Season highlights plus Seniors Grand Finals

Season highlights 2020/21

Batting

  • Dylan Bish (380), Nikhil Nina (360) and Praneel Singh (344) were the highest run scorers for the season
  • The highest score was Michael Gunn’s 129 (A2), followed by Gav Taylor’s 114 (A1)
  • Not a lot of movement in the highest all-time run tallies.  We have 6 current players in the top 10, which hasn’t changed
  • Steve Quanborough and Praneel Singh now have the best batting averages of all time in D1 and D2 respectively (out of the players who’ve scored more than 1000 runs in that grade)

Bowling

  • Tom Hando (36), Michael Richards (32) and Rob Knapman (27) were the leading wicket takers for the season
  • Josh Elliott took the best figures of 7 for 36.  Honourable mentions to Parin Pillamarri (6/4), Joseph Siby (6/7) and Nirav Desai (also 6/7)
  • Also no movement in the top 10 wicket takers, with the same 3 current players unchanged
  • Craig Hutchinson now has the best bowling average of all time in C1 (players with over 100 wickets in that grade)

Fielding

  • Samuel Kirkegard (22) and Ryan Gunn (18) took the most dismissals for the year
  • Ryan made 8 stumpings, which is one short of Steven Rochow’s 2012/13 record (we only have stats back to 2010 for this one)
  • Campbell Wallace and Gihan Thebuwanage took the most non-keeper catches (9), and Andrew Morris the most run outs (3).

Grand Finals

27th & 28th March 2021

Match Reports

B2 Grade (Phill)

WPHC 198 & 5/80 defeated Castle Hill 130 &4/156 dec

Day 1

After reports that parts of Kenthurst number 1 were underwater earlier in the week, we weren’t quite sure what to expect from the conditions at the ground today… but upon first glance, it was clear we were up for a cracking day for a Grand Final.

The sun was out, the pitch was flat with a nice tinge of green, and the outfield looked fast (but thankfully, dry). Skipper Tim Worthington continued our good fortune with the toss this year, and we decided to lead with our strength and send Castle Hill in to bat.

First, the team photo to commemorate the year… but wait, where are Basil & Steve? Late for the grand final photo? Unacceptable. Basil eventually rocked up with some bizarre excuse about an aquarium emergency (really? sounds a litte…fishy), and Steve… well we’re not really sure why he was late, but can only assume that his punting algorithm malfunctioned again, likely placing hundreds of bets on his behalf on the roughest nags it could find at Gosford races.

Anyway, they made it in the end. Full credit to Harry for role modelling social distancing, managing to keep himself at least 1.5m from any of his other players for the team photo. Unless Rick used Panoramic mode, the odds of him making an appearance in the final shot are slim.

On to the game. We opted for Hando’s at both ends to open the attack, and it didn’t take long for Jack to make an impact, with a skied ball flying straight to Scott Chapman at square leg. Just as he was about to swallow it, Campbell “The Seagull” Wallace snatched it from his grasp, after running 20 metres unnecessarily and making the latest call in the history of cricket. He held it though… Great start. 1/1.

Not to be outdone, Tom broke through in the next over with a lovely ball that nipped in and cramped their no. 3 who chopped it down onto his stumps. 2/2. Looking good.

Momentum shifted back to Castle Hill after this, as their skipper (who’s amassed a mountain of runs this year) kicked into gear and put on a partnership of 65 with their number 4. We were prepared for this and had strong fields set, but he still found the gaps and hit some cracking shots to all parts of the field. He gave one chance, a full blooded drive he smoked to Harry at cover who dove full stretch and looked to have grasped it, only to have it spill out after hitting the ground. Later, Harry would disclose the twisted pleasure he got from seeing older brother Tom get spanked for 16 runs in 3 balls soon before the chance came his way.

Did he drop the catch to see his brother continue to suffer at the hands of this fellow? Maybe we’ll never know…

In the end, it was Scott Chapman who made the breakthrough, with a short ball that held up in the pitch and got the opposing skipper playing a pull much too early, only to drag it down onto the stumps. 3/67.

