Veterans v/s Dalcha. Aug 1 2009. Semi Final 1.

The word Ujwal means bright or you can say shining. Indeed, true to its meaning, Captain Ujwal shined when his team needed the most. He remained calm and cool and bowled probably the best over of the tournament, when it looked like they were going home early from the party.

Radha won the toss and elected to field first which was no surprise as the field was wet and conditions suited the team batting second. Ashish opened the batting with Harsha. Ashish started the proceedings with a big six over squre leg region in the very first over as 9 runs came of it. Good start right. Radha gave debutant Ramesh, who was a last minute addition, the 2nd over. What does Amchi Mumbai boy Ashish do? Well, He saw the first ball and defended it. Next ball, He whacked it way over long on for a big six. But next ball He tried again but this time it took an edge and He was caught behind by Keeper Rajesh. Another wicket fell in same fashion in the same over. End of over 2, Dalcha were 17 for 2, out of which, Ashish scored 14. He ended up top scorer for Dalcha in this game. Ujwal, played sensibly, along with Arif, who again hit a huge towering six over midwicket. Ujwal made 7, Arif made 8 and when they were out, Dalcha were 47 at end of 7 overs but had lost 5 wickets. Wickets kept on falling until Krishnan stood firm at the crease. He put on a brave show as He scored 11 not out which included a four, and made sure Dalcha finished their 10 overs. Dalcha ended up with 64 at end of 10 overs and lost 8 wickets. Remember the number of wickets, as it will get interesting later on. ;-)

The Veterans started with Chari and Neelanjan, hero of the last league game. The Veterans couldnt get it going because of some tight bowling by Ujwal and Ashish. Ujwal gave 2 runs in the first over and Ashish gave 4 in the 2nd and Veterans were stuck at only 6 runs at the end of 2 overs, probably the lowest total of the tournament after 2 overs. Ujwal bowled 3rd over and got a wicket first ball. In came Shiva, who was opener for Veterans in earlier games. First ball He faced, He hit a big, and I mean very big six over long on, keeping his tradition for hitting big sixes. Perhaps, his real name is Sehwag rather than Shiva, because thats the only way He knows to play. He was very unlucky as He was run out for 8 in just 3 balls. Bindu was the next man in. He was dropped early on in his innings and He made sure He made most of it as He hit 2 big sixes over mid wicket to up the run rate and bring back Veterans into the game. He was well supported by Captain Radha at the other end. Radha hit some fours and the game was well within Veterans reach. Binoy took 2 crucial wickets as He had Bindu caught on the boundary and in the next over, He got the prize wicket of Radha. Bindu made 16 and Radha top scored for the Veterans with 20. So after 8 overs, Veterans were 55/5 and needed only 10 of 2 overs. The 9th over was bowled by Kareem, who stepped up at the right time. He gave only 3 runs, as 3 balls were dot balls and also took 1 wicket and game changed completely. From an easy situation of 10 in 12 balls, the Veterans now needed 7 in 6 balls with 3 wickets in hand. So who would bowl last over? Ashish had bowled only 1, Ujwal 2, Kareem 3, Binnoy 3 and Arif 0. So what does Ujwal do? Bring the experienced Abdul Razzaq Arif or give Ashish a chance? He brings on himself when all eyes are set for the biggest prize at stake, the entry ticket for the final of CPL. The first ball was a single. 6 needed of 5. The next ball was a dot ball. 6 needed of 4 balls. A wicket fell on 3rd and 4th ball. So now 6 were needed of only 2 balls. 5th ball resulted in single. So now 5 were needed of just 1 ball. The last ball also resulted in single and the Veterans fell short by a small margin. Credit to Ujwal for bowling that last over under tense situation. The Veterans who looked good throughout the game and were winning easily, lost the plot in last 2 overs of the game. Kareems 9th over and Ujwal's final over resulted in a famous win for Dalcha.

Here is an interesting stat from the game. When only 7 were needed of last over, Veterans had lost only 6 wickets. What it means is, they needed only 6 runs to win the game as the tie would have resulted in a win for them, since they had lost 6 wickets compared to 8 by Dalcha. They lost 2 wickets in the last over, and a tied game would have given us another interesting stat. As per rules, 1. we look at wickets, and since they were 8 down in last over same as Dalcha's, rule 2 would have applied i.e. 2. we look at what both teams had scored after the end of 5 overs and you wont believe what was the equation. Dalcha were 30 for 4 at the end of their 5 overs and the Veterans had scored the same, yes, that is correct, 30 runs but had lost one less wicket i.e. 3. So even this rule was favouring them to win the game. Yes, it was that kind of a game and it was that close of a finish. Cricket is indeed a funny and tricky game. You never know what will happen.

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