Another One. Another One. Another One.AADITYA SRIRAM·SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2019In the words of the legendary DJ Khaled “Another One”! That seems to be the mantra for the Yorkers this season, victory after victory! They don’t seems to get enough and all they want is “Another One”! Yorkers chased down the target of 89 with 1 ball to spare after a splendid comeback by Hattrickers following a top order collapse to post a good 88 in their 20 overs.
While the world was fixated on a blockbuster encounter in Manchester between India and Pakistan but if there was ever a close 2nd to the entertainer that game was it had to be Yorkers vs Hattrickers, at least that is how the 22 charged up players felt about the game at hand. Hattrickers are amongst the best teams out there and the Yorkers were well aware of it and came prepared for the day’s extravaganza. Yorkers have been on a splendid run winning 5 in a row and they were looking at extending the magical run and get ahead in the race to the top of the table. Yorkers won the toss and chose to bowl, much to the amusement of the Yorkers who really wanted to watch the match between India and Pakistan, while the opposition toiled on the field. Yorkers were missing two of their main bowlers, Niraj and Saurabh so it was upto Tushar to take charge on his comeback game and Kumaresh to back him up.
Yorkers were given a brilliant start by Tushar who sent the opener packing without troubling the scoreboard, a miscued shot that was easily nabbed by Aaditya at mid on. A deluge of left handed batsmen were to follow which gave the Yorkers some amount of discomfort with where to place the fielders but the bowlers made sure that did not matter, a tight line and length kept the scoring rate low. There was as flash of brilliance from Puneet who dispatched three big hits into the deep square leg region which was unfortunately in the declared scoring region and they fetched him and his team just 6 runs in total. He was soon bowled out by a ripper by Yorkers captain Aman. This started a mini collapse for the Hattrickers who went on to lose 2 more wickets in quick succession to some great bowling backed up a by an excellent catch by Sudheer at deep midwicket off what can be described as an idea ball by Tushar, this was followed by an absolute peach of a delivery by Kumaresh who had the stumps blow into pieces behind a clueless Shubham, this was also wicket number 100 for the cricbay veteran. Any other team would have started to bundle out following this incredible start by the bowling team, but true class and quality of the Hattrickers is what helped them build from this situation and post a hefty total for the Yorkers to achieve. Rahul and captain Harshad displayed incredible discipline, not letting their guard down and building a solid stand, the run rate was dipping but they were able to get out the danger bowlers and make sure they did not lose any more wickets at the 10 over mark. At 26/4 things did not look rosy for the Hattrickers, what made things even worse was a blinder behind the stumps by Sagar off Surendiran’s delivery, Sagar can only be called flash for catching the ball that zoomed off the surface and took a thick edge on its way to the gloves of the vice captain, Rahul’s watch had ended. This was a huge turning point for the Hattrickers, their secret weapon, their prized Talisman, Mandar was at the crease, he took the first 10 balls to get accustomed to the effervescent Yorkers on the field but then unleased pure class beating the bowlers all over the park and taking full advantage of the batting power play overs, things were not working for the Yorkers who dropped 3 catches in a span of 5 deliveries, heads were beginning to hang low. Mandar continued the onslaught with beautiful lofted hits to the boundary and sixes on a couple of occasions! This was a comeback of champions, only teams with experience can do this! The yorkers saw the game slowly slipping away from them, this is when the player of the match from the last game Vaibhav pulled a stunner back for the team, getting Mandar run out, this was off his own bowling follow through! Mandar was caught in no man’s land, beaten, injured but he was no longer a threat for the Yorkers. An excellent innings filled with shots of a champion and heart of a warrior had ended, the Yorkers acknowledged his knock, a true show of sportsmanship amongst the teams. The damage had been done, the Hattrickers were poised for a good respectable total thanks to the 29 runs in the 3 power play overs and another 8 in the 19th over. Thanks to a good disciplined final over by Suren, the Hattrickers were restricted to 88 in their 20 overs.89 was a reasonable target to chase, the pitch was true to its bounce and all the Yorkers had to do was keep the wickets in hand and just rotate the strike without playing any risky shots. The break time saw both team drown in their smartphones trying to catch what was left of the India Pakistan showdown. Refreshed and energized, both teams got back on the field! It was going to be a close one, the Yorkers were confident to chase the total while the Hattrickers trusted the caliber of their bowling attack, one that had a good mix of left and right handed bowlers.
