LCF Div 1: WOCC1 vs Stars CC on 19th August
After multiple delays, WOCC1 vs Stars CC game was finally scheduled for Friday evening starting at 5:30 pm sharp. Both team looked ready to chase the LCF Div 1 title that would go to the winner of this game.
Stars CC skipper Shiv won the toss and decided to bat first. WOCC1 opened bowling with Atifand Ed. Both started with bowling good line and lengths. However, Shiv took the attacking approach and cleared the in field on a few occasions before Ed got him caught at mid-off by Reinhardt. Seizing the change in momentum, WOCC1 bowlers bowled excellent in the powerplay which led to wickets falling in clusters. Milad came in the attack and made an impact instantly by taking two wickets in 7th over. The score read 40-5 after 6.5 overs. Roshan and Harpal began consolidating and runs began to flow as the run scoring got easier. In the middle phase, WOCC1 bowlers showed discipline with James, Milad, Sareer and Mohit bowling good line and lengths in tandem. Atif and Ed finished off the inning with good death bowling. Stars CC made 140/7 after 20 overs. Not a big T20 score on a high scoring ground but there was a catch.
In order for WOCC1 to top the league, just winning the game wasn't enough. They needed to chase this total down in around 18.3 overs to win the league. This meant WOCC1 needed to go into the chase with intent and they did.
Ed and William Heath opened the inning and Ed came out smashing the bowlers all over the ground before being caught and short mid-wicket in 3rd over. In came Scott and then Thomaswho followed the same template by hitting the bad balls to boundaries. On the other end, Will H had been motoring along on one end with good strike rate. Despite the quick run scoring, WOCC1 kept loosing wickets at regular intervals which was a worry sign. Richard Neale and Reinhardt came in and ran a lot of quick doubles and singles to keep the required run rate in check. Sensing that WOCC1 needed to chase down the total in less than 18.3 overs, Reinhardt and Richard scored 24 runs in 16 and 17th over combined to finish the game in a hurry. Even though Reinhardt got out, Richard and James ensured there were no hiccups and WOCC1 chased down the total in 18 overs.
The game was worthy of a (unofficial) league final where both teams fought hard to take lead in different phases of the game. Shiv starting out attacking in the powerplay, WOCC1 bowlers making a comeback and having the opposition 5 down in no time, Harpal and Roshan making a partnership but never got acceleration due to WOCC1 disciplined bowling, WOCC1 bowlers ensuring that the opposition didn't get any big overs at the death. In batting, WOCC1 starting with a positive mindset and almost all batsman scoring with >115 strike rate to ensure that the chase never went out of reach. Truly a complete team performance from WOCC1 where everyone contributed to the win. Thanks to Graham for self dropping himself to strengthen the batting order and doing the 12th man duties while the businessman Thomas arrives directly to the ground from the airport.
With this, WOCC1 topped the LCF Div 1 league table and were declared winner of Luxembourg Cricket Federation Div 1 2022 competition. Congratulation to the extended squad of WOCC1 who worked hard throughout the season and put in impactful performances at different stages this year.
Congratulations to Star CC Luxembourg for jointly topping the league table on points. Congratulations to Heritage Cricket Club Luxembourg, Warriors CC, and Stars Challengers as well for us to have a good competitive league bringing out the best performances and raising the bar. Big thanks to LCF umpires, officials, scorers, organisers to organise a competitive league and to the ground team for maintaining a fine Walferdange ground.
- Mohit Dixit