40 Over Match Reports
We are now more than half way through the 40 over season, sitting on 2 wins and 1 loss. With Wynand unable to travel to Umeå and later sustaining a small injury, Aritra has taken the captaincy for this part of the season. Here is how our matches have gone so far:
For our first game we travelled to Umeå with a relatively new squad. On a damp outfield we lost the toss and were sent in to bowl first. We started off sisådär leaking a few runs but Sesanka taking two spectacular catches at long on meant we were in with a good chance, with Umeå at 58/2 after 8.6 overs. From there we bowled tightly in spells, especially the spinners, and had them 160/7 after 31 overs. A late partnership meant the opposition managed to get to 216 all out after 38.4 overs. Nasim bowled well getting 3 wickets, as well as Shravan and debutant Pankaj who got 2 wickets each. Deepak also bowled a very economical spell only giving 25 runs off his 8 overs, somehow not getting a wicket. Batting-wise, we got off to a bad start with Aritra getting out with no runs on the board. Nevan and Deepak stabilised the innings. After 23 overs we were at 125/3 and all the momentum was with us needing less than run a ball. Shravan batted well making 51(46), getting off to a flying start and seeing out the tricky leg spinner Umar. However, a classic DIF collapse meant we ended up making 173 all out in 33.5 overs.
Our second game was against Hammarby which was played in Skarpnäck. With half of the Skarpnäck outfield resembling a swamp we decided to bowl first after winning hoping it would dry up. Hammarby got off to a good start, helped partly by some controversial lbw decisions and poor fielding. Asim got the first breakthrough in the 18th over taking the wicket of Sadat, with Hammarby on 95. Wickets fell here and there but opener Rahel kept ticking over the scoreboard. Shravan finally got Rahel caught at long on at 138/4 after 25.6 overs. After that we made quick work of them with some clinical bowling and fielding, including a direct hit from Anvesh standing at the sweeper cover boundary. Hammarby ended on 161 all out from 34.1. Shaurav ended with figures of 6.1-0-30-3, with Asim and Shravan also bowling economical spells and getting 2 wickets apiece. In the batting innings we failed to start well again with both openers Raz and Aritra getting out quickly. Shaurav steadied the ship with a brilliant 50 including 3 6's, but we were in trouble after Shaurav, Asim and Deepak got out in the span of 5 balls, leaving us at 74/5 after 16.2. In came Karthik to save the day smashing a chanceless 61*(33) with some huge sixes, together with Shravan who kept the score ticking along. In the end we chased down 162 winning by 5 wickets with 15.1 overs to spare.
The last game we played was against SMI Mavericks on a tricky wicket in Norsborg. Again with some puddles on the outfield and the uneven pitch we decided to bowl first. Shaz and Asim bowled tight opening spells which meant SMI were 7/0 after 8 overs. After that the spinners came on bowling and continued bowling tightly, with Shaurav getting the first wicket before having to stop due to a small finger injury. Wickets kept falling regularly and SMI were 47/6 at drinks after 20 overs. The opening bowlers were brought back on soon and SMI were all out for 76 after 27.3. Standout for the bowlers was Shaz with figures of 7.3-2-9-3. Deepak also got 3 wickets, and 4 bowlers were bowling at an economy of 2 or under. With a low total to chase, we came in to bat with confidence. We chased 77 in 17.3 overs, with Nevan carrying his bat making 23*(46).
We now have 2 remaining games against Tigers and Super Kings in the regular season, which are must win. At this stage it is unclear however whether just the table toppers or top 2 go through to the finals, but regardless we are in with a good chance.
In our first match of the 40 over season, we faced Sky Sports Club in Kungsängen. On a damp morning, captain Karthik lost the toss and was put in to bowl. Nasim bowled a fiery opening spell to dismiss the openers, before Shrikant took a further three with a fine display of accurate legspin. Sky Sports were in further trouble when they lost two more wickets in an over to Karthik, our sharp fielding effecting a run out.
This left them 99/7 after 16 overs, which was pretty good going considering that the balls were now starting to resemble bars of soap. Unfortunately, we were unable to wrap up the innings, however, and their number 7 batter smashed 75 off 43 to almost single-handedly propel them to 206 runs before Nasim returned to knock back his off peg.
Our game plan going into the innings was clear: they had only managed 31.2 overs, and the run rate required was only 5 an over, so if we managed to bat our 40 overs we would probably win the game. However, all did not go to plan and soon we were 13/2. Henry and Andy counter-attacked, before Karthik hit some big blows, but wickets continued to fall all too regularly and soon we were 65/5 after 12.3 overs. Debutant Shreyas was now joined by regular first teamer Aritra and they set about restoring calm and put on a fifty partnership, Shreyas scoring 30 and Aritra 44. However, they fell in quick succession - Aritra to a freak delivery which stayed low and cut back a good yard - to leave Shravan and Gautham another 55 runs to score.
This seemed like an easy ask while Shravan was at the crease, and he scored at will, stroking 35 from 31. However, he holed out to mid off with just ten required to win. Now things became tense. Gautham and Nasim chipped away at the total as the Sky Sports players increasingly lost their cool at life, the universe and everything (or rather, at the fact that the umpires were unwilling to give them bad decisions). Their fast bowler was bowling quicker - and shouting louder - with every ball, but Gautham in particular was impressively calm. Unfortunately, Nasim went for glory with two to win and got bowled, leaving Fredrik with four balls to survive. A wide brought the scores level, but unfortunately the toe-crusher followed, and he was out plumb in front to leave the scores level.
All in all, a thrilling start to the long format season, with many encouraging performances. We have four matches remaining - hopefully, we can go one better next week!