05 November 2020
KCC 169/5 in 20 overs (Rory Cox 58, Jamie Atkinson 44, Ehsan Khan 4-0-40-3) beat DLSW DLIT 105 a/o in 16.5 overs (Aftab Hussain 37, Jason Davidson 3.5-0-20-4, Daniel Pascoe 4-0-19-3) by 64 runs
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On a warm and sunny afternoon, DLSW's skipper Ehsan Khan won toss and chose to bowl first. DLSW chose to leave out Ikram Hussain for this game, bringing in Ehsan Ayaz. KCC were unchanged, persisting with their winning combination, and continued with Rory Cox partnering Aizaz Khan at the top of the order. The elegant left hander got off the mark with couple of nice shots off Mohsin Khan, the left-arm swing bowler starting off erratically and going for 11 in the process. Dhananjay started tightly, but then things went south for DLSW – Mohsin spraying a delivery down leg for 5 wides, before Dhananjay pulled up limp at the start of the 4th over with a hamstring injury, which forced him off the field for the rest of the game! Mehran Zeb completed the 4th over, getting pulled down to long-on for a boundary by Cox, and then bowled one more to wrap up the powerplay, which also saw Cox pick up a near identical boundary. Tanveer Ahmed bowled a tidy over in the 5th, and at the end of 6 overs KCC were 48/0 and in control – Cox with 28 runs, and extras accounting for 13 of them. Aizaz hit his first boundary of the day off Tanveer immediately after the powerplay, prompting a change of tactics from Ehsan, who went with spin from both ends. He and Ghazanfar gave away just 11 runs in overs 8 to 10, keeping KCC to 66/0 at the halfway stage. But Tanveer was brought back on in the 11th, and Cox took advantage of the pace on offer to pick up two more boundaries. He then hit Ghazanfar for another boundary in the 12th, and brought up his 50 later that over, before the legspinner struck back to dismiss Aizaz Khan LBW for 23! Atkinson joined Cox in the middle with KCC 88/1 in 12 overs. Cox slog-swept Ehsan for 6 to start the 13th, but fell caught at in the deep by Waqas Khan attempting the same shot later that over! Aftab Hussain was introduced into the attack in the 14th and dismissed Simandeep Singh of the final ball, caught by Waqas at long-on, and DLSW now had a chance to get back in the game. KCC were 99/3 after 14 with two new batsmen – Atkinson and Waqas Barkat – in the middle. The two KCC veterans had other plans though and showed off their experience and class with a 55 runs partnership in the next 31 balls. Atkinson hammered consecutive sixes off Mohsin in the 15th over to signal the charge, Barkat deposited Ehsan into the KCC rooftops in the 17th, Atkinson hit Aftab inside-out for 4 in the 18th, and clubbed Tanveer for 6 straight down the ground in a 8-ball 19th over! Ehsan Khan dismissed both of them in the final over, but Atkinson cleared the fence in between dismissals, and Ehsan fired one down leg for 5 wides (taking the total conceded by DLSW this game to 17), as KCC finished on 169/5. 70 runs came off the final 6 overs, and DLSW faced a stiff chase against a strong bowling lineup on their home turf.
Ibraheem Ishaq found himself with a new opening partner this game, with the talented Waqas Khan being sent up the order. Waqas picked up a boundary over mid-off against Aizaz in the 2nd over, and Ibraheem hit Aizaz through the covers in the 4th, but DLSW only had 18 on the board at the end of it. Jason Davidson, after two tight overs, struck two decisive blows in his third! Waqas Khan edged behind trying to force Davidson into the off, before Ehsan Ayaz tried and failed to loft his third delivery – skying it high to midwicket, where Waqas Barkat took a well judged catch! Dan Pascoe added the wicket of Ibraheem next over, caught at midwicket off the slog, and despite a six by keeper Upul Rumesh Rupasinghe to end the over, DLSW were struggling at 29/3 after the powerplay. The struggle got worse in the 8th over, with Rory Cox grabbing a fine catch at deep midwicket to send back Ehsan Khan, leaving DLSW in tatters at 39/4! Aftab Hussain and Rumesh kept battling – Rumesh hit Caddy for a six prior to Ehsan’s dismissal, Aftab hit Caddy for six after it, and Rumesh hit Barkat for 6 to start the 12th over. He perished next ball for 23, caught well by Davidson at deep midwicket, and Mehran Zeb fell the next over for 1 as DLSW slumped to 69/6. Aftab kept batting, reverse sweeping Barkat for 6, and depositing both Ateeq and Pascoe over the ropes as well, enroute to 37 - DLSW’s highest score of the game. Taveer Ahmed swung the bat to good effect as well, including a pair of Sixes off Davidson, but despite this the result of the game was never in question. Pascoe dismissed Aftab in the 16th over -caught and bowled- and Davidson bounced back from the two sixes to dismiss Tanveer -caught at long-off- in the 17th. Mohsin Khan was caught at long-off for a first ball duck, and DLSW decided against sending Dhananjay out to bat, allowing the young quick to retire hurt and bringing their innings to a close after 16.5 overs – all out for 105! A comprehensive win for KCC, who have more or less guaranteed their spot in the PLT20 final on 22nd November! DLSW, in the meanwhile, slip to 2 losses from 2 games – they’ll need a minor miracle to qualify.
- Nitesh Hemlani