Optimists Cricket Club News story

OCC 2nd X1 win home game against Beveren CC-2 with full bonus points

04 Jun 2022

Match report written by Hari for OCC 2nd X1 game yesterday against Beveren CC-2:
On a relatively hot day, OCC 2nd XI hosted Beveren for the 4th game of the season at our beautiful and beloved PWCG. OCC players set up the ground and did their routine warm ups led by Advyth (although Ady moves from one stretch to another much faster than he moves behind the wickets ;)) . The best thing about this OCC unit is the ability to learn from previous outings and seek to improve. Post warm-up captain Mohit and vice-captain Pankaj gave the team a quick recap of what went wrong in the last game against the same opponents with clear pointers on what needs to be improved, and yet play a positive brand of Cricket.
Oh boy, positive Cricket !!! The team took that pretty seriously and demonstrated what that O stands for in "OCC".
While there were a few Beveren players on the field much early, their captain and few other players were apparently near Wanlin (which is ONLY 120 kms from the PWCG) at the scheduled start time. After a brief discussion with the umpire, our captain Mohit told the team that the game will be shortened but no penalty for the teams showing up late. OCC won the toss by default (although not an incremental benefit as Mohit wins the toss anyways) but the game was reduced to 43 overs.
Skipper decided to try a new opening combination and in walked Ady/Pankaj combo to take on the new ball bowlers. Mohamad Nowan was hitting the deck with considerable pace, however, our openers did not seem flustered, and raced to 22 off 4 overs. At this point, Pankaj tried to up the ante further, however, was caught at short third man. Girish joined Ady and looked in good nick but was soon adjudged LBW. Anoop and Ady joined for the 3rd wicket partnership and showed excellent judgement in punishing the bad balls. Despite the opponents being quite chirpy on the field, Ady and Anoop were relentlessly focused and put on an impressive 78 runs partnership. Anoop got out for a well made 43 (of 60 balls) when he misjudged a bad ball, and a mini collapse followed with OCC losing 3 more wickets in quick succession leaving the scoreboard at 140/6 off 32 overs when Ady got out for a well made 58. However, the lower middle order and the tail added 65 more runs in just 10 overs with some lusty blows from Mohit, Gaurav, Ranjith and Hari. The way Ranjith was hitting the ball, OCC would likely have ended with 10 or 15 more runs had Hari not made a split second decision to take on the arm of one of the strongest among the opponents, trying to return for a second run with the intention of providing strike to Ranjith. OCC closed their innings with a healthy 215 on board. Then came one of the most clinical fielding and bowling performances from the 2nd XI.
After a brief break with lunch from NewDelhi restaurant, OCC took the field. With the asking rate of 5 runs an over, the openers started cautiously in the first over but Zaheedullah unfurled a few boundaries in 2nd and 3rd overs. A quick bowling change brought Pankaj as first change for the 4th over. A brilliant disciplined over from him opened the gate with the wicket of Karimullah when Thomas took a well judged catch in the 30-yard circle. Beveren 21/1 off 4 overs.
The gate opened by Pankaj was very well exploited by Hari and Pankaj and turned it into a floodgate of wickets. Between 5th and 9th over, Pankaj and Hari combined to bowl 30 dot balls on the trot (with just one wide) and the immense pressure brought about by such disciplined bowling had Beveren at 22/5 off 8.3 overs. Yes...that one run they scored for loss of 4 wickets came from that wide. That is how disciplined OCC bowlers were and they were superbly aided by some excellent fielding with catches being taken and singles being prevented.
While captain Mohit brought himself on for the 12th over and chipped away with a couple of wickets, he decided to continue bowling Hari from the other end for 8 overs on the trot. With the seamers bowling well, and other fielders taking all the catches, Vishy decided to take matters into his own hands and jumped into action - literally and figuratively - as he perfectly timed his jump to take a blinder. Beveren were eventually bundled out for 56 in 15.3 overs resulting in a massive 159 run victory for OCC 2nd XI.
OCC Batting - Ady 58 (96), Anoop 43 (60), Mohit 17 (24), Ranjith 17* (12)
OCC Bowling - Hari 8-3-16-6, Pankaj 4-1-8-2, Mohit 3-1-21-2
Some fun facts from the game:
1. Hari was not the last one to report at PWCG; He was just invisible to others, and thus was forced to write this report 😉
2. Beveren lost by two runs to Ady who scored 58
3. Beveren managed only 14 runs more than the extras (42) they conceded, while OCC conceded only 5 extras.
4. The last 4 wickets of OCC scored 9 runs more than the entire Beveren line up.
5. OCC found the boundary on 24 occasions while Beveren managed only 6