Aniket and Sagar, the tried and tested opening pair for the Yorkers took the field and both of them got off the mark of the very first delivery they faced respectively. Sagar unfortunately played a ball that was away from his body, and misjudged the pace to give an easy catch to the wicketkeeper Mandar who made no mistake in nabbing it. Kumaresh who was incidentally also playing his 100th game for cricbay came into slow things down and build a solid foundation. Kumaresh and Aniket steadied ship and tried to just rotate strike as much as possible but some excellent bowling and perfect field placement kept the number of dot balls just ticking along, the runs were hard to come by but Kumaresh did give the occasional swing at the ball, lucky for him they always went to a safe spot on the declared runs region, Aniket on the other hand was extremely measured. After some initial jitters, Kumaresh unleashed some beautiful cover drives and a couple of lofted shots over short leg, they all yielded some crucial doubles for the Yorkers. Things were chugging along until Aniket handed a sitter to Parth off a good ball by Vishal. The bowling from the Hattrickers was supremely balanced and sensible, we had a match in our hands. Captain Aman who was also playing his 100th game joined the other milestone achiever. At the end of 10, the Yorkers were at 33 having lost 2 wickets! The equation was set at 56 of 60! Achievable, but they had to get that run rate ticking. Having scored at 3.3 per over until now, the Yorkers had to up the ante, 5.6 was the required run rate. A challenging by achievable total. Aman and Kumaresh went back onto the field and decided against taking the power play overs, a couple of good shots from Aman but soon he lost his wicket courtesy a really good catch by Mandar behind the stumps off a quick one by Bhuvesh. Sudhir was up with a challenge, one that required him to make runs quick and safely. He was the last recognized batsman on the team, the pressure was real! He seemed to handle it well, Kumaresh and Sudhir were steadily making runs. The equation, 47 off 36! The Yorkers were once again plagued by run outs at this stage! The first to go was Sudhir, followed by a risky call by Aaditya to Kumaresh that say Kumaresh perish as well. The Yorkers at this stage opted for their power play overs, 4 overs 36 to win! A quick flurry of shots by Aaditya hitting 13 off 7 got the Yorkers a little closer but the battle was still a long way from ending, another risky call saw Aaditya run out as well. Runs and wickets were both flowing at an alarming rate, the Yorkers preferred the runs while the Hattrickers liked that the wickets were going down on their own. Lusty blows by Vaibhav that saw the ball clear the rope twice in 3 balls got the Yorkers within the jaws of victory! An innings that can only be played a person with nerves of steel! Vaibhav had his chance to be the man of the hour and boy was he! 9 off 12, easy right? Not really, a beautiful over by VP who was miserly and gave away only 2 runs making the equation go in the favor of the fielding team yet again, 7 off 6. Vaibhav once again showed who was boss, hitting 5 off 3 from the last over and getting the equation down to 1 off 1! Gaurav was on strike for the last ball, new to the crease and a herculean task on his shoulders! Showing tremendous amount of grit, he let one go down the leg side, not the prettiest victory but a wide got the Yorkers took them over the line with a ball to spare!
The Yorkers had done enough to overcome the amazing Hattrickers. A game for the memory books. One where the whole team pulled together. Top of the table for the champions of this encounter! Vaibhav got his 2nd consecutive player of the match award, to think he got his first ever only last game, was he showing his true class? Lets hope so as the Yorkers do their best to remain on the top and get back into Platinum league. This game was also the 101st game for Sagar, and special mention for his absolutely stunning wicket keeping, fast balls, wild throws by fields, crazy catches summed up a very positive innings for him on this landmark career achievement for him.