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Nova vs. Chargers, Saturday, June 11, Buck Lodge
Toss: Chargers won toss and elected to bat 
Result: Nova won by 1 wicket

Electing to bat, Chargers’s star batsman Mohammed continued his stellar form this season to flay Nova’s opening bowlers for boundaries as Chargers raced to 39 from 3.3 overs before Razi got Mohammed to miscue one after three consecutive boundaries – Rasesh held on to the all important catch at mid on. On the other end, Jay had an off day with the ball. Mohan taking over for Jay Sharm also bowled well. The second wicket stand for Chargers lasted for 20+ overs where both batsmen scored 50s and moved their score to 146 after 26 overs, before Zee held onto a skier at midwicket off Mohan’s bowling to break the partnership. Rasesh and Mikki bowled their first spells with great control to keep the game from getting away from Nova. Rasesh finished with figures of 8-0-39-0 with just 1 wide for the second consecutive game – he deserved to end up with a couple of wickets were it not for a couple of tough catches being spilled. Mikki in his second spell took two wickets in two balls (one caught by Amar and the other caught and bowled) and finished with the best figures of 8-0-29-2, and gave Nova a stronger grip on the last 10 overs that resulted in only 58 runs from Chargers despite their solid platform to launch an end of the innings offensive. Chargers were left with a final score of 235, which was probably 30-40 runs short of what they were expecting given their start.
Nova’s batting did not get off to a great start with Murli edging one to the keeper in the second over. Rajesh Kothary and Jay steadied the ship for the next 5 overs before Rajesh was bowled after scoring 13 runs from 15 runs (with 2 fours). He was replaced by Rajesh Ranganathan, who seemed to be getting in good touch with quick singles and doubles before he skied one to midwicket to be out for 19 from 24 balls. Nova was at 53 for 3 after 14.3 overs, with the asking rate sitting north of 7. Razi came in and extended his good batting form this season (scores of 30+ in the first T20 and 1st 40-over game) even further by scoring a rapid 51 from 44 balls with an incredible 10 fours, which brought Nova to get to 129 from 25.4 overs, thereby not allowing the asking rate to go beyond 7.5. Razi’s departure (bowled) brought Amar to the crease who demonstrated right away that he was going to follow Razi’s script byt launching the second ball he faced for a majestic six over midwicket. Amar and Jay scored a rapid 62 from 6 overs that truly titled the balance in Nova’s favor. Jay in the meantime through all this on the other end was patiently anchoring one end with ones and twos and rotating the strike and reached a fifty during this partnership. He was run out for 67 (87 balls, 3 fours) after batting nearly 33 overs – a marathon effort!
Then came a mini collapse with Amar being adjudged caught behind incorrectly and two run outs in two balls of Mikki and Jalal, who was batting well, suddenly leaving Nova teetering with 3 overs left and 22 runs to get and only two wickets in hand. Mohan came to the crease and hammered the ball to all parts of the field keep the asking rate within reach. With 12 runs from two overs needed, Rasesh played a great shot off the first ball of the 39th over, that looked to be headed over the boundary at long off and could have eased the pressure but was caught well by the fielder there. This left Nova with just one wicket with 11 balls remaining and 12 runs to get, leaving everyone in the Nova dugout on the edge. But Mohan played the finisher role by getting 6 runs in the 39th over and retaining the strike and then in the 40th over, scored 2 runs off the first ball and then a six over midwicket on the second ball to win the game for Nova. Mohan scored 21 runs in 10 balls faced (1 six, 2 fours, 2 twos, 3 singles, and only 2 dot balls).

Positives: Rasesh B’s accurate bowling was a great anchor for the second straight game. And Mikki’s bowling was really switched on. Several batsmen demonstrated great resolve to convert their starts in this tough chase and also in building partnerships, so great improvement from the first game.  

To improve: Our fielding was sloppy at times with poor throws back to the middle. We dropped catches again that could have proven costly. 

Next up: Bengals on June 18 at Galway, who are winless so far in this season.
 
 
 

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