Ankush Lal - Remember the Name
a thriller against Winterthur CC in CSNL 2021 Opener
Game time folks:
League: CSNL 40 overs league
Match day: Sunday 13.06.2021
Match time: 11:00 am CET
Venue: Deutweg, Winterthur
It is a bright sunny day and it is the time to begin the show of sports of our beloved game of cricket for the season.
It is the opener of CSNL 2021 40 over league between Zurich Lions CC against the rivals Winterthur CC in Deutweg.
Both teams have reached to the ground on time. Match started 15 mins. late due to pitch setup. Having had a really close season last year, Zurich Lions Cricket Club are willing to roar and start in positive note.
Nevertheless, bar last seasons, every season and every game is a new game in Cricket and every new day gives hope to everyone to put their best foot forward. Eventually there is only one team that wins but for players they put their all for the game.
Show time lads. There we go for the toss.
Toss time: Winterthur CC won the toss and elected to bat first.
Zurich lions are in huddle and they are all pumped up to go. Starting the bowling for Zurich Lions Cricket Club is Sonu. A great start and sensational bowling by Sonu leaves Winterthur tattering as in the very first over of the game Winterthur CC captain is on his way for a duck and by the end of third over Winterthur were in serious trouble as the scoreboard read 7/3.
What a start. What a wonderful start. The first three batsmen for Winterthur are back in pavilion. Ankush caught Winterthur captain Mohammed in point and Keeper Amit caught Cheema while a blinder by Sheshu in the point caught Deesh walking back. Winterthur are really in a big spot of bother.
Dion joined Murali and they were careful to watch out few early overs where there was a lot of swing and wind to help fast bowlers. Murali played some good cricketing shots however Dion put all the brakes by defense down, as they did not want to lose another wicket however Zurich Lions Cricket Club bowlers were truly and purely on the top. Runs were hard to come by for Winterthur CC though non-striker Dion gave able support to Murali and they stitched an able partnership. Halfway thru the game and they are moving at a watchful pace. Murali has some close saves coupled with some loss in concentration in fielding by Zurich Lions Cricket Club helped Winterthur reach 20 Over 81/3.
Zurich Lions did not capitalized the start they got, as their fielders were sloppy at times as many chances of catches were dropped. Some errant fielding, which if were good could have closed the innings a lot earlier. Match was evenly poised where zlcc bowlers were looking to wrap the opponents for meager score. One would expect Winterthur were eyeing at around 170-180 mark having Murali at the crease. However great middle over bowling by Sara, Senthil, Mayur, Snehil and then return of the golden arm boy Sonu brought to put the brake on scoreboard. Zurich lions bowlers bowled tight line and lengths and did not allow Winterthur to tow away. They did brilliant to not only stop runs, but also chip in great economy in regular intervals.
Only Murali was able to score and he did make a good-looking century of 108 runs. Gates were open but a lone fight by Murali made sure Winterthur reaches 33.1 overs 147/10. One would say a great comeback from Zurich lions given where the opponent batsmen got so many chances. Extra-ordinary spell by Sonu of 6/22 in 7 overs with 4 maidens says what a day he has had. Spells from Sara and Senthil cannot be overruled too as they got wickets in intervals and bowled extremely well. Zurich lions were not having a great day in catching in field but they did good ground fielding, stopped runs and in the later half took some brilliant catches; Omed at long off especially with wonderful running catch. However, what would have irked the Lions were the dropped catches, which was below their standards, but they can be proud of how they bowled. Great intensity, great execution; a new inning in the second half would give them chance to prove themselves and clinch an important win.
As for Winterthur, they might be happy to take that score; given many of their batsmen could not do anything except Murali who made 108 in 147 total speaks about how other batsmen struggled against a quality bowling attack of Zurich Lions Cricket Club.
First Innings Score: Winterthur 33.1 Overs 147 all out. Zurich Lions Cricket Club needs 148 to win.
Time for scheduled break between innings – 30 mins. Second innings to start at 1500 hrs. CET.
As they say to keep it simple, the strategy by Zurich lions is humble to go with Ankush as an opener with Kanishk. The duo have had good runs in the practice matches, which were played few weekends before, and they did well in T-5 series as well. It was seen as a clear symbol from lions to go with natural top order and not to rush things what have costed them few times in bygone seasons.
Kanishk and Ankush started cautiously only when in next over Kanishk was caught by a jaffa of a delivery. Not a good start as the scoreboard read 1 over 4/1. On came Senthil to partner Ankush; where Ankush was the aggressor and he played some beautiful shots all across the ground – square cuts, drives, flicks all looking so easy to the eyes, Senthil was trying to settle in however some disciplined bowling from Winterthur was not allowing Lions to open up their arms to get going. Senthil trying to up the ante was caught in the gully for a naught and what followed for the next wicket was a comedy of errors as the on field umpire gave Mayur, shockingly out a thud on the thigh guard back to the keeper.
The star batsman of Zurich Lions Cricket Club is in a state of shock and was absolutely dejected by the decision. Nevertheless, we play by rule and abide by the decisions. Mistakes do happen and umpires are human too. Sara joined Ankush when scoreboard read 21/3 after 7 overs and Zurich Lions Cricket Club was in a spot of bother. Sara was really watchful and was not going to throw his wicket away. While Ankush showed great calmness and composure and he did not let emotions, get on to his head when there were some very tight overs in the middles and runs were hard to come by. It is said temperament is one thing that you build when you face the situation.
