A thick outfield and a low-scoring first game prompted Jaguar CC to field first after winning the toss. Sasikumar started off the proceedings with a fiery spell of fast, short-of-length bowling which had both the openers hopping around and saw a few tough-chances going abegging. Maneesh Tripathi eventually fell, trying to force the pace. That brought Mukesh (27) to the crease, who partnered well with Gaurav Pathak (36) as they took TKCC Royals to a good score of 72/1 after 10 overs. The entry of Jagdeep (2/15) got the much needed break-through. Rehan, the leggie, then came on and bowled a beautiful spell (2/24) as he also put pressure on the run-rate.
Pallav (36) then decided to up the run rate and went after Corbon, making him bleed 31 runs in one over including a beautiful flat six over cover. At this point, TKCC Royals looked good to be setting a huge target. But Rehan’s wicket of Pallav, changed the tide and a few tight end overs, meant TKCC Royals set a challenging, but not impossible target of 158 as they reached 157/6 in their 20 overs.
The Jaguar openers found the going tough as well, but a lot of wides kept them still in the hunt. Corbon’s dismissal of a direct-hit runout by Poonam, put Jaguar under further pressure. Sunil Samtani (16) got a few boundaries but fell soon and at the half-way stage, Jaguar CC were well behind the asking rate having reached just 53. The asking rate of more than 10 an over needed a special innings and that is exactly what Sridhar Sasikumar provided. A very special innings of 90 not out in just 44 balls with 10 sixes was his way to celebrate his impending father-hood. Meanwhile Maneesh Tripathi (3/32) was bowling beautifully and pegging away at the other end with wickets and despite some creative field-sets, even he couldn’t stop Sasi’s blitzkrieg who finished the innings in style with 2 consecutive sixes as Jaguars reached the target with 5 wickets and 3 balls to spare.
Thanks to Avakash Lohia & Vinayak Kurtkoti for umpiring the game