The day started with a heavy shower that had the Titans huddled under a tree and the covers set up on the bowlers run ups. As the rain subsided, Titans leapt into action both as ground staff, drying the pitch up and as fielders, running through the practice drills. The umpire decided that there was enough time to play a full 20/20 game. The toss went the way of the Titans and skipper Tiki decided to have his bowlers make first use of the wet pitch.
The Tropics innings started inauspiciously for the Titans with skipper Tiki making decent ground but then failing to hang on to a simple chance off the bowling of Earl “Super”saud. Earl and Maruthi combined to bowl a good opening spell. Maruthi picked up an early wicket via an excellent catch by Chucky, but was unlucky when Chucky attempting another similar catch slipped and could not complete the catch. Earl pulled his groin and had to go off after his 3rd over. He had bowled superbly, using the juice in the pitch to repeatedly beat the cut shots attempted by the batsmen. Andre replaced Maruthi, but was a bit too short in the one over spell and was taken for multiple boundaries by the Tropics captain Phil Davis.
Paul and Bunny replaced Earl and Dre in an attempt to slow the ball down. This was successful to some extent, but Tropics maintained a decent scoring rate. Bunny was economical after his first expensive over. Paul, meanwhile bought Phil’s wicket after he had been dropped twice, once each by Sahel and Praveen. This brought Bert Davis, the other danger man to the crease. He survived an early chance off of Sahel’s bowling when the ball did not stick in keeper Avi’s gloves. Bert kept the rate going with a flurry of boundaries. He was eventually out LBW for 44 during Andre’s return spell. Andre, Tiki and Maruthi finished off the bowling, with Maruthi having one of his more expensive spells during his time with Titans. Tropics had set Titans 189 as a target and the Titans batsmen seemed confident that it was a chasable total.
Bowling Figures -
Earl Seupersad- 3 Overs, 0 Maidens, 12 Runs, 0 Wickets, 3 Wides, 4 Economy
Maruti Davanagere- 4 Overs, 0 Maidens, 41 Runs, 1 Wicket, 1 Wide, 10.25 Economy
Andre Fraser- 4 Overs, 0 Maidens, 49 Runs, 1 Wicket, 4 Wides, 12.25 Economy
Sahel Arora- 4 Overs, 0 Maidens, 43 Runs, 0 Wickets, 2 Wides, 10.75 Economy
Paul Ramkissoon- 4 Overs, 0 Maidens, 40 Runs, 1 Wicket, 0 Wides, 10 Economy
Prateek Singh- 1 Over, 0 Maidens, 2 Runs, 2 Wickets, 0 Wides, 2 Economy
Titans batting started off with the team’s two best batsmen striding out to chase down the large total. In form Chucky, supported by a determined Andre, took the team to 61 for no loss by the end of the 7th over. Chucky was adjudged LBW on the first ball of the 8th over and it seemed to deflate the Titan’s hopes. He had made 45 off of 28 balls hitting 4 sixes and 3 fours. He was replaced by Praveen. Andre soon lost his wicket as well, trying to pull a short ball that rushed him. Naga took his spot and kept the momentum going. He hit some solid shots, including a six over covers that even the batsman did not expect to go the distance. Titans then lost Naga, Praveen and Bharat within a space of 5 runs. This all but ended the Titans hopes. With all the big hitters back in the shed and a ground that rewards aerial shots more than ground strokes, the remaining batsmen could not muscle Titans past the climbing run rate.
The game was lost in the first half. Bowlers were punished any time the ball was pitched short and there were too many balls pitched short. More importantly the dropped catches hurt the team. Tropics could have easily been limited to a sub-150 score if the catches had been taken. What was unusual was the fielders who dropped the catches - Tiki, Bunny, Praveen, Chucky (I know that is rough) and Avi with the gloves are amongst the safest in the team. The team is determined to come back strong. If there is a good loss, this is one. It comes at the right time (with two weeks off), shows that we have the lineup to fight back and helps highlight the areas the team needs work. Titans have two weeks off to work out the slight issues that have crept into their game. They will definitely be packing a punch in the next game of the season.
The scorecard is avaiable via the below link: