Match Reports 2013/14

Game 18 - UCC v SACC (9th February, 2014)

SACC Catch disappointing UCC out

With both UCC and SACC missing key players, it was ultimately excellent catching which saw SACC conquer UCC on a baking hot afternoon at the RMIT oval on a day where the ball dominated the bat.

Stand in skipper Dormer won the toss and elected to bat first.  Despite runs coming freely at the beginning of the innings, Dormer was the first to fall, caught by Armstrong off a leading edge on the midwicket boundary.  At 37/1 after 5 overs, UCC seemed in a strong position with Radha (15) and Chetan (14) playing nicely but some tight bowling and good catching restricted UCC to 54/5 at drinks with Armstrong, Fryer, and Connell all taking catches.  After drinks, Abhishek (12) and Morris (11) steadied the fall of wickets, but found scoring hard to come by with only one boundary in a partnership of 39.  With SACC debutante Burdeu accounting for both with the ball, he then took an incredible one handed diving catch at long-on in what must be catch of the season.  Malone played nicely but ultimately ran out of partners and UCC ended 103 all out, a score they will be sorely disappointed with.  SACC took all 8 of the catches that came their way and should be congratulated on a much better fielding performance than in their previous defeat to PSCC.  With the ball, Skipper Connell excelled with 4/16 and was ably supported by Armstrong 2/11 and Burdeu 2/29.

With such a small target to defend, UCC came out all guns blazing.  Malone, in particular, bowled with fabulous control and only conceded 8 off his 4 overs, including 2 maidens.  He also took a wicket in the second over, leaving UCC with a glimmer of hope at 6/1.  That glimmer became genuine hope as James soon fell to Bala leaving SACC at 12/2.  With SACC being light of batting, but UCC being down on several front line bowlers, the match was delicately posed.  Knowing that the run-rate was unlikely to be a problem, Dormer shuffled his bowlers to try to break the important partnership of Armstrong and Weiks.  The scoring became very slow and Armstrong was starting to get frustrated as numerous drives at Malone didn't get through the infield and any quick singles being refused by his partner due to some tight ground fielding by those in the circle.  At drinks, SACC were 35/2 but with Malone and Bala only having 1 over left each, restricting the scoring was likely to be much more problematic in the second half of the innings.

Armstrong and Weiks upped their intent in the second ten.  Armstrong, previously shackled hit 2 quick boundaries but was soon run-out again calling for a single to point.  A well struck square drive was parried by Jones to Radha.  With Armstrong (29) half way down the pitch, Radha kept his composure to throw to Chetan who removed the bails.  More hope was to come with the very next delivery as Connell played around a Mijin special to leave SACC at 53/4.  However, Weiks (28*) kept his cool and hit 2 sixes and a four in quick succession.  That, coupled with some wayward bowling, too many wides and good support from Fryer (10*), saw UCC concede the remaining 51 runs in 4 overs to leave SACC victorious by six wickets with 26 balls to spare for a bonus point victory.

For UCC, it was the batting that lost them the game.  Too many high-risk aerial shots in the vicinity of the fielders.  They bowled and fielded manfully, but ultimately it was a lack of runs which cost them.  But credit must go to SACC who held their catches and batted sensibly and didn't panic when they lost a few wickets.  Weiks took Man of the Match for an excellent innings, although Armstrong also had a strong case with a couple of catches, 2/11 and 29.  Next up for UCC is SSC on February 16th.  Game on!

Game 13 - UCC v ECCS  (19th January, 2014)

The Chetan and Radha show condemns ECCS to 4th straight loss

UCC dominated a struggling ECCS on a perfect day for cricket at the RMIT oval.  Chetan and Radha starred but it was an excellent all round performance as UCC hit 9 sixes and 7 fours to get back to winning ways and get their campaign for a finals spot well and truly underway.

Winning his first (or rather letting the opposing skipper call it incorrectly) toss as UCC captain, Vijesh elected to bat first.  Despite losing Dormer (4) early, Radha and Chetan laid the foundation for UCC to later build on.  Although not at his classy best, Radha placed the ball around nicely between 3 fours and one six and deservedly became the 3rd UCC player to retire on 40 this season.  However, it was junior partner Chetan who stole the show, hitting an impressive 5 sixes on his way to 36 before being run-out attempting an ill advised single behind the stumps.  James (16) came to the crease and continued his impressive form, hitting two more sixes and Green (13) continued his good start to season, twice finding the boundary.  Vijesh put the final icing on the cake with 19 from 12 balls including one mighty strike over the square leg boundary to a rank full toss.  UCC finished with 155/5 off their allotted overs.  For ECCS, Essery and Veer bowled well without getting any luck, and on another day could have taken a couple of wickets each.  L. Raddin (1-25) bowled steadily on debut and C. Wood (2-34) took a couple of scalps in his first game of the season.