Their next partnership was very park cricket in nature, with edges over the slips and cross-bat swings galore – but it was pretty effective for them until Steve found the perfect line to get a juicy edge which Tim gloved comfortably. 4/114… still feeling pretty confident.

This triggered the Castle Hill collapse, and in a stellar session we bowled 13 overs, 8 maidens, 7/14 to bring the innings to a close. Jack and Steve both ended up with 3 wickets each, 1 each to Scott and Tom, and Alec Silins had a lovely cameo in the final over taking 2/1 off 5 balls to clean up the tail.

Definitely achievable… but in the back of our minds lingered the thought that we’d fallen short against this bunch twice in the regular season, largely undone by their slow bowlers tempting us into wild shots that rarely end up where we wanted them to.

Campbell Wallace opened up in the same way he has in a number of games this year, thumping the first ball of the innings to the boundary to make an immediate statement. But at the other end, Jack Hando fell cheaply and Campbell followed soon after. 2/19 off 8. Feeling a little shaky.

Determined not to see us fall to a similar fate as our previous encounters, Tim Worthington and Basil Butler dug in and got us through to tea and beyond, before Tim fell for 10 to an unlucky ball that came back off his pads onto the stumps.

Ben Dunkerley joined Basil and looked to be hitting the ball beautifully, but struggled to find the gaps with his shots and eventually was bowled for 13. The 36th over was a bad one for us, with Basil (16) and Steve Ozvatic falling in consecutive balls. Now it’s 6/64, i’s drinks, and things were looking a little gloomy.

But this team bats long. Very long. And Tom & Alec were at the crease, who faced a similar (in fact, worse) situation in the grand final last year turned the game around. Tom took the lead, playing smart, getting well behind the ball, and picking the right balls to send to the boundary. Alec at the other end was ably assisting, not getting many himself, but playing an important support role as Tom stepped up the attack, until Alec finally misjudged a quick single and was run out for 6.

Scott came to the crease with only a few overs remaining, and from ball 1 looked keen to get the target as quickly as possible. Sure, he didn’t connect with anything… but at least his lofty swings leading up to the close of play added some extra excitement to the final stages of the contest. We passed their total in the final over, and will start tomorrow on 131, with Tom on 56 with Scott on 4.

With 90 overs to go, it’s not over by any means, certainly not against the highest scoring team in the B2 comp. But it was a nice feeling to end the day with an innings victory, and we’ll take confidence from that into our final day of cricket for 20/21 tomorrow. 

Day 2

With the game poised for an exciting finish, an unexpected start to the day awaited us. An errant sprinkler had run amok overnight under the heavy covers, turning one end of the pitch into quite the quagmire and delaying play while the teams did all they could to dry out the end. Thankfully, we only lost 45 minutes, and given the rapid over rate yesterday we were confident that we could still get a full day’s play in.

Starting just 1 run ahead with 3 wickets in hand, it was a simple equation. Bat for as long as possible to set as big a lead as we could. Tom & Scott were watchful early on, but quickly stepped up the run rate as they got more comfortable with the conditions. It certainly wasn’t easy going, particularly at the sticky end, where balls were regularly kicking up off a length and keeping us on our toes. Scott was eventually dismissed for a very valuable 26.

Cam Bliss then joined Tom at the crease, looking as solid as he had all year and supporting Tom well before being caught for 11. With 9 wickets down, Tom decided it was time to accelerate to get the team the biggest lead possible, taking more chances to try and find the rope. Finally, just on lunch, Tom’s innings drew to a close on 90 just before lunch, with the team on 198. With this most crucial of innings, he notched up the highest individual score of any of our batsmen this year, secured an invaluable 68 run lead for the team, and put us well and truly in the driver’s seat of this grand final.

With 2 sessions to go, the game very much hinged on the ability for Castle HIll to score runs at a rapid rate, and we knew that this would largely (if not entirely) depend on the performance of their skipper. We also knew that this pitch was a doozy, and with the extra speed and bounce of our bowlers we should be able to extract much more out of it than they could.

