In a game that see-sawed right upto the last ball, Jaguar CC held their nerves to beat the current T20 cup holders, TKCC Royals by 1 run and scamper into the T20 finals where they take on Victorious Secret.
The teams had different paths to the semis. Jaguar CC, who cruised through the qualifying stages, had been struggling for batting form in the last few games. TKCC Royals, on the other hand, had momentum on their side, having won their last few games comprehensively. Hence, today’s contest had all the promise of a closely-fought encounter, and the teams didn’t disappoint.
Aman Singh (27) got the Jaguars off to a brisk start with 11 off the first over. TKCC fought back with the wicket of an under-pressure Corbon. Dhimanshu (23) then pushed on the run-pedal as he took 22 runs of Mukesh’s 2nd over. But, Aresh, then took out the dangerous Dhimanshu in the 5th over to bring the Royals right back as the see-saw nature of the game continued. Swaroop Chawan (0-16 off 4 overs) then bowled a tight spell to keep Jaguars quiet for the next 5 overs.
Maneesh Tripathi (5/25), the highest wicket taker of the tournament, then worked his magic once again with a Double-wicket start to his spell and the Jaguar CC were in some trouble at 83/4 after 12 overs. Ansar Subramaniam (27) then, went after the bowling to swing things back, Jaguar’s way. Maneesh fought back with another 2 wicket over and Jaguars were in real danger of falling well short. Jagdeep’s (13) runs ensured that his team had something to fight with as Jaguar CC were bowled out for 139 with 5 balls to spare.
TKCC Royals the happier team at the break, then got off to a cautious start until captain Mukesh Khetan (31) & Pallav Malhotra (39) the top run scorer of the tournament, then decided to up the ante and were especially severe on the leggie, Rehan. At the half-way mark, the game was still in the balance with Jaguar CC on 73/2. The 11th over once again proved to be a game-changer, with Jagdeep Singh (4/16) bowling a brilliant double-wicket, maiden over including the key wicket of Mukesh.
Pallav & Maneesh (22) then got together and put on a sensible 40 run partnership and things were looking in control for them until Ansar took out Pallav in the 17th over. TKCC had to get 26 runs in 3 overs with Rehan (the leggie) still to bowl 2 overs. The 18th over went for 12 runs & TKCC clearly looked in front. Jagdeep then came back to bowl a fabulous 19th over where he took 2 wickets for just 2 runs. 12 runs were needed off the last over. When Suren, hit the 3rd ball for a six, the Royals had the upper-edge. A run-out of the 5th ball, and still 3 runs needed of the last ball. Gaurang couldn’t get the ball away and TKCC fell short of the win by 2 runs.
Thanks to Faheem & Avakash Lohia for umpiring the game