Optimists Cricket Club News story

WOCC 1st XI v Lux Knights 1st XI 6 July 2024 match report: Oves and out

06 Jul 2024

Due to the weird and not so wonderful T20 fixture list, the WOCCers faced up against Knights two weeks after their last outing against each other. WOCCers were without Asghar Ali Khan, who had done a demolition job on the Knights in their last game but did welcome back club Chairman and now former Luxembourg captain, Joost Mees, to fill the void.

Having lost the toss, WOCC faltered initially with the bat, as the skipper and Will Cope fell cheaply. This brought together Oves Ali Musa and Joost with the score on 15-2. The rangy Dutchman (53 from 39 balls, 6 fours and 1 six) soon asserted his authority, punishing anything short of a length. Mees demonstrated there was plenty of life in the old dog yet as he pushed his younger counterpart to run hard between the wickets. Oves grew in confidence with each boundary of his own and the pair built a partnership that threatened to take the match away from the Knights. When Mees finally fell in the 13th over, the score had rattled along to 109 and WOCC were firmly in charge.

Oves then began to accelerate as he put the Knights bowlers to the sword with an array of cuts, drives, and pulls that were all timed sweetly, and more often than not cleared the rope on the full. Meanwhile, Reiny added to his list of weird dismissals when he was the victim of a mankad that very much looked like the unchivalrous Knight’s bowler had completed his action before he took the bails off. The way Knight’s celebrated was even weirder than the dismissal. Mohit (17 off 10, 1 six) replaced Reiny and finished off the innings with Oves in style, taking WOCC over the 200 mark for the first time this season. Oves finished the innings 89 not out off only 55 balls, with 5 fours and 5 sixes. It was a knock to be proud of and one that has put him on the map in Luxembourg cricket.

WOCC’s start with the ball was complacent at best. None of Milad, Atif, or Sareer could find a good line and length as Knights raced to 59 off the first four overs. The skipper (2-24 from 4 overs) had seen enough and brought himself on to stem the tide. Pankaj picked up the baton from the other end and the experienced pair soon had things back under control. Packard held his nerve and collected both Knight’s openers LBW, whilst Pankaj (1-11 from 4, including a maiden) built pressure from the other end. Joost even managed to catch the dangerous Nitish between his feet in another strange dismissal. Whilst Abhishek (42 from 27, 4 fours and 1 six) and his broad smile were still at the crease, the Knights still had an outside chance. He took a shine to Izhar’s (0-21 from 2) leggies, but Mohit (2-28 from 4) bowled with great discipline and was ably supported in the field by Will Cope, who took two athletic catches on the boundary, the latter of which finally saw the end of Abhishek.

This was a convincing win for the WOCCers and the batting certainly fired. However, there remains plenty of room for improvement in the field and with the ball if WOCC want to win any trophies this year. For now, they sit on top of the table and have their destiny in their hands.