19 October 2016 | 2:00 PM: When Tapti got all out for 84 runs, who would have thought the team would have its sweet revenge reducing the entire Jhelum batting order at 32. It was not something unprecedented but certainly not expected that Jhelum with the amount of experience and finesse will not be able to sustain through fifteen overs. One man made it all possible for Tapti, the captain of the team – Irshad, whose personal scorecard read 3-2-7-5!
Tapti won the toss and decided to bat first. The first dismissal came early, however the batsman and the captain of the team, Irshad challenged the umpire’s decision. Things appeared to be going smooth for Tapti with the Ram & Ramesh duo on the crease; the pair were crucial in establishing a good start for the team. After Ramesh’s exit in the 5th over, there were a couple of quick wickets for the Jhelum team. Later, Anand had a promising start but gave away his wicket as he was run out by Pawan. A few runs did trickle in at the end, Tapti batsmen tried hard to get as many runs on the board in the last overs.
The Jhelum bowlers and fielders sauntered confidently on the field. As seen in the last match against Narmada, Jhelum’s strength lies in the good understanding between the bowlers and the fielders. They play as a team. Saddam took 3 wicket, Praveen 2 and Pawan 1; Pawan also got Anand run out who could have been a threat for the Jhelum team.
The Jhelum Team
The Tapti Team
Irshad after dismissal
But all this paled, in front of the extraordinary performance of the Tapti team, when they came down to field. If ever there was a leader, who could steer its legion through troubled waters and emerge triumphantly victorious against all odds; it has to be the captain of the Tapti team. There was not an ounce of doubt about who was the mightier of the two teams.
Dasharam who shined in Tapti’s last match against Brahmaputra where he knocked down 3 wickets; took 2 wickets for 3 runs in 1 over; Yash too scraped 2 wickets.
This happens to be Tapti’s third win in a row.
“The DJ-cum-commentator” & the scorekeeper
Jhelum in action
Before the match, The Informer approached Irshad and Ilyas for a brief conversation. Alyas continues to be highest scorer in the tournament with 57 runs, though he couldn’t deliver on Wednesday’s match. Alyas very humbly admitted that he considers himself more a bowler than batsman, he is apparently also a national level TT player. He said the level of cricket played in Jammu & Kashmir is very high; sports are quite neglected in the campus as compared to academics and efforts should be made to rectify the same.
“I haven’t played cricket for the last 3-4 years, I started playing it again this year,” confessed Alyas, “I practiced for 2-3 days with a cosco ball which helped me regain my focus, otherwise we have not had much practice… Brahmaputra has good bowlers, all of them very experienced but they were concentrating more on the field and the bowlers, this is where they lacked in their strategy, I made use of the loopholes and kept hitting whenever I got a chance…”
“We have put together a strong team,” said Irshad, “we have replaced four players for the match, and our main focus is on fielding placement as per the requirements of the bowler.” Agreeing with Alyas he added, “there is a mutual understanding and cooperation in the team which is the team’s strong points….”
Semi-Finals – 1: Jhelum vs Tapti
Tapti Won by 52 Runs
Tapti won the toss, chose to bat
Irshad lbw Dileep 9 (9b, 1×4)
Ram lbw Saddam 28 (20b, 5×4)
Ramesh c Jainendra b Praveen 8 (11b, 1×4)
Alyas b Praveen 0 (3b)
Saif run out Taufim 5 (12b)
Anand run out Pawan 11 (11b, 1×4)
Bhawani b Pawan 0 (1b)
Rajeev run out Saddam 9 (8b)
Dasharam c ? b Saddam 3 (7b)
Manish c ? b Saddam 0 (1b)
Total: (14 overs) 84
Pawan c ? b Irshad 0 (2b)
Yuvraj b Irshad 0 (3b)
Amit b Irshad 6 (8b)
Satya c ? b Manish 0 (2b)
Rahman b Irshad 6 (4b, 1×4)
Jainendra b Yash 0 (3b)
Tafeem b Dasharam 6 (8b)
Deepak lbw Irshad 0 (1b)
Praveen c ? b Yash 0 (4b)
Saddam not out 4 (8b)
D lbw Dasharam 0 (1b)
Total: (8 overs) 32
The Informer correspondent
Pictures are by Sunaina Dular.