In response ECCS got off to a steady start and without taking their customary early wicket in the first 2 overs, UCC were perhaps starting to feel a bit twitchy.  However, with Wood (7) starting to look threatening, Vijesh (1-20) found the outside edge which a delighted Green took at fly slip.  Savy (13) and G. Thwaites (11) steadied the ship, but Pankaj (3-12) came into the attack, and aided by two impressive stumpings and caught behind by the ever ready Chetan, 57/1 became 60/4.  Another stumping shortly after left ECCS reeling at 64/5 and it was left to Zakharoff and Wheatcroft to rebuild the English response.  Wheatcroft, attempting to up the scoring, picked out the safe hands of Dormer in the deep on the leg side but it was Zakharoff who really took the attack to UCC, smashing an impressive 35 off 26 balls, but UCC's target never looked in any danger.  ECCS finished with 125/8, 30 runs short.

The match belonged to Chetan however.  How UCC have missed their extra-ordinary keeper, big hitting batsmen, and although unable to bowl right now, dependable bowler in his absence.  He deserved his Man of the Match Award.  Radha, with 40* and 2 wickets also played an equally significant role.  Pankaj, in his final match before he goes to jail, I mean gets married, also produced amazing figures of 3-12 to put the result out of doubt for UCC when ECCS could potentially have started to threaten UCC's total.  Additionally, he effected a brilliant run-out from the boundary with a bullet throw to remove the dangerous Zakharoff.   Next up the SACC in a match that could shape both sides season on February 9th.

Game 10 - ISCS v UCC  (5th January, 2014)

Pratap and Sri Ram too good for UCC

Defending Champions ISCS returned to winning ways against UCC.  On an overcast morning in Ho Chi Minh City, Vijesh yet again lost the toss and UCC were once again asked to bowl first.  In a sensational start, UCC were in dream land as Shashi uppercut Bala towards third man where Green ran in and took a brilliant catch.  More success was to follow when Vijesh trapped ISCS captain Jadgish plumb leg before to leave ISCS in trouble at 13/2.  However, with Pratap and Sri Ram in the middle, UCC knew another wicket was essential.  Tight bowling from Vijesh, Bala, Radha, Pankaj and Mijin restricted ISCS to 59/2 at drinks.

After drinks, the two batsmen looked to up the scoring and attack the bowling more.  Perhaps a crucial moment in their innings came in the 13th over.  Pratap drove Mijin uppishly  to the cover boundary.  Jones, running in couldn't hold onto the chance with Pratap in the early 20s at the time.  Worst was to follow in the next over as the batsmen smashed 21.   With Pratap 42*(32) and Sri Ram 41*(38) retiring shortly after, ISCS were in a very strong position and that allowed Robin, Rubal and Munish to free their arms and propel their total to 167/6 from their 120 balls.

UCC's reply started with the loss of two early wickets, a trend the top order will be keen to put an end to.  However, Radha (12) and James steadied the ship as they put on 39 for the third wicket.  James in only his second match for UCC started to impress and hit several sixes, including a superb pick-up over deep square leg.  Radha was starting to find his form when he middled a pull straight down Munish's throat, who took the catch well off Sri Ram (2-24).  However, this didn't stop James retiring on 40 shortly after, smashing another elegant 6 over cover.  UCC were up with the run rate at drinks at 74/3 but after the interval started losing regular wickets.  With the middle order trying to throw the bat to keep up with the run rate, an English style batting collapse followed leaving UCC at 117/9 after 16 overs, the chief tormentors being Pratap (4-20) and Robin (2-30).  With the fall of the 9th wicket, James returned to the crease to reach 50 but was bowled by Syam in the penultimate over with UCC falling 35 runs short.

