+ runs and had 2 consecutive 200+ runs partnerships. Hari in his last 3 games for OCC 2nd, picked up 12 wickets. With this win, OCC 2nd continues their journey for a good position in the BCF league, 3rd division for season.