After 35 overs of exhilarating cricket and a feast of runs, the St. Gallen team was looking well in command to score 31 runs in the last 5 overs with 7 wickets in hands! Just by the look of numbers, St. Gallen would have come victorious, no brainer, right? But the CVZ pace attack had different plans to turn things around. The spell of the last 5 overs bowled by CVZ was a pure display of controlled line, deadly pace, and infinite intensity on the field by the rest of the team! A glimpse of how it spanned out in the last 5 overs!
16th over 2 Runs 1 Wicket Bowler Naveen Malik
17th over 3 Runs 2 Wickets Bowler Ranjith Ramakrishnan
18th over 6 Runs 1 Wicket Bowler Sridhar Ponnada
19th over 4 Runs 0 Wicket Bowler Ankush Hasani
20th Over 0 Runs 2 Wickets Bowler Sridhar Ponnada
Last 5 Overs 15 Runs and 5 Wickets against such a top-quality side (remember St. Gallen is the team that chased down the target of 146 runs w/o any loss of wickets in 15.4 overs against Zug CC)
Descent Batting! Descent Bowling!
Earlier, during the day, St. Gallen won the toss and decided to put CVZ to bat first. It was the first match of the season on CVZ’s own home ground, which was very well supported and cheered by families and friends. Knowing his own backyard and the pitch conditions, CVZ Captain Ranjith couldn’t be merrier to have gotten an opportunity to bat first! CVZ openers - Jithesh Godi and Nitin Shah - started cautiously with the initial couple of overs, setting their eyes firmly on the new ball. Jithesh broke the shackles in the third over of the innings and started off with an elegant drive for four, ending the over with two consecutive fours. That over yielded 14 runs and the stage was perfectly set to build a challenging score! It was Nitin’s turn to exhibit his hitting power in the 6th over with a spectacular six-over cover and followed by cracking four. The opening pair put together 104 in 14 overs - CVZ’s highest so far in this season - providing a solid platform for CVZ’s power hitters to capitalize. Nitin scored his maiden half-century of the season. But every good thing has to come to an end - Jithesh got run out in the 15th over and Nitin was retired in the same over due to heat exhaustion. New batsman Ankush Hasani scored quick-fire 16 runs in 7 balls with a huge six-over mid-wicket followed by powerful two boundaries! Captain Ranjith also provided needed acceleration by scoring 17 runs in 10 balls, hitting a huge six-over mid-on. Followed by Pritesh Purohit cracking some fireworks towards the end of the innings and scoring 12 runs in just 5 balls. That took CVZ to 161 in 20 overs! St. Gallen did reasonably well to restrict CVZ and not to let them go past 170.
St. Gallen Storm..
St. Gallen started their chase on a high note scoring 23 runs in 3 overs. Batsmen Ali and Haroon look dangerous. But just then Ankush Hasani caught Ali plumbed in front of stumps and got him LBW. New batsman Vivek continued to chase with opener Haroon and collected quick 19 runs with fantastic 3 fours and set up 57 runs partnership before getting bowled by CVZ’s premier leg spinner Sachin Balan. Next up was Sher Khogiani and CVZ bowlers had no clue about the storm they going to face. Sher was seeing the ball like football right from the first ball. He smashed a six followed by a four to end the 10th over with 21 runs! Then Sher scored 3 huge sixes in the 12th Over. CVZ bowlers didn’t have answers until the second last ball from 12th over when Saurabh did the trick! Sher came under the looping ball nicely to hit it with all his mighty power which could’ve been 4th six of that over hadn’t it been caught brilliantly by Vaibhav Zirmite, just a few inches away from boundary rope, the much-needed breakthrough. Score 12 Overs 117/3.
Give an inch CVZ takes a mile!
By seeing the space, Naveen has been brought to the attack, which did the trick by slowing down the run rate. In the 16th Over, Naveen caught and bowled set opener Haroon. Ranjith then provided two breakthroughs in the 17th over - Jithesh took an excellent running in catch to remove Musa and Shahab got runout due to a blinder stop from Amit Purohit at gully. Score 17 Overs 141/6. 26 runs are needed from 18 balls.
Perfect Script for the end.
Sridhar and Ankush then tightened the grip in the next 3 overs by giving only 10 runs. Out of which, the last over bowled by Sridhar with all his experience was a maiden over when the St. Gallen team needed 16 runs to win. Throughout the innings, Pritesh Purohit kept brilliantly behind the wickets and took the stunning catch and part of the script for two runouts! Brilliant comeback by CVZ bowlers to literally snatch the win from St. Gallen when Sher was scoring with the strike rate of 300! CVZ won the match by 16 runs and registered a win in their first ever home game! (5 runs added due to penalty awarded by Umpires)
MoM : Nitin Shah 51 (42) and Sridhar Ponnada 4-1-21-1
(Blog Written by Vaibhav Zirmite, Picture Courtesy Vinod Krishnadas)