We opened with Scott and Jack today, and once again Jack took a wicket in the 2nd over. Same batsman, dismissed in the same way, caught by the same fieldsman, on the same score (0). At the other end, we focused on containing their skipper, setting fields to restrict his run scoring opportunities and covering the boundary for his strongest shots. This nearly paid off, with a few tough chances going to ground or falling just out of reach. One of these was a spectacular effort off from Cameron, taking an incredible boundary catch in mid-air before having to throw the ball back into the field of play to avoid it going over the boundary.

While their skipper managed to clear the rope on a few occasions, the other end was completely choked up and the run rate clearly wasn’t accelerating as quickly as they would have liked. All our bowlers contained beautifully, and while the Castle Hill skipper’s class shone through on his way to an unbeaten hundred, they just hadn’t scored quickly enough to apply scoreboard pressure on us. They declared with a lead of 88 and less than an hour and a half to play.

Even with the pitch deteriorating we felt a very good chance of collecting the runs, but we had some wobbles early. Campbell, Basil & Tim all fell cheaply facing up at the rough end of the pitch, and at 3/10 with 20 overs remaining Castle Hill started to get some belief back. It took a strong and confident 35 from Ben Dunkerley, exceptionally supported by the patient and watchful Alec Silins (20), to get us back on track. Once they felt the energy levels drop from the opposition, they both started aggressively punishing bad deliveries. Ben and Alec both fell with only a handful of overs left, and Cameron and Tom comfortably steered us through to 6pm to secure the title thanks to our first innings victory.

What a tremendous and fitting end to the season. Both teams demonstrated exceptional teamwork and sportsmanship over the past 2 days, and particular thanks goes to Castle Hill for the genuine goodwill that they brought to the contest and the way in which they fought right to the end. And a huge thanks to all the friends, family and teammates from across WPHC who came down to support the boys in their pursuit of the title. It made a great difference to team morale and the wisdom and advice from other senior club members was particularly welcome today.

To our team, congratulations! You have worked hard to support each other throughout the year, and played great cricket in the progress. A well-deserved title, and you all should be proud of your efforts. Let’s do it all again next year.

And the final callout goes to Phill Hando, who has worked tirelessly for us throughout the year as our skipper, our coach, our manager and our mentor. You’ve done an outstanding job all season and have the gratitude from all of us for the efforts you’ve put in to ensure we’re at our best each week. Big big thanks to you, we’ve been lucky to have you steering the ship.

C2 Grade

WPHC Blue (Buzz) 60 & 9 dec. 101 lost outright to Thornleigh 69 & 4/95

Day 1

Wow! What a day.

I think we all ran through most possible emotions today, from excitement to despair and then back through to belief.

With Thornleigh winning the toss, they still had to have a pow wow to decide what to do. Whilst Buzz was telepathically sending messages for them to bat, unfortunately they sent us in. There was some good bowling from the Opposition, but we just kept losing wickets at the wrong moments, and many of our batsman would love to have that split second back again to play different shots I’m sure.

Xander Vink stood almost alone in putting together one of the best innings of the season, especially given the fall of wickets around him. His 26* was invaluable and showed what was possible as the rest of the side folded for only 60 all out. I’m pretty sure Garry (those in the know will recognise our biggest canine supporter) was there to see him do so well.

For some unknown reason, teams playing in the Grand Final play two days of 80 overs a day instead of the usual 70 overs in every other two day match in the season. For those who have graced the playing grades of C Grade and lower, you will know that 160 overs is a very long time for teams of this level to play out. That being said, it may just be the saviour we need. Knowing there was so much time left in the match gave us the drive to know all was not lost from one bad display at the batting crease and that this game had more twists and turns to come.

Knowing the Opposition had one stand out batsman, we looked to tie him up early and challenge him with something different, so opened the attack with Paul Vink and Buzz to see if we could challenge him early with some variation of pace and style of bowling.

This batsman came out all guns blazing as we knew he had done to other Opposition teams during the season, but Paul (still runs like Pamela Anderson) Vink almost had his man in the first over but the catch fell short. There were attacking, but unimpressive shots played to take the score to 20 in the 4th over. Hmmm, maybe this plan wasn’t working, but then Buzz managed to grab the breakthrough (not the desired batsman, but an early set-back for the opposition none the less) to have the score at 1/20.

