In another game at the GMIS grounds, MenaraCC ran WISCI too close for comfort in a game that appeared to have been done and dusted by the second drinks break of the Menara chase. What looked like was going to be a run-away victory for the defending champions, turned on its head when Menara’s Mohit Keshwani and Prakash Kewlani threw counter punches to forge an unfinished 122 run partnership for the 9th wicket that brought Menara within 22 runs of the target when they ran out of overs. Menara finished on 234/8 in response to WISCI’s 256/8 in 35 overs.
Earlier put into bat, WISCI started cautiously reaching 62/1 after 12 overs, through its openers Viraj Bhammar and Wilfred Schultz (20 runs) who put on 37 runs for the first wicket. From then on, Bhammar combined well with debutant Naveen Param to mix caution with aggression as they took the score upto 150/1 in 24 overs. When Bhammar was brilliantly caught at short mid-off for a well made 87 runs, the stage was set for some big hitting. Naveen with his crisp drives, who played risk-free shots in the beginning, opened his shoulders to up the ante before he was out for 68 runs. A few meaty blows from Bob Plath (28 runs off 10 balls) notwithstanding, Menara then came right back into the game when they started taking wickets at regular intervals to restrict WISCI to 256/8. Harish Tiwari was the pick of the bowlers with 4/39.
In response, the Menara top order found the going tough against the swing bowling of Deepak Singh (3/28) and William Noronha, as they catapulted to 62/4 after 12 overs and then 112/7 after 24 overs. Just when it seemed it was all over bar the shouting, Mohit ( 76*off 39 balls)and Prakash (43* off 29 balls) showed the rest of the batsmen what grit and gumption coupled with intelligent stroke-play can do as they threw caution to the winds with some lusty hitting that caused a few jitters in the WISCI camp. Eventually it was too tall an order as Menara finished at 234/8. Sudah was the other successful bowler with 2/30, even as Tim Watson gave most youngsters a run for their money sending down six consecutive overs of medium pace from one end.
Thanks to Dhimanshu & Anwar for umpiring on behalf of Fez Rebels