RBCC1 vs Hasselt CC (home)

RBCC won by 50 runs

Match Report

The first eleven met Hasselt Cricket Club on a sunny Sunday morning and the home ground looking in good order. There was a positive buzz helped by a brand new refrigerator in the bar!

Waqas won the toss and elected to bat first. Usman Malik having impressed the skipper enough in the previous intra club game to result in the first surprise of the day. The opening pair was to include Maqsood and Usman! Maqsood has been a great addition to the club, having shown great maturity and talent with both bat and ball in the last match. The pair went in to attempt to stamp some authority from the beginning. Usman did not disappoint. He dispatched the third ball he faced for a towering boundary and continued in that frame of mind for the duration of his stay. The pair got the team off to the perfect start, with Maqsood rotating the strike and Usman rotating the fielders’ heads as they kept seeing the ball being dispatched over the boundary. When Usman got out for a 31 ball 41, the score was 66/1 in 11 overs. Waqas went in to continue the momentum but fell to a brilliant diving catch by the keeper without opening his account.

Usman Azim joined Maqsood in an attempt to consolidate after a couple of quick wickets. The pair found it tough to maintain the scoring rate but stuck it out ensuring there was no further loss of wickets. Eventually the pair found some fluency and started to rotate the strike. With the heat taking its toll on the fielding team the batters started to find their groove and the scoreboard started to tick along. Maqsood showing once again excellent temperament and technique, with a couple of quality flicks for boundaries down to square leg. At the other end Usman showed that age and lack of natural talent can be overcome with stubbornness with a few boundaries of his own. As the scoring rate crept up so did the heat, and Usman (42) fell to a loopy full toss from the spinner lobbing an easy catch to the cover fielder. The pair had put on 89 runs and at 155/3 after 30 overs, the platform was set for the rest to put up a decent score. Unfortunately Maqsood fell one short of his fifty just 2 overs later leaving Chris(15) and Ehsan(26) to build the innings once again. The two scored some excellent shots and ran hard to put on 40 runs in 10 overs in the middle of the innings. However another double strike in the 43rd over left the team at 203/6 with yet again two new batters having to up the rate in the last 8 overs of the innings. In a mix of pressure and scrambled thinking the rest of the lineup kept losing their wickets. RBCC failed to play out the full quota of 50 overs for the first time this season when the last wicket fell for 229 in the 47th over. To the credit of the batting side, the opposition ended up having to use 9 different bowlers, which showed that a lot of pressure was exerted on the fielding side.

The total was well below the expectations after the halfway stage of the innings, but some early wickets could make the difference.  After a quick turnaround in the heat, the bowling was started by Waqas and Wasooq. Waqas generated some good pace, but couldn’t maintain the consistency. A few easy runs leaked early as both the openers try to go for big shots. This included one bouncer from Waqas that flew over the keepers head and over the boundary after just one bounce! Usman Malik was introduced early as first change and immediately both Wasooq and Usman found the length that became unplayable for the opening batters. Both found some movement in the air and resulted in the runs getting dried up. At 50 without loss after 7 overs, the opposition was well placed, but then first Wasooq and then Usman struck to remove both openers within the next 3 overs. The new pair played some attacking shots, but the home team maintained good lines and the skipper made some bowling changes to maintain the pressure. Maqsood came on and immediately found the line and length that was tough to score off. This resulted in 2 wickets for him. At 113/4 after 22 overs, the opposition just needed 4 an over and some quality batters still to come.

However the batters continued to go hard at everything, giving the home team opportunities to take some wickets. Maqsood picked up 2 more wickets and Vinay came on to bowl some controlled off spin. The extra bounce he got helped him unsettle the batsmen and the hard hitting opposition batter who had scored 30 odd very quick runs was dropped by Ehsan at point. However he got a chance at redemption in the next over off Vinay’s bowling, as the ball went extremely high towards him at long on and this time Ehsan hung on to a very good catch. The ensuing celebrations from Ehsan not only scared the umpires and his own team, but also the remaining opposition batters as they continued to swing from the hip and the home team maintained their discipline with the bowling lines to wrap up the innings at 159 in the 31st over, having lost their last 5 wickets for 19 runs in less than 6 overs.

And so RBCC got on the board in Division 1 after a hard day’s effort where everyone contributed individually and as a team. Special thanks to all the club and family members who showed up through the course of the day. The team showed some great team spirit, which has been evident through the course of the season so far. It had a major part in Sunday’s success. Now onwards to a big weekend coming up.

Lets go Brussels!!

RBCC vs Hasselt CC - 20180603