22 October 2016: What was expected to be a fiercely contested match, turned out to be a one-sided affair with Tapti dominating throughout the game; Mahi Mandavi’s demolition was complete and final. Tapti, who lost in the Finals last year against Kaveri defeated Mahi Mandavi by 68 runs to lift the Inter-Hostel Cricket Tournament 2016 champion’s shield.
Tapti remains undefeated
Tapti has been constantly experimenting with the team order and players throughout the tournament and it appears the gamble always pays off. Whether it was to introduce Alyas in the match against Brahmaputra who turned out to be a key player in that match with an individual score of 57; or to promote Anand to number 4 from number six in the final match; Tapti it seems had an edge over other teams because of its effective strategies for every match. In the Finals, few players were dropped from the last match, Irshad came at number 3, Anand promoted to number 4; and used 8 bowlers in the match.
Being the final match of the tournament, the match consisted of 20 overs with powerplay in the first 6 overs.
Mahi Mandavi in its last match had made it amply clear that it could deliver both with the bat and the ball. With players like Varun, Ronit and Ashutosh who are also part of the JNU cricket team and the three players consistently performing well in the matches in the tournament, the challenge was not to be taken lightly.
The Mahi Mandavi team & MM after Irshad’s dismissal
It is perhaps the element of surprise and the ability of the Tapti team to adapt according to the diverse situations that made it so formidable and menacing during the competition. If one looks at the team performance throughout the tournament, one can clearly see that apart from a few players like the captain Irshad, Ramesh, Dasharam, Anand and Yash who have been consistent in their performance, the new players too have been quick in gauging the match conditions and delivering accordingly. No wonder the two leading batsmen of the tournament have been from Tapti: Alyas (57 from 34 balls) and Anand (50 from 32 balls), both of them hard-hitters. Irshad, perhaps has been the most successful bowler with 9 wickets, 16 overs, 57 runs in 4 matches.
It was a hot and slightly windy morning on saturday, with swirls of dust rising on the ground, the glare of the sun making the conditions worse when Tapti came to bat, after having won the toss. Mahi Mandavi fresh from the win against Chandrabhaga, which was being considered as one of the strongest contenders, chose to play the same team for the Finals. Mahi Mandavi’s bowlers had a very promising performance against Chandrabhaga batsmen, again not an easy task. Was it overconfidence? The team consists of mostly young players. Or was it the inability to come up with an effective plan to curtail Tapti’s batsmen, or the slips and misfieldings that cost MM the match, none can tell.
More than anything else it was disappointing to watch MM’s bowlers not play up to their potentials. Tapti had a good start, and even though the opening batsmen did not score much they did provide the team with a confident start. Tapti knew it could always bank on Ramesh, and Irshaad who came later and got a few quick runs to be dismissed by Shashi. Anand was a revelation not just to the team but to the organizers as well. The shy batsman from Tapti reduced MM’s attack to rubble, it was most satisfying to watch him play, dodging the difficult balls, constantly running between the wickets to get singles, and hitting boundaries whenever he had the opportunity. The batsman completed his fifty in the last ball of the innings with a four, what more could the audience ask for?
Anand (50) remained not out
Tapti batted very sensibly and there was a constant trickle of singles in every over. However, after 10 overs there were a series of quick dismissals; from 2-72 it was all of a sudden 7-97! The lower order batsmen, Dasharam and especially Yash took charge and made sure that the strike was given to Anand as much as possible and ably supported him. As earlier commented by Alyas in their last match, mutual understanding and cooperation among the members meant Tapti played as a team and emerged as the better of the two teams.
Tapti had a fruitful initial ten overs
Ronit was the most successful bowler for MM with 2 wickets and 25 runs in 4 overs.