Today is the day when Ankush and Sara shown the same and did not let rush of blood happen. The duo stitched a slow but steady partnership of 54 when by the break in the halfway mark the scorecard of Zurich Lions Cricket Club read 20 overs 74/3. Exactly precise, cut in half. Half-done and half to go. 20 more overs and 74 more runs needed. Meanwhile Sara and Ankush sucked a lot of pressure out of the chase and made things easy. Sara dropped the anchor literally, batted, and bathed for his 7 runs (54 balls). In the hindsight, you can say it was a slow shaped innings but it was also as much as important not to lose wickets at that crucial phase. Sometimes you die by a whisker and sometime you fathom the storm. It was the latter today. Ankush however continued playing sensibly before Sara was bowled and Lokesh joined in the middle. Run rate was never a scare for Zurich Lions Cricket Club as they needed 4 runs a overs. Another umpiring decision, another shocker, which was too close a call made Lokesh back to pavilion when he was adjudged, caught behind by the keeper. Sheshu too fell cheaply and it was when Zurich Lions Cricket Club were in a serious spot of bother. Meanwhile Ankush was flawless, not bothered by what was happening and not taking any unnecessary risks and punishing the bad balls. He reached his brilliant fifty and was leading alone from the front. He had had some support but was not getting enough.
A sign from up and above to Ankush to take things in his own hands when Amit too got out cheaply and Omed fell too. All of a sudden the tides have had changed and Zurich Lions Cricket Club were reeling – Ankush being helpless and seeing others going down the lane in what was an easy and sensible chase. At ninth wicket, Snehil got out, which literally made Winterthur believe that they are all but winning. The scorecard at the ninth wicket fall was reading 121/9 and Zurich Lions Cricket Club needing 27 runs in 6 overs.
Ankush was stranded as a lone warrior when the golden arm boy Sonu joined him. It is a tale of fortune favoring the brave and a deserving and befitting win awaited both the heroes of the game today. To be honest 90 out of 100 times a number 11th batting with number 1 batsmen and in a must win situation you will favor the opposition who had some quick arm bowlers tiding and cleaning up the tail. Slow start in the beginning of Zurich Lions Cricket Club innings made it really looked like the game was nothing but all set for a humdinger and going down to the wire.There are some special people tailor-made for such situations and fortunately, Zurich lions do have more than one such in form of Ankush. Déjà vu for Zurich Lions Cricket Club! For many and for the team. Countless number of times Mayur was put into such pressure cooker situation and endless number of times he has done this for his team. Occasion is set, stage is set, and game is set – another hero is rising to the occasion today. Having said earlier the one who holds the nerves crosses the line. Ankush and Sonu – the heroes from batting and bowling department for Zurich lions are again there to get the home team back to winning start of the season.
Clearly indicated by the fighting spirit, sensible cricket and we talk a lot about holding onto the nerves. What followed in the last 6 overs, made 2 heroes today for Zurich Lions Cricket Club. Ankush and Sonu as the duo snatched a scintillating win making the super Sunday joyous for Zurich Lions Cricket Club. Hard to put into the words and to write what had happened in those last 6 overs of thrill, horror and ecstasy. One thing was sure; sports is such a passion it make people bring the best out of them.
Ankush being in great touch played some brilliant cricketing shots and Sonu did what he did best in the first innings ample support to Ankush. Sonu played nice little cameo of 07 crucial runs in those 27 runs partnership of last wicket, mind you last wicket in a chase. Ankush made an outstanding not out 90 runs (111 balls 10 fours 1 six). What an outstanding match; what a brilliant day of cricket. Absolutely brilliant.
Great scenes. Zurich lion’s players are all smiles. They have done largely what they been known for; deliver under pressure. With disciplined bowling unit, a could-have-been-better fielding, and warriors rising to the occasion did it for Zurich Lions Cricket Club. Another hero today. First.Win.Of.The.Season.
Well begun is half done and not every day some heroes would rescue us; they also do have some off days. Team building is such an important thing. To make it work everyone must be adaptable and to be able to deliver when situation demands. The great thing otherwise is Zurich lions looks like quite a settled side and ready to give run for a money to any team come what may. Cricket would be the winner again, as when Zurich Lions will travel to Zuoz T-20 over tournament to be played next weekend.
A new Find from Team ZLCC: Featuring Ankush (MoM) with 1-to1 live interview directly off the field with our own reporter Sam from Sam Sports ZLCC Chanel-7, Cameraman Snehil Joshi
Winterthur won the toss and decided to bat first, lost to Zurich lions by 1 wicket
Winterthur CC – 40 overs 147 all out
(Murali -108, Dion 12, Sonu 6/24, Senthil 2/28, Sara 1/24)
Zurich Lions CC – 37.1 overs 148/9
(Ankush 90*, Sonu 7*, Sara 7; Cheema – 3/19, Dion 3/24)
Ankush and Sonu both were jointly adjudged men of the match for their all-round performance.
I hope you enjoy reading this match report as much as I did writing it and enjoy the nice sunny days.
See you all next weekend and have a good week ahead.