The introduction of our speed ace Josh (I got a 7 for) Elliott bled a few runs in his first over, but with an incredibly accurate and challenging spell from the other end from Pamela Vink, Josh then started to hit his straps, ramp up the speed and aggression and destroyed their number three batsman’s  stumps with a scorching yorker. 2/38.

Vink Snr toiled away unrewarded but produced some of the most unplayable deliveries of the season without the luck to grab a scalp. Enter Xander ‘I’ve got a new car wanna see it?’ Vink who ambled in first ball and promptly dismissed their best batsman that we were targeting to have them 3/49.

From there on in we really piled on the pressure, Josh was just too quick for the remaining batsmen and started to have them ducking and diving and hot stepping around the crease just to lay bat on ball, he grabbed the next pole – possibly the most satisfying wicket of the day. A young bowler in the opposition had no hesitation to continually give our batsmen ‘verbals’ throughout his bowling stint, so he was greeted to the crease with a searing bouncer that laid him flat on his back, missed the next fire bolt from Josh and then tamely spooned one to mid wicket, seemingly happy to back in the pavilion -4/50.

Xander was hitting a great line and clean bowled their Captain – 5/50. A few more streaky runs eked out before Josh struck again 6/58. Were on a roll here folks and in great C2 Blue spirit, we knew we’d evened up the match. Now to press hard to close this out. Josh tore in again and the batsman skied a loose shot, The Quan took flight from Mid off and covered what will undoubtably be 30 metres in stories told at the Club in years to come 😁 but somehow covered a heap of ground and managed to cleanly snare a fantastic catch – 7/58.

We’re still in this for a first innings win! The next partnership chanced their arm and managed to trip over the line past our score, but had by this stage entered the ‘belief’ stage of emotions. Josh cleaned up another to grab his ‘Michelle’- 8/61.

This was a magnificent spell of fast bowling. 11 overs straight of fast, attacking, aggressive and clever bowling that yielded the stunning figures of 11-3-5-20. Awesome stuff to drag us back into the match.

It was then up to Bishy (apparently the Opposition have read our match reports, because they were sledging Bishy as being the ‘lesser’ Bish?! – Thanks Stuey). He grabbed the next wicket 9/69. Buzz ended the innings next over to have them all out 69.

This bowling effort was continually backed up by some super efforts in the field with great catches by Peter Lees, Quan, Harri, Connor, Tarun and Riley

Wickets went to: Josh 5, Xander and Buzz 2 each, and 1 for the ‘still playing cricket this weekend’ Bish.

Game on Folks!

With 7 overs to survive, we unfortunately lost a wicket, but we are pretty much even at the start of play tomorrow, and with a positive plan agreed to tonight at the Club, we’ll head out tomorrow as definitely a team with everything to play for and the talent and belief that we have so much time left in the game that we can force a victory!

Thanks for all the supporters who came, cheered, then consoled, and then cheered again! If you’re free tomorrow, we’d love your support on what should be a thrilling game of cricket.

Nothing to lose from here – everything to gain!

 Day 2

Unfortunately, despite great fight shown by the team, we couldn’t bring home the win.

We started the day with positive plans in place to bat for a further 30 odd overs and set a target as close as 100 as we could, then give ourselves a minimum of 45 overs to try and take the 10 wickets we needed to grab the Premiership.

The first part went to plan, mainly from another commanding innings from Dylan with 48 out of our total of 9 dec for 101. Setting 93 for them to chase – or 10 wickets for us to win.

So, on to part two.

Sadly this didn’t go to the script and despite some challenging bowling, the opposition batsmen took risks and got away with them. Countless balls just clearing fielders or just missing the edge of the bat. We grabbed 4 wickets to keep us in the hunt, but alas they snuck past us and took the win.

All in all though, a fantastic effort to have been Minor Premiers after going up a grade this season. Disappointing to lose the big one, but in reflection it was a great season spent with a top bunch of blokes who are all keen to back up next season and finish the job by going one better!

