Second game of the season, and we were greeted with a cloudy humid day but thankfully no rain. Toss done and lost, but strangely the opposition captain did not know whether he wants to bat or bowl. So of he went to check with his team mates and eventually decided to bowl first.
We started off well with Usman and Miten opening the batting for us. The ball was seaming big time, but that is expected on such a humid day, so the start was cautious. After batting watchfully for a few overs, Miten shouldered arms to one way outside off stump, only to see it seam in and knock back his stumps. We knew already this was going to be a day to bat with common sense. Batsmen after batsmen followed, played themselves in, but no one managed to stay in for a long innings. Usman though, thankfully held one end up, getting out for a very well made 48 in the 23rd over. Affy then played a gem of an innings, starting slowly, before opening up and hitting a couple of sixes and fours. Unfortunately for him, none of the other batsmen were prepared to support him and we finished our inning ALL OUT in the 32nd over for 166 with Affy stranded on 33. For a team which bats right down to no 11, this was a poor effort, a day when common sense and application was needed, but was in short supply.
Affy opened the bowling and went for a few in the 1st over. Mushy, his partner in crime, started off with a good over and kept the Taipan openers in check. Affy’s 2nd over then got us the much needed breakthrough with the Taipan opener playing as if they were chasing 266 and not 166. Mushy not to be outdone, got one to nip in, appealed and the finger went up. We were in business. Taipan lost wickets in heaps and looked down and out at 40 odd for 7 and we were hoping for an early finish. That wasn’t to be and their no 8 & 9 batted sensibly to put together a partnership of 50 odd before a tight spell from Shamal (finished with 5.1 overs, 13 runs , 1 wicket) got us the much needed breakthrough. Next couple of overs was all that was needed and Taipan were all out 116, losing by 50 runs.
Important to add are the 2 highlights from our bowling. The 1st is when Affy got one to away swing, just enough to beat the defensive prod of the batsmen, and kiss the off stump on its way to Miten who did well to catch the ball half way through his celebration. The 2nd one was from Ninad, who in his very first over hit the top of the stumps, with the bails flying half way to the boundary with one of them breaking into 2 (I understand this bail is now with him as a souvenir)
Admittedly, batting conditions were tough, but better application should have seen us post a better total. Thankfully our bowling has been top notch, but it’s time the batsmen make their presence felt. Not much time though, our next game is in 2 days.