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WCL wide Match Reports for August 18-19
August 20, 2012
10:26 am
challengers
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May 24, 2012
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Zolon Challengers vs Taurids @Fairfax -- Match report provided by Dharmen Udeshi with contribution from Anurag

We will start with a comment posted by one of the Taurids players on Facebook:

Wais Ghaussi wrote: "Game was reduced to 32 overs. Zolon players didn't wanted to ruin their 100% winning record so they started to yell at the umpire to call off the game at every little drizzle of rain that was falling. Taurids managed to make the pitch playable but sad to see how Zolon players didn't wanted to continue."

Sometimes people say things out of frustration. But sometimes people seem to live in an alternate reality. Mr. Ghaussi has a right to think that we were afraid or didn't want to play. That's his opinion and we don't worry, or take personally, people's opinions. The facts stated below in our report will allow all of you, the readers, to decide for yourself how afraid we were of playing. However, there is one thing in the statement which is an out and out lie and that we will not accept. He stated that "we were yelling at the umpire".

The umpire at the game was Charan Singh whom we know and respect. Secondly, we are not a team that is in the habbit of yelling at umpires. We wish people would think twice before making such ridiculous statements.

Before we continue, we would like to add, that Mr. Waisi's statement was the exception and does not represent the sentiments of the other Taurids players. Our association with several Taurids players go back more than a decade. We know many of their players and have played with them for more than 10 years. The game was played in great spirit and when it ended there were handshakes and hugs all around the field and everyone had a smile on their face and everyone wished each other the best of luck for the playoffs. One of the players from Taurids actually came to us and said that "I had heard a lot about your team and I'm very impressed with how all of you conduct yourselves. You don't say things from the outside and are respectful to the opposition". We appreciate that Taurids and feel the same way about you guys as well.

The game:

This was the last game of the regular season, last game before the playoffs, last game to set and test a lineup amongst experimentation that has kept things fresh thus far. It was termed as "D2 Game of the Week" in the built up, although while it lasted it did not measure up to it. For all intensive purposes it was inconsequential for both sides, at the same time both sides wanted to put in a good performance to carry forward a positive momentum into the playoffs. Zolon won the toss and elected to bat on a day with some weather around, temperatures in high 70s.

Challengers Innings:

Zolon opened with Ankur S. and Anu. Both of them got stuck in on a Fairfax pitch which has not rendered into high scoring games. Both started cautiously, trying to get the measure of the wicket but did not fail to punish the bad balls. Taurids' opening spell was a mix bag of some good swing bowling, a few gift balls and a few wides -- more than they would've liked. Outfield was slightly quicker today (much more than most of us expected), should be a good ground with thrilling games during the playoffs. After a solid opening stand of 65 in 12 overs, Anu chased a wide one and was out caught at short-third, he scored 25. Digant was the next to go, Mr. consistent hit his 4th ball for a crisp Raina 'esque boundary. Both were playing without a worry and runs were coming at a reasonale pace. Then came the rains and it came down hard. Everyone had to run for cover. The heavy rain lasted for about 30 minutes. When it subsided, both teams went out back to the field. The outfield seemed not too bad but there were puddles of water around the pitch and run-up and the pitch was obviously soaking wet. Zolon said that we think the game should not continue as we were afraid of injury just before the playoffs. Taurids really wanted to play and wanted to test their side against our batting and bowling. We agreed to continue and they really did work hard to get the ground ready for play. They brought in sand/mulch and worked hard to remove the puddles of water. All this took about 2 hours (from the stop of play). The play had stopped wth the score of 81/1 in 15 overs. Now, with the delay, the game was being reduced to 32 overs. Obviously, this was a great disadvantage to us as we had paced our innings for 40 overs. However, this was a good opportunity for us to adjust to the conditions and we relished the opportunity. The wet wicket allowed the ball to skid thru and it took our batsmen a couple of overs to adjust. Then when we decided to accellerate, Ankur S. got out trying to play across the line. He scored about 25. Raghav joined Digand and both tried to first get a measure of the new conditions. Digant hit some wonderful shots and started to give the innings momentum but played a hot too many and was out caught. The score was around 100 at this time in about 20 overs. Julius went in next and along with Raghav, really started to put pressure. Raghav played the support role and Julius took on the agressor role. The two of them started to hit the ball all over the ground and in the next 8 overs, Challengers had scored 80 runs. Julius dominated the bowling and stamped his authority with shots all around the park. Particularly he got stuck into Wais to take 18 of an over with a couple of boundaries and a big six. It started raining again, and all the umbrella's were out on the sidelines. At this point, even some of the Taurids players started to say "why are we playing in this rain". Julius had stumbled twice while taking runs and Raghav once. Julius finally got out on the last ball of the 28th over, but not before scoring a brilliant 50 in just 23 balls. With 4 overs to go, Challengers looked poised for a 220 score. However, the rains got heavy again and Charan decided to stop the game for now. Everyone was standing at the sidelines waiting for the umpire's decision. We all wanted the game to be stopped as there was nothing to be gained with so much rain again coming down. Many of the Taurid players agreed too and finally, after waiting for another 15 minutes, the umpire abandoned the game. We were in a very good position, after having posted 186 and with 6 wickets in hand and 4 overs to go, 230 or 240 was achievable. It would have been a very challening total for Taurids to chase in 32 overs.

We do understand that Taurids wanted to use this as a practice game against a good opposition, but there was nothing to be gained for them under these conditions and they wouldn't have been able to get out of it what they had hoped in terms of practice. Most of their players agreed that the conditions were so bad that the game couldn't continue (it was still raining when we all left the ground).

We wish Taurids the best of luck for the playoffs. Most of the guys in the team are dear friends and they are a hard working team and we respect them greatly. If they can win against UMBC in the playoffs, they will get an opportunity to play us in the playoffs. And this time, there will be lots on the line.

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