Masters East Central VS Masters North April 10 2021

On the first day of the tournament, both teams had contrasting days in the field, and it was the 2nd day in a row that East Central was playing at the Balquees ground. It was also a toss both teams would have been happy to lose. North called right and chose to bat first. Shahid Shahzad and Bharat Patel opened the batting for the North facing Central East’s Naveed and Hammad. Shahid got North to a positive start by lofting the ball cleanly over covers and by driving into the gaps and North had moved to 26 in the 4th over when they lost Bharat to a mix up and Tilak Mitra ran him out at the bowler Hammad’s end. Mark Audain at #3 continued the positive batting mindset and along with Shahid took North to 62 in the 12th over when the latter was struck in front of the wicket by Srikanth Satya for a well made 30 off 31 balls. The skipper Dilip Chavan joined Mark and they were just stitching together a near partnership when Mark was clean bowled bye Srikanth Satya – another innings that held promise but was curtailed by Central East for 31 off 43 balls. North 3-84 in 18 overs. The next 5-6 overs saw a collapse from the North where they lost Sanjay Pandya 4-93, Dilip 5-98, Deepak Chadha 6-99, Vishal 7-99 and Mark Wright 8-99. This was down to some disciplined wicket-wicket bowling from the Central East with North being a willing participant in their collapse. With 20 overs to go Rajiv Shah, Himanshu Patel and Vishal Thakur decided that staying at the wicket would get them the runs and took a conservative approach to batting. The last 2 wickets added 53 runs to the total and North closed at 152 all out ion 40.5 overs. The pick of Central East’s bowlers were Rizwan Mohammed with 3-27, Milroy with 2-8 and Srikanth with 2-37.

With a run rate of ~3.4 to get in 45 overs, East Central just needed to stay at the wicket whereas North needed early wickets to stymie the chase. Anthony and Mahammad opened the batting for Central East and in the very 3rd over Anthjony was dismissed by Mark Audian with a simple catch by Shahid for 10. Two balls later Mark trapped Tilak right in front for 0. In the very next over Mahammad was caught by Vishal off Lalit’s bowling for 0. East Central 3-11 in 4 overs. The game was well and truly on. Naveed Ahmed and Raj Kosgi came together for the East and stitched together a beautiful partnership of 78 runs in 18 overs when Raj was caught by the skipper Dilip off Rajiv for a well made 27. Usually when a well set partnership is broken another wicket usually follows and this time it was Naveed who got out for a beautiful 52 off 64 with 7 4s and 2 6s just 8 balls after Raj. East Central 5-98. North never gave up and bowled their hearts out, however with handy contributions from Srikanth, Nasir and Hammad Malik 18* and Milroy Don 19* East Central went over the line with almost 8 overs to spare and won by 3 wickets. North had good contributions from their bowlers, but were probably 30-40 runs short of a winning total.

Man of the match – Naveed Ahmed for his 52 off 64 balls.

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