Report by Shashank Saggar
Result: Sunnyvale Blazers won by 209 runs
Toss: Sunnyvale who batted first
Sunnyvale: 294/9 in 45 overs (Shashank 117, Jag 62, Vibhav 27)
Berkeley: 85 all out (Vibhav 24/4, Arun 16/3, Rutvij and Natty 1 wicket each)
MVP: Arun D and Vibhav
The game on July 11 isn’t something we start with how the day was and how it turned out, it started and ended with Blazers annihilation of Berkeley.
Blazers Innings: The game started on a bit of an unusual note when Sagar (Berkeley’s captain and an ex-sunnyvaler), called Tejas at 8:30 saying that the game start time was moved to 9 am. With a majority of our team members expecting a start at 10, SOS was issued and the team came in around 9:20 with the game starting at 9:40. A part of the Lorin Eden outfield had turned into Ortega-like thick grass and was bound to be a bit slower. Tejas won the toss and elected to bat with with Mr. “Unorthodox” Jag and Vibhav. As expected, there were fireworks from the beginning and both batsman hit the bowlers all over the park. Vibhav looked in ominous touch but unfortunately got out to a lose shot on 27 followed by Natty for 14. Shashank joined Jag and they kept the momentum going. At the first break, Sunnyvale was well placed at 104/2. The second session continued with a similar pace with Jag starting to look ominous after reaching his fifty. He unfortunately missed his century and got out on 62. Tejas joined Shashank but tried his famous flick too soon and was caught by the wicketkeeper. Nachi and Arun were also out in quick succession making 250 – 300 looking a bit out of reach. Jwal however came in determined to stick around. He rotated the strike well and Shashank was able to get his timing right with a few lusty blows to get to his century. He got out trying to up the ante on 117. Jwal and Priyankar then ensured that Blazers played the full quota of overs and ended the innings at 294/9.
Berkeley Innings: Berkeley’s innings was set for a disaster from the beginning. Arun Dayakar opened the bowling with his out swingers and was right on the money to get three quick wickets, two caught in slips and one at point. Rutvij on the other end was bowling in-swingers at will. As Mr. Sidhu says, “he had Pranay (Berkeley no 5) looking like a teenage boy in a strip club when he thought he left the ball with a perfect judgement only to have his off-stump uprooted”. A few overs later, Rutvij had a Jonty/Inzy like moment where he nearly jumped to get Rajesh run out on the bowlers end off Jwal’s bowling. Berkeley was 6 down with only Natwar putting up some kind of resistance with a few meaty blows.
This is when Teju’s master stroke came into play – Vibhav’s (Teju’s nickname for him for the day was “Vibhav Wicket-taker”) left arm orthodox spinners. Within a span of 3-4 overs, he had a batsman bowled round his legs, one comprehensively leg before, another bowled off a defensive prod and Natwar being caught at point trying to waft one out of the ground. In between, Natty got one wicket with a in-cutter to end Berkeley’s innings at 85.
Pros and Opportunities to Improve: While this was one of the biggest victory margin for Blazers this season, the notable aspects for Blazers were the overall energy in the field, no drop catches and minimal extras. The middle order collapse is something we need to work on as a team as this can make the difference of win/loss, especially when we play better teams.