Our 9th Game of the season was against ECC, we needed a win to seal the title. The chasing pack headed by MCC had won the game on Saturday so we knew that we have to win this game otherwise the title would have gone to the last day of season. On the other hand it was must win game for Erlangen as they need to win to boost their chances of staying in the first league.
In this crucial game, NCC captain won the toss and elected to bat. Once again our tried and trusted opening partnership of Ali and Umer started the innings. Both were very watchful but also did not let go any opportunity to score runs. Umer was looking good but he got out after scoring 20 runs, he had hit a wonderful six but wanted to repeat the dose on the very next ball but skied a catch.
Fawad was promoted up the order to show his batting skills but got a good ball and we lost the second wicket when our score was 64 after 12 overs. Soon after Ali got out and we were 66/3 in 14th Over. Arshad and Shakoor tried to re-build the innings but Arshad got out in the last over before break and at break we were 96/4.
Erlangen was bowling well and we started losing wickets quickly. Kashif and Asher departed without troubling the scores too much and we were 103/6 after 22 Overs. Then captain strode into crease and started doing "Tuk tuk" which Misbah would have been proud of. On the other hand Shakoor was doing "Bang Bang" so our score was going forward and we went on with our aim of batting complete overs. Finally in 36th over Naveed got out trying to hit a big shot but ball barely crossed 30 yards circle. Abdul hit some lusty blows but we were all out after scoring 180 runs with Shakoor our highest scorer after making 72 Runs.
The target was descent but not over imposing so it was of paramount importance that we started well. Opposing captain opened the innings and was looking dangerous when he hit the second ball for six. Unfortunately he also got injured while playing the shot and had to call for the runner. However the very first ball he played after the runner came, he tried to steal a quick run and started running by himself as well. Luckily the throw was at strikers end and although both the runners were in the crease but not the injured batsman and Bilal was run out.
It appeared that Erlangen could not come out of this shock and they were faced with some brutal bowling from Asher and Raees. Both bowled magnificently with Raees especially bowling in the corridor of uncertainty ball after ball. He took two brilliant catches of his own bowling and took 4 wickets in total. When Asher and Raees ended their burst Erlangen was 40/7 after 13 Overs. Both the bowlers were backed up by splendid slip fielding and whatever came towards them it was pouched by the fielders. At the break Erlangen was 59/8, soon afterwards they were 67/9 after 22 Overs.
However we took the foot off the pedal and their last wicket partnership began to frustrate us. The ball went in the air several times but it somehow always landed in between the players, Finally Rafiq broke the Resistance and Jimmy was out after scoring 40+ runs.
Finally we could breathe sigh of relief, all our practice sessions in winter and some extensive fitness sessions in Summer showed us the value of Hard work. For the second time in 5 years we are crowned Bayerische Champions. Our journey does not stop here, now we should take the next step and win the DCB Quarter Final. Let us keep on working together and supporting each other.