Thanks again to all the supporters who came along and buoyed us with their enthusiasm.

Mostly though, thanks to my team who have made this another enjoyable season playing for the best Club in the universe!

C4 Grade (Rob)

WPHC 113 & 3/49 defeated Berowra 89

Day 1

Hopes were high as the team arrived at Normanhurst Park on Day 1.

As usual Captain Rob lost the toss and we were put into bat. The first few overs were solid with Aden and Will reacting well to the opening bowling before both fell quickly within each other. Kamran followed and batted for a well fought 20 with some lovely shots. The Fullerton brothers supported well until the team fell to 5/57.

In came Daniel who batted brilliantly for a 24 and deserved far more. The lower order was able to chip in with a few runs and do the job that the top order couldn’t. Bowled out for 113 in 65 overs, the team knew that it was going to be a tough job ahead. Out we headed to the middle for an hour before stumps with Reyhan grabbing an early LBW before taking a caught behind with a great catch behind the stumps from Aden a couple overs later.

Mudi then took a third wicket with a solid catch from Pravin with Daniel then taking the fourth wicket with a Glenn Maxwellesque leave from the batsman leaving Berowra at 4/29 at stumps on Day 1.

 Day 2

The Sunday arrived quickly and the younger fellas arrived early to ensure a quick game of footy tennis to warm up. It worked with Daniel taking an early wicket before the batsman completely took out his own wicket in what was a moment of madness.

A couple fruitful of overs for Berowra ensured before Mudi was able to strike three times before the lunch break to reduce Berowra to 8/77. After the break, spirits were high as the volume in the field increased with notable voice cracks from Zia and Will before the ninth wicket fell when Aden caught a brilliant delivery from Rey behind the stumps.

The two tail-enders batted for what felt like ages until Luke “Junior” Fullerton struck demolishing middle stump. Bowled out for 89. The boys knew the job was done until Berowra’s skipper decided they’ll field again.

Out went Aden and Will again and played well to the tea break with both not out at 0/14. Both batsmen were batting well before both openers were given out to questionable decisions. Daniel and Pravin batted nicely before Daniel was bowled for 19 and just as the Berowra skipper called it.

West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook were champions with an undefeated 2021 so far.

Well done to all the boys who have worked incredibly hard all season and have played some brilliant cricket as well. Let’s go again next season!!!!

D1 Grade

WPHC Blue (Ross S) 181 defeated Hornsby 141

Day 1

The team has been really nervous all week not knowing what the weather was going to do and what the state of our ground would be. It’s the first GF for most of the team and I reckon I have seen close to 200 WhatsApp messages going backward and forward.

Once we knew where we were playing the anticipation became real……I know half of the guys were up well past midnight the night before the game messaging….nervous tension…

Everyone arrived at the ground over an hour before play excited to be involved in a Grand Final.

Also the first time they have played with “real” umpires… The ground itself had just been mown, but was still lush and as it turned out very difficult to hit a boundary….the skipper was really hoping to win the toss and send Hornsby into bat, play to our strengths and protect us from our batting collapses that have dogged us all season. Unfortunately the Opposition stole the heads call (which usually works for Ross) and without any hesitation sent us into bat.

Instructions were clear… please try and preserve your wicket, runs will come if we manage to bat some decent overs and let’s build some partnerships. The left hand/right hand combination of Muthindra and Gihan started slowly but soundly, however we lost our 1st wicket early, 1-8….

We then dug in given some solid Opposition bowling, runs were very hard to come by and as the season has panned out our woes continued and we lost a string of early wickets, mainly due to some good bowling and fielding. At 4-35 off 25 overs we were in heaps of trouble.

Ani and Ayush then put on 48 for the 5th wicket to get us back into the game. Ayush (12) was dismissed by another great catch….in the outfield, the story of his season. Unfortunately Ani (38) soon followed…just after the drinks break – 6/93 off 45 overs….just not enough runs.

However, the real pleasing thing about this side is the never say die attitude….in hot and humid conditions and with a very slow outfield, partnerships of 28 (7th wicket), 41 (8th wicket), 6 (9th wicket) and 13 for the (10th wicket) saw us all out for 181, a few minutes before stumps off 79.3 overs. We almost lasted the whole day.

