Antwerp Indians CC v Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI on Sun 24 May 2009 at 13:30
Optimists Cricket Club Lost

Match report It may be supposedly an English trait to enjoy losing, but in a team comprised of Englishmen, Indians, West Indians, New Zealander and Australians it came as no surprise to me that all of OCC's 1st team walked into the pavillion of Antwerp Indians CC with smiles on their faces, despite losing their second league match in a row.

It was a game which had pretty much everything, great batting, great bowling, collapses, counter-attacks, comedy moments, stunning catches, near misses and OCC were just pipped at the post by AICC.

The comedy moment was provided very early on in the dressing room by experienced cricketer, but not so experienced sun-bather, Wayne Codd. He demonstrated just what can happen to sensitive English skin when you fall asleep in the sun on the Belgian coast. A spectacular two-tone effect, angry red on the front, pasty white on the back with 'arm-prints' on his belly. Thankfully his gargantuan new kit-bag was large enough to accomodate the huge volume of creams and unguents he had brought along to get him through the day's cricket.

Anyway, batting first, OCC took command of the game. Whiteman and Heath put together a solid partnership of 166, before Heath was bowled in the 34th over for 71 trying to hit out. At that point OCC were cruising at 199-3. But Whiteman fell two overs later for 78, which precipitated the mother of all batting collapses, during which the last 6 wickets fell for 40-odd runs. Some injudicious shots combined with two horrible run-outs meant that OCC didn't even complete its 45 overs, a cardinal sin in limited overs cricket.

So a somewhat jaded OCC side took to the field and was then subjected to a barrage of boundaries from AICC opener Chiraj Khotari, fresh from Reading University CC. AICC put on 92 runs in 11 overs for the loss of only one wicket. Optimists Opening bowler Niraj Trivedi was taken to the cleaners by Khotari, conceding 71 runs in 7 overs, but eventually got his man, bowling him for what appeared to be a match-winning 63 in 35 balls.

However, the mercurial Taral Desai was brought on and things began to change. Bowling his full complement of 9 overs straight off, Desai slammed the breaks on AICCs innings, having Jogani brilliantly caught behind by Bradley Mole and then bowling Aadil Driver all ends up with the perfect delivery, pitching middle stump and taking the top of off. At the other end Piran Merkl showed just how much his slow bowling is developing by taking three wickets in his 8-over spell. Suddenly, the shoe seemed to be on the other foot, with AICC wickets falling left, right and center. At 184-7 in the 30th over, AICC looked dead and buried, but in waddled the bespectacled skipper Lalit Nahata and produced a typical calm and composed innings of 19 in 37 balls. On paper, not a very inspiring knock, but in reality, gave the AICC tail enough stability to get close to the OCC total.

With the end in sight and AICC with only one wicket left, OCC skipper Will Heath brought the field in and AICC visibly got the gitters, only needing a handful of runs to win. In the 42d over, with the score on 241, tail-ender Khotari edged Phil Burleigh, but as wicket keeper Mole was standing up, the ball just didn't stick in the gloves. It would have sealed the game in OCC's favour. A few moments later AICC had won.

Despite the loss, the OCC players all agreed that this is why they love cricket - not just to win, but to participate in these close games where it seems as though the cricketing gods are playing with their nerves, taking the game to the wire and providing an experience that leaves them and the spectators, yes spectators, breathless. Next league match Sunday 31st May.

William Heath

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 10 wickets
Anand Pattabiraman Caught  9
Phillip Burleigh Caught  15 1
Tony Whiteman Stumped  78
William Heath Bowled  71 1
Taral Desai Caught  27
Piran Merkl Bowled  2 1
Bradley Mole Caught  5 2
Wayne Codd Not Out  4
Nishith Gandhi Run out  0 1
Roshan Vishwanath Run out  4
Niraj Trivedi Lbw  2

Antwerp Indians CC Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Antwerp Indians CC Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 9 wickets
247 (0.0 overs)
Nirvam Shah ct Mole bld Gandhi 13
Chirag Khotari b Trivedi 63
Harsh Jogani ct Mold bld Desai 31
Aadil Driver b Desai 11
Nirav Gandhi ct & bld Merkl 7
Virat Jogani ct Burleigh bld Gandhi 36
Akashat Sanghvi b Merkl 1
Lalit Nahata ct Heath bld Gandhi 19
Jayal Shah ct Gandhi bld Merkl 23
Sashan Khotari Not Out  16
Chirag Motani Not Out  0

Optimists Cricket Club 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Niraj Trivedi7.0071171.0010.14
Nishith Gandhi9.0051317.005.67
Taral Desai9.0327213.503.00
Piran Merkl8.0039313.004.88
Roshan Vishwanath6.003100.005.17
Phillip Burleigh2.402500.009.38

  • Umpire :
    Andrew Jones & Ted Vorzanger
  • Scorer :
    Michael Swithinbank