ISCS played a great game and deserved their bonus point win.  They batted patiently at the beginning of the innings before accelerating after drinks.  Despite bowling 40 wides, which they'll be keen to eradicate, they fielded well and took the chances they had well.  Pratap was unlucky not to be Man of the Match with 42 not out and 4-20 in a great all round performance.  However, Sri Ram (MOM) was also deserving with a fine 41* and taking 2 wickets.  For UCC, it's back to the drawing board.  However, with the return of Dormer, Meikle and Malone and Chetan for their next match against ECCS, they will be feeling confident of returning to winning ways on January 19th.

Game 7 - ICCS v UCC  (29th December, 2013)

UCC fall agonisingly short against big hitting ICCS

ICCS won the toss and decided to bat in a post-Christmas classic in Saigon.  Despite losing an early wicket, Pankaj (32) and Deshpande (32) took the attack to UCC's new look bowling attack, hitting 5 sixes and two fours to leave ICCS at 92/3 off 12 overs.  Despite wickets tumbling around him, Manish Sogani continued to dispatch any loose deliveries over the rope in an entertaining (for the neutrals) knock of 31 off only 16 deliveries including 3 mighty sixes.  ICCS finished their innings with a imposing 158 AO from their alloted overs.   The best of the bowling was Vijesh (2-25) and Pankaj (2-28).

Debutant Sarvana (20) opened UCC's reply in a positive fashion hitting 3 fours, but with Jones, Pankaj and James all falling cheaply, UCC's batting once again found itself in a precarious position.  This time, it was UCC's Australians, Morris (16) and Green who steadied the ship and started to work UCC back into the game, hitting frequent boundaries in a partnership of 35.  However, it was once Morris was removed by Satmeet that the fireworks started.  Bala (24) hit an impressive 20 off one over and brought UCC back into the game.  Green also joined in the fun hitting a six and 2 fours.  With 37 required off 4 overs, the game was really on a knife edge.  Unfortunately, from a UCC perspective, Bala was brilliantly caught by Manish on the boundary and 5 runs later Green fell in a similar fashion with Rajib taking another excellent catch.  However, with UCC's captain Vijesh at the crease, UCC still had a chance.   With 14 required off the last over, Vijesh gave UCC hope, smashing Manish (entrusted with the last over) for a straight six leaving UCC needing 6 from the last ball.  However, Man of the match Manish produced a good last ball and UCC could only scamper a single to fall 4 runs short.

UCC can take great heart from a spirited performance, especially being without Chetan, Meikle, Dormer, Malone and Radha who are key players for the men in purple.  However, the debutantes certainly proved themselves with Sarvana scoring 20 as well as 3 catches behind the stumps and Mirash taking 2-30.  Green also made his best score so far in a UCC shirt with 32 off only 26 balls to leave Captain Vijesh with some serious selection headaches once the full squad is available.

Game 3 - PSCC v UCC  (1st December, 2013)

Magnificent Meikle sinks PSCC

UCC opened their 2013/14 campaign in fantastic style, winning their first game of the season for the first time in their history on a fine day for cricket at the RMIT oval.

PSCC won the toss and elected to bat first.  Despite losing Sofi (7) early, the experience of Jawed and Shaikh (27) put on 46 runs for the 2nd wicket.  However, with both falling with the scored of 53 - Shaikh thanks to a beautiful delivery from Bala, their innings threatened to be derailed.  However, Sarfaraz (14), and Parvez (26) took advantage of any lose deliveries to add 49 for the 4th wicket.  In particular, Parvez looked dangerous hitting 2 sixes.  With Vijesh (2-21) removing both thanks to good catches from Dormer and Meikle, the scoring slowed and regular wickets fell.  PSCC finished their 20 overs on 126 for 8.  Mijin was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 19 from 3 overs.

In response, UCC's got off to a disastrous start with Jones being bowled first ball from Daas.   Chetan (19) looked threatening but with Radha, Dormer and Pankaj all falling cheaply, UCC found themselves in real trouble at 44/5.  With victory seeming along way off, Meikle and Morris (25) counter attacked and put on a stunning partnership of 65, hitting 6 sixes and a four off only about 7 overs.  Meikle retired on 40 (4 sixes, 1 four) to great jubilation from his team mates and Malone and Vijesh guided UCC home with 9 balls to spare.

Deservedly, Meikle won man of the match after scoring 40* from 26 deliveries, taking a superb catch and achieving bowling figures of 4 overs, 1 for 19.  Honourable mentions also go to Mijin with 2-19 and Morris' 25 off only 17 balls. 

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