Our best effort of the season by far….Contributions from Ram 35, Sach 21 no, Ross 13, Mike 7, and Anik 3…..(yes Anik who fractured his Ankle 6 weeks ago and was given the all clear by his specialist as long as no running) got us there. Also Kudos to Ram who retired hurt after fainting, then returning to the crease after a good rest and cool down.

Running 8 twos in a very short time, was just too much…very scary for umpires, fielders and his team mates….be rest assured he has recovered well and is all ok for tomorrow.

So we enter day 2 in a solid position. We know the field is slow as we only hit 10 boundaries in 80 overs…Looking forward to a solid bowling and fielding performance to protect 181 runs.

Team is excited about what Sunday will bring.

 Day 2

Premiers…..yet to sink in….and today was a comeback to remember.

With a healthy score set on Day 1….we were buoyant and ready to go. During our team huddle on day 2 we talked about staying tough, patient and seizing the critical moments when they came…..prophetic.

Ram and Happy started strongly and runs were difficult to come by in the early overs…..an early wicket, when Happy clean bowled one of the openers was exactly what we needed. Hornsby 1-7 of 6 overs.

With this dismissal, both Hornsby batsmen then decided to go on a counter attack. With the ground playing significantly faster, and a large number of aerial cuts and edges over the slips the score advanced quicker than we had hoped.

At the first Drinks break the score had progressed to 1-39 of just 14 overs……we were not bowling or fielding badly….the batting was aggressive and luck was with the batting side. At 1-49 Hornsby were cruising when Ani surprised the batsman with a slower ball that was scooped up to Mid off…a great catch to Muthindra…..Hornsby 2-49 of 19 overs. Our bowling was steady until the first break but we had no more success Hornsby at the session 1 break 2-59……with their best 2 batsmen in……

The second session was a real tough one for us….no wickets, 30 overs and 73 runs. Both Hornsby batsmen intent on protecting their wickets, pushing for quick singles, and running plenty of 2’s.

Buoyed by loud support from the sideline for every run the batters became more confident, and try as we could things did not work out for us. Unfortunately the Hornsby opener was dropped 3 times in the session, our fielding got a little sloppy and the energy was disappearing in humid conditions. At 2-122 of 49 overs the 2nd break could not come quick enough for us. Heads were definitely down. Hornsby needing just 60 runs to win with 8 wickets remaining and an unbroken second wicket partnership of 73.

But how things can change…….as we walked onto the field after the break we talked about being tough and making it hard as possible for the batters….the strategy was to bring everyone in, and bring our opening bowlers back on to try frustrate the batters and force an error.

Worked perfectly …. in the space of 4 overs Ram and Happy dismissed both batsmen, including an opportune stumping by Aayush off Ram. So at 4-127, our energy levels increased and our team mojo returned as the Hornsby bench went silent……..8 straight maidens as we tightened things further.

A double wicket maiden to Ani, suddenly had Hornsby on the back foot.

At 6/133, needing a further 49 runs to win we felt we were now well on top and went full blown attack………further wickets to Ram, Ani, and Sach in the space of 6 overs and just 3 runs saw Hornsby collapse to 9/138.

With just one wicket required and the batters not intent to score, the ball was thrown to Mike. 2nd ball clean bowled……….

The skipper was crushed by a gigantic huddle, Anik and Jake managed to sprint in from the boundary, a great moment to savour after being in such a bad position.

Taking 8/19 was an unbelievable achievement, and one that the guys can be proud off. A lesson learned…never give up, you are always in the game no matter how dark things seem.

Our bowling was great…we built pressure by bowling an incredible 20 maiden overs off 69.2 overs bowled…Seven of those in a 15 over spell from Aayush (0-24 off 15 overs straight). Wickets to Ani 4-10 off 10 overs, Ram 2-23 off 12 overs, Happy 2-33 off 15,  Sach 1-4 off 5, Mike 1-0……..Gihan 0-19 and Muthindra 0-13 bowled tightly and without luck.

