In the TATA Motors JCA League on Sunday, the Challengers CC defeated Fez Rebels by 1 wicket, by virtue of a better net-run-rate, in a game that saw stoppages due to rain and fortunes fluctuating right through, eventually culminating in a nail biting finish.
In the Division 2 encounter at Cibubur, being asked to bat first on a bright and sunny morning by the Challengers, Fez Rebels got off to a cautious but steady start reaching 90/3 at one stage. Introduction of Manica Vasagan into the attack and his spell of 3/32 saw the Rebels collapse to 113/9 at the second drinks break at 24 overs. A fighting last wicket partnership then propelled the Rebels to 148 runs before being all out in 33 overs. Santhosh Kumar supported well with the ball taking 2/26. For the Rebels, Cameron Knox scored 28 runs while Mick Dumenil scored 25 runs.
While a target of 149 runs was always going to be a tough ask to defend, the Rebels were in no mood to let go without a fight. Lead by opening left arm strike bowler Stephen Barber who knocked the top order with a fine spell of bowling that saw him take 4/16, the Rebels had the Challengers on the mat at 40/6 when rain intervened. A stoppage of play meant that the Challengers got the time it needed to regroup. Resuming after the break, the Challengers batsmen batted sensibly taking the score to 110/8, lead by Manica Vasagan, this time with the bat, scoring a crucial 32 runs and Sunil Samtani who scored 26 runs. With still 39 runs adrift of the target, and the game sitting on a knife’s edge, a wet outfield and a slippery ball, meant that the Rebels could not capitalize on the chances that came their way to wrap the game up. This allowed the Challengers to keep their nose ahead of the net-run-rate, when rain intervened for the second time at 30.2 overs. With no further play possible at this stage, the Challengers who were 142/9 were declared winners by 1 wicket, as per the playing conditions of the JCA League.
Thanks to Sampath & Lucky for umpiring the game