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Nova vs. Windies, Sunday, July 12, Galway

Toss: Nova won toss and elected to bat

Result: Windies won by 6 wickets

Inauspicious start for Nova with Asif being run out after straying too far from his crease in the 2nd over. Ejaz departed a few overs later with the score at 27, mainly courtesy of copious wides bowled by Windies opening bowlers. Amar and Shehzaad put on 28 runs to get Nova to the first drinks break. In the first over after the break, a ball jumped up on Amar trying to cut the ball to spoon a catch to point after scoring 16 of 48 balls with 1 boundary. Rajesh came next and anchored one end while 5 wickets fell at regular intervals over the next 20 overs all to spinners, with all 5 batsmen only scoring in the single digits: Shehzaad perished to a lbw, Naveed spooned a slow ball (after watching three balls go wide) for a tame catch to mid off, Razi was bowled while being overaggressive to exceedingly slow bowling, Manish adjudged lbw (a dubious decision) while offering no shot, and Azhar was bowled through the gate attempted a expansive cover drive. Rajesh perished to an unfortunate run out in the 37th over after scoring 53 runs from 71 balls with 2 sixes and 5 fours, despite scoring only 1 run from the first 22 balls he faced. The 28th over in particular was a cat and mouse game of Windies changing the leg-side field and Rajesh hitting 3 consecutive boundaries to wherever they had just moved the fielder from. Nova managed only 8 more runs after Rajesh’s departure before being all out for 159 from 37.5 overs.

Nova began strong on the field with an initial misfield leading to a fortunate runout in the very first over. The 2nd wicket pair for Windies played with positive intent punishing the bad balls with authority to keep the scoreboard ticking to reach 69 after 15 overs, before Shehzaad got the left-handed opener out lbw after several unsuccessful prior appeals for lbw. Nova tried to intimidate the next Windies batsman, a youngster, with aggressive field placements, and in response he demonstrated great poise in striking the ball hard and clean for three boundaries in his quick fire 21 off 19 balls, before being bowled by a quicker one from Sameer. Meanhwile on the other end, Gary Philbert proved to be Nova’s undoing, matching every sledge that Nova fielders threw at him with continuous rastafarian trash talking that seemed to get into Nova bowlers’ heads; Gary matched his words with his powerful stroke play to made good on the bombastic challenge he made when he walked in during the second over that he was going to win the game for his team. Gary went on to scored 87 not out from 97 balls with 7 sixes and 4 fours. It was only fitting that Nova lost the game in the 29th over with three consecutive leg-side wides, wrapping up a day on the field where no Nova bowler was able to provide the breakthrough when needed or dry up the runs adequately to apply any pressure on the scoring rate.

Positives: Patient anchor role by Rajesh for second team fifty of the season.

To improve: We need to do much better to walk the talk on the field.

Next up: a chance to get back to our winning ways while facing 1-5 Baltimore, who are fresh off their first win against the Hunters.

 
 
 

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