A big thank you to Lachlan Edwards who subbed for us all innings, roaming in the covers and at point…….Saving heaps of runs…..

An unbelievable team effort.

D2 Grade

WPHC (Nirav) 151 defeated St Ives 59

Day 1

We arrived at the ground, ready to put ourselves in a good position for Day 2.

The outfield was lightening quick with a great pitch in the middle. Nirav lost the toss which wasn’t even surprising for him after all his bad luck in the coin flipping business this season. The batsmen started padding up despite the butterflies in their stomachs.

After a few overs, Vishal attempted to dispatch a short ball over long on, but the bowler’s great inswinger got his stumps. Praneel and Arun played brilliant and sensible cricket as shots started to flow from both ends.

A fast-paced bowler changed to around the wicket and that angle got to Arun as he was bowled after 9 hard earned runs.

Lakshya was bowled for a duck with the same trick in the same over.

From one end of the pitch, the ball was bouncing all funky and one ball stayed very low and went under Luke’s bat onto the stumps. The pavilion was quite stressed at the point as only a few singles had been taken after the second wicket.

Parin and Lakshya put some music for the scorers, somehow that resulted in fours and sixes from Praneel and good support from Agniva. A six almost went over the M2 wall. Unfortunately, Praneel scooped a short ball up in the air and was out after adding 49 valuable runs.

Parin got out for his third duck in 5 innings this season but was determined to make up for it with the ball. After making a few runs, Nirav was given LBW by the official umpire. Then came the ultimate partnership between Amit and Siby. They kept getting those sneaky runs from all directions. Even though, all the fielders were very close, both batsmen kept adding runs by taking quick singles.

Another amazing swing ball saw the end of Siby. Tonoy and Amit in the end added some precious runs to come to a respectable total of 151 as we cheered for every single and even defensive blocks by the end of the innings.

After some fielding warm up, Praneel and Parin opened the bowling but the batsmen were out there just to get some quick runs. Lakshya and Nirav also bowled 3 quick overs between them and Nirav’s bowing is still as tricky for them in the third match against us this season as it was in the first one.

We are determined and confident to get those 10 wickets quickly tomorrow and open all those beer bottle for the after party!

Day 2

Grand Final Day 2, perfect conditions for us to take those 10 wickets and win the championship. Thank you to all the spectators for raising our spirits both days.

Everyone came early and did a short warm session in the nets. Captain Nirav was awake since 4 in the morning watching movies and thinking about the game as were many other players probably. We were determined to get that trophy after months of training sessions, sometimes even 3-4 times a week.

The dressing room was a bit tense after St Ives’ overnight score. But Amith and Siby started well and kept their line and length on the money throughout their spell. Amith got the first wicket (lbw) through some amazing variations in swing and bounce. Siby on the other end kept building up the pressure for the young batsman. Eventually, the batsman got a thick edge of one of Siby’s good length balls and the leather landed in Agniva’s safe hands.

Their top batsman, came to the crease looking to bat long. But Siby and Amith’s tight line just frustrated him, and Agniva took a great catch considering how fast that ball went to him. Soon after Nirav and Praneel started their spell looking to keep the pressure high for the St Ives team. Nirav’s spin and Praneel’s pace was almost unplayable. They kept getting many chances and the game had almost stalled.

Then suddenly their patient opener started trying to get some runs of Nirav’s bowling and scooped the ball very high up in the air. Lakshya called for it loud and clear and took the catch as he felt the pressure floating away from his shoulders after. The wickets then just kept coming from both ends.

Another batsman trying the glory shot missed the ball completely and was a victim to Luke’s lightning-fast stumping. The umpires were spot on throughout the match to give him out as his bat was still in the air. Praneel’s quick pace finished the innings with a clean middle stump hit for the final wicket. We are the Premiers!

Congrats to Nirav for leading us to victory in his first season as the captain. Congrats to Siby and Parin for breaking a 40-year-old bowling average record. And finally, congrats to the whole team who gave it their all in the field and outside to get this well-deserved result.e finished the day by celebrating at the club with the other Premiers, congratulations to all!

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