MM it seems had lost hope even before it came down to bat. It needed 138 from 120 balls which is not very big a score considering MM’s scores have been over hundred in the last two matches, with Varun scoring a 40 and Ronit 26 against Lohit, then later against Chandrabhaga Varun with a 47 and Ronit 28. The duo has been the core of MM’s journey till far. On Saturday, it was a different team that faced Tapti. Wickets fell one after another: 1-5, 2-6, 3-8, 4-14, 5-16, 6-16… .
MM couldn’t settle in the match
The team barely managed to play 10 overs, was all out while still in the 13th over. Shashikant who came in as the 8th batsman fought alone and remained not out till the end. Tapti has had the rare honour of humbling their opponents by limiting them to the lowest scores possible: Sutlej (79/5), Brahmaputra (81/9), Jhelum (32/10) and now MM (69/10).
Some MM batsmen however did protest later against Tapti bowlers for intimidating the batsman on the field.
Plenty of extras from Tapti
Yash knocked out the two opening batsmen, Irshad got 3 of them, in fact out of the 8 bowlers played by Tapti five were successful in getting wickets and the rest did their job by limiting the run rate. Though Tapti did give a lot of extras, and interestingly the number of runs given as extras were more than the combined total of runs scored by MM batsmen.Saturday’s match was literally handed over to Tapti by MM.
A felicitation ceremony is to be held on Monday, where the winners will be presented the Victory shield along with certificates.
Venkat, the convener of the Cricket Club explained, “The purpose of the tournament was to select players to make a good team, search for talents… Anand played very well, and we are looking for players like him who can play in the JNU cricket team. It was a good experience for the JNU team players as well.”
“Most good players have passed out, like Deepak (School of Bio-Technology)… Stephen and Anand from Chnadrabhaga have potential, but they are raw talents they need more practice,” he added, “Varun’s performance was impressive, he usually comes in number five but now we can think of promoting him up the order as an opener… This tournament has helped us to know our [JNU] team players, we are also testing our own players…”
The Organizing Team: Deepak, Kunal, Rahul and Venkat; joined by Irshad
The organizing team consisted of the convener Venkat, the co-convener Rahul; along with the other members – Deepak and Kunal. “It was a successful tournament, there has been no controversial decision till now, earlier there have been instances of teams boycotting due to poor decisions, no such thing happened this year. For the first time we had live music and a commentary box which made the matches more lively. We are also thinking of putting stalls and making some more improvements in the next tournament,” saying thus he went to direct the winning team to roll the pitch.
As is the tradition of the tournament the winners have to roll the pitch and carry it to the sports office utility room.
Finals: TAPTI vs MAHI MANDAVI
TAPTI WON BY 68 RUNS
Tapti won the toss, chose to bat
Ramesh run out Pawan 17 (28b)
Ram run out Stephen 8 (10b, 1×4)
Irshad c ? b Shashi 16 (10b, 2×4)
Anand not out 50 (32b, 7×4)
Rajeev c ? b ? 0 (1b)
Alyas c ? b Ronit 1 (1b)
Kishor ? 3 (3b)
Dasharam c ? b Kuldeep 3 (4b)
Shaktikanth run out ? 1 (2b)
Yash run out Kuldeep 4 (5b)
Kanishk not out 1 (1b)
Total: (15 overs) 137
MAHI MANDAVI (69/10)
Varun b Yashraj 2 (3b)
Ayush c ? b Yashraj 2 (4b)
Ronit c ? b Kanishk 4 (8b)
Pawan b Irshad 0 (3b)
Ahmed c ? Irshad 4 (7b)
Stephen run out 0 (3b)
Kuldeep lbw Irshad 0 (1b)
Shashikant not out 8 (24b, 1×4)
Md Tariq b Dasharam 5 (5b, 1×4)
Ashutosh b Ramesh 5 (5b, 1×4)
Vikrant b Anand 1 (1b)
Total (12.4 overs): 69
[Note: There might be slight discrepancies in the individual scores of the players, the total score of the teams are however accurate.]
Pictures are by Sunaina Dular
The Informer correspondent