ECC wins ATCL T20 Tournament 2nd time in a row

April 22nd,2014 | comments-logo No Comments

The winners" of previous ATCL T20 tournament ECC successfully defended their championship title against the stronger Austin Sheras at TCCG.

Fresh from the semifinals wins, both teams were in pretty confident mood. Against AMD in the first semifinals, ECC defended below par 113 comfortably and won by 78 runs to enter finals. Against the same opponents AMD, Austin Sheras while chasing 130 tied the scores in 20 overs and won in the super overs. ECC was confident of defending scores and Austin Sheras was confident of chasing anything. Stage was well set for high voltage finals with good number of audience present.

It was a very beautiful day for cricket. Weather was perfect for both teams. Austin Sheras won the toss and decided to bowl first banking heavily on their hard hitting batsmen to chase down anything scored by ECC. ECC would have batted first as well had they won the toss. Both teams were missing few of their primary regulars in the playing XI due to the long break in between league phase and play-offs.

ECC Innings:

Murthi and Rasool opened the innings with a plan not to give any momentum to opposition, yet to put up a good score without losing any wickets. But Murthi got run out due to a heavy mix up. His Streak of contributing heavily only in the league phase and not in play-off games still continues. Ajay came one down and consolidated the innings with Rasool. He was caught behind when the score was 27 in 5th over. Naiteek and Ajay had a slow and steady partnership.

By the break ECC was 56 for 2. It would have been ideal launch pad for 130-140+ type of score had the regular middle order been there. Naiteek was going after quick runs after the break and caught by Saurabh of Tamiji’s bowling. Naiteek scored valuable 21 of 32 balls. Naiteek and Ajay had a crucial 40 runs partnership in 7 overs. Ajay was caught by Nishanth off Tamiji’s bowling, he made a very important 32 of 32 balls. Niranjan scored 18 of 18 balls. Razik, Alek, Ravi and Amit gave support to Niranjan in the end overs.

With the absence of usual middle order in place, ECC ended up with 116 for 8 in 20 overs. Tamiji mixed up quicker and slower balls and put a dent on any hopes of ECC scoring quickly in the last 10 overs along with other Austin Shera bowlers. ECC ended up scoring just 60 runs of last 10 overs leaving 117 to be chased down by Austin Sheras.

Austin Sheras Innings:

With a series of proven power hitters in Austin Sheras batting line up, 116 was never a great score to defend. ECC needed to bowl and field really well. Taking regular wickets was the only way to stay in the game for ECC.

Tamiji and Suraj opened the innings for Austin Sheras. Ravi and Amit bowled with lot of intensity in their opening spell. Tamiji hit the first ever boundary of Amit in a league game by anyone against his bowling. Probably that provoked Amit to bowl a beautiful fast Yorker and bowled Suraj. At the end of 4th over it was 14 for 1. Then came the consistent "Mr Wicket taker" for ECC, Prasantha. Tamiji launched 3rd ball off Prasantha’s first over into orbit sailing towards midwicket. Rasool took a very calm high catch inches inside the boundary. Aditya and Parth didn’t survive long. Prasantha accounted for both in his next over. Aditya was stumped smartly by swift Naiteek and Parth was consumed by an overhead leaping catch at short midwicket by Ravi. Then came in-form Ranga. He started his scoring with a mistimed pull off Senthil that went over midwicket for a 6. Saurabh and Ranga had a quick 21 Run partnership in 3 overs. Then came the stunning catch of the match. Ajay took a blinder at slips off Senthil. Saurabh slashed hard and it was sailing at lightning speed through the slips wide to the right of Ajay at slips. Ajay dove to the right and took a one handed stunner. Nimesh joined Ranga and played good cricketing shots. By the 10th over break it was 55 for 5 requiring 62 off the last 10 overs still favoring batting team to chase it down comfortably.

Scores were ticking along quietly for Austin Sheras in the next 3 overs. At the end of 13 overs scores read 66 for 5 leaving 51 to be scored of 7 overs. With Ranga around and Nimesh playing sensibly, ECC think tank decided to finish Amit and Ravi’s quota and build pressure in the end overs. Ravi was given the 14th over and boy!! he was breathing fire in that over. He bowled with lot of pace and accurate toe crushers. Nimesh couldn’t do anything against this quality pace and he was taken by Senthil at point. Ravi ended the 14th over as a wicket maiden which was a like a gold dust given the match situation. This was the first ever wicket Ravi took which was not bowled. He usually doesn’t trust fielders. All of his wickets are mostly clean bowled.

With that maiden wicket and scoreboard pressure mounting, Ranga had to come up with something special to stay in the game. After his very good first over, Alek erred first 3 balls in his next over and was taken to cleaners by Ranga, a 6,4 and another 6. But, he finished the over strong with 3 dot balls including a wide. At the end of 15 over scores read 83 for 6 leaving 34 off 5 overs.

Kaushal was not allowed to score anything against Senthil and Amit in the next 2 overs. He slashed hard at one of Amit’s delivieries and Ajay produced a powerful direct hit from 3rd man boundary leaving batsman just short of crease. Ranga was caught behind by ever safe Naiteek of the fast and furious Niranjan and Amit took the other two wickets quickly. The tall Alek took an overhead catch at short covers and Nishanth was clean bowled.

ECC bowlers hunted in pairs like pack of wolves with lot of energy and fielders backed them by taking/converting all the catches. Ajay was MOM for his match saving 32 and for his fielding efforts.

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